I have been forced to remove a comment on this thread below. Whether we agree or disagree on a particular issue let us try to keep it civil and debate issues on their own merits rather than resort to personal attack.
Senator Santy Asanuma has filed a resolution calling for a Senate Investigating Committee to check if the Office of Division of Labor is enforcing its rules and regulations and the laws of the Republic.
In his speech before the Senate during the October 26, 25 regular session, Asanuma raised concern on the number of foreigners working in Palau who are mostly restaurant and karaoke waitresses. Asanuma said there is a need to check on the enforcement of the law on foreign workers, it only to find out why the country's economy is not picking up.
"We also need to look into the enforcement of our laws. It there are only waitresses and are able to earn $10,000 within six months, they are better paid than the secretaries in government offices and we probably need an investigating arm to find out what other activities they are doing in Palau and why the money keeps seeping out of Palau's economy very fast," Asanuma said.
He added if $10,000 is earned in Palau. it should be able to circulate many times and if foreign workers claimed that it's someone else money so it comes and goes out of Palau, then it has to be addressed in terms of legislations in the congress and the Office of the President. "We also need to assess the fact tha maybe it's the lack of guidelines. that's why we try our hardest to generate revenue, but it keeps seeping out," Asanuma said.
Senator Asanuma has introduced a bill seeking to requires "non-citizen and a corporation not fully owned by citizens of Palau a fee of $500.00 for the registration of any motor vehicle." For drivers license under the proposal Palauans and non-citizen of Palauwhi is legally married to a local will pay the fee of $25.00 while all other non-citizens will pay a fee of $100.00. Asanuma in his proposal, claimed that by raising the prices for a non-citizen to register a vehicle and obtain a license will help reduce the number of vehicles driven on the roads and will also help reduce polution.
Scolding and questioning of a congressman by Education Director Emery Wenty in a phone conversation, has led to the drafting of an OEK resolution to demand his resignation...Toribiong who chairs the HOD Education Committee in his letter to MOE Minister Mario Katosang stated that due to atrocious behavior and mounting complaints by parents and constituents and concerns by other public and school officials about education, he is drafting a resolution calling for Wenty's resignation.
I guess the sentiment in Toribiong's letter is mutual as far as the public is concern.
From "What They Say" column Palau Horizon (Nov. 18 - 21)
David Cohen, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Department of Interior, told a reporter from this newspaper that the "landslides of the Compact Road do not pose significant hazards" and the U.S Gov would work with Palau "to train people to clear up landslides". This sounds like something we've heard before, which was supposedly made by a witty housbuilder; "Instead of plugging the holes on the roof, we will teach the people living in the house how to mop the floor dry and clean after the rains."
According to an IMF senior economist on island consultaion said Palau's economy is doing well with an estimated economic growth of five percent. Adding that the country saw it's economy rebound in the last two years and is projected to grow at the same level of five percent clip for the next two years.
The IMF Asia and Pacific Department senior economist Wafa Fahmi Abdelati, said the construction boom funded by assistance from foreign donors and stronger tourists reciepts have contibuted good performance of the economy. She mentioned the improvement of the fiscal performance of the government attributing it tio an efficient government spending. However, she noted that Palau's banking system condition is not known due to the absence of regulation and oversight. She further added, "long term economic prospects are less certain and depend on hte future level of the grant assistance and future direction of economic policy, managing sustainable private sector development an oversight".
Koror State voters overwhelmingly rejected the HOTL veto power on any enactment of law with 1,442 approving and 1,096 against. Ibedul and Ngiraikelau and the Ngarameketii, Rubekul Keldeu have basically been removed from any future deliberations of law with in the democratic system of Koror State government.
I thought this discussion currently in Open Thread VI is important to have its own post not because of the PMAir issue but because of the high level of discourse being generated. Once again, let's welcome Senator Asanuma. (full disclosure: The author of this site voted for Asanuma in '96 and in last year's election).
Alii Ngarabras and Joe,
PMAir is a private company which I do not have interest holdings on. However, the part of public funds being invested in it is true. Before the Senate re-organization when I chaired the Ways and Means Committee, I did make some informal inquiries but then I was assigned to chair Committee on Education and Culture which is a handful.
Before I became a Senator, I publicly protested against Social Security investing in the airline industry for obvious reasons . At that time terrorism was exploding all around the world and basically maimed air travel to a standstill leading to a near dead of the world oldest airline, SwissAir. Let alone, investing in a one plane airline company was far fetched. I also was the only member present during Imeliik leadership meeting to protest against investing $10K of our meager state funds to what I thought was an overly ambitious venture then. As a contributor to SS fund and not necessarily a Senator, I am still awaiting for explanations on the status of our public funds that went into PMAir. Believe me you are not the only ones waiting for explanations.
When I said specifics, I was hoping to get feedbacks on proposed bills and current laws. It will help me, especially in making policies. If you have suggestions for new ideas or to revisit existing laws, let me know. (Bold emphasis mine - Omdui)
Let's mantain the high level and civil exchange that Joe, Ngarabras, Rubakramedorm, and everyone had established in Open Thread VI.