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Another proposed measure has been introduced disallowing non-citizens
this time from driving tour boats, tour buses or taxis and from being
employed as dive guide, tour guide or airport greeter. Here.
May 13, 2009 | Permalink
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Don't you think that's gone a little too far? I mean, that's pretty discriminatory and racist. In other words, foreigners will be exempt from this law if at any time they cannot find a Palauan for the job... am I reading it right?
And if the businesses cannot find a local, then how will they handle it if most businesses can't find a Palauan? Or what if being a tour guide means they must learn Mandarin, Japanese, etc and then how will the government deal with developing classes for Palauans who are interested in the jobs? How are they able to find foreigners willing to teach them the languages? How will the foreigners react to that law? Many questions and I'm sure these things were in the Senates' minds as well...
Ng kora soak el mo medengei el kmo, ngera moktek er a rechad er a Senate el kirel tial llach? Choi, ng kmal beteknga rechad er a ngodech el beluu el ngara beluad ma dirrek el soad a beluu el kid el chad er Belau a omtebechel a urerel, omengetmeklel, ma omelkingel. Eng di tia kora kmal oberaod el llach sel kumes er ngii.
Ma tara uldesuek a kmo, mal sekum ea rechad er a ngodech el beluu el ngara ikrel Belau a mo medengelii tial llach, malechub eng kuk merredelir, e tial llach eng kmu ngerang el kirel aikel de dul kmo, diplomatic ties? Kid e tial dirke mlo merek el omes a tekinger a rechad el kirel a Morocco ma Belau, e elechang ea beluad a mla mo ultuil ra kmal di rasech el Belau.
Ng mal diak kumtok, eng di tia kora di uldesuek.
You are very tired,
May 14, 2009 at 12:13 AM
This is just flat-out discriminatory!! I understand that Palauans' are trying to protect our cultural heritage and customs but what is the rationale behind this proposed measure? When the hell are the Palauan people going to overcome racial barriers and bigotry? I think its pretty ironic that its so easy for the Palauan government to ask for financial assistance from foreign governments yet we prevent non-palauan citizens (most likely citizens from countries our government asks money from) from obtaining/holding such jobs. If the non-citizens don't do it, then who will? We all know that some Palauans' think their too good for these type of jobs.
My plea to the current administration and the OEK is, we need to surpass ethnocentrism and bigotry. Stop thinking that Palauans' are better than any other racial group because we aren't! Please re-evaluate the rationale/logic for this measure because I don't see any other explanation for this other than the obvious, discrimination. What kind of message is the government trying to send to the future generations and what kind of image are they trying to portray to the rest of the world.
Does anybody on here other than myself believe in equality? Institute affirmative action!! Here I thought we were a democratic society!
May 14, 2009 at 12:55 AM
Yes I love this measure. We need to protect ourselves from ourselves. "Build it and they will come" or rather reform it and Palau will be better for all palauans. We are on the road to less money in the form of remittances leaking out of palau. Next deport all the Banglas in Palau.
KungFu Panda |
May 14, 2009 at 02:29 AM
What's the reasoning behind this bill? I thought our government was derived from a democratic point of view. Even the communist government like China has Indian citizens driving taxis and buses with permits (pay the gov to get a permit) even though they have millions of its citizens. Is this a desperate measure to give job opportunities to locals? I hope not coz right now it doesn't make any sense at all.
May 14, 2009 at 04:20 AM
Maybe some of you just read this blog and have no exposure to the world at large. Japan is expatriating many foreigners out so that they can take care of their own. By the way, US is doing the same under different measures. Employment conditions do not fall under inalieanable rights. As a country we can make this conditions as we please. Go to Singapore and demand your right to buy and own a car and see what they will tell you. Take a taxi. This is to secure employment opportunity to their people. But if you want to buy a condo there is not limit.
If you do not know what the bill stands for don't complain and contact your representatives in OEK get information and/or lobby one way or another. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and you can get the address of particular senators or delegates if you want. Maybe your time and effort can be best utilized to improving legislations for our country. Just a food for thought.
May 14, 2009 at 06:29 AM
Well said, Santy!
