Posts Tagged ‘politics’

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.

 

 

 

Advertisements
This is a plea to the Hon. PM. Moana Carcassesfor the welfare of all who live in and/or love Vanuatu.

It is also a plea in the interests of:

  • Good Governance
  • Leadership Integrity
  • Transparency
  • Accountability and
  • Justice

Paul Telukluk - Minister of Internal AffairsI am referring to the easily-recognizable politically-expedient appointment of Paul Barthemely Telukluk as the Minister of Internal Affairs.

Please note that I have not and shall not refer to this person as Honourable as only persons deserving of this title should be referred to as such and humbly suggest that the following supports this…..

FACTS and BACKGROUND

As quoted by the Vanuatu Government website –

“The Ministry of Internal Affairs responsible for implementation of the major and most essential policies relating to the internal administration of the entire nation. This Ministry is a crucial department as it services the entire population starts from Torba in the far north to Tafea Province in the far south that needs to be implemented by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Nine departments are under the authority of the Ministry in ensuring that the following policies are implemented in terms of decentralisation, internal security and border control management and the national services. The nine departments Corporate Services Division (CSD), Department of Local Authorities (DLA), National Disaster Management (NDMO), Vanuatu Police Force (VPF), Department of Immigration, Department of Labour and Employment Services (DoL), Electoral Office, Passport Office and Civil Status.

The Ministry is also responsible for some constitutional and statuary bodies like the Electoral Commission, Minimum Wages Board, Labour Advisory Board, National Housing Corporation, National Cultural, Provincial Councils and Municipal Councils.”

Bearing this in mind, it can be reasonably argued that this Ministry is THE most important in the land. And yet…….here’s just a little history and expose of the person now in charge of such an important post…….

“In the mid-1990s, Telukluk served as Minister for Lands in Prime Minister Maxime Carlot Korman‘s government. Later, he was investigated by the Ombudsman‘s office, which in 1999 published a report accusing him of having mismanaged the sale of deportees’ properties. The report recommended that Telukluk “should not be considered for a ministerial portfolio in any future Government” (Wikipedia);

“OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN

PUBLIC REPORT ON THE GRANTING OF LEASES BY THE FORMER MINISTER OF LANDS MR PAUL BARTHELEMY TELUKLUK TO HIMSELF, FAMILY MEMBERS AND WANTOKS

PREAMBLE

This yet again we are confronted by evidence of leaders conspiring to defraud not only private individuals but the public by carefully plotting to increase their own personal wealth and assets by systematically pursuing dishonest courses of action and by misusing their public official positions to break the law, enrich themselves and to defraud others of their rights.

SUMMARY

Public Report is about how 15 land titles were improperly allocated by the Former Minister of Lands and now Minister of Ni-Vanuatu Business Mr. Paul Barthelemy Telukluk to himself, Members of his Family and wantoks (people of his island community). This report highlights the need for a proper policy governing the lease of Government Lands and Customary lands to ensure that they are done according to constitutional rights and Leadership Code obligations, and that actual market values are used.

The Ombudsman decided to investigate into this distribution of titles following several complaints lodged by members of the public. These complainants, having been allocated a block of land by the Department of Lands, had seen their land then given by Minister of Land Telukluk to members of his family or wantoks before the full process was finalised.

As Minister of Lands between 1992 and 1996, Mr. Telukluk had the legal power to sign land leases on behalf of the government, for public lands and lands under the management or control of the government. This also gave Mr. Telukluk the ultimate power to approve or determine the premium charged for leases.

During his term, Mr. Telukluk assigned 15 titles to himself, members of his family and wantoks.

The Ombudsman found that Mr. Telukluk’s conduct was unjust and contrary to Art. 5(1)(k) of the Constitution, because he gave himself and people close to him preferential treatment to obtain leases at cheap prices; other people of Vanuatu were not treated equally. With respect to 4 titles acquired for himself for free, the Ombudsman found this conduct to be misappropriation. The Ombudsman also found that Mr. Telukluk breached each and every section of the Leadership Code in the Constitution.

MR TELUKLUK’S USE OF HIS MINISTERIAL POWER TO GRANT LEASES TO HIMSELF, HIS FAMILY MEMBERS AND WANTOKS WAS ALSO CONTRARY TO ARTICLE 5 OF THE CONSTITUTION.

MR TELUKLUK BREACHED EACH AND EVERY SECTION OF THE LEADERSHIP CODE IN THE CONSTITUTION: CONFLICT OF INTEREST, UNFAIR EXERCISE OF OFFICIAL DUTIES, DEMEANING POSITION, LACK OF INTEGRITY, USE OF OFFICE FOR PERSONAL GAIN.” (www.paclii.org)

There are many, many more references to Paul Telukluk’s immoral and crooked dealings – way too many to cover here. And yet again….

