The ballot for the 2022 national general election is fast approaching. According to the Electoral Commission, voting will begin on July 4.
Over the past few weeks since the writs were issued, candidates, party leaders and supporters have campaigned tirelessly for eligible voters to elect them as their mandated representative in our Parliament.
As your oldest newspaper and partner in our country’s development, we feel compelled to share our thoughts on who you should elect as your representative and leader to the country’s highest office, the National Parliament.
First, we mean that Parliament is where the mandated leaders meet and it is where the social, political and economic direction of this nation is determined.
The only time we as citizens can participate in these decisions is once every five years, and now is the time to make this important decision.
And we reiterate a phrase from renowned leadership expert, John C. Maxwell.
“It’s all up and down on leadership” these words are so true around the world and are applied universally across sectors, across cultures, organizations and societies.
It is evident that our country, PNG, in comparison to many developing countries in our region and around the world, is richly endowed with renewable and non-renewable resources.
However, since independence 47 years ago, we have not used the proceeds of these rich endowments to build solid building blocks for the sustainable future development of our children and grandchildren.
Government after government over the past 47 years has made the exact same mistake of pouring huge sums of money into various projects and programs thinking that money alone will solve all our development problems.
This will of course not happen, as is the sad case of our history over the past 47 years.
Billions of kina have been wasted since our independence, leaving behind nothing visible for the future development of our country, but leaving behind a huge responsibility that our children and grandchildren will have to struggle with in the future.
Basic government services have deteriorated to such a state that they can no longer provide the services they are supposed to provide.
Schools, first aid stations, health centres, roads and bridges, police and prison services and national and provincial general administration have all broken down.
On the one hand, we have a nation of great beauty with immense natural resources. Unlike many other countries, we are blessed with many rich mineral deposits, vast timber reserves, abundant fisheries, rich agricultural soils, and rich and diverse cultures.
And yet, while we are richly blessed, we are also very poor.
So how can a nation so richly endowed with such a wealth of natural resources suffer the way we are now?
As a newspaper, we firmly believe that the answer to this question is: the failure of every citizen to elect an honest and competent person with good leadership management skills.
It is not the absence of wealth that we suffer, it is the absence of competent and effective leadership.
We must never allow ourselves to underestimate the links between good and competent leadership and management.
They are not something that we can present as a vague notion or a distant goal.
It is something essential, something non-negotiable, something we must pursue relentlessly, whatever the personal cost.
For without good leadership and good management, our people will certainly continue to suffer.
And we say now is the right time to make that decision.
Don’t be blinded by the sweet words or the relationship you have with a candidate, the drinks, the food or even the money they are given.
Give your precious vote to a good and competent person with leadership and management skills.