Transparency must prevail


THE game of hide-and-seek continues to become a monumental marker of the Marape Government.
No past government had conducted themselves within the norms and practices of Westminster parliamentary democratic system of government by keeping the Opposition in suspense over its handing of the annual national budget and money plan, as what has transpired on the floor of the Parliament last Thursday (Nov 25).
The act itself will go down in PNG’s history books, exposing how far the culture of official corruption has advanced and spread its tentacles in PNG, where cunning strategies are applied for political gain in contrary to the much talked-about emphasis for transparency and good governance.
By not providing the vital part of the budget – “Volume One” – during the handing down of the National Budget is a leadership crime, much worse than what the late prime minister, Sir William Skate, had done in trying to revive the PNG economy by employing Dr Hamidian Rad as the chief economic adviser.
At least, Sir William was transparent about his intention, without fear or favour, which eventually led to his downfall.
That is leadership as honesty and transparency prevailed despite shortfalls.
However, the recent conduct of the Treasurer and the Government is an act against the people of PNG and is somewhat a breach of the Leadership Code in line with the duties and responsibilities of national leaders, and can be considered an act of treason against the Independent State of PNG.
The Opposition also represents the people of PNG so why were they deliberately kept in the dark.
The National Parliament is not a kindergarden classroom or playground, so why is it being treated as such?
Allegiance to one’s political party is one thing, but official duty to the nation is a totally different ball game.
How is the Opposition supposed to provide a constructive reply to the 2022 National Budget in the name of prudent financial management and good governance?
Have our national elected leaders lost their senses and forgotten their obligations and oath to uphold the interest of this nation without prejudice?
Such act warrants the Governor-General to step in and suspend the Government, install a caretaker government and call for fresh elections immediately. Is PNG a banana republic where the important rule of law and duties of the national leaders can be overlooked and mucked around with?
Such doings also warrants the PNG Ombudsman Commission to get out of their comfort zone and start addressing such unscrupulous and unethical official conduct forthwith.
Is the Ombudsman Commission still active?
Because nothing, in terms of warning leaders of their required duties and responsibilities, have been issued?
Such professional negligence and don’t care attitude have contributed to many of our elected leaders undermining their duties and obligations.
The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) should now start flexing its muscles to address such political conduct which is not transparent and does not reflect whole of Government approach to vital annual money plan for the nation.
To be quiet and pretend nothing is wrong is a disease that has deprived the nation for a long time, thus making many of our elected leaders assume that they are above everyone, own the nation and immune from the laws of the land.
PNG is in for a dirty national election that is likely to be plagued with financial inducement, bribery, and other forms of corruption.
The unethical conduct and behaviour by the Government says it all, and any citizen in their right mind will be able to figure it out.
Actions speak louder than words, and as such, the Opposition needs to do the right thing and take a bold stand about this.
Also, the National Minister for Planning and Monitoring, on NBC’s talkback show (Nov 15), gave the notion that Papua New Guineans would not be taxed any further.
However, this is not the case as the public would also feel the pinch of the tax levies on BSP and Digicel – two of the biggest companies used by the majority of Papua New Guineans.
This is “hide-and-seek” strategy and is nothing short of false pretence. Shame.
Blessed is the heart that leaked the budget paper to the media.
You have done justice to your nation and fellow citizens by exposing what can be considered as a deliberate plot, or a conspired strategy, to milk the unaware employed citizens of their hard-earned salaries.
Salary earners in PNG urban centres are struggling to make ends meet and the Government has turned a blind eye to this hardship through these new tax measures.
Why the minister is jumping up over the leak is simple – lies have been exposed.
The failure in handing down Volume One of the Vudget is a further testimony of the political plot to make extra K190 million annually, without being transparent to the nation’s citizens.
We, the citizens, would understand if the Government was transparent and honest.
Finally, the Holy Bible tells us that Satan is the father of all lies.
He comes to kill and destroy.
Are we going to allow certain elected leaders who pretend, lie, apply delay tactics, play games and so forth to continue to lead this nation?
It’s time now citizens put an end to such wicked ways come the 2022 National General Election.

Emmanuel Allen Mungu
True son of Finschhafen,
Port Moresby