Thursday, 18 August 2016

PNG MPs: "Are they law makers or project managers?" asks Kama. DSIP/PSIP has forced MPs to look like they are service providers

AN important statement by Honorable Dr. Allan Marat – "more time needed to research bills" it addresses a fundamental issue. PNG adopts the Westminster system of parliamentary democracy where the primary duty of a politician (MP) is to legislate (make) laws. MPs are not meant to be service providers or project managers. That is for the public servants to do so. MPs are meant to present people’s issues to the parliament and in response, draft policies and laws to address those issues. They are to hold the public servants (executive) accountable on behalf of the people if the public servants fail to deliver to the people.
The introduction of the DSIP/PIP funds has fundamentally changed the priorities of the MPs – now they are the service providers and “project managers.” Spending time to analyse a Bill (proposed law) and assess its implication is no longer their priority. It seems to be a waste of time. What does that mean?
It means any law that suits a certain minority or influential people/party in Parliament can easily get passed. Law making is not their (MPs) prime responsibility so why should they spend time to analyze and critic or properly debate the Bill. This has been happening in this country for a long time and more so quite recently.
The PNG Supreme Court judges have noted this phenomenon in their recent judgments, evening referring to the PNG Parliament as being “hijacked.”
It is about time you as a citizen demand a better treatment from your MP. 

2017 Elections are not far. Ask yourself – what kind of a FUTURE do you want for your children or grandchildren??.... The future will look brighter if the people make the effort. But living in ignorance and complacency will only destroy the country and its founding institutions.
The writer Bal Kama - PhD Law student at ANU 

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