May 14, 2009 at 07:34 AM
It's about time our government starts thinking about their own people. Our people are leaving the island to look for jobs elsewhere because the
few opportunities in our island have been given to outsiders. For a long long time I always thought that this could not be reversed because most of the OEK members had businesses and that they want to save money by hiring outsiders because they are cheap. I am begining to see hope for our country. At the moment I am satisfied with this new Congress.
Good Job OEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
May 14, 2009 at 08:13 AM
Bigotry and racist, hmmm... The constituition also bans foreigners from holding an elective office, discriminatory, racist, etc, etc,? I wonder?
Mekomsesei, Olekyang, et. al. what are your take on the constitution then?
Santy, thank you.
May 14, 2009 at 08:20 AM
Seriously this bill and the minimum wage bill are two of the bills that have been lingering and regurgitated almost every year/congressional sessions for I can remember. These bills at first glance sounds good and patriotic but I found that they can be circumspected unless they are made to include part time workers. From my tour business point of view I can always hire a foreign boat driver, tour guide, etc, as part time worker. This way I can always claim that they are not full time and do not fall under the aforementioned law.
I have yet to read this new bill though so I could be wrong.
May 14, 2009 at 08:34 AM
Thank you for that insight. It really helps with
our views and the OEK's intentions with this bill.
May 14, 2009 at 08:47 AM
I agree with you Santy but something tells me this measure is still discriminatory. OEK should come up with something else to enforce fairness and anti-discriminatory employment practices in the private sector. Why not limiting all Belau national/state govt. employees and all presidential oppointees to Belau citizens to begin with? I commend you and PPR for employing mostly locals but I think it all depends on the employer himself.
May 14, 2009 at 09:01 AM
Which Singapore did you go to and in which year? 1800? Brother, there is no restriction on foreigners buying and registering cars in the foreigners name. Japan is not sending foreigners away, Foreigners are leaving because companies are folding and retrenching due to vad economy... In the middle east foreigners hit by the bad economy are driving in droves to the airport and leaving their rolls royce, bentley and mercedes benz that they own an drive around with no restriction because they have no jobs... No logic from your load of bulls#%t you spin in here?i say hire foreigners all the way coz us Palauans can then go on chewing beetlenut and when something bad happens we can blame these foreigners ha ha ha
May 14, 2009 at 09:04 AM
Good Job OEK!!
CHad er Belau |
May 14, 2009 at 09:06 AM
Like i said, I'm not arguing and criticizing the gov't. I was wondering what was the reasoning behind the passage of the bill. The way I see it from my angle we are 3x smaller than Japan and Singapore let alone the U.S. Already we have criteria in our constitution that limits people from being Palauan citizens unless you have Palauan blood and the adoption bill just came out in foreign children not allowing them citizenship. And now this bill has just been passed.
To obtain citizenship from any of these countries, you can reside in the country for a period of time to their liking, marry a citizen, etc. So despite where you come from, we all have a chance to earn that right. Even Independent Samoa has looser reins. These countries gain many citizens so of course I understand why they will go out of their way to provide more for their own people. That does not seem discriminatory to me. With Palau however, it is like we've become tighter with our reins. And now, it doesn't matter if you're a citizen to get the job. It is your ethnicity that gives priority.
Is there anyone that can educate me in the structure of these jobs mentioned in how employers hired their workers in the first place? The jobs must have always been available for Palauans even without the passage of the bill, so in what ways will this bill make a difference?
I'm sorry if I offend anyone with my thoughts but I just want to say that I am a Palauan and I am very proud to be one, grew up there and maybe because I have been living in different countries (U.S. included)that I have become a bit too idealistic for my own good. Santy, maybe I need to stay in Palau for good and then I won't be so 'worldly' in my view :)
I am all for the preservation and understanding of Palauan culture, heritage, klebelau, klechibelau, omenguul ma omelengemes. But I would have another approach to it. On another note, I saw the passing of the bill for the Palauan language board and I must say I am very happy about that.
No name calling, no insulting remarks. Just my own thoughts in it. Hope it does not upset any one. God bless you! Very tired,
May 14, 2009 at 09:17 AM
Indeed, our Constiution does bar non-citizens from holding public office, because what sense does it make to have a foreigner hold a public office if he or she does not share the same values as their constituents? So barring a foreigner from being in public office does makes sense. I just don't understand the logic behind this measure? Why would the government ban a non-citizen from holding a regular job such as being a tour guide, bus driver or boat operator?
