Sunday, December 21, 2008


Address root case of lawlessness and crime

THE tragic and senseless murder of business tycoon Sir George Constantinou underscored the existence of a huge national problem that remains a problem. There is a huge groundswell of lawlessness and social disorder. It is a growing problem fueled by a cast of factors. Systematic and systemic corruption at all levels of government, bureaucracy and business, unemployment, school dropouts, poverty, population growth, urban drift, homelessness and destitution, denial of economic and social opportunities and ethnic or racial domination are among the problems that give rise to growing culture of lawlessness and disorder in PNG. Urban life in PNG is literally a cut-throat affair based on survival of the fittest, the most deceptive, the most corrupt and the most crooked. There is also the breakdown in our traditional cultures of rendering respect to our elders. Bestowing respect by younger people upon their elders has become a very rare feature in PNG’s urban communities. The very fabric of traditional PNG cultures and values has broken down most appallingly especially among disoriented urban youth. Why should it take the barbaric and heinous killing of a peace-loving, hard working and a successful old man to hammer home the inadequacy of our nation’s law and order administration or the proliferation of settlements and clusters of habitats that shelter criminals and potential criminals? Sir George was an iconic PNG champion who passionately loved his adopted home of 54 years and was stilling working his guts out for a happier, healthier and wealthier PNG right up to the day he was so tragically killed. This is not the type of action to be expected of human beings living in the 21st century. This is the action of Neanderthal beings that have still to emerge from their caves and tree tops? The culprits of the crime are unfit to live in civilized society. Government has a great deal of soul-searching to do in this festive period. It’s got to get the law and order matrix right. Government must not be reactive or be driven by crisis. Government must be forward looking and anticipatory. Government cannot afford to be tunnel-visioned and pursue foreign investment exclusively to the great detriment of other important sectors of our national life. Government must immediately take ownership of the neglected law and order situation and turn it around for the better. The nation must be made secure, stable and that there is peace, good order and harmony within all our communities in order for national development and foreign investment to flourish. Crime and law and order problems should not be left to the police to exclusively handle. Containing law and order problems must be made everybody’s business. Sir George’s tragic passing is outrageous. He did not deserve to die that way. Our nation and our system of administration of national affairs and of law and order produced the “sickos and psychos” that took away Sir George’s life so brutally. We are so free and democratic in this country that we allow psychopaths, thugs, rapists, HIV/AIDS carriers and infidels to move freely from place to place to commit all manner advance their acts of terror, crime and other anti-social activities. That must stop. The culprits who are responsible for Sir George’s killing should also be treated with as brutally and with equal harshness. The public is outraged – rightly so too -- by the barbaric act. Root causes of crime and lawlessness in PNG communities must be identified and resolved. The national attitude of complacency in administering national affairs at all levels of the political and bureaucratic hierarchy must be revamped, refocused and made objective-driven rather than short term result-driven. Society has a task to cleanse itself of the rotten and bad apples. There are thousands of marijuana and home-brew-induced “sickos and psychos” hiding or absorbed into and living among decent community-minded and law-abiding people in our urban villages, settlements and suburbs in towns and cities. Laws and penalties must be made harsher deter makers, peddlers and consumers of marijuana and home-brewed alcohol. The combination of both these substances is sufficient inducement to spur intoxicated youths to commit violent crime. Like the many who have paid tribute to the late Sir George Constantinou and condolences to his family, this scribe also extends his to a man who was responsible for making it possible for a visit for the first time to the land of the Acropolis as a young newspaper cub reporter 30 years ago. Thank you Sir George, and may you rest in eternal peace.

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