Where is goodwill and common sense?

Editorial

ONE of the biggest problems facing our society today is the lack of goodwill when we interact with other and carry on in our daily lives.
It may not be overt and strikingly obvious but the small things, just as much as the bigger actions, explain a lot about how we think, and the logic that we use to justify what we do.
The Government has announced that 16 public service agencies will be abolished and their functions amalgamated as part of a public sector reforms.
The apparent shedding of a portion of the workforce and other matters related to the amalgamation of State-owned institutions will force workers to speak out as they have done in the past.
But as in all negotiations to do with workplace conditions and staffing, they must be in line with the overall plan to take the entities forward and this almost always entails some hard decisions.
That is a fact of corporate culture and one must remember that these State-owned enterprises are no longer completely in the public service but operate as private companies with a business model that requires them to be accountable to shareholders and be competitive in the open market.
So there will be casualties. That is a given.
But rather than look at it from the point of view that these are practical decisions that are being made in order to safeguard the government, some individuals feel the need to react to their impending redundancies or demotions by hurting the entity they think has wronged them.
One example is the shutting down of basic amenities as seen in previous years by what many suspect would be unhappy workers. That will not only be counter-productive to their cause but holds to ransom the majority of the population that relies heavily on those services.
Those who are caught vandalisingor damaging the property of any service providers must face the full force of the law.
Their crimes are not only against a Government entity like water, power and communications, but are against the public in general.
This week, disgruntled landowners in Port Moresby blacked out the Era Varo lighthouse lights at Vabukori in an attempt to draw attention to their claim for land compensation.
The entity in charge of maritime safety has warned that tempering with the lighthouse is illegal and therefore a punishable offence.
Such facilities must be respected because they provide vital services to ships.
What the perpetrators of such crimes do not fully understand is that they are hurting much more than just the State or the boards with whom they have an issue.
If a life or lives are lost because in one way of another the lack of any of these services prevented help from reaching those in need or from life-saving treatment or in some way delayed treatment then those people have blood on their hands and must be punished accordingly.
This is not just a simple matter of vandalism, wilful property damage, theft or grand theft, because its ramifications go beyond those crimes.
The cost to the majority cannot be trivialised.
Millions of kina and productivity are wasted whenever such services are affected and at the end of the day is a disservice to and a crime against the majority.

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