Comment on The awkwardness of moral saints

Thank you Stephen for this wonderful piece!

Good to be reminded through the life of people like Jean, King and Mandela, the higher purpose of our calling – to be a service to humanity and a voice for the voiceless in time of increase human and corporate greed. Moral heroes certainly undertake great sacrifices. PNG has seen its own national heroes recently in the likes of Sam Koim and members of the Fraud Squad who have all fallen at the Master’s axe. Amidst their often lonely journey, one thing is sure – they stood for something greater than their own. Brings to mind an age old question – what should one be remembered for at his/her last breath? That he/she stood for something or wanted to but never did?

Wherever we stand, hopefully we can try to champion a cause for common good in 2017.

Comment on The awkwardness of moral saints

Hi Stephen, Thanks for sharing this. Really interesting and well written. I also know Jean and did some work with him. I agree very much with your description of him. He is a fabulous teacher, an amazing individual and incredibly principled human being. I think the idea of doing 'small' good deeds, each and every day is possible for most human beings and can help make an important contribution to building a better world.

Comment on The awkwardness of moral saints

Great article, thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

Comment on The awkwardness of moral saints

This sounds like a really fascinating read. All the discussions about Universal Basic Income of late have made me wonder if something enabling like that, which takes away the risk of being completely destitute or that could free up some of people's time from paid labour, might encourage more people make the kinds of altruistic contributions you mention in this review (though not perhaps to such extremes!) and foster communities that are more inclusive. Although we are incredibly wealthy in Australia on the whole, for many it often feels like a real scramble to be doing all the things one is supposed to be doing. Of course being altruistic is a choice and it is about the priorities that people set, but removing some of the 'risk' might make it easier for the average non-superhuman to make those kinds of contributions (which ultimately benefit us all)? Just a random thought.

Comment on Pacific Predictions: what will 2017 hold for the Pacific?

How strange not to mention the RAMSI drawdown in the Solomons. Probably the biggest moment in the Pacific in 2017 after the PNG election.

Comment on The beginning of the end of “free education” in PNG?

Hi John

TFF was a pure political gimmick of PNC led coalition adopted from a current governor's political agenda. You can not say its an investment in education or health when there is no sustainability plan working along side it but only bending to the cash flow ability of the public accounts. We call a policy good investment when it can sustain itself and generate the intended outcome over time, what about one that work on had hoc basis depending on cash flow situation of the country (good or bad), TFF released school opened, TFF not released school closed, is it a viable investment? Educated population is the ultimate option right down the line under this TFF policy, but a viable investment that sustain the TFFpolicy is what the country needs.

Comment on The beginning of the end of “free education” in PNG?

Richard
You are correct in your comment. Not a government minister would really identify what should be free in a school for students and what drug or treatment would be free at the rural aid post for patients. (You ask a current minister and she/he will not give you the answer, simple because they don't understand their own policy). The fallacy of "free education or health services" is the burden faced by tax payers like us the ordinary who becomes the beneficieries anywhere at the end results. The current free education and health care policy lacked transparency and accountability as well as unsustainability in the long run and ita tantamount to political gimmick of the current government.

Comment on The beginning of the end of “free education” in PNG?

Hi Richard, thanks for leaving a comment. Education is not my area so I will leave that to others to respond to. I have to disagree with your comment on the relationship between free health care and the outbreak of disease, though -- there is evidence that suggests that making health care free of charge makes it more likely for people to take up services, especially among those at the lowest end of the socioeconomic spectrum. When it comes to communicable diseases (such as TB), if people are able to access services more easily then they are more likely to get treated quickly, and so the disease is actually less likely to spread. Of course cost is just one factor among many when it comes to access to health care, but it's often an important one.

Comment on The beginning of the end of “free education” in PNG?

PNG Government is spending more on school fees. Most likely they will scrap it off.

Comment on The beginning of the end of “free education” in PNG?

The fallacy with free education and free health care is that those programs are not free - the tax payer is the one burdened with funding this government policy. The government has never felt accountable to the tax payer and therefore does not feel obliged to ensure that these programs are devlivered in the most transparent and cost efficient manner to justify why the tax payer should continue funding those policies.
Furthermore, the government has not clearly identified and developed through investment other sources of revenue in the econony to fund such programs.
Lastly there is one view that free education and free health care have severe consequences on the budget as people become careless about proper family planning and also fail to practise proper personal hygene that the public education system does not have enough classrooms to fit the number of children such that the teacher-student ratio is greatly imbalanced such that the children do not receive the quality supervision and assistance from the teacher and this also contributes to the poor quality of spoken and written english. Free health care causes people to not take personal hygene seriously and this results in outbreak of TB and other preventable diseases which compounds the pressure on the public hospital system where there is accute shortage of drugs and other important but basic medical equipment and facilities.