A Zoo of Animals for Sale

So while Governor Powes Parkop plans to build his Zoo for Port Moresby one has to wonder how we will find the expertise to manage such exotic creatures as flamingos, zebras and white tigers just to name a few. Another person who also had animal management issues was Noah, but he had some backup with God on his side so that must’ve been how he managed to look after all those creatures great and small on his ark.

Now there’s another type of Zoo in PNG which Sir Mekere has recently discovered called ‘IPBC’ and news on the pumpkin vine is that the Zoo of the Independent Public Business Corporation (IPBC) has sold one-fifth of its shareholding in its ‘green elephant’ called Bank South Pacific (BSP) to the International Finance Corporation at a below market value. The sale of the poor elephant was reported to be at a loss of K12.7 million.

This was revealed by the Opposition Leader Sir Mekere Morauta in Parliament during question time yesterday.
His questions were prepared for the Minister for Public Enterprise (and Park Ranger) Arthur Somare but forwarded to the Deputy Prime Minister Sir Puka Temu since the Minister was absent from the chambers.

Sir Puka said he would advise ‘Park Ranger’ Somare to present a more comprehensive report of the IPBC’s decision on the floor of Parliament. Sir Mekere said as reported to the Port Moresby Stock Exchange, IPBC sold these shares at 63 toea when the current market price was 69 toea and questioned why it was necessary to sell BSP shares in such a hurry at lower than the market price.

“If the Minister wanted to sell BSP [elephant] shares, it could have been sold a year ago when the [animal market] price was at K1.30 – it even hit K1.40 in 2008. Had it been sold before at K1.30, IPBC would have received K275 million, not K133 million – more than double the current deal,” Sir Mekere said.

He told Parliament that the sale by IPBC ‘Zoo’ at lower than ‘animal’ market price had the potential to bring down the ‘animal’ market price, wiping thousands of kina off the value of investments in BSP ‘elephant’ shares held by many small Papua New Guinea ‘animal’ investors.

Sir Mekere said the sale of ‘elephant’ shares just 17 days before BSP’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled for May 21, did not seem to be a good time due to loss of dividend entitlements to IPBC ‘Zoo’, which should be a sizeable amount.

“I hear that IPBC [Zoo] is strapped for cash. Is it broke, like many of the animals in its cage including Telikom, bemobile, Post PNG and Air Niugini.

“And if IPBC [Zoo] is strapped for cash what confidence could anyone have in IPBC’s management capacity and investment knowledge to hold PNG’s 19 per cent share in PNG LNG (Kroton), Oil Search, BSP and in the other animals I just mentioned…this country should be very worried.”

Sir Mekere also asked why IPBC ‘Zoo’ was operating in an office in Brisbane on Level 19 of the Brisbane Club Towers, 241 Adelaide Street and whether it was to get around the labour laws, so foreigners could be employed without work permits.

He asked whether it was for the convenience of the absentee CEO and asked ‘Park Ranger’ Somare to justify the existence of this office and how much it was costing the people of Papua New Guinea – the total cost, rental, running costs and staff.

Now sounds like things might be going bananas at the IPBC ‘Zoo’ so I pray to God to help ‘Park Ranger’ Arthur Somare, like he did Noah, to at least save all the other animals especially that beautiful rhinoceros called ‘Oil Search shares’ which is tied to fixed rate exchangeable bonds in exchange for the US$1.1 billion for our investment in the LNG Project.

But the thing is, if ‘Park Ranger’ Somare really needs some spare cash they could have easily just sold the white Falcon which was bought for K120 million just last year.

See Also: Father and Son asked to explain IPBC Deal

22 thoughts on “A Zoo of Animals for Sale

  1. OMG! The cost of the ‘white falcon’ could go towards procurement of drugs for hospitals or it could go towards the annual maintenance bill for social and economic infrastructure. The cost could have gone to upgrading airstrips in remote areas of PNG to allow for services to reach the people.

    OMG! what a right royal mess!

  2. All we like ‘sheep’ have been led astray. Has Sir Mek just been ‘parroting’ what he has been told and is it just a ‘red herring’? Surely it can’t just be a load of ‘bull’ so has the government been ‘monkeying’ around again with public monies or are they just ‘foxing’ with their public statements? Is there a ‘snake in the grass’ that has got into bed with a ‘Lizard of Oz’? If the powers that be weren’t so ‘slothful’ in following up on these reports, we might actually find someone has been ‘toadying’ up to someone else like a ‘chameleon’ about to catch the proverbial fly? Whose the actual ‘donkey’ this time?

  3. Well it’s no use crying ‘crocodile tears’ when it comes to ‘unbearable’ situation. When those who are prepared to ‘white ant’ their own society and ‘rat’ on those who they were elected to help, it seems like many of those who are now ‘whaling’ should consider who they voted for in the first place.