Btw Santy, I'm not trying to stir controversy on here, I'm simply just a concerned citizen who happens to believe in fairness and equality. Thanks again for your hard work, the good deeds you brought forth, and the numerous bills you introduced or co-authored during your tenure at OEK. You were indeed one of the good few.
May 14, 2009 at 09:35 AM
On a more serious note, montel you got it... Well said!
May 14, 2009 at 09:35 AM
Belau a mo era rechad era Belau. Tia kmal ungil lach. Mo Klou a techal el mo era rechad era Belau e direk el rulii meng mo diak di de hire ra rechad ra ngodech el beluu.
Kemiu el ngara cheroid a kuk olab a uldasue ra ngodech el beluu lak blam molab el leko kom lolsisechakl er kemam leng diak ki mousbech. Tiang a Belau er kemam ma ki moruul a lach el mo ungil er kemam e kmal diak el mekngit. Te ngera mo mengeroched e choumondai ng kmal diak el chad era Belau el kiei era Belau!!!
Nga kmal di kemiu el leko kom mla mo Westernized a ngodech a uldesuii, mak mkmul kmo di molab eng kmal diak ki mousbech!!
If you cant read Palauan than stay out of our Business!!!
CHad er Belau |
May 14, 2009 at 09:43 AM
more laws for foreigners only:
1. no more shopping in palauan owned stores
2. only speak palauan or english
3. no more walking to church on sundays
4. no more using flush toilets. out-house for non palauans only due to overflowing sewers.
5. foreigners must stop using electricity @ 5pm.
6 telephones and internet usage is to be limited to 2 hrs. a day per non- palauan houshold.
more laws to come later so be on the look-out all you non-palauans. you don't want to be caught breaking one of them as the fines may be too hefty.
May 14, 2009 at 10:16 AM
A chad er a er a Belau el lomekall a chert a medengelii a debel Belau meng safe rar okiaksang ma rechad el ngara daob. Tia el Belau a beluad so it's only appropriate a chad er a Belau el longed er a re okiaksang sel lekerd. Dirrek el ungil el chad er a Belau a tour guide louchais a chisel ma osengel a beluad. These jobs mentioned a ureor el chad er a Belau a ungil loureor er ngii leng medengelii a chesel Belau ma siukang er kid a rechad er a Belau. Let's look at it this way: Whoever is hired to do these jobs represents you and I as Belauans. Would you rather have a chad er Belau el represent er kau or chad er a ngodech el Beluu.
Just looking at this bill at a different angle.
May 14, 2009 at 11:49 AM
Kom smongang el di chad er belau el tour guide, omekal a bus, taxi, ma ert. Kemiu komedakt ra chad ra ngodech el beluu el meruul aikal lureor. Adang, cheap labor obekikel er ngii. Diak ksal medengelii a kmal luchul tial llach sel ngarngii a tekoi el kmo kemiu el chad er belau lolab aikal lureor e kmal meterekakl sel domechesiu er kemiu el mora tir kal tekereuau el chad ra ngodech el beluu. Dio sengiu ma biliu e kede melatk el kmo kau ke semerear el tial lureor ng diak.
Ak di melatk er kemiu kmo, tial llach a mlor ngii leng bleketakel el kmo, diak el sebechemiu el sumcheklii aikal lureor el mor sel kot er bad el dauch, el ngii a rulii a SATIFACTION SERVICE er mora okieak ma employer.
Kemam el chad ra beluu a kot el medengelkemiu. Komelim a rrom e mekesai a cheliue, e diak molai a first hand service skills. No wonder you Palauan employer lobby for this type of law instead of guiding you to meet the standards.
Kede mesaod er ngii leng kemiu el diak mommerang el kmo, tial beluu a beluad e ngercheled el meruul rrengii, ng diak llach el torbengii a chad ra tara beluu. Teletelem ma lungulem a sumchelii a ngii dil chad ra ngodech el beluu el momedengei el kmo, tia a belurir chad er ngii.
Di mekngit a rengud leng diak ra teleteled ra bekel sils el lomerang er kid, kede melemolm el kmo a llach a mo somcheklii.
