Interesting times ahead


PRIME Minister James Marape sprung a few surprises when he announced his 32-member cabinet on Friday.
Among them was what many say, the first in PNG’s 44 year-old history and that is naming two members from the Opposition in his cabinet.
Not only that, both men did put their hands to be counted in the 101 votes that saw Marape being elected at the 8th Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea.
Sinasina-Yongomugl MP Kerenga Kua was among the eight who voted for the alternative Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta while Madang MP Bryan Kramer abstained from voting.
Marape named Kua as Minister for Petroleum and Kramer as Minister for Police.
Marape sensing there would be questions as to why he named the two men in his cabinet offered this explanation: “This is not about myself or about to reciprocate the goodness to someone who voted for you.
“In my view, this is about our country and having the best men around to do the work for our country”.
This already speaks volume for our Prime Minister as a team player.
He told Parliament last month he was holding the conductor’s wand and needed “singers” from both sides of the House to make up the choir.
The “melody” as he puts it would depend on everyone in the choir – the bass, tenor, alto and soprano.
It surely looks to be a long road ahead as everyone gets settled into the various part in the choir.
The choir once gelled is expected to shape the next course of action, life and journey for this country.
Marape has with him a calibre of leaders who are talented and if they can work together this country can move forward.
The Prime Minister last week highlighted few areas of concern that he will be looking into.
He put on notice state owned enterprises who have not been declaring dividends to state.
Many of our state own enterprises are working outside of treasury scrutiny.
Many of our State-owned enterprises are building empires of their own.
The Works Department comes under the microscope on the need to tidy up on contract scoping,
issuance and management of contract.
National airline Air Niugini will be undergoing a diagnostic into how it has been operating and to deal with improving productivity and efficiency.
Marape did not mince his on telling Air Niugini, who has had monopoly, to also make profit.
Another two state own enterprise – Telikom Ltd and PNG Power have their challenge.
For PNG Power, it is to bring the cost of power down. Telling the chairman and MD – I don’t care how you find it, find the formula, you got enough experience with you.
And Telikom, Marape says if Digicel can be 100 per cent all over the country, Telikom you must be 100 per cent all over the country too.
And he saved the much anticipated cabinet minister for almost last – naming Kramer as Minister for Police who has been given the mammoth task of reconstructing and restoring the integrity of the police department.
No easy task for this men and their fellow minister brothers.
The Prime Minister knows that.
In his address to the nation last Wednesday, he says, I looked into where we are as nation and realised that challenges before us are so big and it will require the effort of everyone; starting from Members of Parliament, as well as all public servants and every citizen including our corporate citizens in this country.
It definitely will be interesting times ahead as in all political changes as things settle in.

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