Name Recognition not an Issue for PNG’s 4000 Aspiring Politicians

Last month Samson Chicki wrote a letter to the Editor of The National  strongly urging Papua New Guineans to stop using foreign surnames and to stick with our traditional names.

It was an interesting opinion piece which highlighted some of the benefits of, including name recognition when running for public office, retaining the traditional family name.

Papua New Guinean names aren’t always the easiest to pronounce correctly, even for us native speakers, but Chicki’s letter did highlight the issue that name recognition isn’t really a problem for aspiring PNG politicians, particularly those standing for the open seats.

There have always been colorful names associated with PNG politics and elections, including the issue of ghost names on the electoral roll, some of which it was revealed in 2007 included names of kings and queens and Elvis Presley himself.

Taking this into account, the PNG Positives Blog recently analysed the list of candidates for the 2007 election and observed that it made for interesting reading.

The presumption is that the upcoming election, with some 4000 candidates, will also provide as entertaining an analysis:

“Some old historical names appear – it looks to me like some old campaigns may be fought again in the new Parliament if the following get elected; either NAPOLEON SAEVARU [Alotau Open] or NAPOLEON B. LIOSI [Milne Bay Provincial] will obviously not get on well with either of WELLINGTON GEBA GERORO or WELLINGTON KABORO [both standing for Ijivitari Open].

We may also find the odd old English statesman resurrected – like GLADSTONE JARUGA [Sohe Open]. We assume also that long-departed English royalty isn’t rising again in the seat of Chuave Open in the person of GEORGE KING YAUWE?

There may be problems with two old Scottish rivals clashing in Central Provincial, namely ROGER McKENZZIE DIGGA and MANU McFEE GENOMALU.

There will be some obvious Ministry allocations if any of the following get elected:

Minister for Emergency Services: JOE AGO ANDREW FAIYAMAN [Komo-Margarima Open]

Minister for Agriculture: DIDIMAN GODFRIED SAVI [Usino-Bundi Open] or RODERICK FONOVI KOFIMAN [Unggai-Bena Open] or perhaps SIMON PAGLAU FARMAH [Kundiawa-Gembogl Open]

Minister for Education: JOE TINE WERAKE (TISA BOI) or HENRY WAIM TISA[both Kerowagi Open] or

TISA JORIFA YUBIKO [Kainantu Open] or even TISA HENI SOTO [Unggai-Bena Open]

Minister for Forests: DEWE ENN FORESTRY [Kerowagi Open]

Minister for Police: MATHEW JONATHAN POLISMAN [Sinasina-Yonggamugl Open] or LUHUKOPA POLISMAN ZATARO [Goroka Open]

Minister for Health: DOKTA GABRIEL POSING KULWAUM [Manus Open]

And even a candidate for whichever Ministry oversees the Weather Bureau – in KEN FAIRWEATHER [Sumkar Open seat]

Some candidates will obviously fit in anywhere –  such as SUAL TIENE RIGHTMAN [standing in Nawae Open].

IAN BUSMAN SINGKEPE [Eastern Highlands Provincial] is obviously declaring his roots back in the village.

We’re not quite sure what SELWYN BISKET TOTAVE [Okapa Open] is declaring?

Seems to be quite a few candidates with musical backgrounds, such as BUAGE BUAFEC ILAI (BEE GEE) [Sinasina-Yonggamugl Open], as well as ARNOLD UMBA RASTA [Kundiawa-Gembogl Open] and INDIA RASTA PUPUKAI [Kandep Open] – at least we hope that’s the case, and the latter two candidates aren’t really campaigning to legalise anything controversial?

Various family references are found, such as the pair in  Karamui-Nomane Open – PAUL PAPA NIME versus  MAX TABEL BRO – and JAMES MINI TALA UNCLE [Chimbu Provincial] – although this could be the typical loose use of these terms in PNG [but I’m not sure the term “mini-uncle” is widely used!].

Personal characteristics are there also – we all know that MALCOLM SMITH KELA [Eastern Highlands Provincial] is definitely very bald – but not being familiar with either YOMBA MIGHTY ABAUNDO [Chimbu Provincial] or JOHN PAGLAU STONHET [Kundiawa-Gembogl Open] we suspect some slight exaggeration!

NOAH KOOL YALBAH [Chimbu Provincial] is obviously a laid-back candidate!

We hope that if elected the Gulf Provincial candidate RIDDLER KIMAVE’s maiden speech will be in plain language?

We have a plethora of parties also – most have obvious connotations, but perhaps not the MAPAI LEVITES PARTY?  We may also have an undeclared Communist candidate in CRIMSON T. TAVIO [Kainantu Open].

We hope that the Madang Open candidate DAVID LAS doesn’t live up to his name.

And last but certainly not least – if anyone can suss out what HEITCH HAIWAY KARROT [Daulo Open] is likely to be promoting in the next Parliament if elected, please advise me.”

~ by Tavurvur on May 21, 2012.

6 Responses to “Name Recognition not an Issue for PNG’s 4000 Aspiring Politicians”

  1. Excellent insight and does put a smile on my face.

  2. Very Amusing, Thanks…..Only in PNG!

  3. Thank you for the insight…well we really should be using our given names…but I think these are the nicknames that are of some popularity among the local people, especially the old and illiterate, for instance Malcom Smith Kela…”Smith Kela” is a household name in most remote villages in EHP…anyway expecte the unexpected in PNG…only PNG! Heitch Haiway Karrot…can’t stop grinning!

  4. Quite amusing. It adds another level of hilarity to the political drama (pantomime?) in the ‘land of the unexpected’.

    • It does indeed Pearson. After writing this post it was pointed out to me by one reader that his favorite was “Anderson PAWA Agiru”. I double checked. It’s his real name!

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