Ngeuil A Cheroll (Pain of Childbirth)

By Santy Asanuma

Men will never be equal with women not until they carry fetuses in their bellies for full term of nine months and sometimes a bit over due to complications. I remember one of the earliest standup comedy shows by Bill Cosby talking to the men in audience how painful is child birth. He told the men to grab their lower lip and pull it up way over to the back of their heads. And to do it quietly please.

It was that joke that I finally realized the kind of pain women go through. I appreciate my mother for my life and my wife for my children. I can never bear their pain nor ever take their place. Let alone be equal in pain.

Today the world seems to be in pain regardless where you are. Greece that is known by those who are educated in most of the modern world as the center of knowledge is falling apart this week. They cannot pay pension, have cut civil service employees pay by 30 percent, and raised consumer taxes. The police refused to work and some joined rioters. The end result is more than twenty thousand youth took to the streets breaking windows on stores, banks, restaurants, putting trash bins on fire, and beat up motorcycle police in central Athens.

The birth place of democracy for all places to resort to violence twice in a week rendering a halt to public transportation, grounded all airline flights, suspended news broadcast, and left public hospitals working with emergency staff. This is chaos (mla mo ra otulaibars sel mla obecherru el dikea el beluu) that is happening to one of the advanced and well developed countries of the world.

The upcoming Mechesil Belau Conference with the theme “Equal Rights and Opportunities for Women” should better address Palau leadership about pain and why we should take heed (omtab) of the things that are happening in our island before we find ourselves in Otulaibars. Greece is debt-ridden (te blals el mo ra tekarkadel) and the EU countries are not so eager to help. Their leaders have been pushing the bucket and justifying exorbitant (ngara cheleabed) government spending and living extravagant lifestyle on foreign borrowed money to fund free health care, subsidized public transport, and other social welfare handouts to people. This sounds too familiar here at home.

The only way out of where we are now, which is still better than Greece, is we all make sacrifices and lower our expectations (ngmai a rengud el meriou). As a senator in the 7th OEK, I did not spend one red penny in traveling abroad nor handed out my committee money or used central fund for political support and favor from the youth and community organizations because I knew then that we were going to have money problem.

8th OEK members (some) must stop concocting illusive dreams (merkos e melolaok el berous) to the people that big investments are coming so that they and the people can continue the level of lifestyle and spending we have been doing for years.

Critics say this is what caused the trouble in Greece and the only real solution is for Greeks to take responsibility for their situation and work harder to pull themselves out of the mess. We have to be prepared before rainy days (chetau) hit us by cutting our expenses. I request the Public Auditor openly in the name of transparency to review every expense by OEK. Walls do have ears and those special accounts are basically using public fund as if it was their personal money. 7th Senate did not have special accounts. This is the kind of extravagance that has put Greece in Otulaibars.

The Mechesil Belau who know the pain of life should convince the leadership of Palau to own up to the pain and take responsibility of our past spending and make amends now or the whole Palau will be in ngeuil a cheroll soon.

2 Comments to “Ngeuil A Cheroll (Pain of Childbirth)”

  1. E tiang diak el teletael el kired el mla mo expect erngii rar obdois el chad ra OEK ra bek el after ra sengkyo? We’ve used the most powerful people’s democratic weapon of initiating and erecting constitutional amendment to regulate OEK member and other leaders’ salaries, but they all have been circumvented.

    I gather the latest supplemental budget for this fiscal year is riddled with backroom dealmaking that contains sweeteners for both the House and the Senate while we cut back on provisions for basic service delivery.

    The statutes that entrust the sacred fiduciary responsibility over public’s money seem to be easily circumvented, so I would believe in expending our efforts towards making them more stringent so that elected officials are contained in their abilities to enrich themselves. By the way, a Prime Minister of Solomon Islands just got a raise of nearly $2,000 to peg his annual salary at nearly $20,000 a year!

    The public outcry can be appreciated but it must be translated into meaningful concrete statutes to address this self-serving journey we have entered in the last 2 to 3 governments (both OEK and Executive terms). It is now a proven fact that however intense our call for prudent management of public money, we are seeing results. We must take matters into our own hands as the owner of public resources and initiate a referendum to regulate elected national leaders’ salaries. Once we settle that, we can see a meaningful dialogue with leaders who are eager to entertain key priority issues for Belau’s development to benefit its people.

  2. Correction: last paragraph, I meant to say…”we are seeing NO results.”

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