Thursday, November 8, 2018

Pacific Island Weekly Thursday 8 November: 'Media Phobia,' Cook Is., Niue,Pacer Plus, N. Marianas, PNG, Tonga- Letters to the Editor

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Whatever else you read, check out the Tongan letters to the Editor at the end of this post. Democracy alive and well  Comparisons with Singapore.

'The Age of Media Phobia'. Worldwide, 67 journalists have been killed, 155 imprisoned and 142 jailed so far this year. Read David Robie's address  on Pacific journalism in the 'age of media phobia.' USP Journalism Awards. USP is celebrating its 50th anniversary.


COOK ISLANDS
A story on the N Z Stuff website claiming the Cook Islands “is said to be” on the brink of signing a deal allowing China to build a deep water port on Penryhn, has drawn a formal complaint from the Office of the Prime Minister to Fairfax Media in New Zealand. Presumably, the story is speculation.

NIUE. Signs up with Chinese.

PACER PLUS.  Eleven Pacific countries, including Australia and NZ, have signed this regional trade deal.  Fiji and PNG have not signed and the Cook Islands has put it  on hold.
The signatories  are Australia, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.   In addition to signing PACER Plus, the countries also signed an accompanying Labour Mobility Arrangement.  

Northern Marianas. Typhoon aftermath.

Samoa. A second shipment of green (cooking) bananas has left Apia for NZ.  Fiji and Tonga were once also major exporters to NZ.  In Tongatapu, most large trees were cut down to make into banana boxes. Samoa is using cardboard. NZ imports $160m  worth a year, mainly from plantations in Ecuador and the Philippines.   


PNG. Next month's APEC Summit meeting in PNG is already causing some ripples.  There's concern about the purchase of luxury cars, how its government is looking after its own people, and how our financial support is being used.

First commercial growing of rice, thanks to the Philippines

NZ to use TV  to promote its Pacific  investments.

TONGA. A SAMPLE OF LETTERS TO MATANGITONGA

Letters

PM and Ministers pussyfoot around





Sydney, Australia
Editor,
This kind of behaviour by the Prime Minister and his Cabinet members is no laughing matter any more, they are pussyfooting around with the most dangerous situation our nation ever experienced in the last 100 or so years. Impeachable acts committed by any Government are a serious matter and should be handled in Parliament as such.
Clear breach of Parliamentary working procedures by this kind of disruptive behaviour should not be condoned in anyway by the Chair of Parliament. In the current Financial Year the outcome of Auditor’s Report clearly pointed to an amount of $74m dollars with no invoices and receipts or worse not properly accounted for. Stupid explanations such as “exchange rate” started to pop up from Ministers, and every means employed by the Government under the sun to brush off the seriousness of this mismanagement of our public finances.
This Petition was tabled some months back, and parliamentary direction of the procedures for the Petition was clear. When the Auditor General is about to hand in his report, as Parliament has directed the Government disrupts Parliament with their report, without waiting for the Auditor’s Report of what they were accused of. Their report was handled properly by the Privilege Committee like any other report, yet the disruptive behaviour continued, led by the Prime Minister himself.
Please allow me to think loudly on the serious issue that our little country faces at the moment. It is so obvious that these people want to delay this serious issue for 2019 parliamentary session, and that is five months away. What happens then, they continue on in their merry ways of impeachable behaviour and mismanagement until then, as if they are untouchable by the law and constitution of our country.
The seriousness of this Government behaviour to the wellbeing of our country calls for the Chair of the Parliament to ask His Majesty to postpone the closing of Parliament until any matter related to the Petition is completed. Nothing less.
Tu’a ofa atu.
Inoke Fotu Huakau

Comments

Tonga Must Emulate Singapore’s Success
For the current government to salvage themselves for being the worse government in the history of our proud nation, they must have the courage to change course and emulate the policies and strategies that Singapore adopted.
Singapore like Tonga, is a small country with no natural resources. Their only resource is their people, and also had a small domestic market. Since, gaining their independence in 1965 their government led by their pragmatic Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) had transformed a poor small country into one of the richest country in the world.
A close analysis of the policies and strategies that their government adopted reveals a system worth emulating by any developing country to achieve the same success. This article is only an attempt to introduce some of their economic strategies and the style of leadership that their Prime Minister and his government adopted with LKY’s underlying philosophy that prosperity cannot be created overnight and can only be done through hard work and continuous commitment to the common goal.
To illustrate my point, I will now discuss some examples of the strategies that LKY and his government adopted. However, they are not in any order of priority or importance: 1. They recognized the importance of focusing on PROFITS at all times with LKY telling his cabinet that without profits, the country dies. 2. The need to export their goods and so they concentrated in developing their Manufacturing sector. 3. They needed foreign capitals and investments and foreign skilled workers 4. They recognized the need to have good governance with skilled and educated leaders and a country free of any forms of corruptions 5. They recognized that a country with no debts and no government borrowings is good for the economy, 6. The need for a country free of any form of drugs with the death penalty to punish those involves, 7. English was chosen as the National Language which was good for jobs and businesses, but keeping all local languages for their homes and cultural norms, 8. Increase their population to 2.5M to sustain their domestic market, 9. They set up the Housing Board to regulate building new housing and needed infrastructures, 10. Set up the Economic Board to regulate the financial system and build the economy, 11. Focus on Trading possibilities with Free trades, and no Tariffs policy to attract foreign capitals and investments, 12. Emphasize Technical and Tertiary educations to upgrade the workforce skills 13. Develop the Tourism sector with luxury hotels and top class restaurants, 14. Encourage foreign Banks and financial institutions to invest and set up business in Tonga, 15. Streets to be safe both day and night, 16. Adopted a National Service system for the Army to train youths with new skills and leadership rather than keeping a Regular Army for it is very expensive to run a regular army.
The above examples are only a few of the many strategies that are available and worthy of further investigation by our own government. Malo ‘aupito, Viliami Makasiale Naulu
Central Coast, Sydney, Australia