May 14, 2009 at 11:49 AM
Seikid e Husky, ng kmal soak tial cheledechedecham. A uchei ra le blol llach tial bill eng dimlak a klekakerous er a chad el mo oureor el tour guide, omekall a taxi, etc., a le blel chad er Belau malechub eng chad ra ikrel Belau.
A Senate te omdasu el uase, chelechang el bla bol tekoi tial llach, eng locha meral ngarngii ale ngeseuir ra rechad er Belau? That's what I want to know.
What will they learn from it and what will be the advantages of implementing this law? You also mentioned an important point that I think is valuable, is this going to guide the Palauans?
Tia beluad el Belau, meng soak sel ngarngii a ureor el merruul el mora rechad er ngii. But there are many approaches and I think before you implement a law that is around this kind of area how will it help us as Palauans? You gave us the priority now, so how are we to understand it, take it, and be guided by it? Or will more Palauans still seek overseas work, greener pastures, and what not? Another Iowa or what? :)
Just a thought....
May 14, 2009 at 01:33 PM
Ka mesa sel rrechorch el rreng. Tia kmal klou a lebol ngesuir ra beluad. Ng rulii meng mo sebechel aikal tour agencies el invest el kirel ar ngelekel Belau el mo tour guides, boat operators, ma bus drivers. Ng dirrek el mo sebeched el mo require ra rebeches el chad el sorir mo chad ra taxi el mo require el nguu a Hospitality Service course ra PCC ruchei ra bo lomekall a taxi. Sei ea rengelekel a beluu a mo sebechir el mo professionals ra urerir. Ea lesiseb a udoud e tenguu el oitii ra belurir e diak el send er ngii el mor Oles ma lechub eng ker.
Tia di telekib el example, e ngak a sebechek el meskemiu a kmal betok e luchul e ngungil el mo ra beluu ma rengelekel. Ng diak di lemerechorch a rengud me dolai ra cheap labor e dolechib a medad ra rengeleked, e dolebosech er tir el kmo tirka mekngit, tirak, etelaol, tirka mekerang. Yeng elikeia! Tirka ngeleked!!! Me mosiik a eldechulel e bo lungil. Le bo lungil eng mo ungil ra beluu ma rebek el chad.
Kom kmal Mesulang e ngak a keltmokl el mengiil er ngikei el dirk omdasu el kmo tia mekngit. E keltmokl el debate lobengkel el mo ra ulebengelel.
May 14, 2009 at 02:50 PM
Kemam el kiei er cheroid akmal meringel er kemam a omes er tiang el lungil llach. Even in the work place,one cannot even make a slur remarks towards any ethnics groups.. therefore, it is hard to accept this bill and not feeling awful toward those who are affected by it. I'm still not sure what to think of it at this time.. it does sound discriminatory than anything else.
May 14, 2009 at 03:04 PM
Tial llach e Rose a diak a slur remarks el kirir a rechad rang re ngodech el beluu ra elsel. Ng di kmo aikakid e lureor a di mo rechad er belau a orreked. Ng diak a ngodech er ngii me se ra dirkak lemengai a compact. Ng mle soak el mo soldau e te kmu er ngak el kmo ng diak el sebebechem le kechad er Belau. Meng di mlo ior er kid ma Merikel el remuul a lechud e elechal taem e kedoltirakl e lokiu a ikel llach.
Ma kumdasu ea lsekum ng dirkak bom U.S citizen eng dirk ngarngii a beluu el sebechir a U.S citizen el mo soiseb er ngii e kau a diak. Aika di mo ior ra lechud kid ma bebil ra beluu. Sel bor Oles eng kirem loltirakl a llecherir. Me tiang a diak el discriminatory. Ng kirel a brotection el mo ra beluu ma rengelekel lokiu a llach. A Merikel meng dirrek e luleba diosisiu e luldasu el kirel a brotection er ngii el mo ra rengelekel. Mal sekum a Merikel a etil renew ra ulebengelel a Compact er kid. Omomdasu e tilechal luldesuem ngobult el mo melutk ra Merikel?
May 14, 2009 at 03:31 PM
Kemesulang e Mosi, let me sleep on what you just said. You do make sense and that's why we are here to voice our opinions to clear some misunderstanding..
