Successful Asians in PNG – A subject of hot debate!

May 25, 2013 at 11:26 pm (Commentary, Corruption in PNG, Deborah Ruiz Wall, expatriates, Papua New Guinea)

Post-Courier, 22 May, 2013

Post-Courier, 22 May, 2013


Deborah Ruiz Wall made the following comment:

‘GLOBALIZATION has arrived. ‘Free market’ reigns. A free-fall for local cultural livelihoods is the result. What self-determination is possible for poor countries to have control over their economies?

‘Today, governments are less able to protect their people. A quick solution undertaken by many to address their economic management burden seems to be to privatise essential public utilities to enable them to balance their budgets.  In the face of transnational corporations that have the facility to transfer their assets from one country to another, nation-states have become dinosaurs. Global control by powerful corporations reign. What’s happening in PNG is a microcosm of this growing phenomenon.
‘In Australia, for example, corruption over the behaviour of a former NSW government Minister in relation to mining approvals has been investigated by ICAC. Not a rare untypical situation these days. Cases of conflict of interests in public-private partnerships are on the increase — as disclosed by investigative journalists. The powerlessness of ordinary citizens is crystal clear.
‘In regard to the perception of Asians taking over, I remember a fact finding mission went to Manila in 1995 to investigate the controversy over the sex tourism industry.
‘Some bars and hotels supposedly “owned” by local entrepreneurs were in fact owned by Westerners. The “owners”, as it turned out, were used as a “front” by Australian or New Zealand businessmen who married Filipino women to enable them to run their businesses under their wives’ names. Foreigners were not permitted to own local business ventures unless they took up Filipino citizenship.
So my point is: money corrupts. Corruption does not discriminate between race and culture.’
This is an issue that could really get out of hand. It’s obvious that there are many in PNG who have concerns in this area.
I can only hope the debate does not degenerate into a mindless race issue.
Let’s say you got rid of all the Asians with small businesses in the country, would the locals be able to fill the vacuum with their own small businesses?


  1. Antony Ruhan said,

    Perhaps there is no easy solution of the problems of human, economic and cultural development of small nations in the world at present, where large corporations operate within large developed nations or within confederations of such nations like the European Union. In such a situation, the better course is to break the big intractable problem down into smaller, perhaps manageable problems and deal with them one by one, when the opportunity permits.

    Part of this second course of action is to eliminate the false and wrong principles. For example, the countries of the middle east have suffered exploitation by the European powers and by the USA. Parts of that exploitation may have been economic, political and religious. The present aggression of the Islamic nations, which have suffered this exploitation, may have been partly excited by it. But such violence will not solve any such problems, witness Syria’s implosion and, perhaps, explosion.

    The next part of this second course of action is to select smaller, but important, problems within the larger problematic context, and try to solve them one by one. For example, in PNG David has pointed out the deterioration of malarial prevention by the public health system. Solving such an important, but subordinate problem, would help not only public health in PNG, but might also encourage others to tackle other smaller, but important problems.

  2. Alan Pretty said,

    It seems to me there are two worlds operating here & globally – 1 Big business… 2 International financial hegemony.
    To both the local “man in the street (village)” is nothing. It’s all a game, not a race thing. You want to play you got to be a member or willing to prostitute your self! Local or expat!!!

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