“I discourage you from a few things as your minister, and I’ll be working with you hopefully from the next four or five years. In the line of work, I discourage some PNG habits. I do not chew buai, so I discourage chewing buai – betelnut – at work.
“Issues like PNG time at work; I discourage PNG time and certain PNG customs in the public service workplace like haus krai every day. Let work take precedence, and you visit the dead after working hours,” Mr Marape said.
“Let me remind 150,000 public servants in this country, we consume K150 million every pay. This adds up to a little under K4 billion (K3.8 billion) every year, we consume as public servants.
“Have a look at this: 150,000 out of 8 million people, not even 2 percent of PNG, we are under 1.8 percent. So less than 2 percent Papua New Guineans, including myself, we consume 40 percent of the country’s annual appropriation. If that statistic is not serious enough to awake us up to the reality that we have work to do, from the lowest to the highest, then you are in the wrong place. You must realise that you occupy a privileged position. If you are less than 2 percent, then it’s about time we forfeit the PNG time business and the PNG customs, which derail our country from moving forward.”
He said serious work still remained – 85 percent of PNG was still open for development and still locked in the enclaves of poverty, no education, lack of infrastructure, lack of basic healthcare and communication.
“They are locked in those enclaves, and the onus is on us in various chairs that you occupy in the organisational structure.”