Posts Tagged ‘corruption’

PM Sato Kilman, Deputy PM Moana Carcasses, MP Marcelino Pipite

PM Sato Kilman, Deputy PM Moana Carcasses, MP Marcelino Pipite

On behalf of myself, my family, business colleagues and associates and many, many friends both here in Vanuatu and overseas, we wish to express our heartfelt thanks and sincere gratitude for showing us the way to a better and more prosperous future for the sovereign nation of Vanuatu.

By way of the example set by yourselves, it is quite clear that the way forward for Vanuatu will be in the hands of true leaders, leaders who will be men and women with a history of and committed to the ideals of:

Respect for their Office

Respect for the people of Vanuatu

Accountability

Integrity

Honesty

Transparency

Fidelity

Compassion for their fellow man

Genuine desire to improve the nation’s socio-economic development

Cultural preservation

…. all without aforethought for their own self-interests.

What a crying shame that you, along with the other MP’s recently convicted of Bribery, have displayed NONE of these fine leadership qualities whilst in power! Instead you have failed the people you are meant to serve – the people of Vanuatu!

Still, we are immensely grateful that you have finally given us the motivation and clarity of vision to change the way forward for the betterment of Vanuatu society.

Our opportunites to start effecting such changes begin tomorrow with the Port Vila by-election.

For helping the nation of Vanuatu begin a new era of propriety in leadership. . . .

Mifala tankyu tumas!
Vanuatu’s economy will not recover. It is in crisis mode.

faltering economyStrong words, I know but the reality is that Vanuatu is rapidly sinking into a financial abyss from which there is no palpable return in sight, UNLESS…..

There is a fundamental shift in a number of areas that affect the economy. They include:

  • The present mismanagement of the economy by the RBV (Reserve Bank of Vanuatu);
  • The Government’s political instability;
  • Corruption within the political, public service bureaucracy, police force and judiciary.

At first glance, this may appear to be an over-simplification of the problems that cause Vanuatu’s economy to be at the mercy of the rest of the world. Perhaps it is, however, please take a minute to consider the following…..

The GFC (Global Financial Crisis) commenced exactly seven years ago and it’s getting worse by the minute! Some pundits, especially those aligned with the banking sector, the politicians, the Central Banks and the “too-big-to-fail” corporations will have you believe that the GFC ended some time ago. What a load of clap-trap!

The Central Banks continue to print paper money as fast as they can crank up the presses with every new batch of paper that goes out to the market.

What is the natural offset to paper money….you know…the one that has been used by mankind for thousands of years? GOLD!

How many tonnes of gold does the RBV hold in its Reserves? NONE!

What are the two strongest currencies in the world today? The USD (United States Dollar) and China’s Remimbi/Yuan. The USD is presently considered to be the world’s Reserve Currency, a position held since the second world war when it took over from the British Pound Sterling after the introduction of the Bretton Woods System.

However, the Chinese Yuan is set to replace the USD as the official Reserve Currency and WHEN it happens, the value of the USD will depreciate markedly as will those currencies that are pegged to it. Here in Vanuatu, unless someone from the RBV can show otherwise, it appears that the Remimbi/Yuan plays no part in the RBV’s economic considerations. As with its attitude towards gold, the RBV’s overall economic policies appear to totally ignore the potential consequences of not including China’s currency in its “basket” of currencies in which it trades.

copra exports Export earnersTourism along with fishing, offshore financial service, growth export commodities such as copra and kava are essential to Vanuatu’s economic growth prospects. As it happens, the present “value” of the Vatu against other currencies is way too high. It is artificially inflated at unsustainable levels thereby having a disastrous effect upon export income.

UNLESS Vanuatu takes a leaf out of Fiji’s book of economics and devalues its currency, soon, then many more Vanuatu-based businesses will go under….bankrupted by the lack of willingness on the part of investors to place their funds in this country, by a continued fall in long-stay tourism (we can’t compete against countries such as Fiji, Bali and the S.E. Asian countries – Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand). My personal view is that an immediate devaluation of 15-25% of the Vatu against the world’s MAJOR currencies (USD, Euro, GBP, Remimbi and yes – the AUD) should be effected as soon as possible.

