Monday, June 01, 2009

I Love China so as PNG

This poem was sent to The National for publication. Your comments are welcome.

I love China so as PNG

By Mathew Yakai

I hate to hear that you have been attacked
Looking at you from your home land China, my heart melts with pain
Your brothers and sisters here in China love me so much
They tell me everything and do everything for me
They feed me, they shelter me
When I am sick, they take care of me
In the streets, the little toddler wants to touch my skin and hair
The old says “ni hao” (hello) with a smile
The young lady says “wo ai ni” (I love you)
I want to melt into her eyes
Not because she loves me but instead my country
Happiness is coming to me everyday
I make a wish to the moon that you live peacefully in my country
Tell me this is not a dream
My eyes are filled with tears but want to change to joy tomorrow
I love my homeland PNG
So do I love my host country, China
Let’s live side by side
And make PNG and China a better place in our hearts.


Anonymous said...

Hi Fellow country-man,

I thank you for coining this poem and I advise you again to publish it in The National. Thanks and true, as elites and leaders of tomorrow of the the land-PNG, issues shoulb be resolved through honorable ways enabling co-existence amongst all peoples, even amongst tiny ants and beasts alike. We are but one in the ecological system. Thus affecting one part of ecology may have detriments to the others and eventually to the whole. As elites and radicals, profound solutions to issues of this kind,may be called for from our end. I thank also all for the constructive arguments put forward in relation to "All Asian-Owned Cottage Businesses Must Cease - Dateline 31 December 2009",especially for a profound ways for resolving this issue.

Please do publish the artcile for public readership.

Ian Apeit

Anonymous said...

That was great. China has been a home away from home for almost 3 years now. Bible says, a friend nearby is better than a family member far away. People have been our parents, brothers and sisters, and I can feel that I am beginning to fall in love with this place.

Much has been said based in media about this land but who can tell a true story unless we see it for ourselves.


Jeffers H Teargun

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mathew.

Nice poem.

Obviously you and others in China have had the good fortune of seeing and experiencing our two countries first hand, and so your observations will have a lot of merit. For most of us, our experience of the Chinese are limited to the interaction we��ve had with them here in PNG. I have a lot of fond memories about the ��old�� Chinese in Morobe, my home province. Indeed, I have been a beneficiary of their activities in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Unfortunately, I must admit I do not feel the same way towards the ��new�� Chinese. They are scavengers and blood suckers and conduct their businesses in secrecy and in suspicious ways in our country. I completely loathe the Moresby Chinese of the famed ��Tucker Shops�� and totally understand the little men��s frustrations. But I do not condone violence as a means of resolving this issue.

But then again, what option does the little man have in voicing his concern. Those of us, the so called ��elites�� (this is the last time I will use this word �C it insinuates a class system of some sort and I hate it) don��t have the time to get off our high horses and listen to their frustrations. The policy makers, the big shots, are not only untouchables but unseeables. This leaves the little man with no option but to take matters into his own hands.

This means that it is paramount that we, the middle class Papua New Guineans, must speak up and make the powers that be in our country responsible for their actions. Most of the ��new�� Chinese in PNG are benefactors of corrupt Papua New Guinean officials. They collude with them to completely bypass our legally established systems and processes and blatantly break our laws to conduct their businesses. The result of that is that our own people��s welfare takes second or third precedence under these foreigners�� interests. It is unthinkable but it happens and that is exactly the issue.

I doubt that the riots will ever occur on 31 December as mentioned. The Patriotic brother who wrote the e-mail below is strategically playing reverse psychology and is using scare tactics to get the responsible authorities to take assertive action in exterminating the corrupt Papua New Guineans occupying positions of authority and responsibility. The message he is sending is ��get rid of the corrupt people or we will inflict harm on their associates to exert pressure on you.�� Without condoning violence, I��d like to see people use whatever tactics there are to maintain the heat on our authorities to act.

Corruption must be stamped out completely to allow to country to flourish. And now is the time.

My take.


Anonymous said...

I agree too. I study a traditional Chinese culture or art which I find very interesting and helpful. I believe we can learn a lot from each other as nations with a lot of traditional background and cultural history.

Andrew M

Anonymous said...

Hi Guys,

Papua New Guineans in general do not have a negative impression on China, or any other country is this world for that matter. What they are protesting about is foreign businessmen taking part in cottage industries. It’s that simple.

Everyone has fond memories of individuals they have encountered through their lives. On a personal level, I’m sure all of us cherish a relationship with someone from a different ethnic origin. Chinese, Malay, Australian, Zimbabwean, wherever.

The series of unrests was just a means for grassroots people to speak out against the lack of opportunities they have. They have spoken. Now it’s time for the middle class, upper class, legislators and bureaucrats to decide if they want to listen and act upon these cries. I do believe, the people in places of power and authority have the capacity to change, and start acting with honesty and administering policy for the benefit of all. They just need to be pushed to a point where they do.

If no signs of positive action is apparent by December 31 2009 by all means let PNG “celebrate the 2010 New Year with bon-fires of all Asian-owned Takka Shops in flames all around the country” as cautioned.

Something’s got to give somewhere. People have got to wake up. And believe me the grassroots don’t give two shoes for expatriate relationships – because they don’t have any.



Anonymous said...

Thanks Mathew.

I agree with the writer and your statement that we must be smart about how we engage with China in growing our own economy and bettering our people’s circumstances.

What I am concerned about, however, is for us to feel too threatened by the rise of China that we compromise too much of our own position when engaging with them.