    So let’s stop ‘horsing’ around and calling a spade a shovel. If some are prepared to keep ‘lion’ to their people, perhaps their own people will give them ‘the bird’ although as they say, ” a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” so maybe the bush does have more influence anyway? Perhaps it’s better we all lie ‘doggo’ and don’t make waves? The whole argument is starting to sound a bit ‘catty’ anyway.


    You started this conversation anyway?

    Manu? Where are you going ……….

    1. LOL thanks for adding on Paul. But seriously Just highlighting how well our IPBC Zoo is being managed. God help us when the LNG money starts flowing.

      So people see and hear what is going on and vote out every single politician that has had a stupid decision attached to their name.

      See it, hear it and act in 2012

  4. Emmanuel,

    You’re absolutely correct about the current PNG political situation. While PNG is not alone is having this problem, it does seem as if there are effective structures available elsewhere that do eventually catch up with those who try to bend the system.

    The essence of how to get a better result is to start planning now for 2012.

    If the house of cards that is the current PNG government does come apart before 2012, who is there that can effectively pick up the pieces and run with them without becoming a simple replacement?

    At least Sir Mek and those four Morobe members had the guts to come out and meet the people and accept their petition. Where were all the other members one is tempted to ask?

  5. Post Courier (7/5/10)

    IPBC shares ‘not yet sold’

    THE Opposition’s attempt to gain mileage out of a proposed sale of shares in Bank South Pacific (BSP) by the Independent Public Business Corporation (IPBC) fell flat when Parliament was told yesterday the deal had not yet been brokered.

    Opposition Leader, Sir Mekere Morauta, was accused of using confidential information to portray negativity over the welcome entry into the economy of the financial arm of the World Bank – the International Finance Corporation.

    However, since Sir Mekere’s divulging of the information during question time on Wednesday, an inevitable announcement had to be made to the Port Moresby Stock Exchange (POMSox) on the intended sale.
    State Enterprises Minister Arthur Somare, when raising a matter of importance on the floor, said due process had not yet taken place and both the BSP and IPBC boards had yet to formally meet to secure the deal. He also expressed concern and said there should be an investigation into how confidential information on a commercial transaction could have landed in Sir Mekere’s hands and be made public in such a manner.
    Mr Somare said he was required as Minister to vet the IPBC board’s decision which would ultimately be submitted to the National Executive Council (NEC) for final approval.

    Sir Mekere questioned why IPBC sold one-fifth of its shares in BSP at 63 toea when the market price was 69 toea and if it was done because the State entity was “strapped” for cash. IPBC will finally have a diluted 18.49 per cent stake in BSP on accomplishing the intended sale from its current 23.49 per cent (1.07 billion shares) equity which is above the 15 per cent threshold.

    “It is not a matter that I as Minister responsible, decide or determine unilaterally, as alleged by the Opposition Leader,” Mr Somare said.
    He said Sir Mekere was well aware of the due process involved but “he has nevertheless chosen to play politics with an issue of strategic national importance.”

  6. “No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?”

    – George Orwell, Animal Farm

  7. Wow Manu…. again, I feel like someone’s punched me in the gut and I’m gasping desperately for air…hurry on up with your TV Show so the rest of our country can see this circus and know who NOT to vote for in 2012.

  8. To his credit, at least the Park Ranger did manage to put in motion a set of actions to rehabilitate and save the rest of the animals from total extinction. But with that said, I think the Park Ranger seems to clown around too much with the Zoo that the owners of the greater jungle in which the Zoo exists should be rightfully nervous about what animals are traded for what, with which other jungles and Zoos, how these trades occur and for what reason.

  9. no who not to vote for is an under statement.
    I have you ever been to a PNG parliamentary session.

    its is the most ridiculous event on the planet.

    step inside and listen and wonder who ever wrote the questions without notice for that day.

    and laugh your insides out when you hear the answers.
    what about when the MP start using words in which they dont know the meanings.
    Mostly idiots and it really is a circus

  10. “Mr Somare said he was required as Minister to vet the IPBC board’s decision which would ultimately be submitted to the National Executive Council (NEC) for final approval.”

    The problem with “The Zoo” apart from sounding like a great title for a movie, is that the ‘Animals’ in the Zoo do not belong to the ‘Park Ranger,’ but to a non – profit organisation other wise known as the people of Papua New Guinea. The non – profit group has entrusted a management team known as IPBC to manage the zoo and the gate fees, so that the non – profit can get some funds for its non – profit activities. In an ideal world, the park ranger would just be a park ranger, the managers would just be managers and report to a trustee who woul report to the Board of the Non-profit group (PNG Govt) who would report to the non-profit group (the people).

