Monday, July 20, 2009

Fake glories and poverty.

By Gene Drekeke Iyovo in Wuxi City, China

People must change attitude for PNG to develop

PRIOR to 2007 July, I had negative perception about foreigners, especially people of Asian origins.
All I thought about them was that they were simple traders or investors from tucker shops to big mining operations.
I lived in my own isolated world while conscious of PNG’s path towards development.
Until the day I stepped out of Macau Airlines via Shanghai to Beijing in September 1, 2007, everything changed for me. I was bemused by the structures and buildings, roads and bridge, huge and gleaming, yet magnificent cities in China.
Actually, I did expect to see the images of Kung Fu movies, the replica of Kunfu Gangs and knife welding warriors. But suddenly, the big modern Wuxi City with skyscrapers erected all up, in streets abundant with cheap food, efficient transport systems and everlasting smiles, depicting the curious looks of loving citizens.
Traveling by train to another huge city with million passengers on a daily bases, I kept thinking that PNG can not match this part of the great China!
Wuxi City was one of the ten cities of the Jiangsu province where I live and study. It is a huge city, much bigger then Port Moresby alone. But interestingly, the citizens tell me it’s the smallest and unpopular city in China. I see the opposite.
The road system is very convenient, accessible and sustainable for all types of transport including bicycles, three wheeled vehicles, and electronic vehicles, even the pedestrians.
The roads are permanently built with bitumen and cement, pothole free and long lasting without regular maintenance.
I imagine our roads in PNG that experience potholes after three to four months of construction and have to go under regular maintenance or non at all leading to bumpy rides. We waste a lot of time and resources costing tax payers huge money.

The roads at Wuxi are affordable and connect all cities either by bus, train or private vehicles.
Farmers bring their produce easily using cheap and affordable transport means like three wheeled vehicles to supply the huge population that results in alleviating poverty and improving life styles.
The roads play major role in China’s magic economic rise! Mega highways are the real blood veins of China’s economic growth.
Transport ranges from luxurious kind to three wheeled cars and bicycles. Since roads are convenient and user friendly, cheaper means of transport are used making economic activities increase at a constant rate.
Creating a suitable condition and system for man is increasing the economic activities that improves and drives for a prosperous society China faces today.
The huge cities are filled with apples, watermelons, fish, shrimps, eggs, chicken, duck, pork, greens and vegetables whether processed or not at cheaper prices. Wonder how a constant supply is there in the heart of the city at certain price all year round? Efficient roads and transport!
But I wondered how China produces all these surplus agricultural products and others?
My investigations lead to government - people relationships, especially the farmer relation is rigid.
The responsible government supplies the basic farming materials, impart agriculture knowledge and make the willing and readily available farmers to engage in intensive farming activities.
The necessary bills incurred on them are paid off and the farmers take full ownership in the farming entrepreneurship that keeps a constant supply to the markets.
In this simple way, millions of farmers are rich and poverty is minimized and eventually eradicated in many parts of China.
The constant support from the government encourages the farmers and consequently, you find eels meat, shrimps, pork, apples, and other produce at cheap prices throughout the city at a constant price, despite the different weathers.
In PNG, it is rare to find an eel, shrimp, crab, mutton, pork, fish, and other food staff on a family dining table.

