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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (May 25, 1998 - The National/Pasifik Nius/Niuswire)---Opposition Leader Bernard Narokobi said on Friday that the Papua New Guinea Government is headed by corrupt leaders who must be removed by the people at all costs, the National reports.

Mr. Narokobi said that the Government has at its forefront people who were "self-confessed godfathers of criminal gangs" in the city.

The Opposition Leader made this scathing attack when addressing members of the Press Club on Friday afternoon, saying that while the country was controlled by self-confessed gang leaders, the judicial system was caught between lawyers' legalism and liberal and sometimes "uncommon" sense.

He criticized the government for privatizing important state institutions such as the Motor Vehicle Insurance Trust (MVIT), the Niugini Insurance Corporation (NIC) and the Rural Development Bank (RDB).

These three institutions previously operated independently, but the current Government has merged them with the Papua New Guinea Banking Corporation.

Mr. Narokobi said privatization has become the magic wand for foreign takeovers of the bare essentials of the people, and cautioned the government to take heed of it.

"The private sector is the 'engine room' of development. Still, that engine room, as I often say, is a room without an engine or with a huffing and puffing engine, struggling to survive between the stated motive of profit and the government's drive to overtax corporate and personal incomes," he said.

Mr. Narokobi said the ordinary villagers are caught in a vicious trap where they have no control over the skyrocketing prices of goods and services.

"The urban worker is a total victim, a virtual slave to the banks, the supermarkets and the very nation state he serves.

"Bank mortgages ensure that the wage earner saves nothing and the land, sewerage, water and electricity rates, not to mention the high costs of education, seal the coffin of impoverishment even for the most well paid citizens of our land.

"We have lost control of our land and our lives. We are the victims of multi-national and personal crime. The government must take full responsibility for these," Mr. Narokobi said.

He said we are the lost, confused victims of a faceless, soulless, global movement that has no headquarters except the board rooms, the golf courses and the stock exchanges that are ruled by the profit motive.

Title -- 1386 JUSTICE: PNG call for action against corrupt leaders Date -- 25 May 1998 Byline – None Origin -- Pasifik Nius Source -- The National (PNG), 25/5/98 Copyright -- The National Status – Unabridged

This document is for educational and personal use only. Recipients should seek permission from the copyright source for reprinting. This PASIFIK NIUS service is provided by the niusedita via the Journalism Program, University of the South Pacific, and Journalism Studies, University of PNG.

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