What is the matter with us, PNG?

Letters

What is the matter with us Papua New Guineans?
Finally, we can see what we thought would never happen unfold in front of our eyes – the fate of our painful journey, being strangers in our own land, beggars and homeless in our own streets and feeling worthless in our rich nation.
Our qualifications seem like blank papers, experience looks like fairy tales and our knowledge like dreams.
Before we realise, it is slipping off our grasp: Going, going, gone.
Looking but not seeing.
We knew this was in the making, that it was coming.
The scars our uni students sustained in 2016 will constantly serve as a reminder.
The memories of those who perished due tothe lack of medicine will continue to haunt us.
The ignorance and arrogance of what and what-nots that we have knowingly done will without doubt cast dark shadows upon us as long as we live.
We constantly complain when an expatriate is appointed to an executive position, such as the new chairman for Telikom PNG Andrew Johnson, or the CEO for PNG Power Carolyn Blacklock.
Our ignorance is being stripped right in front of our eyes.
Yes, more positions will be given away, this is something our complaints will not hold water.
I extrapolate at this trend, and as anticipated, it will go in that direction.
I see at least 10-15 positions will be dished out this year, yes, the CEOs, chairmen and MD positions.
We Papua New Guineans, when given opportunities, do not want to perform, excel and become creative to be productive.
We tend to entertain our egos, feed our wantoks, raise our shoulders and and develop this ‘paitim bros(chest beating)’ big-man syndrome.
Some of us work extra hard and devise ways of advancing forward under difficult circumstances.
Where impossible, we improvise or articulate alternate avenues to achieve our objectives or even make things better.
Yet people tend to be ignorant and arrogant.
Look, look, look: The Asians have taken advantage of this.
We are too lazy.
Look at how many of us walk around, loiter and sit around the cities, towns and stations?
You go to Boroko, Waigani, Downtown, Eriku, Toptown, Hagen, Kundiawa, Kainantu, Porgera, Tari, literally everywhere;, people just roam
around aimlessly like headless chickens.
In Porgera, for example, people walk miles to the station to play this illegal gambling, Hi-Lo game where they sit down all day and spend all their monies from 6am to 6pm.
Then they go begging for others for food and water.
Look, look, look: How many locals lease out their tucker shops and stores to Asians simply to collect a lousy K500 per week, when they themselves can fetch K5000 per week easily?
Asians have now invaded PNG in all corners.
More are coming.
Agriculture is now theirs.
Fisheries is theirs.
Logging is theirs.
Basic farming is theirs.
Primary industry is theirs.
Small business is theirs.
SMEs are theirs.
Everything is theirs.

So what are we good at then?

  • Selling buai and smoke;
  • cleaners and security guards;
  • bartenders and club bouncers;
  • fast money schemes;
  • cargo cult habits;
  • pamuk pasin (prostitution, which is easy money);
  • home brew (spak hariapor get drunk quickly);
  • storytellers and gossipers (loitering and walking around aimlessly);
  • pokies, horse race and Hi-Lo games;
  • thieves, robbers and gangsters;
  • beggars; and
  • Homeless

Yes we are.
It is now time to invade our own land.
Get back to work.
Throw away that “bikman” “bikmeri” syndrome.
Fight for that job, get that job and give 110 per cent commitment.
If they want 100 per cent, give that extra 10 per cent.
Study harder.
Work harder and smarter.
Be competitive.
Stop complaining and let your results show.
Compete with expats and bloody beat them, then only you can get that job.
Do not lease that shop to that Asian for K500 a week.
Instead take it back, devise ways and make yourself K5000 a week.
Stop wasting that precious
time just sitting or walking around.
People are paid hourly on their jobs, so every hour must count to be productive.
Stop begging for someone to feed you.
Let us all go back to basics.
Go and start now.
Only then can we can be qualified to complain why jobs are going to foreigners or Asians are invading this country.
It’s time: Let’s start.
Stop complaining, get to work.
Take back PNG.

Hard (and smart) working PNG man
Dr Sam Yocko

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