Friday, November 18, 2011

Politicians destorying PNG

Source: Post Courier, Novemeber 18, 2011

The Decision to suspend the Chief Justice (CJ) by O’Neill Government will go down in our political history as an “attempted assault” on the Constitution and fabric of our democracy. It was utterly madness for our political leaders to contemplate such an action which could have easily created a “Major Constitutional Crisis” in the country.
What’s wrong with our political leaders? Haven’t they done enough to wreck most of our institutions? The entire public service is heavily politicized so are the constitutional offices such as Police, Defence and CIS. As a result all these institutions are crippled - and rendered ineffective.
The Judiciary is the only institution left protecting the fabric of our democracy from the whims of the politicians. The recent event is clearly an attempt to bring the Judiciary under their control. This would easily lead us into the same path as many African countries did.In quest for political power, political leaders destroyed institutions and fabrics of their democracy. Thus these countries became “failed States”.
Today, those countries in Africa are struggling to get on their feet. Once a certain culture is created changing it takes time and many sacrifices. Many of our political leaders are well educated and know better not to let PNG entangled in such insanity.
Sadly, the Decision to suspend CJ boils down to an act of madness, desperation, greed and quest for power. It wasn’t for the country’s interest or for good governance.
How will CJ’s suspension serve the country’s interests? There is no logic at all. No amount of excuses/reasons offered will justify their action. The damage done to CJ himself, the Judiciary and the Constitution is enormous and will be remembered for a long time.
For what is worth, it was a decision designed to serve their self interests. Those political leaders; (in Government) knew precisely what they were doing and its adverse consequences. Did they care, Not at all, it seems. Nevertheless they misjudged the authority of our Judiciary, which is clearly stipulated in the constitution. The decision by the Judiciary to halt this political madness is a huge relief. Our hope has been restored – it proves the nation’s constitution and democracy are very much alive.
A question asked by people now is - where were our three most respected leaders: Sir Mekere, Bart Philemon and Sir Puka Temu?
They are seen as pillars of good governance, accountability in leadership and protector of integrity of our constitution and laws. They must come out and explain their stance to the people. Their continued silence however leaves a lot to be desired.
How about Sam Basil, the firebrand young leader who has been vocal on issue of respect for law and integrity of Government whilst in Opposition?Just seeing him at the press conference makes people wonder, whether such people are for real or not.Perhaps a lesson or two to be learned and not be fooled in the future. The Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill has more explanation to do than what he has offered. He is the Chief Executive of the country, not Belden Namah. Any decision, whether minor or major is always vetted by the Chief Executive according to state protocol. Was the suspension of CJ made in his full knowledge and endorsement too?
Whatever it is he is fully accountable for his Government’s decision and he must set the record straight. He should not let his Deputy Belden Namah to shoulder the full responsibility of his Government’s decision.
Some political observers believe Belden Namah was made a sacrificial lamb. He was seen as a threat by many in the current and former Government. Could it be a set-up to destroy him and PNG Party before 2012 General National? If it is then, politics has become ugly and nasty.
Not a healthy sign for this young Nation. Put that aside, both Peter O’Neill and Belden Namah had so much going for them. They were seen as the emerging leaders of this country. Both talented and attractable to ordinary people for their frankness and desire to fight for the welfare of the ordinary people.
Whatever the outcome of the Supreme Court reference filed by East Sepik Provincial Government on the election of Peter O’Neill as Prime Minister, they will be Winners going to the General Election.
Now all that is thrown away with just one madness. The question is why? Both O’Neil and Namah must now know the people will not easily forget – and forgive them for their attempt to interfere with the independence of the Judiciary and the Constitution.
In finality, this should be a “wake-up” call for the people. Should we continue to just stand and watch the Political Leaders destroying every fabric of our institutions and democracy - and risk the future of our children?

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