Prime Minister, Michael Somare, has a secret legislative plan that will make the proposed changes to the Leadership Code and even the recent amendments to the Environment Act seem relatively benign and insignificant.
The PM is waiting for the opportunity to again by-pass proper Parliamentary process and bulldoze through legislation for a Special Economic Zones (SEZs) that will further impoverish rural Papua New Guineans and boost the profits of foreign multinational companies.
The legislation will allow the government to declare key ports and coastal areas as Special Economic Zones where foreign companies can import goods duty free, enjoy lengthy tax holidays and avoid any minimum wage restrictions for the workers they employ.
With this legislation the Prime Minister seems determined to further enslave his own people and consign them to a life of poverty while he lives the high life in the bosom of the foreign companies and governments he is allowing to plunder PNG.
It is understood the Special Economic Zone legislation is being drafted for Somare by the International Finance Corporation which is the business arm of the World Bank.
The first beneficiary of the new legislation will be the Chinese government which is loaning $180 million to PNG to use to pay the Chinese to build the Pacific Marine Industrial Zone (PMIZ) in Madang. The loan agreement is dependent on the PMIZ being declared a Special Economic Zone so the factory owners can enjoy tax free status on everything they import and export.
The PMIZ loan agreement also stipulates that AT LEAST 70% of the loan must be spent on Chinese goods and services and the Chinese will be allowed to bring in 20,000 foreign workers to build the factories that will fill the zone.
The ten tuna plants under construction or planned in Lae are also likely to be declared part of a Special Economic Zone, allowing them to export tuna duty free and pay slave labour rates to the poor Papua New Guineans, most of whom will be women, who will work in the factories.
In the future the government is also expected to use the SEZ legislation to exempt the logging industry from paying taxes, royalties to landowners and avoid the minimum wage regulations.
Papua New Guinea is a resource rich nation that should be dictating the terms to the international community for access to its minerals, oil, gas and forests and fisheries. Instead Somare seems determined to sell off as much as he can, as fast as he can for as little as possible.
While the PM is flying himself, his family and his entourage around the country in the Kumul jet and popping off to Cairns and Singapore for medical treatment, he should re-read the country’s Constitution and remind himself of the National Goals and Directive Principles. These set out how PNG should be governed so that everyone can share in the Nation’s wealth rather than just a privileged few.
How much more can we be spectators in our own land? PNG is
How much more can we be spectators in our own land? PNG is sitting atop a huge store of the worlds most-wanted treasures! It just needs proper vision, proper management without selfish interests. Investors can be clever little demons who are more than capable of brainwashing ill-informed cowards. Whilst the PM is cleverly maneuvering his way around in his political power play, he is no less than a coward who can easily be manipulated by outsiders through the scent of money. These people have the capacity to engineer clean exits with their wallets full but you getting crumbs or nothing; making you shoulder bitter repercussions in return. This is total RAPE! Only God knows what kind of deal he negotiated at the very first place. Seems everything is turning sour and he's hellbent on something as if his life is on the line, regardless of his integrity as the PM. Also the knighthood title "Sir" and Melanesian, "Chief" is also being brought to disrepute. How much longer do we have to be spectators/slaves in our own land!