My first taste of shrimp was in China even though I worked and lived in the coastal city of Lae for the past 7 years that would have abundant supply of many sea produces, including shrimps.
It is embarrassing to compare PNG with China when PNG can do simple things successful but yet fail in many ways. Most of these things include agriculture, infrastructure developments, processing and other informal sectors
Many Papua New Guineans are genuine but there are rampant lazy elites that make things fall their way or fail to disseminate their services for rightful progress in every sectors.
The whole lots of population is thought to be lazy, beg, steal and are engaged in dishonest ways of life and make belief in lies and become overnight rich through corruption.
The PNG population is led to go astray as they are engaged in no knowledge no certificate jobs like thieveries, betel nut commerce, gambling and exotic and unrealistic life styles.
Imagine how many millions may be under that category for the rest of their lives as orphans lacking parental guidance.
Life is creativity and PNG lack creativity. That is why we have a stagnant economic growth while the little ripples now are due to mining boom, but all will go and leave bunch of helpless individual who will not know how to make sweet potato bread or fix a bicycle tyre.
It was confirmed when the dim-witted games like state of origin played by some individuals who played for his bread and butter down in Australia and people in PNG have to die, violence and casualties !
This was a big joke! A PNG mining engineer in Australia by online chat laughed and joked a lot when he said no body knows who is Alan Langer or Willie Mason and no body cares about state of origin in his city.
It will be another government liability if the nation develops state of origin related syndrome!
In September 2008 after the glorious high tech Olympic Beijing Games, Shenzhou 7 rocket was launched.
Before the launching time, a handful of Chinese students came and watched on their internet TV for only 2-4 minutes then back to their work in our laboratory.
This was of surprise to me because I expected them or the city and the nation to be in jubilation with shouts and fireworks, coinciding with the bursting off of the rocket.
Forget the Australians’ who were there to watch the state of origin live but imagine the jubilation amongst the crazy Papua New Guineans in PNG on the game they regard second to God.
Though Shenzhou 7s’ success was the pride of China, these Chinese students and the entire nation did not show off but humbled themselves and went back to their respective serious jobs and studies to build a even better pride for China.
And in PNG, we are like the bunch of hungry dogs fighting over the bare bone (rugby ball and state of origin) that is played somewhere in Australia where most of us will not set foot on.
For a game that will not profit PNG in any way, a game played by unknown person who is nobody to the course of the nations’ development, who plays as part of his employment, for the increase of his salary and most importantly will not sympathize for those dead, wounded or broken families, friends due to this game.
It is ridiculous enough! This is a false glory, and it is now imperative that government has the responsibility to control this rubbish given the past records and this year’s record of high violence and deaths reported.
I have also come to realize that, it is a rampant knowledge for under twelve years children to know all the players in a team, jersey numbers, full names, coach and other immediate data of the people involved.
I wonder if such zeal can be used to emphasis in the right thing, educate for vigorous national development in all sectors.
Or better I would encourage the children to learn periodic elements, names and symbols, geography, Chinese characters, mathematics, or bible text and verses then a rubbish that profits one and makes population into fake jubilations. PNG ‘s development is at snail pace and human development is low, majority of enforcers who suppose to go to the people and implement , teach , and ensure projects progress are all air conditioned office layers.
High rate of violence and crime, poor diet, low agricultural products output and increased inadequate supply of goods and services will continue to increase as long as people’s focus are on fake glories.
If PNG will have to move forward in just ten years, there has to be major changes , for instances, make illegal all playing card purchase into the country, mobilize and cut all buai trees in the country, stop rugby games on TV etc..
If PNG wants change, change yourself first. Take some drastic change and abort some stupid industries like mentioned.
If you want facts, look at Japan who make car engines “made in Japan” running in New York city after loosing WW11 after 30 to 40 years or look at China with double digit growth in economy and how they chase out foreign infiltrates, clean themselves up then go global and now in PNG.
If PNG will have to grow, there will be sacrifices the government needs to make for the good of development. Leniency is a sin in itself that will drag PNG down.
State of origin, buai and other social influences are mentioned here as illustrations but are serious problems in PNG directing people’s mind into idleness and promote rampant poverty.
Shall we clean the cobweb or kill the spider?
Note: The writer is a postgraduate PNG student in China majoring in biofuels with research interests in biodiesel, bioethanol, biogas, production-processing and engineering from algae, jatropha, oil palm, industrial wastes at Jiangnan University, School of Biotechnology. For comments or inquiry, e-mail Mathew Yakai on m_yakai@hotmail.com