Government by law breakers, for law breakers
At the bare minimum, when people pay taxes, they expect their governments to at the very least uphold the law.
Yet in Papua New Guinea, the government has proven allergic to law enforcement – indeed when Governor Juffa began tackling illegal businesses, he was condemned by the political classes. It appears lawlessness is now formal policy.
But the failure of the government hasnt stopped Madang landowners and civil society from stopping the illegal conduct of Malaysian logger firm G & S Limited.
Owned by Malaysians Kem Go and Sie Wong, G & S Limited has been illegally logging on customary land belonging to the Songumbe-Marumbe and Boimbe Clans. This is a foreign company, which has come into Papua New Guinea, it does not have foreign certification to operate in PNG (according to the IPA registry), and it is involved in theft. Yet the government has done nothing.
So landowners in collaboration with the Madang Civil Society Organisation Forum, challenged the loggers in court and won.
Justice Canning found the Malaysian logger guilty of the tort of trespass. The court awarded the customary plaintiffs an injunction and damages.
The problem today is that private remedies are the only ones left for communities being victimised by land grabbers, fraudsters and crooks. The government as the principal law breaker, has no motivation to see the law enforced.
Its time to take action against the culture of criminality. We must protect our lands and people from these predators. If a company is in breach of the law, they must be chased off the land and brought to justice. The government will not do it, so the people must undergo this struggle. It is through struggle great nations are forged.