PNG Post-Courier

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (Dec. 31, 2009) – Today is the last day of 2009 in Papua New Guinea (PNG). And what a year it was.

For the first time in the life of the Somare/Temu government, it faced a vote of no-confidence, sponsored by the Opposition.

That was in February and although the vote failed, what it did was to expose the anti government sentiments in the government ranks. Then in March, PNG watched as Dame Carol Kidu and the Prime Minister tried to push the bill to get more women representatives into Parliament. That also failed.

In May, PNG exploded when the anti-Asian riot hit the cities and towns. Parliament was forced to set up a Bipartisan Committee to probe the riot and it is doing that. The anti-Asian sentiment was still out there and as we wind up the year, Police are on high alert to thwart any uprising against the Asian community in PNG.

PNG was flooded in mid year with many provinces reporting devastation to infrastructure that made life miserable for many. As if we did not have our hands full, the Cholera outbreak in Morobe took everyone by surprise. PNG was faced with a decease it never had but we did managed to contain it before more lives were lost.

The Kandep by-election was another political highlight for the year. National Alliance strongman Don Pomb Polye won his seat back after a hard fought campaign.

The Government’s purchase of the Falcon Jet must go down as one of the most controversial decisions ever made, drawing criticisms from all sections of the community.

In November, the Government handed down its 7.5 billion kina [US$2.8 billion] National Budget, the biggest ever for PNG. That budget figure was good news to the rural areas.

One news that dominated 2009, was the Exxon Mobil led Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Project.

The project culminated in the final signing of the agreement between the State and Exxon Mobil. To add icing to the cake, InterOil entered into another deal with the State to start the second LNG project in PNG.

The 4th PNG Games held in Port Moresby was the main sporting highlight for 2009. What will 2010 be like? There is a lot of expectation in the air that PNG will have the best ever years following the start of the LNG projects.

Things are looking good for PNG. A prosperous New Year to all and may God continue to bless PNG.

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