By ABIGAIL APINA
ATTORNEY-General and Minister for Justice Dr Allan Marat says the only way to curb alcohol abuse is to ban it, The National reports.
"Why don't we just ban alcohol so that the issue of alcohol abuse can be eradicated?" he said while addressing the New Guinea Islands alcohol abuse symposium at Gazelle International in Kokopo.
He said it saddened him to see many young people with long productive lives indulging in alcoholic binges.
"Is alcohol the mainstay of our economy? Will our economy collapse or go into recession without alcohol?" Marat said.
Marat said Papua New Guinea had never been serious about dealing with the wrong use of alcohol.
"We come up with grand plans and visions but we allow alcohol abuse to destroy these plans and vision," he said.
He said while alcohol might be good for health reasons, it had been used in "prohibited ways", leading to harm and destruction.
"We never seem to learn, we are undecided, we are kidding ourselves, we are hypocrites," Marat said.
He said many people preached against alcohol abuse but they continued to contribute to the problem in many ways.
He said the abuse of alcohol had affected family units, communities, the labour force, production and quality of products.
He said it had affected the performance of the economy at both micro and macro levels in a negative way.
"Many of us are sick and tired of talking about alcohol abuse because authorities are not listening," Marat said.
He said in order for PNG to develop a safe, healthy, wealthy and smart society by 2050, the issue of alcohol abuse should be addressed.
"If there is a reason for the indulgence, treat or correct the reason or consider banning alcohol so that we don't have to worry about ramifications of abuse," he said.