By Milton Ragaruma - the Island Sun
DEAR EDITOR, as a student and a concerned citizen of the Solomon Islands, I urge all government sectors and citizens to stop practising wantok system in the country.
This is due to the fact that wantok system produces corruption; and does not promote the standard of living in the country.
We should have already reached a higher standard of living with all the useful resources we have at hand, unfortunately, wantok system has corrupted our development system.
First, the hindrance of having positive economic growth in which funds are misused by the responsible authority and the ignorance of the country’s need like instead of promoting tourism or proper management of cleaning up the town (Honiara), the fund is misused for different purpose/personal gain.
Second, wantok system is a recipe for poor economic growth.
Job opportunities and selection of employees nowadays does not based on merit but it depends on who you know; if you have a good connection or know someone working in the system you will have more privilege of getting the Job.
Third, wantok system increases political interference with admin process.
A good example is during selection of scholarship awards; politicians are always involved.
We all know that the education authority can handle this issue and it is their responsibility to do the selection; so why do politicians always get involved?
Finally, wantok system fuels systematic corruption in terms of individuals using their power to give contracts to their relatives/wantok.
Instead of giving the road contract to a civil engineer that has qualifications on that field; they gave it to a Human Resource manager or a farmer.
Now, in light of this national concern, I believe that implementation of the Anti-corruption bill is a way that can help reduce this issue.
The country should create a convention that is not bias and is applied to everyone with penalty; so that anyone who practice wantok system should be penalised definitely.
Also, building a monitor mechanism such as a government division in a form of the key performance indicators that can monitor it with proper implementation strategies will make it effective in the country.
I call out to all citizens to work together to get rid of wantok system and corruption.
The standard of living in our country depends on the choices we make today.
If we want an advanced standard of living in the future then we should stop the practice of wantok system or else we are left to only hope for the better in the future.
Note from West Papua
We are now right here right now as the direct result of Wantok System that our ancestors applied in their daily lives. Everything in this life has both pros and cons, positives and negatives. Noting, again no single thing in this life is perfect.
We only perfect our lives at the time we die. To be alive means to be in between both left and right, right and wrong, good and bad. Then only task we have is to see everything from both angels, and treat both equally, to take out the essence of the dynamic. Positivism on ideologies never helped anyone, they thought and they hoped it did, but in fact they failed.
Our Melanesian Wantok System and beliefs is God-given wisdom. We need to nurture and cultivate, and share it to the world, for the sake of our disappearing small islands countries in South Pacific, to help us join together as one race, one home of origin: New Guinea Island.