He has now appointed a CONVICTED FRAUDSTER in the form of CLARENCE MARAE as his First Political Advisor (PA) and secondly, Wendy Myriam-Himford as another PA – a woman well-known as a religious zealot and self-appointed Apostle who once accused Hon. MP Ralph Regenvanu’s Graon Mo Jastis Pati as the “Satanik Pati”.

To all the Citizens and Residents of Vanuatu and those who have their cultural roots in this country – “Do you trust such a person to hold such an important position in the running of this wonderful nation?”

I certainly don’t and as such implore our Honourable Prime Minister, Moana Carcasses, to do the right thing and change this situation – before it’s too late.

FOOTNOTE: Telukluk was a co-founder of the Green Federation in 2000.

Vanuatu Government

Vanuatu Government

Shefa Provincial CouncilPort Vila Municipal Council

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vanuatu has been in a crisis for the past twenty years – a leadership crisis.

Respect - You Have to Earn It!The following just-published article by the Pacific Institute of Public Policy is worthy of some reflection on this issue.

“Vanuatu’s Leadership Struggle”

Whether you personally are motivated to do something, well…..that’s entirely up to you. I hope you are!

The following article was first published 25th August, 2012 with the heading – “RESPECT – A “Little” Victory Over a “Big Man” . I have decided to re-publish it here and now as memories are short, especially in the world of politics and the guts of the article I believe to be as relevant, if not even more so than when first published……..

VictoryOnce upon a time, there was a self-proclaimed “Big Man” who thought he could lord it over all and sundry – until he faced the power of some “little people”.

The little story I am about to tell you is “GOLD” and is the absolute truth……..and it’s about a “Big Man” getting his come-uppance………..at grass- roots level. It gave me the chuckles and I hope it does the same for you…..

There’s a little airport (Ulie) near a little place (Sameo) on a little island (Ambrym) in a little Archipelago of 83 islands called Vanuatu a few hours from places like Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia.

In fact, this little place attracts tourists from all around the world. Why? Because it usually means the end of an adventure for those same tourists – walking across the island onto and in some cases, into, active volcanos (Marum and Benbow). That is one Hell of a walk/ journey. Even for the fittest, It is physically, mentally and emotionally challenging…..in a big way, so I am told.

A very recent article in “The Independent” quoted – “…the Minister of Education was stranded in the island of Embrym (their spelling mistake, not mine) because he has finished his travelling budget”.

Now let me tell you the truth…..

Earlier this week, a group of international tourists who had pre-booked their flight back to Port Vila Bauerfield Airport, were in the process of boarding when along came a “Big Man” – the Vanuatu Government Education Minister. He insisted that he and his entourage which, included two heavily bejewelled women, a couple of minders and two chickens (?), be given priority passenger rights ahead of the tourists. Apparently, offered up were such options as leaving some behind to catch a later plane or leaving the tourists’ luggage behind to compensate for the weight of the Minister and hangers-on. And then the fight started……….

The tourists (including people in their 60’s) rightfully insisted that they as they had pre-
booked their flight arrange- ments and the Minister only had an open ticket, they should have priority. The Minister thought otherwise and put all sorts of pressure on Air Vanuatu staff and others in an effort to get his way.

End result? The tourists had their way, the Air Vanuatu staff and others who stood up to the Minister’s unsavoury bullying tactics also had a moral victory and the foolish Minister lost…..got his come-uppance!

The moral to this little story is that this was a BIG win by grass-roots people and is a great example of how the “little” people can be BIG champions of decency, common courtesy and most of all – RESPECT.

As you all know, this is just one example of “Big Man” attitude that still prevails in this country as well as in my birthplace (OZ) and other countries.

Hopefully, some of the Vanuatu “Big Men” will read this, reason being that they may choose to follow a BIG piece of advice and go about learning the meaning of the word – “RESPECT” because they sure as hell give the impression that they sorely need some education on the subject.

RespectIf you aren’t a “Big Man”, then frankly, it’s up to you to ensure that they “get the message”, sooner rather than later. So what is “respect”? To quote Wikipedia (any highlights are mine)………

“Respect” gives a positive feeling of esteem or deference for a person or other entity (such as a nation or a religion), and also specific actions and conduct representative of that esteem. Respect can be a specific feeling of regard for the actual qualities of the one respected (e.g., “I have great respect for her judgment”). It can also be conduct in accord with a specific ethic of respect. Rude conduct is usually considered to indicate a lack of respect, disrespect, whereas actions that honour somebody or something indicate respect. Specific ethics of respect are of fundamental importance to various cultures. Respect for tradition and legitimate authority is identified……as one of five fundamental moral
values shared to a greater or lesser degree by different societies and individuals. In recent times, ‘respect’ has become synonymous with subordination, submission, or obedience”.

