WE have been Independent for 34 years.
Given the resources that we have and have had in the past, and with such a small population, we should all be rich.
Sadly, this is not the case and statistics say about 80% of the population live in poverty.
We have one of the highest unemployment rates in the South Pacific, leading to many social disorders.
In this region, we have the highest:
* Poverty rate;
* Mortality rate from curable diseases; and
* Illiteracy rate.
To make matters worse, about 40% of school-age children cannot go school because their parents cannot afford the school fees, our roads and feeder roads are some of the worst in the region, and we have one of the lowest human resource development priority agendas in the region.
We should all be rich, highly educated and fully employed. Yet we are not.
We should all be healthy and happy, driving on super highways and good sealed feeder roads.
Are our politicians and leaders so blind that they cannot see all these problems?
The Government is talking about planning for the next 50 years.
While it is good to plan ahead, I think it would be wiser to look into the past, see where we have gone wrong and to learn from our mistakes so that the next 34 years would not be wasted.
A good government will do everything possible to put the best portion of its revenue into improving the quality of its citizens’ lives.
My definition of good governance is a well-educated, healthy, wealthy and happy people who are at peace with each other because leaders are making decisions in the people’s best interest and not in their own interests.
I would not be wrong to say that our leaders are saying “what can PNG do for me?” rather than “what can I do for PNG?”
Of course, there are some in the latter group but they are a minority.
Pastor Peter Ropra