Keng keng

By Gaafar U. Uherbelau —-

One step forward, two steps back. This is exactly how I see things beginning to look in our nation. Whenever it seems that we’re making progress, climbing up a level, somehow we trip and fall back down and sometimes we even land farther than we were when we started climbing. And the irony of it all is that we are the ones tripping ourselves.

I’ve mentioned before about the need for a plan, the need to evaluate or assess and the need to find more permanent solutions. And just when it seems like all of these things are finally being accomplished, and it looks as if we’re headed in the right direction, someone somewhere all of a sudden changes things only because they just felt like it.

Again, are we a nation run by feelings and politics or do we actually have sound judgment, consensus and divine guidance through all that we do? Why do we have business fronts? Why do people get hired because of their relations and friendship rather than qualification and experience? Why do we implement efforts based on assumptions rather than evidence? Why do we always cry over spilt milk instead of looking for ways to grow and sustain our economy? And I’ll repeat this again: Why do we make laws and pretend to abide by them instead of honoring them and being proud that we even have them to protect us?

I’ve read the words “double standards” numerous times on facebook threads, in the local newspapers and other mediums where Palauans have expressed their dismay at how people are treated unequally -whether it’s receiving government services or as clients in private companies.  And on the flip side, there are employees in different government agencies who simply want to quit because they feel that their grievances are not effectively and professionally handled.

Believe it or not but there are so many violations of ethical standards and inalienable rights, yet we apply the “becherei e ke de chad er Belau” attitude, which only defeats the purpose of why we have these codes and standards in the first place. I keep hearing things like, “ng meral di Belau a de ngar ngii eng sebeched el …” And this statement usually ends with an action that is either illegal or even unethical in developed countries. And yet we claim democracy?

I think if we so desire to exist as a democratic society and as a constitutional republic, we need to first face our truths. We need to accept our weaknesses and improve on our strengths. We need to build on each other rather than stepping on one another. Mostly, we may not see eye to eye on everything as individuals, but we should at least strive for progress as a nation. There will be times when we will need to take a step to the side but we need to always make sure that we never take a step backwards. Keng keng.

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