May 14, 2009 at 03:52 PM
Ng uaisei e Mosi, you have bought up good points as well. Thank you for the good critique! Ng mal soak sel de chadecheduch el duubech aikal uldasu. It makes us think critically and that's what makes it valuable to take in.
I will also have to think about it throughly, leng diak el ngerang, I think there could be other ways to achieve what you have said. Thanks again for the insight everyone.
May 14, 2009 at 04:20 PM
There is a difference between discrimination and protectionism. Our people need to have job security; yes they need training and upping their skills but some of these guys, the tour operators and the boat drivers, they rarely see any clients because of the influx of Taiwanese/Korean/Japanese owned companies that utilize their own people and don't provide opportunities for Palauans.
I think this bill does not intend to be a "racist" bill nor does it say, go forth and hate foreigners nor is it instilling some sort of xenophobia. It is meant to control a situation that has gotten uncontrollable, and our people are being left with no jobs.
The bill may also be a measure to compensate for the lifting of restrictions or "opening up" of Palau to foreign investment.
Rose, there are so many issues here at home that some of my relatives and friends feel they no longer have control over. One of these issues is access to jobs in the private sector. DISPLACEMENT is a lot more ugly than what you perceive to be racism.
May 14, 2009 at 04:35 PM
I am an American living in Palau, so I hope you'll forgive me for intruding here. But I would like to add a different perspective to this Top.
I am greatly disappointed in these recent anti-foreigner bills. I don't see how they are in the spirit of the Compact of free association, and I don't understand why the American's in Palau are not given the same rights as Palauans in the U.S.
When Santy talked about the anti-foregin workers legislation, and he said the "US is doing the same under different measures", he is only partly right. What he isn't telling you is that, because of our "special relationship," none of those U.S. laws apply to Palauans. The U.S. has given Palauans a special status in the U.S. - above what the citizens of other countries have. So the U.S. could not, and would not, do to the Palauans what the Palauans are doing to the Americans. I would like Santy to explain to his American friends (and the compact review committee) why Palauans should be treated special in the U.S., but the favor shouldn't be returned for the American's living here.
This is your country, and you certianly have the right to pass laws you think are in your best interst. But what are we Americans to think of our "special relationship" when you tell us we have to pay extra for our car registration? (To repair the very roads we built) When you tell us we can't take our kids fishing by ourselves? When we can no longer be dive guides? Why should we not be insulted by all of this?
This year is the compact review year. Your legislature has picked an unusually poor time to turn xenaphobic.
American in Palau |
May 14, 2009 at 05:39 PM
What Palauans are given in the U.S. are not rights but a priviledge to enjoy certain rights (work, entry to U.S. without visa requirements etc, etc,)provided on by the compact of free asscociation and you are partly right. In return Palau gave you (U.S. Government the right of DENIAL) the right to any land in palau when you deem it necessary for fifty years for military purposes. In other words, we did not get the compact money with giving up anything.
May 14, 2009 at 05:53 PM
So this talk of a "special relationship" is only for when the compact review committee is in town?
Now, as the compact money ends this year, and the U.S. has the rights to the waters until 2044, why should the U.S. extend the compact? If there is no "special relationship", then I guess we should walk away from the table, right? You got what you paid for, and now our part is over.
American in Palau |
May 14, 2009 at 06:59 PM
American in Palau,
Thank you for shedding some light on the situation and how it is being viewed from the outside.
Hope the "outside" perspective gives us Palauans a more realistic picture of what we are facing if we continue to send the wrong message or mixed messages to the U.S.. We are asking them for more money and continued eligibility for fed programs/grants.
reasonable request |
May 14, 2009 at 08:09 PM
Let me ask you this American in Palau,
You and I know that U.S have "Special Relationship" with many countries in the world. You know very well that there a lot of things that U.S don't agree with them, but through these Relationship we are able to co-exist together. I really don't think U.S would really stoop that low to strip Palau just for a Taxi driver or a Bus Driver. So don't be using U.S as your leverage on this issue. You probably have stocks and you want to keep the cheap labor for your personal interest....
