#12 Dear Uncle MP

On the eve of Papua New Guinea’s 2017 National Elections, I find myself reflecting a lot more on the realities of being a public politician in Papua New Guinea. The nuances and ironies that the politicians have to deal with is disconcerting.

I often criticise without understanding why people do what they do. There must be a reason for every rhyme. Think about it, serving the interests of a nation where they should think of me first because I voted for them.

Letters to uncle MP

Hey uncle MP,

I voted you so you could help me.

Put me in school in the big city,

and while were at it,

Could you pay for my airfares to Pom City?

Mi askim tasol,

Mangi blo ples

Hey uncle MP,

Wanpla yia pinis?

Mi askim tasol, yu lus tingting lo mi pinis?

I gave you a vote for a pencil case.

Plis, mi les pinis lo stap lo ples.

Mi askim tasol.

Mangi blo Ples

Uncle MP,

Holim ministry na nau yu ting yu gat namba,

You were nothing before you became Uncle Memba.

Yu blari bik-pel, nogat-save, raskol man.

Stilim moni, keke* planti, giaman man.

Plis, mi laikim pencil case tasol.

Mangi blo Ples

MP,

Em inap. It’s ok.

Holim gut. Nau yu memba.

I won’t vote you in 2022.

Mangi blo Ples.

Keke= Kaikai. Used here for effect.

– by Hans Lee

 

Favour-seeking and people-pleasing behaviour is a huge part of politics, I understand that much, but I am also starting to think that greed isn’t entirely grounded in selfishness or promoting the individual above the public. When the numbers don’t add up to bring services to “those who need it”, how could you ever bring meaningful change to the lives of those who voted you in.

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