Tuesday, 13 September 2016

"I have a dream - I don't want my dream to just die with me, it burns inside my heart," says young Papua New Guinean

by LUCAS KIAP

I KNOW we have a choice in 2017 to make PNG better and that choice is our power to make it really happen.

Some people may think that I have an intention to contest the elections because of my everyday devotion on the issues and challenges facing our beloved country.

Let me remind you that I have been writing about the issues affecting the country for the last 20 years since my young days at the University of Technology in 2001.

I know politics in PNG is all about the 'big boys’ money game – killing pigs, buying airfares for voters, giving cash at funerals, buying coffins, giving cash handouts, dancing and singing till day break, mounting speakers on Toyota Landcruiser, screaming through loudhailers, bribing voters with cash and lamp flaps, cheating and bribing election officials and police, etc.

The fact is I am not a millionaire. I don’t have my own car. I don’t even own a home. I am just a simple government worker earning a K7 fortnightly housing allowance and pay more than a quarter of my salary as income tax and on top of that I pay 10% GST.

But there is one thing I care about and willing to lay down my life for it. Even if it means to stand alone, I will. That is, I don’t want the future of our children remains in the hands of those who have denied ours, the future we deserve in our natural resources rich country.

I know our country is rich in natural resources and any dream can be possible. We can be better off like developed countries with similar living standards. Yet we are poor and beggars in our own rich country accepting poverty as our way for life.

If I am going to contest one of seats in PNG in this coming 2017 General elections, then I have only one reason and that is to make corruption become part of the history and not part of the future. This is the reason why I have been advocating my life for the silent majority for the last two decades.

My fellow brothers and sisters, I have been talking about change for the last 20 years of my life since my high school days during the 1990s. I have a passion that really burns in my heart. I am convinced that our people deserve better. And I don’t want to die without trying to show the people what we deserve in this country. I don’t want my dream of changing this country just die with me.

That’s why I have been educating our people about what we really deserve from our leaders and how countries are run to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of the people.

I know there are guys with money, cars and wealth going to contest the elections. That’s what they have been doing for the last 40 years; throwing our future out of their toilet window, treating our votes merely as a commodity that can be traded with cash and kind. Yet here we are after 40 years, still worse with no hope for a better life. We look upon those who rob our future and worship them like gods in a country; otherwise we all should enjoy similar living standards and quality of life like Hon. MPs and rich people.

I have no interests in politics or elections. That’s what people have been doing for the last 40 years. The same old stories. The same old lies. The same old faces.
But if I am going to contest the elections then I have only one reason and that is to live my dream of changing PNG like the way I see it.

My brother and sisters, I am really serious about changing the face of PNG if I have your power. I know people also want change and have been praying for change for the last 40 years. I don’t want them to die without seeing the answers to their prayers of what change looks like.

I don’t want our children to live in the same substandard lifestyle like us in a rich country, where we all deserve better. I don’t want our children to born into a hopeless country with fewer opportunities. I don’t want the opportunities of our children to be given away to foreigners.

My brothers and sisters, my dream is to change PNG one day like the way I talk about it every day of my life. I want to see our people and their well-being transformed from a poor third world country into modern country with higher living standards and quality of life like people in developed countries. I want to see our people are at the centre of all development efforts by the government to improve their living standards and quality of life. If I don’t achieve it, at least I want to try and lay the foundation to show the way forward for our sons and daughters to achieve my dream.

If I have to start somewhere, then I am going to start in Western Highlands because that’s where I come from.
My brothers and sisters, I am not asking you all to support nor believe me. But if there is something we all want it, something we all can stand together for, something worth fighting together for; then I can assure you all that it is safe to bet your hope in me for a better future because that’s what I have been dedicating my life for the last two decades.

Yes our future is what worth fighting for together. Let’s forget about our differences but let’s disagree to agree because at the end of the day, our future is what worth standing together for.Yes we can change PNG. That’s what we are going to do in the 2017 elections – we are going to change PNG.

Thank you all for your support, dedication and commitment to believe in change and willing to make change happen.

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