Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Is Papua New Guinea descending into kleptocracy?

Note the use of "kleptocracy" to describe PNG in this article in the Sydney Morning Herald on Monday: "The recent collapse in oil prices, however, may mean that Australia will not have the luxury of ignoring the plight of Papua New Guinea, in particular, for much longer.
"Like Australia, PNG has spent the revenue of the resources boom as if it would go on forever.
"At the same time, the former Australian protectorate has been busily eroding its political and legal institutions to the point where kleptocratic behaviour has come to threaten the viability of the state itself.
"Unlike Iraq, Ukraine or China, there is no country other than Australia that the world will expect to intervene."
So what is "kleptocracy"?
According to Wikepedia:   " Kleptocracy, alternatively cleptocracy or kleptarchy, (from Greek: κλέπτης - kleptēs, "thief"[1] and κράτος - kratos, "power, rule",[2] hence "rule by thieves") is a form of political and government corruption where the government exists to increase the personal wealth and political power of its officials and the ruling class at the expense of the wider population, often with pretense of honest service.
"This type of government is generally considered corrupt, and the mechanism of action is often embezzlement of state funds.
"While the term can be used in its literal sense to mean a society based on theft, it is more commonly used derogatorily to point out a corrupt government or ruling class."

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