Hello Mr. MP – Are You Awake?
There prevails a reoccurring perspective that is shared by Papua New Guineans all around the country regarding the existence of our leaders – or maybe more appropriately, their extinction. From the lapuns grinding their buai with rusty bolts, to the papas watching the mamas picking coffee, to the teens cutting bag after bag of copra – it seems that everybody in PNG is asking, where is our MP?
Surely the PNG Member of Parliament has not yet progressed onto the ‘endangered species list’, particularly when there exists (on paper) 109 healthy specimens who are employed by the people of the land. Perhaps because of their Bik Man (na wanpela meri) status they have somehow thwarted Darwinism and evolved rapidly back into the modern neanderthal – a big head, limited speech and hearing capabilities, and a tendency to become nocturnal when expected to help with the village duties, being among their most prominent characteristics.
To highlight the fact that ordinary Papua New Guineans, the people who voted their MPs to join the Haus Tambaran’s seductive membership, are searching high and low for their MPs, Tubuans & Dukduks took a dive into the June 2009 archives of The National in search of possible recorded sightings of this most elusive animal:
28 May, 2009: Dr Petrus Bosip Amban (Minj) states the following:
I would like to know where the MP for Anglimp-South Waghi has disappeared to. He holds no ministerial portfolios to keep him in Port Moresby all the time. His visits to the electorate have been dismal. There is no development of any shape or form in the electorate and Minj town, the so-called district headquarters, is overgrown with elephant grass. What is going on Jamie Maxtone-Graham? I challenge you to tell us your plans for the electorate. There is no point in keeping your plans to yourself.
1 June, 2009: Keru (Newcastle) supports the above statement:
I concur with the letter Anglimp MP Must Tell Us His Plans. It has been about five years since Jamie Maxtone-Graham was voted into Parliament. To this day, we have not seen any tangible benefits. Can the Anglimp-South Waghi MP shed some light?
With great foresight, The National must have known the people of Anglimp-South Waghi were wondering if their MP was still alive because that very weekend they published a reassuring article titled, Jamie Loses 65kg and Saves his Life and they even included his email address just so Jamie could be contacted personally: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now this regarding Western Province.
2 June, 2009: Concerned Barramundi (Madang) is also wondering about his MP:
I come from a remote river province and it is the least developed province in PNG. There is hardly any service and the people are still living the way our ancestors lived before Independence. Governor Bob Danaya and his deputy Boka Kondra, who is MP for North Fly, must wake up and start delivering.
Simbu MPs are in high demand too.
I want to highlight the poor conditions of all roads in Simbu Province. The sad thing is none of our leaders, including the governor (John Garia), is doing anything about it. How are my parents going to transport their goods to the market? The people of Simbu are suffering.
Now over to Southern Highlands.
I would like to know where Nipa-Kutubu MP Philemon Embel has gone to. Since winning the election, he has gone into hiding. He has not brought any tangible development and the people are suffering. While many of his fellow MPs are delivering services in their electorates, Mr Embel is more concerned about PNG’s NRL bid than the people he is supposed to represent. I want to see when the police college will be built in Poroma.
Back to the least developed province in PNG.
It is almost two years since the last general election. There is no development in South Fly and basic infrastructure has gone from bad to worse. Sali Subam must have got lost in the Waigani swamp. The National Government has allocated K10 million to each district but the MP does not know what to do with the funds because he is nothing more than a small boy among the big men in Parliament.
Now to the Islands.
The Mamusi people would appreciate it very much if Member for Pomio Paul Tiensten were to pay them a visit and see for himself how his people are surviving. There is no health centre or aid post and many primary schools are made from bush materials. There is no road to Mamusi. The people are crying for help and we pray Mr Tiensten will hear our cries.
Now to Western Highlands – the second time.
Recently, the MP for North Waghi, Benjamin Mul, has been spending a fair amount of district funds on all sorts of claims throughout the electorate. He has been given the mandate to bring services and develop the electorate. It has been two years since he was elected as MP but the people of North Waghi are still waiting in vain for developments.
Now to West Sepik.
15 June, 2009: TLF Citizen (Madang) wonders if his MP knows how to plan:
The Telefomin MP has done nothing since being elected to office in 2007. As someone from Telefomin, I wonder if Peter Iwei has any plans for the electorate. The odd services that we see in the district are the initiative of the former MP, the late Wesani Iwoksim about 30 years ago. I call on Mr Iwei to tell the people of his plans for the electorate.
Back to Western Highlands – AGAIN.
Decades have passed and leaders have come and gone but Mul-Baiyer has remained unchanged since the colonial days. The current Member has promised the people roads, electricity and water supply but in reality, there is nothing to show. The people of Mul-Baiyer are fed with lip-service by their MP, Sani Rambi, and governor, Tom Olga. I call on both leaders to live up to their promises and refrain from giving lip-service.
Back to Southern Highlands.
The road, if we can call it road, from Kagua station to Maga is deplorable. If I were the MP (James Lagea), I would be ashamed by the condition. I don’t know how the MP feels when driving along this road. The people of Kagua-Erave have been living in darkness for far too long. We want to see tangible development and changes.
Now to Port Moresby. Yes, it seems even Mosbi MPs are vacant.
I would like to advise the good MP (Mekere Moarauta) to drive around Ensisi, Rainbow Village and Gerehu suburbs to see for himself what is happening. Huge craters are the norm these days. Where has all the money gone? The Opposition leader has lost his way and gone into hibernation. Thanks to the NCD Governor, many parts of Moresby Northwest electorate are getting much needed services and facelift. We hear and read about Moresby Northeast and South electorates’ representatives doing something for their constituents but not the Northwest MP.
Now to Nokondi Land.
22 June, 2009: Concerned Okapian (Lae) is asking whether his MP is awake:
Since the last general election, I have been on the look-out for news on Okapa, my electorate. However, to my great disappointment, there is nothing while a remote electorate like Jimi has been making the news and headlines. Hello, Mr Okapa MP, are you awake? I wonder if the people made the right choice by giving their mandate to Bonny Oveyara. If he cannot deliver, then he should step aside for someone who knows how to use the K10 million allocated for the district and bring services and development to Okapa.
So, there you have it. In the space of THREE weeks the people of Papua New Guinea have requested that 14 MPs representing 8 provinces please stop hiding, stop sleeping, stop hibernating, stop giving lip-service, stop getting lost AND start planning, start providing, and once in a while – whether it be by plane, car, bus, van or their two feet, make the effort to visit and see how their people are coping!
By the way, where’s your MP?