May 14, 2009 at 08:34 PM
Palau as a sovereign country passes its laws to protect the interest and the well fare of its citizens. Therefore, the laws being passed or bills being considered are for the best interest of all Belauan citizens. The United States is one of the highly regulated countries in the world. I can not own a gun as Palauan citizen living in the U.S. I am required to get a fishing permit before I can go fishing and only allowed to catch certain sizes and number of fish per day. At least in Palau, you are not being charged a fee to go fishing with your Palauan friends. Let me give you another example, CNMI over the years employed over thirty thousand foreign workers, mostly Chinese and Philippinos. These guys ate every living thing in the CNMI lagoons, including seaweeds. Let me tell you, it was not a beautiful sight. It did not take long before CNMI government stated regulating their waters. So yes, our leaders learn from the others’ mistakes make laws to protect what’s ours for generations to come.
In terms of foreign workers, U.S. Labor and Immigration would not allow any citizens of the Philippines, Bangladesh, Pakistan or any other countries to work in the U.S. unless they have acquired their HI Visa. The H1 Visa only allows foreign workers to work in certain positions that the US doesn’t have readily available local labor pool to fill the positions, i.e. nursing, Physicians, and etc. So what’s wrong with us protecting certain positions for our indigenous citizens? I can see a discrimination issue if a foreigner has earned his Palauan citizenship and being denied the opportunity to hold any of these positions. As long as they are not Palauan citizens, then we reserve the right to protect these positions for our people.
“ So this talk of a "special relationship" is only for when the compact review committee is in town?” The “special relationship” through compact does not give you a right to our entitlements; just as it doesn’t give me a right, as Palau citizen, to receive food stamps and welfare in the US. What it gives you is the right for the US to use our waters and portion of land for military use.
In response to your question of why should the U.S. extend the compact? Do you really think that US cares about our waters and a lousy piece of land for military use? We both know that this not the true intent of why the US entered into Compact agreement. The US entered into Compact agreement to spread its western ideals in the pacific; a stepping stone to East Asia. The amount of money that the US government is giving Palau under the Compact is one hundred times smaller than what the US has spent in other countries promoting its idealism without asking for something in return. So to answer your question, I have not doubt that US government will extend the compact as long as it continue to have its mission of spreading democracy through out the world.
May 14, 2009 at 10:04 PM
Because these laws don't effect you, you may not have paid close attention to the details. But for those of us that will be subject to them, Palau is beginning to seem hostile to foreigners, including Americans. This is about more than just a taxi or bus driver.
Do you really think Dr. Dever shouldn't be allowed to go fishing in his own boat unless he can find a Palauan escort? Really? Or that some of our American dive guide friends who have been here for over a decade, building the dive industry in Palau, do you think they should be forced out of job? And the new registration fees for boats and cars, they are hostile. Mean spirited. Where will this end? Really, it's as though the new legislature is trying to create enemies for no reason.
I have heard Bezner talk about this. I have heard other Americans talk about this. You will not be able to pass hostile legislation on one day, and go to the review committee the next day and pretend to be friends of Americans.
It's time for the compact review, and your legislature is destroying the only thing your side has to offer - good will.
American in Palau |
May 14, 2009 at 10:25 PM
I agree with American in Palau.
Also, I'm very sorry to tell Palauans that you are not going to embarass the U.S. into doing anything for Palau. They won't be doing out of the goodness of their heart. You just have tp look at their history.
In fact, you've adopted the western ways fairly quickly in that it is a very western thing to do things without shame or regard for how it affects others--just how it benefits yourselves.
If you don't think the U.S. would stoop that low and drastically cut funding, you are very sadly mistaken. U.S. is cutting back spending even to its insular areas. They are actively looking for a reason to spend even less for Palau and the rest of the Micronesia region. Actually, they don't need a very good reason or any excuse to do that, but it sure helps when you're publicly giving them a reason to do so.
As for the U.S. goals of spreading democracy around the world, last I heard they were encouraging that in places that actually have value or, at least, valuable resources. Guess you have to hope you find oil in Kayangel....
eyes wide open |
May 14, 2009 at 11:08 PM
The Compact review should not be used as leverage or punishment. It's not productive, and it's not right. Given the history of the US pressuring Palau to pass the compact after something like 11 votes and changing the requirements, I don't think that US citizens can really advocate holding the compact renewal over Palau's head like an "or else" negotiation tool. And keep in mind that I say this as an American who recently lived in Palau for five years.