The antonym and opposite of respect is CONTEMPT.

Got that? Let’s return for a moment to the Minister of Chickens and others of his ilk, such as the Minister who thinks that he is so important and deserving of “respect” that, with total impunity, he can beat up people whose opinions he doesn’t like and threaten others with violence (such as throwing them out the window) and getting drunk and aggressive in public. Then of course there are the other Ministers who also love being passengers on the gravy train and who also show their outright CONTEMPT for the “little” people and DISRESPECT for the positions of authority that they hold by ripping off the system via providing “jobs for the boys”, dodgy (read – ‘dishonest’) land deals and so on it goes.

At the time that this goes to print, it will only be 66 days to 30th October.

Folks, I ask that you please remember the actions of the “Big Men” at election time. No matter where you live, get rid of any whose traits are to be disrespectful, contemptuous, self-serving, full-of-themselves antithesis of “servants of the people” – as soon as you can.

It’s not that hard! There are some truly honourable, decent men and women waiting in the wings, ready, willing and able to do their bit – for Vanuatu, not for what they can do for themselves in keeping their position at the trough. Pigs at the Trough

May I also humbly suggest that, when you get to cast your vote in a little over nine weeks’ time, you give serious attention to looking at the records of the established parties and their parliamentary representatives.

I have done just that and I must say that every one of them has “come up short”, for one reason or another. Every Party has had and in many instances, still has, people totally undeserving of the “little” peoples’ vote come October. I am referring to the constant “ship-jumpers” and those who speak with forked tongues – the crooks.

SOCIAL MEDIA is, I believe and hopefully not just wishful thinking on my part, likely to have a BIG effect in the forth- coming elections – here in Vanuatu, Australia and the US.

Political DinosaursThose “dinosaurs” who under- estimate its power are doomed to fail – to be replaced by more contemporary-thinking, well- educated, articulate and intelligent people.

It really pleases me to see the high level of activity on social media sites such as Facebook.

 

Youth Against Corruption VanuatuI say this because the posts on sites such as “YACV” (Youth Against Corruption Vanuatu), “YUMI TOKTOK STRET”, “ME HAREM SE ???”, “ELECTION SPOTLIGHT 2012” and “PACIFIC INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC POLICY” are great show-cases displaying the full depth of feeling on issues such as corruption and transparency. It’s terrific to see and be able to enjoy the repartee between serious participants, their impassioned arguments cum discussions about current affairs.

As a constant watcher and user of social media, it’s interesting to note that only one political Party has bothered to keep up with the times – the GRAON mo JASTIS PATI, headed up by the Hon. MP Ralph Regenvanu.

At this point, I need to make something perfectly clear before going any further. I am NOT, I repeat – NOT making a “political statement” NOR attempting to “influence politics” in this country NOR wishing to appear to be recommending any one Party versus another.

However, the very fact that the GJP has its own website is worth noting because as far as I am aware (and I am prepared to stand corrected!), it is the only Party that has one as pro- active, as informative and as transparent (there’s a first for Vanuatu for a start!). Good grief, they even publicize, on their front page, what activities they have been involved in and wait for it – how they have been spending their Ministerial Allocations (tax-payer monies)!

Come to think of it, I cannot recall seeing ANY other website
for any other Vanuatu-based political party! Sacre Bleu!

But “what the heck has this got to do with money?” you may well ask. Well, in a way, it has to do with RESPECT.

If we are to have true LEADERS, then we must ensure that those designate will need to show RESPECT for others, regardless of their social status, their race, their age, colour or religion.

They will need to show RESPECT for the opinions of others. They’ll also need to show that they have the ability AND desire to PRESERVE, PROTECT and RESPECT cultural “kastom”.

Such leaders would inevitably find themselves leading a nation of happy and “life-rich”, enterprising, healthy people.

When people live in such an environment, they tend to evolve and acquire skills that help them make their way in the modern world.

One of those skills is that of MAKING MONEY, having the human and technical resources, ably backed by a healthy living environment in the first instance (clean air, clean water), to develop financially favourable trade opportunities with others, be they local or international.

Nevertheless, MAKING MONEY is one thing. MANAGING MONEY is altogether another matter. The purpose of the MAKING (the betterment of people’s lives – financially and spiritually) can be readily defeated by corruption and greed. We see and hear examples of it everywhere. In the newspapers. On the TV. On the radio. By way of the very efficient “coconut drums” wire.

As we have seen VERY recently, people are becoming more concerned about and conscious of the need for MANAGING MONEY in a no-holds-barred atmosphere of………….

ABSOLUTE TRANSPARENCY & ABSOLUTE PROFESSIONALISM.

To sum it all up and as I’m sure my father would have said –“It takes an honest man to do that!”