Oh, I can hear the cries now of “but food prices will go up too much” and “we rely on our imports” and “we won’t be able to afford to travel”. Such viewpoints are short-sighted and ill-informed within the context of what will make for a healthier economy for Vanuatu. Perhaps the Vanuatu Government/RBV should place more emphasis and focus on developing the traditional economy as well as taking the other measures already mentioned here.

The new coinage issue. Unnecessary and a total waste of money, money that I’m sure could haver been better used elsewhere.

By the way, it’s time the RBV stepped into the real world of the 21st century IT-wise. It’s web site is abysmal, severely lacking in any form of reliable, topical data and information. Time to get up to speed with the rest of the world, guys!

UNLESS Vanuatu’s political leaders have a change of attitude to their appointments, their infernal internal squabbling will continue to adversely affect the country’s finances.

Political upheaval and instability has cost the country dearly over the past two decades and particularly over the past five years. Every time there is another Motion of No Confidence put into play, it costs the country – big time. Instead of running the country as they are supposed to, too many MP’s spend their time running around shoring up their defences and/or soliciting help in overthrowing the government of the day so that they can dip their own snouts in the trough.

The amount of money lost when portfolios change I imagine to be huge. In most cases, the incoming Minister scraps any new initiatives made by his predecessor, whether warranted or otherwise. Political appointees are dismissed requiring them to be paid out and the list of unnecessary wastage goes on…….

The biggest of them all – CORRUPTION!

Corruption - The Silent Serial Killer

A lot of press coverage over the past few days has been given to the alleged corruptive practices of the 15 MP’s presently on trial for Bribery and breaches of the Leadership Code.

Let’s be serious folks – CORRUPTION is Public Enemy Number One when it comes to Vanuatu’s floundering economic health. It’s practised everywhere – by politicians and their advisors and appointees, by senior bureaucrats in the public service, by police and by members of the judiciary. In turn, the evil of corruption creates a level of gross incompetence within these same sectors. Too many “jobs for the boys” (cronyism); too much nepotism; too much fraud, bribery and theft; too many self-serving power plays and so on.

UNLESS the government gets serious about eradicating the problem of corruption, Vanuatu will continue to muddle around in the economic back-waters of the world.

What the Government MUST DO, NOT SHOULD DO, is to implement its commitment to UNCAC (United Nations Convention Against Corruption), a commitment that has been sitting in the waiting room for the past four years. It must legislate for the creation of an independent, government-funded anti-corruption agency….NOW! No ifs, buts or maybes – it must do it NOW! This would prove to be a huge step in the process of eliminating corruption in Vanuatu.

QUESTION: I wonder how many MP’s would be prepared to sign a Statutory Declaration in support of the policy formation and legislation for such an agency, especially if the same Statutory Declaration meant they had to commit themselves to resigning from office should they fail to support such an initiative? None? A handful?

I just hope that the present bribery case will prove to be the catalyst for a change in attitude by the relevant leaders of this country. The time is right. Is the political willpower there. We shall see.

Many of you will no doubt have heard of ROBIN HOOD.

Robin HoodJust to recap and as quoted in Wikipedia – “Robin Hood is a heroic outlaw in English folklore who, according to legend, was a highly skilled archer and swordsman. Traditionally depicted as being dressed in Lincoln Green, he is often portrayed as “robbing from the rich and giving to the poor” alongside his band of Merry Men. Robin Hood became a popular folk figure in the late-medieval period”. Also known as Robin of Loxley, He was purported to live in Sherwood Forest in Nottingham with his arch enemy being the Sheriff of Nottingham.

In all the years that I have been visiting and now living in Vanuatu, I have never been as appalled as I am now by the STINKING, FETID CESSPOOL OF CORRUPTION that all of us are living with, in particular, under the ‘management’ and rule of the present government.

As such, it’s my view that it is quite reasonable to compare the era of ROBIN HOOD with what we, as Citizens and Residents of Vanuatu, are forced to endure on a daily basis.

ROBBING HOODS in ROTTINGHAM and SHEFA 'Forest'We have ROBBING HOODS and their BANDITS OF MANY FACES in “ROTTINGHAM”  (a.k.a. Vanuatu)

blatantly conducting their sordid affairs of corruption without fear of being held accountable for their actions, backed up by their lackies – in SHEFA ‘Forest’. The question is – “What CAN you do to overcome this situation?” and perhaps, even more importantly – “What WILL you do, if anything?”

