The National, Wednesday July 1st, 2012
By FRANK SENGE KOLMA
FORMER prime minister Sir Julius Chan was in a jovial mood yesterday.
Back from New Ireland where he spent several days closing the chapter on his old administration, Sir Julius answered in the affirmative when asked if he was interested in a ministry in the new government.
“Yes, the ministry of governor of New Ireland,” he said, laughing at his own pun before flying off to join his People’s Progress Party in Alotau. He claims seven in the camp.
He made it clear he wanted to remain governor of New Ireland to move on social sector improvement such as housing, water and sanitation and other social services.
What was he trying to do earlier this week, being caught on camera, flying off into
the New Guinea Islands on the same plane with PNG Party leader, Belden Namah?
“Air Niugini has to be more selective,” he said.
“They have to anticipate our movements and put separate flights. My flights are always pre-determined. Anyway, we should be able to speak with the opposition (politicians).”
How did he compare the 2012 election with past elections?
“This election looked like we were preparing for war. There was too much emphasis, too much money on security. I am not sure whether it was free. I am not sure whether it was fair.
“I was too expensive. I could win an election once with K25,000.
“Now, the minimum amount is K400,000.”
He said a priority of the incoming administration should be on revamping the public service.
He said greater autonomy ought to be extended to the provinces with emphasis on building management capacity and efficiency in provincial public servants.
The public servants should be trained and primed to operate at optimal efficiency to be able to deal with big multinationals operating in the country throughout the provinces, he said.
The current system has grown too big and lethargic and not implementation-oriented.
He spent the past few days holding his last
provincial executive council meeting to properly close the books of his former administration and to prepare for the new term.