PM not the cause of our present mess

Letters, Normal

I refer to the letter “Can PNG achieve Vision 2050 goals” (The National, Nov 24) by Mehrra Minne Kipefa of Obura-Wonenara.
The writer appears to blame Sir Michael Somare for all the developmental, social-economic and political problems that PNG has over the last 34 years.
The writer argues from a misconception that Sir Michael has been at the helm of PNG for 34 years.
This is not the case.
Sir Michael was in political wilderness for 17 years, beginning in 1986. 
He was the never the PM during this period (1986-2002). 
When Sir Michael was not captaining PNG, this country hit one storm after another, which almost tore the nation apart.
This is because in the past 34 years of our development experience, PNG appears to move backwards when Sir Michael was not at the helm of national politics. 
With Sir Rabbie Namaliu as PM, we confronted the Bougainville crisis in 1989 and that alone set a major impediment to economic growth and development in PNG.
In the early 1990s, we had financial crisis under Sir Julius Chan and Paias Wingti. 
This was a period of resources boom and many commentators found it hard to believe PNG was having financial crisis in the midst of high economic growth.
With late Sir Bill Skate as head of PNG, he bowed down to a secessionist movement in Bougainville and allowed it to have peace in their terms and not in PNG’s terms and conditions. 
Allowing Bougainville to have autonomy and referendum thereafter for independence will tear this nation apart.
Sir Mekere Morauta, as a highly qualified economist, put in place the best system that fostered political stability and current economic progress. 
The system was never put in to benefit PNG but to serve the interest of his cronies who were
running PNG from behind the scene.
We should squarely put the blame on the various prime ministers who overthrew Sir Michael and they thought that they would outsmart him.
But in the process, they failed PNG miserably. 
These are the guys who are responsible for creating almost all of PNG’s social, economic and political woes.
We thank God for this intervention that brought the father of the nation back at the helm in 2002. 
Under his leadership, PNG has enjoyed sustained economic progress and swift macroeconomic management.
I think if Sir Michael had been PM for the last 34 years, then we would have been better off.


Mamando Aiyun-Pain