Islanders fed up with 'empty promises'

A ward councilor in one of Madang Province’s remote island communities is warning all intending candidates to refrain from making ‘empty promises’ to his people during election campaigns.

Local level government ward councilor, Mathias Korima, claims the people from Long Island have been conned by intending candidates in the past. He does not want history to repeat itself.

Long Island, which falls under ward 32 in Saidor LLG of Rai Coast district, is a very isolated island that shares common borders with the Tewae-Siassi electorate in Morobe.

Korima said both the Madang regional and Rai Coast Open intending candidates should instead, share with the people their experiences and achievements.

“Our Madang Provincial Government had done nothing to help my people over the years, they only provide lip service using my remote people,” Korima said during a press conference last Wednesday.

“There is no mobile telecommunication on the island, medical supplies are scarce and teachers do not want to go teach there because it is very isolated and services are lacking,” Korima stated.

It is starting to become a custom for intending candidates to travel to the island with promises of building a ring road around Long Island, building a new airstrip and install telecommunication network for the people, and many more. However, to this date, these promises have never been fulfilled.

“My people are only used by candidates to gain numbers, but help never goes to the island since after PNG’s political independence,” Korima claimed.

Although the election campaign period has not officially started, Korima warns intending candidates against bringing their empty promises to Long Island.

The people’s only access to basic services comes from their sale of copra and betelnut.

(A recent awareness at Matapun village on Long Island)

James Kila