So, if you care enough to overturn ‘ROTTINGHAM” to the VANUATU of yesteryear (prior to 1991), then IT’S OVER TO YOU!

I have lent my voice, more often than not “alone in the wilderness of community apathy” to these issues. It’s time for someone else to take up the cudgel, per se.

The Great Wall of Mele

The day before yesterday, Friday the 17th, I was set upon by about fifteen construction workers from the Wong development (pictured above, on 1st July). I was assaulted, verbally abused, threatened with violence, agressively pushed against “The Wall”, had my camera stolen by one of my cowardly, bullying attackers and had one of these so-called “men” attempt to take the keys out of the ignition in an effort to stop me from drivng away after the assault. That summarizes what happened to me while I was on the roadside (public property) attempting to take a photo of the Building Permit sign and the building progress. For the background to this, please read on (it’s a long but essential story that needs telling).

The general media, most notably in the form of the Vanuatu Daily Post and The Independent, has published various articles decrying this particularly distasteful development ever since work started on it a couple of years back. It is no wonder that they did so. The area in question used to be one of the most popular tourist stopping-off points on the island providing a magical view of Hideaway Island , the bay in general and through to the city of Port Vila.

It was also an extremely popular place for local villagers to go for beach picnics and other social occasions or just to swim and cool off on a hot day. Just as importantly, especially from a cultural and traditional perspective, this ugly edifice and the imposing and ratty wall that surrounds it, is being built immediately adjacent to the Mele Cemetery, a place meant to honour the deceased and where the deceased’s loved ones could go to visit their relatives’ resting places in serene surroundings.

In my view, the Shefa Provincial Government Council has been at fault from the very beginning in even allowing this development to commence. It’s bad enough that the Mele chiefs and the custom landowner were prepared to sell out their people and take from them something that was valuable, just for the sake of a few dollars (oh, look – I’ve got a brand new truck!) but for the Shefa Council to sit back and do nothing when the building of a THREE-STOREY edifice was underway, without approval, was to say the least, weak-kneed on their part.

After much publicity, the Shefa Council fined the developer, a Mr. Wong – owner of Wong’s Garage and South Pacific Hardware amongst others, 500,000 vatu (about AUD6,000.00) for building without a permit. Work then stopped at the site for awhile then lo and behold, Shefa Council announced that the fine had been reduced to a paltry 100,000 vatu (about AUD1,200.00) in return for a commitment from Wong to build a SINGLE-STOREY building only. That means a building consisting of a GROUND FLOOR only (more on that in an earlier Watcher article – “Who’s Pulling Whose Leg?”).

Following the abovementioned article, I had a meeting with the Shefa Council’s Head of their Development Committee. It was suggested by the Councillor that I attend a round-table conference of the relevant Shefa Council people, the Mele chief, the landowner and Mr. Wong. Following some persuasion on the Councillor’s part, I agreed to attend such a meeting provided that I would first be supplied with a copy of some documents pertinent to the development in question. Accordingly, on Monday, 6th July (two weeks ago), I wrote to the Head of Shefa Physical Planning Unit and Property Tax Office, Owen Sisi. Here is what I wrote……

Hello Owen.

In a conversation I had with Bob Homu on Saturday, we agreed to the holding of a meeting regarding the Wong development, one which would be attended by ALL parties involved. This would include:

  • Yourself
  • Bob Homu
  • Wong
  • The Mele Chiefs
  • The landowner of the site under discussion
  • A representative from the Department of Environment
  • Any other relevant member of the SPGC

I am open to any suggestions/recommendations regarding attendance by persons you feel could positively contribute to the discussion.

We also agreed that, prior to this meeting, a condition applicable to my attendance at same is that I would first be provided with the following documents (scanned copies of the originals, unaltered and in their entirety):

  1. Original Development Application, including Department of Lands Survey Plan
  2. Original SPGC Development Approval/Building Permit
  3. Renewal Development Application
  4. Renewal SPGC Development Approval/Building Permit
  5. Environment Impact Assessment Report.

It was also agreed that said documents would be provided to me in sufficient time for me to analyse them prior to the meeting.

