Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Of Papua New Guinea's nincompoops, looters and anarchists



THE FACELESS anarchists of Papua New Guinea have spoken:

On December 31, New Year’s Eve, all trade shops like variety stores, mini-groceries, fast-food counters and the like which are owned and operated by Asians – Chinese, Malaysians, Indonesians, Filipinos, Indians, Japanese, Taiwanese, Vietnamese, Thais, Burmese, Bangladesh, Pakistanis, the Talibans, and many more that are just too many to enumerate here --- will go up in flames.

They will serve as their firecrackers and pyrotechnics to greet the coming of a better New Year – the year 2010.

It will be a new beginning for all of them, the dawning of the true business enterprises for Papua New Guinean grassroots – they, who have been deprived of jobs and business opportunities that are supposed to be theirs but have been stolen by Asian entrepreneurs.

And if they still have time and not yet too drunk to run around, and the police and the firefighters are still nowhere (maybe because of flat tires, empty gasoline tanks and dried up water tanks), they would also raze to the grounds Asian-owned business and high-financed Asian establishments in Port Moresby and in urban centers in the provinces.

After all these years, these businesses have become the menace of Papua New Guinea’s fragile society.

This wholesale conflagration is to end once and for all the presence of anything Asian in Papua New Guinea – the many Asian cultures, their alleged business corruption and influences.

The burning of Port Moresby and urban centers across the country will be second to none – not even the burning of Honiara in Solomon Islands in April 2006 which annihilated the country’s China Town during the two days of rioting and displaced thousands of Chinese residents could come close as far as destruction is concerned.

Pockets in the city and urban centers will glow like embers till the wee hours of the New Year’s Day.

The anarchists said they will do this because they have the solid backing of the Parliament – well, at least one of its parliamentary committees – the bipartisan committee now probing the Anti-Asian riots last May chaired by MP Jamie Maxtone-Graham (by the way, he was sacked yesterday after being perceived by the powers-that-be as being anti-Asian, a charged which he denied but for which many are inclined to believe).

The New Year’s Eve rampage, rioting and looting will be fully supported by all national NGOs; the prominent and patriotic PNG nationalists against Asian infiltration and corruption spreading throughout the country; the South Pacific Island countries against Asian transnational crimes and illegal business; and most of all, the Melanesian Spearhead Group of Nations.

Their funds will come from these allies; this is the only way they could carry out their own brand of anarchy in the city of Port Moresby, Kundiawa town, Kiunga, Lae Rabaul town, Alotau, Madang, Goroka, Mt Hagen and many more where Asian businesses are to be found.

In a memo-email style advisory/warning that began circulating yesterday and addressed to “ALL ASIAN COTTAGE BUSINESS OWNERS IN PNG, with Subject: All Asian-Owned Cottage Businesses Must Cease by 31 December 2009, the anarchists stressed this “is not a petition to the National Government or the Asians … it’s a simple instruction with a due date which is 31 December 2009.

“That will be the only solution. Forget the government. If it can’t do it, we will do it ourselves … no need to buy candlesticks on New Year’s Eve. Honiara did it … we can do it in PNG!”

The day of your hell is coming, amen.

Well, it’s not surprising.

They are banking on the expected findings of Maxton-Graham committee that the presence of Asians in the country is the one causing all the ills of the society – from prostitution, business-influenced corruption in all government levels, economic deprivation of the grassroots and stealing from the hands of the no-read-no-write locals the opportunity to run shops and variety stores which are right now being profitably operated by the Chinese, Malaysians and Indonesians. (There are no Filipinos in this area because they are here as professionals, experts and skilled workforce working with proper documents.)

The anarchists’ bone of contention is that “the inflow of illegal Asians are stealing business opportunities and jobs from helpless Papua New Guineans … it’s costing the country simple store-keeper jobs and denying the privilege of simple citizens by owning these businesses.

“Competition among the Asian themselves has left not a chance for would-be local entrepreneurs. One just simply needs to walk down the street corner stores at Gerehu and Erima (in Port Moresby), Kundiawa town, Kiunga, Lae, Rabaul town, Alotau, Madang.

