Sir Tei and PM go back a long way

Letters, Normal

The National – Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I REFER to the late Sir Tei Abal.
In the 1970s, he was the member for Wabag-Maramuni Open.
He depicted himself in his election posters as Sir Tei Abal Alumai, meaning moving little insects up and down the trees in Wabag tok ples.
I saw him as colourful man with immense leadership qualities and even though he was illiterate and uneducated, he proved to be a capable leader during the colonial days.
In 1971, I was in Grade 4 at Landor Primary School in the upper Ambum valley, Enga, when I heard the news over the radio that the House of Assembly was formed in Port Moresby and during its first sitting, Sir Tei was elected as chief minister.
He was chief minister for two hours before he decided to hand the post over to Sir Michael Thomas Somare.
His main reason was that he was not educated and that it was better to let someone with education to be the chief minister.
He then became the Opposition leader.
Even though Sir Mi­chael and Sir Tei were se­parated by political divide, they were like blood bro­thers, eating and sleeping together in their quest for independence.
I believe when Sir Mi­chael picked Sam Abal as his deputy, he must have put a lot of thought into his close ties with Sir Tei.
While the prime minister is recuperating from his surgery, Abal has shown that he is a no-nonsense leader and a capable one.
I believe many politicians are now playing politics in the hope of unseating him.
As a common Papua New Gui­nean, and I be­lieve there are many others who share this sentiment, I am disgusted with the behaviour of many of our so-called leaders.
Abal has been handed full power to run PNG and he should be left alone to do that.


Peter Nupi
Port Moresby