My wish is to have the meeting recorded for future reference by all meeting attendees. This could be done by an experienced stenographer or in digital format, whichever is able to be arranged in a timely manner.

I look forward to your response accordingly in due course.

Respectfully yours,

Personal Signaturec

 

 

PHIL MANHIRE

As I write this, I haven’t yet received any response from Owen Sisi or indeed anyone else from the Shefa Council, not even an acknowledgment of my letter.

Given that the Shefa Council had chosen to ignore both the suggestion of Mr. Homu to have the meeting in the first instance and my acceptance of same (Mr. Homu, I must say, appeared to be genuinely concerned about the adverse publicity), it was then that I decided to stop and take a photo of the Building Permit sign along with a couple of photos of the ever-rising SECOND STOREY (on Friday). And that’s when I was assaulted and had my camera forcibly taken from me by the aforementioned workmen. According to the site’s security personnel, my camera was handed to Wong by the aggressors shortly after the assault.

A formal complaint has been lodged with the Police.

You, dear reader, will no doubt form your own opinion and conclusions about what has really taken place for the Shefa Council to allow the continuation of this unsightly and grossly inappropriate development (my opinion!). However, I ask you this question – “Why was this development allowed in the first instance and why is it that the parties involved appear to be running away from revealing the truth?”

To me, it is a question that must be addressed and to this end, investigations are already underway which hopefully will lead to some factual answers, with or without the co-operation of the parties involved.

Finally, I humbly ask that if you too wish to stop this unsightly development, please REGISTER YOUR PROTEST on the Shefa Provincial Council’s Facebook page and/or by phoning their Environment Unit Department on (+678)25302 and/or via their main switchboard number – (+678)22752.

Please – ACT NOW, before it’s too late!

…..and still it grows!

Mele Wall Development - 1 July 2015

Mele Wall Development – 1 July 2015

In case you are unaware of the concerning aspects surrounding this development, you can read the original article (Part One) here.

The bottom line is that (a) This development should never have been approved in the first instance, by neither the Mele landowner nor by Shefa Provincial Council and (b) There can be one reason only why this has been allowed to happen and continues to grow in apparent contravention of the so-called “agreement” between Shefa Provincial Council and Mr. Wong – MONEY which, = CORRUPTION!

Once again, I urge you to lodge your protest with the Shefa Provincial Council (click on the link to be taken to their Facebook page) as well as with your MP.

Please – ACT NOW!…before it’s too late.

Corruption - Follow the Money Trail!

It has been said many times that to get to the bottom of corruption, follow the money trail!

That said, it’s high time someone did exactly that in relation to the Great Wall of Mele.

Originally, due to an onslaught of media pressure, the Shefa Provincial Government Council (SPGC) announced that a fine of 500,000 vatu had been imposed upon the builder of this popular tourism spot-destroying development – a proposal for a two-storey hotel/store.

A little while later, the SPGC was found to have reduced the fine from the half a million vatu to a paltry 100,000 vatu. They have stated since that in so doing, they had received a commitment from the developer to (a) demolish the ugly wall that confronts passersby every day and (b) only erect a single-storey building.

What a crock of BS that’s turned out to be! Here are some photos taken a week ago…..

The Great Wall of Mele June 2015 Mele Wall Development - 8 June 2015B Mele Wall Development - 8 June 2015C

The wall is STILL there! Not only that that, it has been extended using piles of solidified, bagged concrete – an absolute eyesore that has killed off one of Port Vila’s most popular tourism stopping points – a place where tourists could admire and take photos of Hideaway Island.

Single-storey? I’m no builder but even Blind Freddie could see that this is turning into a dual or multi-storey development. It’s also quite feasible that it will end up looking as ghastly as this same developer’s Airport Business Hotel eyesore at Tagabe roundabout.

The sand that’s being used for building also appears to be coming from the beach on which it is being built despite recent legislation that forbids the mining of this beach sand for commercial purposes.

Has an EIA been done by a reputable person/entity and made public? If not, why not?

The question is – “WHO has allowed this to happen and just as importantly, WHY?”

The feedback that I have had from a couple of reliable sources is that one or more senior SPGC were in debt to the developer and have quite possibly “done a deal” that favours all parties concerned in allowing this development to continue unimpeded.