“In every one of these locations, you will see a takka box (tucker shop) store being managed by three to four odd-looking Asians who can’t even speak proper pidgin, let alone English! What the hell is happening with the laws of this country?”

Wait! Wait! Hold it right there! It appears now that the brains behind this anarchic movement are no brains at all, if you want to know the truth.

For long, long years, Papua New Guineans had been given all the chances to take up all sorts of business activities reserved for them under the law.

This included the so called cottage industry, which, according to my dictionary, is defined as “small-scale industry that can be carried on at home by family members using their own equipment”.

But they did not bother to take advantage of this opportunity. There were simply no takers.

Why? Firstly, they don’t have the initiative and aptitude to run such kind of livelihood activities.

Secondly, they don’t have the business acumen for them to succeed.

Thirdly, they don’t have the capital to operate them, particularly shops such as variety stores, fast-food stores and the like. (By the definition of a cottage industry, takka shops are not included for obvious reason.)

But most of all, they are just too illiterate to understand the complexities of how such a business enterprise works.

No banks are inclined to lend them capital. Why? They just don’t trust them; the banks don’t feel they could successfully operate a bank-funded enterprise. Banks simply don’t want to risk their money to this group.

And even the so-called micro-finance banks now proliferating across the country are still hands-off when it comes to lending to this type of borrowers.

But first of all, this question: Who are these people being rallied upon by the anarchists to assert their rights to their rightful place in the national economy by burning down Asian business enterprises?

Judging from the whole-scale rioting last May in Port Moresby, Goroka and other urban centers, the protesters-rioters-looters were none other that the community scum, raskols, murderers, rapists, drug addicts, drunkards and simply hangers-on, the unschooled and the perennial jobless.

I don’t think they are interested in running their own businesses like that of the Chinese, and thus make themselves self-sufficient or economically-sufficient. I don’t think they really understand what the so-called “reserve business opportunities” means.

For all you know, they are just the usual dole-out crowd waiting for the government to come and drop onto their laps the goodies.

What they know is that they got to have some kina for their betel nuts, homebrew, marijuana and alcohol. They’re not interested in really sweating it out to eke out a decent living with which to feed their wives and kids.

Because if they do, how come they did not open up takka shops long before the Chinese began populating PNG and start running their trade stores, their fast-food shops and the like?

The Chinese did not steal from the locals.

Instead, they poured in their money into the local economy to operate a business, and created a market that has kept the community alive. They created some business opportunities for some enterprising locals like farmers and livestock raisers. They created a market within which the exchange of goods and services became possible, something non-existent before their coming.

The Chinese are so good at this that they can survive even in the harshest environment and make their business succeed and expand.

If the Chinese entrepreneurs did not come, I can bet that there would be no stores operating until now in these critical areas.

It is very clear that it is these faceless anarchists who actually want to steal from the Chinese. And they will do this on New Year’s Eve by looting their stores and help themselves to whatever is there for the taking while the city burns.

They will do this because they want to outdo what the Honiara looters/rioters did to the Chinese businesses there in April 2006.

But I can bet my ball that not one of them would succeed as the Chinese do in running that business, simply because they don’t have the brains for this.

There are many small Papua New Guineans who are very successful in their own line of business. They never thought of making the Chinese entrepreneurs redundant because they know that on their own perseverance and sheer industry, they would make it.

Take the case of those industrious vegetable and fruit growers who are raking in profits everyday from sales of their fresh produce that are reaching wide market across the country, the biggest of which is Port Moresby.

They are very good at what they do that the local market relies on them for daily supplies of fresh veggies. These are the people that the PNG economy badly needs and not those who want to take over Chinese enterprises.

Why can’t the anarchists tell their unschooled followers that they have better chances of success if they work the land instead?

The trouble with these nincompoops is that they are only after the money in the cash box at the Chinese takka shop and that they are not willing to stretch their bones, to sweat out under the sun and to flex their muscles and work the land.

I don’t mind if police would order a shoot-to-kill against them at their first attempt to torch one legitimate Asian-owned takka shop.

The New Year’s Eve plot would be their biggest mistake because no peace-loving person would come out to glorify them as heroes or nationalists.

To the city residents, they are just gutter rats, opportunists and plain nuisance that should be consigned to Bomana jail.

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