The product of leaders’ poor choices

Letters, Normal

The National, Thursday October 17th, 2013

 MY dear leaders in PNG,

The country some of you helped create on Sep 16, 1975 recently celebrated 38 years of nationhood. 

As a nation, we have come a long way through good and bad times when others thought we would never make it this far as a country of more than seven million people with diverse cultures, ethnic groups and more than 800 language groups.

It is quite amazing how we have pulled together and I appreciate everyone’s contribution to this significant achievement. 

But for me, celebrating this important event was painful. 

I spent half my life in a village at the foot of Mt Hagen. For the past five years, though, my life in Port Moresby has been difficult. 

I  have to squeeze my family into a single room as it is all I can afford.

I was taught at school to have three meals a day, but it is only a dream now, not to mention school lunches for the kids. 

Maybe I should have been born in another country, not in PNG, where one has a lot of relatives who look to one person to sort their problems out.

There are thousands of Papua New Guineans who share my story, but are all keeping quiet. 

These are painful problems, deep problems that quick fixes will not solve, yet I am sharing mine with you, hoping that somewhere out there is listening.  

For me, there is no one to blame, yet  I know deep in my heart that I am not the product of my own decisions. 

My country is rich enough to offer  me  a decent life, which I deserve from many years of hard work in school and where I am today. 

With growing frustrations everyday, I have been reading in the newspapers about millions and millions of public funds being misused or mismanaged every year. 

I wonder how such huge amounts of money could be lost and how those responsible are not brought to justice? 

On the other hand, people such as the late William Kapris was chased down and killed as if there is no justice for them. 

What is the use of having a government that cannot do anything to stop the theft of public funds while people like me are struggling to survive in a very expensive city? 

I am only the product of the decisions that you all have made in the last 38 years. 

Day-in, day-out, I bear the moral burden of your decisions. 

I have lived long in this country and I know what goes on in the corridors of Waigani and the strange whispers and the echoes they make. 

With bitter sadness and deep pain, I write to remind you all; whose country is it that you are helping to destroy and whose interests are you serving? 

You can go overseas for medical treatment when you are sick, but when you die, your coffin with your corpse will never leave PNG shores. 

You can do anything to your body so as not to be called a Papua New Guinean, but deep in your heart, the blood it pumps is not foreign blood. 

I would rather die than suffer watching this country being destroyed by irresponsible people.  


Lucas Kiap

PNG Anti-Corruption Movement for Change (PNGACMC)