Who has the power and/or willingness to investigate this issue?
Anyone?

Corruption - The Silent Serial Killer

On every single day of the year someone dies as a result of CORRUPTION!

That’s right – every single day!

Sound far-fetched? Unfortunately, it’s not. Corruption is the direct cause of more human and other animal species deaths than anything that Mother Nature chooses to throw at us, be it fire, extreme heat or cold, floods, hurricanes, tsunamis, firestorms, earthquakes or volcanic eruptions or anything else imposed on the Earth’s inhabitants by the elements.

In addition to death, corruption is also responsible for more human misery than disease, famine and pestilence combined.

But corruption doesn’t stop there. This silent serial killer also counts among its victims the environment and particularly favours the oceans and forests and any other would-be pristine place – even the air that you, me, the rest of the world’s population, human and otherwise and all the different plant and aquatic species breathe in and depend upon for their very survival.

WHO is it then that wears the cloak of these man-made tragedies?

Is it you? Maybe; it depends who you the reader are and what your role within your own community happens to be. On one hand, you may not even be aware that you are part of the problem which, in itself is a travesty.

On the other hand, chances are that, if you are corrupt, you are fully aware of the fact and just don’t give a damn! Such an attitude is commonplace among those who are genuinely corrupt – as long as something serves their own self-interests, then the effects upon others of their actions and behaviour mean nothing to them.

So, WHAT is corruption?

Transparency International states that “CORRUPTION is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain”.

The World Bank defines it simply as the abuse of public office for private gain”.

You might think that there’s not much margin for error in these two definitions by such high-profile organizations, right?

Wrong! The real truth behind corruption and its survival or should I say exponential growth in this, the real world, is that corruption can and will only be allowed to carry on its dirty work WITH YOUR PERMISSION – tacit or otherwise.

If you turn a blind eye to corrupt practices of any magnitude or adopt an attitude of “I’m only one person and therefore can’t do anything to stop them” and/or “It doesn’t really affect me”, then in effect, you become as equally responsible as the perpetrators themselves for the consequences of such actions by others.

Perhaps you may be thinking at this point – “Well, that’s a bit harsh, isn’t it?” My response to that, very simply, is that perhaps it’s time for you to reach into your own heart and soul and give frank and real consideration to the planet-endemic problem of corruption and in particular, to what measures you can personally take to play your part in not just finding and understanding the solution but to actually being PART of the solution.

With that said, let’s investigate how corruption can affect you.  Putting another slant on it, let’s spend a little time for some selfish introspection, if you will.

For instance, are you a parent to one or more children? Or maybe you’re a devoted grandparent who also cares about the future welfare of these same children.

Imagine the following events then:

Scenario One

Your precious five year-old has a sudden attack of severe diarrhea and vomiting that won’t stop. You take your child to the local hospital for attention only to find out that the hospital has no IV fluid supplies because it has no money to buy them. In a very short space of time, the child, your child dies due to extreme dehydration causing its bodily functions to shut down. The Government official responsible for overseeing the finances of the hospital in the meantime, has fraudulently syphoned off the money and given it to his family, money that would have saved the life of your child. Round One to the silent serial killer due to CORRUPTION in the guise of FRAUD!

Scenario Two

Your sixteen year-old daughter is brutally bashed and raped. You are able to find out immediately who is responsible for this horrendous crime and taking your daughter to the hospital for treatment, you go to the Police to report the incident. The Police then do their duty in taking a statement from you and then from your daughter and promise you that prompt action will be taken to arrest the man. A day or so goes by and you become aware that the man concerned is still around. You then contact the Police again and enquire as to why this is so and following a series of delays, you are told that the file has been lost! You are rightfully angry and demand that action be taken to arrest this person. More days go by until you find out that the perpetrator is a family member of a high-ranking Government official and yes, you guessed it – the man is never charged and the matter subsequently never gets to Court. Your daughter is so emotionally traumatised by the whole incident that she commits suicide a short time later. Round Two to the silent serial killer – CORRUPTION by INJUSTICE!