    However, its no longer the case since changes to the IPBC act were put into place to allow for the IPIC deal with Oil Search shares. Now the management does not need to report to a trustee or trustees of the zoo, they can make independent decisions. They can report these decisions to the Park Ranger who now has the power not only to sanction these decisions, but also to instruct them on which decisions to make. He does not need to seek the approval of government to sell, kill, or trade any animal the management wishes, should the park ranger feel necessary. Now, the ones affected most by these decisions, are the animals of the zoo and of course members of the non-profit organisation, otherwise known as the people of PNG. Its a bit like George Orwells Animal Farm fable.
    Thank God we have a democratic parliament with an opposistion and people who can leak documents that concern the future of animals that belong to the People of PNG.
    The only way to rectify this absurd situation where one Member of Parliament (who is not even the PM) can decide the future of public assets without the need to consult the Government, is to revisit the changes to the IPBC act and question whether it violates Constitution of Papua New Guinea and the rights of Papua New Guineas in relation to the sale of public assets.

  11. Here’s another quote that seems quite appropriate for the IPBC situation…

    “Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals. He sets them to work, he gives back to them the bare minimum that will prevent them from starving, and the rest he keeps for himself.”
    – George Orwell, Animal Farm, Ch. 1

  12. Of course in Animal Farm after the animals have a revolution and throw out Men, its the pigs that take over and exploit the animal workers, deny them any freedom and take all the wealth for themselves.

    “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others”.

    From Friday’s paper…

    “SOE chiefs, shape up or ship out

    The chief executives officers (CEOs) of Papua New Guinea’s State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) are some of the most highly paid people in the South Pacific region.
    Many of these CEOs earn two to three times more than their counterparts in the region. Some even make more than the CEO of this country, the Prime Minister.
    The average salary of a CEO is believed to be well over half a million kina per year. This is just the basic salary.
    But if other “disguised income” such as entertainment and travel allowances and the unlimited use of credit cards are taken into account, the total income earned by a CEO could easily exceed one million kina per year.
    A case in point is the CEO of a small state-owned company who earns almost a million kina a year despite the fact that its cash-flow is guaranteed under legislations governing its operation.
    This particular person travels overseas regularly on “official business”. I’m sure the taxpayers would be interested to know what sort of business he conducts overseas on these regular trips.
    It is also alleged that during these trips all costs are paid through the company’s credit card although the CEO is paid all travel related allowances in advance. This is a fine example of “double dipping,” a common practice in the public sector.
    The recent revelation by the Opposition Leader, Sir Mekere Morauta, of a senior CEO who literally resides in Australia and conducts the company’s business via remote control is another clear manifestation of the lifestyle enjoyed by the CEOs at the expense of the taxpayers.
    I totally agree with Sir Mekere that there is no economic justification for the establishment of this office in Australia. PNG will not receive any benefits by having such an office in Australia. “

    1. Hi Peter,
      These CEO’s are hand picked family members and long time friends of the Somare’s power structure.

  13. Animal Farm is I think rather unfair on the pigs, who after all can be quite noble and useful animals if managed properly (and tasty :). But you can’t afford to let them run the farm.

    I can’t help thinking of “snouts in troughs” when considering pigs.


  14. ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.’ English philosopher Edmund Burke.

    At each signpost along the road, the PNG people have had an opportunity to divert the wagon of state away from eventual destruction. The current political situation, where a cartel of self seeking and corrupt leaders have usurped the power of government for their own purposes, has not happened overnight. It has been a gradual ‘white anting’ process that has taken over three decades. The food resources in the national garden has been ‘mumuted’ away in front of the people’s eyes. But because this has been a gradual, ‘underground’ process, no one has clearly understood what has been happening.

    Many of those younger PNG people in positions of responsibility today never experienced what pre Independent Papua New Guinea was like. While no human society is free from corruption and criminal activity, the contrast between PNG in the early 1970’s and today is poles apart in many ways. Perhaps this could be why many now appear to have become blasé and complacent about the gradual implosion of their society and nation.

    So is the impending implosion inevitable? What could be done to reverse the current downhill slide? History is full of examples when people have determined enough is enough and decide to mobilise. PNG’s infrastructure is unfortunately in a very poor state to many other countries. However, while communications and transport systems are limited, if enough people decided to become motivated and organised, almost nothing is impossible. Maybe one of the biggest stumbling blocks appears to be a ‘what about me ?’ sentiment rather than thinking about others? Is this due to traditional culture or is it just a self preservation instinct?

    One thing is for sure. Until enough people start thinking about their nation and their children’s future, nothing is going to change. Just ‘whinging’ about what everyone knows is the problem ain’t gonna change it.

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