The National, Tuesday October 29th, 2013
THE state visit to Israel by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill was indeed a trip of great significance.
It not only reaffirmed PNG as a Christian country, but saw the establishment of a direct relationship between the countries that promises many great things in the future.
Taxpayers can now understand why they have to dig deep into their pockets to pay for such trips.
Unlike Australia, Papua New Guineans can now travel to the Holy Land without having to apply for an Israeli visa, thanks to O’Neill and his delegation.
After 38 years of wasting taxpayers’ money on countless overseas trips, the least the people wanted was for our leaders to come back and put into action what they had learned from those trips.
We are expecting O’Neill and his high profile delegation to put into action what they have learned from their Israeli trip.
If Israel can turn the desert into arable land for food cultivation and agriculture, PNG does not have a desert that requires sophisticated technology to develop.
What PNG needs are very simple technology and irrigation systems to turn all its fertile land into farmlands with the vision of making PNG the food basket of the world.
What we need is not more overseas trips, but leaders who take those trips to fulfil their visions through establishing technical cooperation with developed countries.
Learn from them, set up a technical school to train and produce locally the human capital required to research as well as design and build our own technologies for people to use daily and improve the quality of life.
If Israel has enemies all around her that requires big defence budgets, certainly PNG does not have to worry about that as we do not have enemies.
What we need is a modern defence force that is fully-trained and resourced to secure and protect our sea and land boundaries as well as air space against illegal activities.
If Israel has built sophisticated technologies and industries to be exported to the rest of the world, we do not have to produce and sell those kinds of technologies.
But it is about time we research, design and produce our own technologies for our own use.
The establishment of PNG’s new consulate building in Israel is welcomed, but what we do not want is for it to turn out to be another building like the one in the Solomon Islands, with only posts sticking out of the ground and no trace of the millions of taxpayers’ money spent on it.
We have wasted 38 years and half our natural resources are gone.
We have yet to build the foundations that this country needs to progress and advance.
This nation needs leaders like those defined by Dr Cornel West as “if your success is defined as being well-adjusted to injustice and well-adapted to indifference, then we do not want successful leaders, but great leaders who love and respect the people enough to be unbought, unbound, unafraid and unintimidated from telling the truth”.