Several people on this thread raise the point of a xenophobic environment and hostility to foreigners. As much as I love Palau, I have to say that this is palpable sentiment in the country. There is an anti-foreigner vibe in Palau, including some hostility. It makes me sad to say this.
However, as foreigners, the reality is that we are not Palauans citizens, and never will be. The compact creates a "special relationship" but this is a diplomatic relationship. The Compact doesn't guarantee Americans unique rights in Palau, other than longer stays on our tourist visas. And it does not guarantee equality, whether for fishing or car registration. It's not right to expect such things. Palau can make whatever laws it wants, as has been said in other comments.
That being said, should Palau make such laws discriminating for fishing access, creating additional fees for non-citizens, and creating employment castes, and similar things? In my personal opinion, No. I don't think these laws achieve the intent of securing long term employment opportunities for Palauans or the intent of generating revenue for the nation. In my opinion, there are better ways to achieve these goals. Passing discriminatory laws does not set a good example for Palauan youth and it does not inspire people to reach higher goals. This law protects a small sector of jobs dependent on falling tourism. It does nothing to create additional opportunities. Does Palau want a nation of taxi drivers and boat operators? Or a nation of taxi drivers, boat operators, doctors, scientists, scholars, and engineers?
But that's my opinion as an outsider, an American, a non-Palauan. These decisions are for Palau to make as a nation, for what Palau feels is in the long term best interest of the nation. And it's Palau that will manage the consequences of these decisions, both good and bad. Not the US. I just wish Palau would set its sights higher than it does, and hold itself to higher standards.
There's nothing wrong with Palau for Palauans, for protections for indegenous peoples in their own lands. As long as the laws, policies, etc in place allow Palau to grow, develop and have a long term, sustainable livelihood. Not for whenever the compact runs out, next year or the next decade, but for 50 or 75 years from now. That's what matters.
another american |
May 15, 2009 at 12:50 AM
What you said was on point! The Palauan gov't just mooches off the U.S., Japan, Taiwan and other countries that they have diplomatic ties with. Thanks for putting in your insights!
May 15, 2009 at 03:00 AM
American, I appreciated what United States have done for Palau and an ongoing support as we struggle in maintaining our independence.
May 15, 2009 at 04:19 AM
I can tell the American is loosing hope after the enjoyable stay in Palau but take it into the consideration that OEK has probably seen enough palauan non-citizens, not you but others maybe, starting to take over these jobs, not to mention that they're probably taking advantage of their priveledge or abusing it.
So leaving out the diplomatic ties in this, in the long run I know you will get used to this and I pray that you'll get it over with and come to an understanding that it is beneficiary to the locals for it is our mother land. This bill doesn't have to break our friendships, it's just a measure to protect our sons and daughters. Thanks for your understanding.
May 15, 2009 at 04:52 AM
"I don't think these laws achieve the intent of securing long term employment opportunities for Palauans or the intent of generating revenue for the nation. In my opinion, there are better ways to achieve these goals. Passing discriminatory laws does not set a good example for Palauan youth and it does not inspire people to reach higher goals."_American in Palau
I agree with you American in Palau. Because I do believe there is another approach to protecting our heritage. Everyone seems to fight fire with fire when what we should figure out is to fight fire with water. Prevent the tension, prevent conflict, prevent violence, promote understanding and education. But I guess, an easier step to making change is to pass a law for immediate action rather than going out to people (Palauan and foreigner alike) and asking them how they feel and see a gradual understanding.
May 15, 2009 at 05:13 AM
Foreigners in Palau have a social, environmental, political and financial effects. While they are in Belau they enjoy what ever brought them here but when they leave it is us palauans who will deal with the consequences. Take the case of Taunton and Devivo. Both shit, stole, even married some locals and when the shit hit the fan they left us holding and smelling the turd.
May 15, 2009 at 07:23 AM
It's so tipical of your kind American, Please
heed what the other American is saying and try to understand. We already are greatfull for the support and that our door is open for all to share. But let us make sure that the few natives in this Soveraign Country are not left behind or pushed aside.
Palau is a very small island with only 20,000 or less population. If you could pick Palau out of the water and drop it in the U.S, it would take years to find it. So please for the little integrity that we have, don't even try to break it apart because it's the only thing that we have.