As much as we may need the Chinese, they also equally need us to quench their insatiable thirst for raw materials. We are well positioned to take advantage of China’s growth if we play our cards right. That means coming to the negotiating table as equal partners and without any hint whatsoever of fear of China’s potential economic and political power. We must not go in as the timid party because we are not.

Papua New Guinea’s interest must take precedence over Chinese or whoever super powers’ interests. After all, they are here to further their own interests, so we too must protect ours. We must be especially cautious about how we engage with China because it is still very much an unknown beast to us.

To start with, I don’t know if I can trust the Chinese business ethics. The China that I know has a history of going in through the back door, and that’s what gets me nervous about them. If we show them that we are the vulnerable party, they will play on it to dictate terms. So yes engage with them, but proceed with caution and appropriate scepticism.

I am all for getting our own house in order by fighting corruption. Get honest and principled Papua New Guineans who put the common good before themselves into positions of authority and responsibility. We need Papua New Guineans who will not let undue influences to distort their decision making processes to sit in those crucial chairs in our governance systems. Then we can go out and engage with anyone under terms that are completely at arms length and terms that serve our own country and her people.



Anonymous said...

Thanks .

There is nothing you said about China’s political, economic and military power that we do not already know.

Our biggest mistake will be to feel too threatened by what we know about China. Don’t forget that they are still a developing country with their own developmental needs similar to ours. And they are desperate for our raw materials to help them address those development challenges. This then helps to tip the scale of power at the negotiating table to our side. They can have all the military and economic might, but we can still have the last say in how we engage with them. Simply adopt a ‘we don’t need you’ mentality and they will come crawling to us on our terms.

Don’t be too threatened or overwhelmed by their emergence to our own detriment. Against popular opinion, I will say that we don’t need them any more than they need us. I believe we have to be responsible in our observations of China’s emerging power and temper that with statements about what we have that we can use to play them into our hands. And stop playing ourselves into their hands.

We do not want to be like the biblical Samson who admired Delilah so much he allowed her to trim his hair, thereby, weakening him and exposing him to defeat.



Anonymous said...


Thanks, you said well. This is the most important thing that we lacked,China is at our disposal for our good but how we negotiate is that they seem to win just due to bunch of corrupted minds. What you expressed is what me and others have always discussed in that favour. You and me, plus our patriotic PNG like minds with the right frame of mind can see and do the right things while we are in power to influence.For now ,we progress it seems more and more people are rising up to the knowlege as more are educated, which is good on our part.

Those of us abroad have greater desire to see PNG rise to its toes while yet same people/leaders/beaucrats are making the same mistakes again and time after time giving rise to loots and violence witnessed recently instigated by poor performnces. We must rise up to the fact that things outside have changed too much, but we have power of influence since we have the natural resources which they need. Our resources is our strenght,wise use will benefit us or unwise and we are doomed.

Thank you, we should all keep contacts and continue build up impluse on issues in regard to this nation.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Mathew.

Perhaps you might like to use your newspaper column to discuss this in detail and point out that PNG can achieve significant economic growth on the back of the rise of China, provided we play our cards right and do not give away too much to them.

Alternatively, we could jointly write up a proper discussion paper on the subject and circulate to all know contacts on our e-mail list. You can be sure that it will reach the echelons of power at Waigani in no time, judging by the speed at which gossip and innuendo gets through the cyberspace in this time and age.



Anonymous said...

Hi Countrymen,

Reading all the articles, I see two sides. One side is the pro-Chinese and the other side in the anti-Chinese. I'm neither of the two. Some of you might find yourself in my shoe. One thing is for sure - China is not a threat nor a genuine development partner. Tell me which country in the world has genuinely helped another country in terms of aid or development. Who freely gives and never recieves in return? No country in world will help PNG - except you and I. Don'k ask how - because you are the answer. Chinese have their own country to worry about, so is Australia or other countries. Don't be lazy like your fathers in Parliament now who rely on other countries to help us. Don't talk questionned me about globalisation - I know that. China, India, Saudi Arabia, Brazil amongst others are doing well because they have taken the ownership of their development. When will PNG take ownership of its development. Stop thinking like babies and putting your problem in other people's hands. Wake up PNGeans.

Over you all


Anonymous said...

Yes, please do not forget to say hi to the women too as we also are part and partial of this country and a hand full of us are copied on this email!, that’s why we’re left out of most of the decision’s supposedly made in parliament or “up there”.

This is my say from a personal note: we have to realize that globalization is real and is here to stay, that means global interconnectedness..yes we need to connect and have relations with other countries in order to survive in this modern world. No country in the world has genuinely helped another country…quite true however, this is the only way country’s survive..I am no expert at this but hey the recession, you cannot say you haven’t felt it…we all did in big and small ways; that is the effect of globalization.

China is an empire and is expanding for the whole purpose of survival (that’s why they’ve genuinely come in or snaked their way through here…for the sole purpose of survival)….look under the chair your sitting on, the mug you’re drinking coffee out of, the uniform or clothes your wearing I bet half of you would find…”made in China” labeled on them.

The problem we’re having here in PNG is “common sense” and “priorities”. No one needs a PhD to have common sense (which most people lack) and if we prioritize our families in everything, we would prioritize our country…making decisions and policies that would benefit our nation; that’s what we lack. I guess the leaders of tomorrow are us…a lot of you have shared very intelligent thoughts about this issue….we can actually do something, it just needs a good leader.

Or we can start individually by educating our colleagues, students, families, houselains etc about what is going on and making them understand the issue better.

Em tasol.