From The National Editorial
Chief of all ‘longlong’ and ‘sadang’
THE people do rightly demand and they do deserve an apology from Prime Minister Sir Michael Thomas Somare.
He must also retract the public outburst he made in Parliament where he described last week’s demonstrators as “longlongs” and to members of the media as “sadang”.
He, of all people, should never call any member of the PNG public “longlong” or “sadang”.
“Longlong” in Tok Pisin means mentally retarded or depraved while “sadang” means the devil or satan.
In the final analysis, if the people be “longlong” and “sadang”, he, as prime minister of the nation, is the chief of them all.
This demonstration, for all it is worth, cannot be said to have been organised or carried out by “longlongs”.
It was peaceful.
It was people speaking their mind and assembling peacefully to do so in accordance with the constitutional provision which gives them that inherent right.
It is not language that is fitting for a prime minister to level at his own people.
For two score and four years through nine national general elections, the “longlongs” of
That tremendous achievement, for which glory and praise have been lavished upon the man, most assuredly, is the achievement of the people of
The Pangu Pati and its diehard supporters and stalwarts, and now the National Alliance party, its executives and faithful members in Parliament and outside, have done their level best for their leader who Sir Michael is. Theirs too is part of the story of the four decade milestone reached by Sir Michael.
This would hardly be thanks for all the hard work and dedication given by these people to the man we call the Grand Chief.
When Australian immigrations asked Sir Michael to take off his sandals at an Australian airport, the ordinary people of PNG felt the insult deepest. They made no secret of it and spoke up in every public forum. They stood for their Chief, one who would now deign to grant them the title of “longlong”.
It is time the Chief got to know his people better. Unlike what he has told Radio
Classrooms, health centres, roads, bridges, local government council chambers, public service houses and much more are in tremendous need of maintenance and many more new ones need to be built.
Mothers and children continue to die in great numbers from very easily preventable diseases. Crime persists. There is a gun culture that now appears a norm in our society.
We must begin to wonder whatever has happened to the billions of kina generated by our resource boom in copper, silver, gold, oil, forestry, fisheries and our combined agricultural commodities over the years.
Wisely applied, these billions would surely have lifted the general population up from the pits where they now wallow to be described as “longlongs” by their own prime minister.
If the people remain ignorant and pitiful, if they remain unhealthy and uncouth and ill-mannered, and many other undesirable attributes, then much has to do with their minders – the leaders of this country.
He cannot call his own people “longlong” without it reflecting upon his own leadership.