The passing of the great!

December 16, 2013 at 12:09 am (Commentary, Mandela, Somare)

When Sir Michael Somare finally gives up the ghost I have no doubt that PNG will go overboard in the memorial praises for him.

The international coverage will not be as extensive as that given to Nelson Mandela, and I expect we’ll not be favoured with a fake deaf interpreter like the one at Mandel’s memorial, but all the slogans will be there: Grand Chief, father of independence and the nation, sana, peacemaker.

No mention, of course, will be made to the shadow of financial misconduct hanging over him, and the shocking state Papua New Guinea is in.

There’s no wonder that at any hint of ill health he’s out of the country in a flash – anyone comparing the Wewak Hospital with Raffles Hospital in Singapore would not ask why.

Wewak is the town where he has held political preeminence continually since independence, and practically nothing has been done in maintaining the hospital since.

When he dies he’ll be praised to the skies and the ceremonies will go on and on.

Now this is where I get most of my readers off side. Sir Michael Somare is perhaps nothing compared to Mr Nelson Mandela. But I do think the world in the case of Mandela has gone somewhat too far in the praises and the various memorials conducted for him in the weeks after his death. I am predicting that Somare will get similar obituaries, certainly not as worldwide as Mandela, but within PNG.

I’m not a great one for the cult of personality for the living or the dead.

The great and not so great are only, in the final count human, and we all deserve to be judged dispassionately, and only objectively!




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