Scenario Three

On another front – you are looking forward to the arrival of your parents and cousins from your home island as they are coming to help you celebrate your wedding. However, shortly after the ship leaves its port, it sinks with the loss of the lives of everybody on board. It happened because the ship’s Captain had bribed the Port officials to overlook the fact that the vessel carrying your family was not only unseaworthy at the time of leaving but was also grossly overloaded with passengers and cargo thereby making it doubly dangerous for travel. Round Three to the silent serial killer, this time – because of CORRUPTION through BRIBERY!

Scenario Four

In spite of the lack of educational facilities that have been available to you due to mismanagement of the funds that were meant to be allocated to the education  system, you have worked hard for many, many years with your wife’s support that was needed to help raise your family of three kids, your first-born now being sixteen. Just as you have funded your own way through university and now, at thirty five years of age, are the best-qualified person around in your particular chosen vocation, your son has decided to follow in your footsteps by going to university and getting a medical degree. To achieve this, however, he will need your financial support even though he topped his final year at school (his application for a scholarship was unsuccessful due to the fact that it was given to an undeserving child of a Government Minister instead).

To make matters even worse, a well-paid Public Service position becomes available that is perfectly suited to your special skills and qualifications and which, is duly advertised in  the local media. Naturally, you apply for the position but it turns out that the job is eventually given to the unqualified brother-in-law of the Department Head. You then have the unpleasant task of telling your son why you didn’t get the job and that the subsequent result being that you won’t be able send him to university to enable him to achieve his long-held ambition to become a physician. From that point on, your first-born, your pride and joy, becomes not only despondent but also turns to drugs and alcohol for solace and ultimately overdoses on home brew and tragically dies. Round Four to the silent serial killer, CORRUPTION in the form of NEPOTISM!

The above scenarios are just a fleeting sample of the types of corruptive influences that we are confronted with every day, so please don’t take on an attitude of “this can’t happen to me” because of where you live…or don’t!

Yes, I live in Vanuatu where such corruption crimes of this nature abound. However, take a good look around you if you live elsewhere. Look hard enough and you WILL find corruption at work – in the political arena (especially), in the public sector AND  in the private sector as well (with the conscious approval of the powers-that-be within both political circles and government bureaucracy).

On the upside, there is an ever-growing, determined force of individuals (including a small number of politicians and civil servants of integrity) and anti-corruption-specific organizations whose basic attitude is one of “We’ve had enough!” and who are working hard at making the world we live in a better place for everyone – a place where sustainable socio-economic development can take place while also ensuring that  important cultural traditions and the environment are preserved for future generations.

Local-to-Vanuatu NGO’s such as YACV (Youth Against Corruption Vanuatu), WACC (Women Against Crime and Corruption) and the Vanuatu Chapter of Transparency International, to name a few, are all active in the fight against corruption and as such deserve your active, ongoing support.

THE FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION must involve you as well – it’s in everyone’s interests that you do so…including yours!

Special Note: This article was first published in the Yumi Toktok Stret Newspaper on 24th December, 2014.

Vote of No ConfidenceNO – I am NOT suggesting that the Opposition have another time and money-wasting crack at ousting the incumbent government.

Quite the reverse actually!

Personally, I HAVE NO CONFIDENCE in those politicians who are party jumpers. You know the ones I’m referring to – the men who find themselves in Opposition and spend their time looking for opportunities to switch sides so that they may better their bank accounts and power bases.

I HAVE NO CONFIDENCE in the Opposition Members who can afford double-scotch lunches at the tax-payers’ expense, fly Business Class or First Class whenever travelling and yet can’t find it in themselves to declare what their MP Allocations are spent on.

I HAVE NO CONFIDENCE in those Shefa Provincial Government officers who don’t have the guts to enforce their own rules. Classic example – the “Great Wall of Mele” saga.

I HAVE NO CONFIDENCE in the very same Provincial Government officers who have joyfully announced that people can now buy coffins via the Council……..WHOOPS – who have stated that people must ONLY buy their coffins via the Council. A little more on this particular topic of NO CONFIDENCE, if I may……

The radio announcement that I heard stated that the price of coffins would be 21,000 vatu. Brilliant….except that there is already a vendor in Vila whose starting price for a coffin is 14,000 vatu – two thirds of the Council-quoted price. Hmmmm. Oh, it gets better. The same announcement proclaimed that their price of 21,000 vatu came about after negotiations with a local company – South Pacific Hardware. WHOOPS AGAIN! The owner of South Pacific Hardware is the same as the owner of the “Great Wall of Mele”. Hmmmm! I do wonder how many other companies were asked to tender for the coffin-building plan, hmmmm? And by the way, where the hell is their thinking in their entering into a commercial activity such as this? Their task is to GOVERN, not to interfere/get involved in commercial money-making ventures.