Very well put and strait to the point, but with all the facts and evidence already gathered , what more do they need? It's obvious from the way everyone who are connected to this debacle, are afraid to rock the boat , otherwise why the hesitation? The longer the house hesitate, the more daring the strongman and his cohort of baboons becomes using the delaying tactic to gain more time to tie up any loose ends. Clever huh! Maybe it's time to overhaul not only the leadership and cabinet but also the members of Parliament, replace the whole bloody lot.

Very well presented and yes Lee Kuan Yew did achieve great advancement both financially and economically for Singapore. To reach his goal he had to make some harsh and unpopular decisions, he was accused of being authoritarian 'cause he had tight control of the press and stamped down hard and stifled political dissent, now whether ! that will be excepted by many as good leadership or be taken as being dictatorial. His firm grip on power had a stabilizing effect allowing little room for any corrupt financial practices, could that also be taken as interfering. Don't take this the wrong way, all one is trying to do; is to see if by laying down strict draconian laws because that was what LEE did in Singapore, could work for Tonga? Some of the suggestions put forward is indeed what we as a people would like to see happen to Tonga. One must remember that Lees rule was a one man show a " Benevolent dictatorship " isn't that what's all the hoo haa in Tonga is all about " One Man Rule". Amusing how the Premier accused the King of being Dictatorial, now he's the one being accused of being one. So!, should Tonga copy what Lee did to Singapore? It's easy to think that what was done in Singapore can be replicated in the same way in Tonga because it will not work. Tonga will have to either shoot or hang everyone convicted of drug related crime almost strait away it's illegal to jaywalk, sell gum, write graffiti all carry very heavy fines , which worked well in reducing and eventually stopping all the aforementioned. To achieve this in these days will 'cause an uproar , so loud it could be heard in TIMBUKTU . Let's see on arrival at Fua'amotu airport on each airport entry card it's stated in read letter that the penalty for drug trafficking is " death " . Tonga will introduce Caning as a mandatory punishment Singaporeans have been forced to be compliant with many rules, that Singaporeans call it " the cop in the head " yes peace harmony prevails, but at what cost. For Tonga to become a success story like unto Singapore a one man rule is the only way, will the people of Tonga be willing to sacrifice their individual freedom to attain one man ambition? In the beginning Singaporeans were under the British colonial yoke they had years to get accustomed to being ruled with an iron fist, Tongan people are not familiar with having their freedom threaten, they will resist. No !it won't work .

Collective Will of the People!
You have rightly pointed out some of the weaknesses with the Singaporean approach such as ‘being authoritarian’, ‘benevolent dictatorship’, ‘draconian laws’, ‘tight control of the press’, just to mentioned a few. However, I am not advocating the idea of replicating every strategy that they adopted but only the ones that will meet the collective will and the common goals of the country,
One of the strategy that PM Lee Kuan Yew(LKY) and his party did was that they always go to the people and explain their policies to get their collective will and support and the people paid back the compliment by continue to vote them back into government.
An Open Parliamentary Democratic system needs to be created which will be unique for Tonga and to enhance the needs, cultural norms and diversity. The system must be an evolving open democratic system governs by the collective will of the people and the common goals.
The world owes us nothing, and we the people of Tonga are the masters of our own destiny. We must be united shoulders to shoulders to achieve our common goals. Our greatest strength is our people, and we must be united or divided we will fail. It is now time for the people to stand together and be counted and make Tonga great again and the Jewel of the Pacific as envisioned by our beloved Queen Salote.
The country will need transformation, honest patriotic leaders with visions who are committed to achieve the common goals of the country. Their Focus must be on economic Prosperity, political stability, jobs for all, and guarding our national identity and our culture.
Singapore showed the world that a small poor country with no natural resources can be one of the richest country in the world. All we need is good Leadership and the Collective WILL of the People.


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