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Prime Minister James Marape will come under spot light this morning at the business breakfast in Port Moresby.
Retired and experienced Australian Broadcasting Corporation Radio Melbourne talk show host Jon Faine is expected to be upfront with Marape on several critical topics during the breakfast meet.
One of them is democracy and how Marape’s government intends to strengthen institutional democracy and allow democratic values to be fully realised by citizens.
Faine said democracy around the world is fragile and has been seen as being linear generally with few countries like New Zealand and Canada promoting it through strengthening institutional democracy and getting people in government and authority to account.
Faine recently retired after 30 years of broadcasting in Melbourne and he was not new to grilling Victorian and Australian politicians. Prior to broadcasting, Faine who has a Jewish background worked as a lawyer with several law firms in Melbourne.
As a talk show host, he shared his experience: “It means that you are ready for anything, you think on your feet, you have to take whatever comes live to air for three and a half hours a day, five days a week.” “You never know what’s gonna happen tomorrow.”
During his broadcasting work Faine likened the Tony Abbott Government’s review of the ABC and SBS to Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
In a 2015 interview with Liberal prime minister Tony Abbott, Faine criticised Abbott for saying that Australian taxpayers should not have to fund “lifestyle choices” and asked why the prime minister kept “saying stupid things” and suggested Abbott was a bully.
He is known for vigorous debate and for fostering conversation on politics, law, arts and sport.
Faine said during a networking session with the media personnel and civil society organizations on Tuesday that Papua New Guinea is at a very exciting and crucial time with Marape giving that assurance that he would promote democracy, good governance and accountability.
“We are going to test what that commitment actually means (today),” he said.
“What does an anti corruption commission look like.” “When does the whistle blower protection law come in,” Faine said.
He said for today, it would be important to ask Marape what he would do when PNG is at a pivot point between East and West.
He said China is being influential in the Pacific and South East Asia and a re-determined Australia and United States are worried about China’s penetration. “Whatever it is, the joy of my back ground is that years and years of doing it prepares you to deal with whatever comes your way,” Faine said.