As I know is the feeling of many others living in Vanuatu, I also HAVE NO CONFIDENCE in the politicians who can’t even forget their political differences when they get together to vote on Constitutional matters, in particular, I refer to the recent shameful and disgusting display of politicking that took place during the processes of appointing a new President – a supposedly non-political position  – a position that, all said and done, just required the appointment of a person of integrity who would bring honour to that same position. Fortunately, commonsense, fuelled by an outcry from the public at the monetary wastage being incurred by the warring pollies, eventually won the day with the appointment of a man whom I believe will fulfill the role of President of Vanuatu admirably.

Okay, so I HAVE NO CONFIDENCE in the roles being played by the present Opposition Members and the same sense of NO CONFIDENCE in the integrity of the current Shefa Provincial Government Council membership.

The cure?

First of all, it’s my view that it’s time for the Opposition to start acting like grown-ups, like intelligent beings of integrity and honesty and transparency – in the interests of the nation and its proper governance. As happens in more mature Western-style democracies, MP’s who make up the Opposition in Parliament are given “shadow” portfolios and hence, become the persons responsible for speaking out on issues that are relevant to that portfolio. For example, a Shadow Minister of Health would be the Opposition spokesman in Parliament on health issues. He would be the one to debate matters pertaining to that particular portfolio. The same applies for the other Ministries.

Now of course this means that Shadow Ministers would have to WORK to give themselves the necessary credentials and knowledge in case their party gets into power – a natural progression, if you will into positions for which they have trained and worked at. After all, whether they like it or not, these same men were elected BY THE PUBLIC to Parliament to do a particular job – help run the country in a professional manner while applying all the principles of good governance – fidelity, accountability, integrity, transparency and honesty. If any of them aren’t willing or capable of doing their job, then the public must FIRE THEM!

As for the Shefa Council, I believe that an investigation needs to be made into its overall running, into the Great Wall of Mele problem and into the coffin-making business and the processes thereto they have entered into.

By the time the next elections come around, I fully expect to have gained Vanuatu Citizenship and I shall take great pleasure in casting my VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE then. Hopefully, every other free-thinking person who cares about Vanuatu and its future will do likewise.

 

 

 

Say No to Australian CorruptionAustralia-wide censorship order for corruption case involving Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam

This is corruption of the highest order in what is often referred to as the “Lucky Country”…..lucky if its citizens don’t find out what its leaders are doing, that is!

WikiLeaks released a damning report two days ago that should be read by everyone, especially Australian citizens. Read it here –

https://wikileaks.org/aus-suppression-order/WikiLeaks-Australian-suppression-order.pdf

As an Australian citizen, I am totally disgusted with and ashamed of its leadership. This is NOT what freedom is about!

 

Vanuatu's Hon. PM Joe NatumanOur Prime Minister, the Hon. Joe Natuman and his fellow MP’s in government are to be congratulated for yesterday’s stance against the disloyal MP’s who were involved in the attempt to lodge a vote of no confidence against him.

The MP’s involved were MP Marcelino Pipite, MP Samson Samsen and MP Tony Nari. Though they should be ashamed of their actions, I seriously doubt their ability to feel the shame. I suspect, however, that they are feeling remorseful – but only at the fact that they were caught out and that they have lost some valuable-to-them parliamentary privileges.

Well, to my mind, it serves them right. One may well ask –

  • Where is their integrity?
  • What about their display of moral turpitude (conduct that is considered contrary to community standards of justice, honesty or good morals)?
  • Where is their honesty?
  • What about their loyalty to their voters and constituents?

Answer – NON-EXISTENT!

  • What is their main purpose in being Members of Parliament?

Answer – SELF-INTEREST!

I, like many others who live in Vanuatu, are sick and bloody tired of the dishonest and corrupting practices of our supposed “leaders”. I sincerely hope that the present government continues its practice of MP accountability. The people need it; the country needs it.

Again – “Congratulations!” PM Joe Natuman.