POSTSCRIPT: In case you haven’t already worked it out, the “Minister of Chickens” is the same “Big Man” being touted by the Opposition as the next Prime Minister of Vanuatu. Go figure!!!

Snouts at the trough again?Shefa Provincial CouncilPVMC Pig-out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A “Working Lunch” at The Havanah?

The Council is broke. Shefa isn’t exactly setting the world on fire economically either.

Yet, somehow the same people found the money to travel from the CBD to dine out at one of Vanuatu’s finest and most expensive restaurants??

OINK!

“MERRY CHRISTMAS!” everyone

Christmas Watcher

and be sure to be good boys and girls next year…

Throw the Book at 'em

Throw the Book at ’em!

FRAUD IS FRAUD – no matter who perpetrates it.

It has become quite clear, in both the eyes of the law and from a moral and ethical standpoint, that we have just witnessed another DESPERATE attempt by DESPERATE people to acquire the positions of power that they DESPERATELY want! I am of course referring to the case against The Speaker which, was concluded in The Speaker’s favour earlier today.

The Claimants in this instance should be held accountable for:

  • Abuse of their position of trust – MP’s supposedly acting in the best interests of their constituents and country at all times rather than themselves;
  • Their FRAUDULENT use of signatures;
  • The time and money they have wasted both of which could have been better used in supporting the Government’s attempts and measures to IMPROVE the state of well-being of the country’s people;
  • Breaches of the law and of the Leadership Code.

The question of course is – “Will justice prevail or will the ‘big men’ get away with it…again?”

Brain Fart

Ministerial Brain Fart

In another shameful incident of Ministerial ineptitude and LACK OF RESPECT for their position, the present Minister of Youth and Sports has apparently set a fine example for those he is supposed to be representing………

….turned up drunk at the airport for the welcoming reception for our “Golden Girls”, the Vanuatu Beach VolleyBall Team…….is asked for a contribution for a special dinner for these champions (and brilliant ambassadors) and offers a paltry Vt3,000……..proceeds back to the Club 107 nightclub to drink some more………..then drives to go who-knows-where and crashes his Government vehicle.

In an instance like this, it’s my belief that a PERSON of INTEGRITY would hold it upon themselves to resign from their high-level position of trust (“Minister”) rather than wait for either the axe to fall or to see if he/she will ‘get away with it’.

The Carcasses-led government’s moral fibre and conviction in principles of honesty, integrity and accountability will be tested and noted….closely, by all I expect. Over to you guys – here’s your collective opportunity to REALLY open a new chapter in Vanuatu’s political history……for the better.

Footnote: It’s also about time the Club 107 Management showed some common sense and respect for the community. The regular assaults by/on patrons, politicians and senior bureaucrats publicly misbehaving and getting trashed and the like may be good for the management’s bank balances but it is NOT what a community-minded business should be either.

Minister Youth & Sports crash

cry-babySome things and of course, some people, never change.

This is especially evident in news media articles and social media commentary since the installation of the new Government here in Vanuatu. Particularly noticeable are the comments and statements from deposed previous government MP’s and their supporters as they continue to clutch at straws in the fond hope that they will get back into their lost positions of power and money-grabbing capacities.

These people should face reality: they lost and did so for all the right reasons.

The new government’s stated 100-day-Plan is just that – a 100-DAY-PLAN, not 30 or 60 or any other number. The time to fully assess the achievements or otherwise of the government’s stated objectives is at the end of 100 DAYS. Of course, it’s quite possible that some objectives will not be achieved within the stated time-frame but at least this government, unlike its predecessors, has had the guts to put itself on the line and continue to communicate with the people as to what they are doing and how they’re going about it.

Naturally, we should all continue to be watchful regarding the government and bureaucrat actions or lack thereof in the days and weeks that follow.

In the meantime, a message to the losers – why not try something completely different – stop your unnecessary, self-serving and counter-productive whinging, bitching and complaining. Suck it up baby and get on with it!

Ignorance is bliss

Ignorance is bliss

…….then many of Vanuatu’s politicians must live in a constant state of euphoria.

The latest example one can point to is the Willie Jimmy/Sato Kilman so-called “kastom reconciliation” – a clear case of “self-serving” rather than “nation-serving” political BS.

In an effort to educate those who don’t understand their meaning, the following Oxford Dictionary definitions would be worth learning and practising by these two political figures and any like-minded supporters of their actions:

INTEGRITY – The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles

MORAL – Concerned with the principles of right and wrong behaviour; Holding or manifesting high principles for proper conduct

PRINCIPLE – Morally correct behaviour and attitudes

Oh yes, just in case they don’t quite “get it”, a couple more definitions for them…….

IGNORANT – Lacking knowledge or awareness in general; uneducated or unsophisticated

EUPHORIA – A feeling or state of intense excitement and happiness