This law does not say you cant own a Dive shop or you cant own a Travel agency in Palau. It just says let Palauans be your employees. In a way it works well for everyone, because we understand our culture and our island. Therefore It's only logical for Palauans to be on the front line to greet tourists and guide them with concrete knowledge of their own island and history. It promotes our identity and our culture in one package. It's not discriminatory and if it's so hard for U.S and you to at least respect that then that "Goodwill" your talking about is false.
May 15, 2009 at 10:05 AM
I am a former scuba diver all in Palau. I remembered dominating the job of being diving guide in and off water with all types of tourist who been diving in our ocean. I'm not going to talk about the good times where me and the boys would get together after a day of diving and be drinking knowing we will be diving next day. Not everyday but its happening.
I have not gotten into a Taxi for the last ten years, but I have seen and talked with the taxi driver to understand them. One observation regarding the responsibility of Taxi driver was there should be a requirement to screen taxi drivers on who is servicing tourists and what it takes to handle non-tourists.
Bus driver, a decent job for a retired person not very attractive to young people.
Land tour guide, are we worry about the information being misled to our guest or we want to bring the professionalism into our workers?
Boat operator, now this is different. Based on the fact that it is mostly about our water, it happened because palauan operator could not be available and the foreigner have earned the opportunity to operate due to the local limitation to the demand.
This law benefit to NO ONE in an actual sense. Yes, with some mentality it gives some sense of pride but not to ensure the needs and services expected from our local work force.
Fact of matter is PVA, Labor Office, Trade & Commerce, FIB, Hotels, Dive Shops, should handle this in their regulations rather than depending the group of jokers to come with this law.
Te kmal chebuul a rengeleked el diak el sebecherir el di motir ra tara klebesei.
Give them fish. Disregard teaching them how to fish.
May 15, 2009 at 10:57 AM
What is the intention of this bill? To protect these positions because there is a bus load of Palauans who want them? Why don't they apply for these positions when they are posted at the labor office? Doesn't the labor office have some kind of job posting time requirement, to reserve it for Palauans first, that has to be fullfilled before a non-palauan is considered for the position?
I guess the rational is that Palauans know more about our culture and environment to be the ones in these positions. A taxi driver drives you from point A to B. A boat operator does the same thing. What is so special about that? What about shops that sell made in PI Palauan souvenirs sold by non-palauans. They have more tourist contact. Some of these shops even sell storyboards in their shops and they have no clue what the story is about but sell it to the tourist in their version of what the story is about. What about shops that employ only non-palauans, that openly discriminate you because you're palauan and need to be followed around the shop. I've been to one and it pissed me off. Maybe the OEK would like to add those to their list of "for Palauan jobs only".
Our OEK spends so much time thinking of ways to keep us as the employee at the bottom of the totem pole.
What happens when not enough Palauans want these jobs, will there be another bill to repeal this bill.
not again |
May 15, 2009 at 12:40 PM
You're right that this law does not say that you can't own a dive shop or tour agency because there are already existing regulations restricting non-Palauans from owning dive shops or owning tour/travel agencies. Those businesses in Palau most likely have a Palauan front partner.
May 15, 2009 at 01:07 PM
My late brother-in-law is a red blooded American all through and through. My other sisters married Americans. Now my son married an American. So let us not turn this discussion into Palauans vs. Americans by either your or my careless insinuations. If you and others on this blog do not understand the diplomatic making between Palau and U.S. learn the treaty before you confuse yourselves and other expressing semtimental and emotional overtures.
The only requirement that U.S. asked for is that its citizen be treated the same as other citizens of the U.S. affiliates under Palauan laws. Please learn the document before you make assumptions that are not there in the first place. I am not going to spend time to teach anybody who wishes to engage in discussing the foreign affairs of Palau so learn it yourselves. Have a nice weekend.
May 15, 2009 at 03:18 PM
I think a good example is Papago Resort. They have their Hotel, buses, and tour guides. Only a small percentage of money will stay while the rest recycles back to Taiwan! So creating laws to tap some of the their money for locals is a good idea.
Every country in the world have some law created to give advantage to their citizens now is that discriminatory, NO! Overall, the OEK is doing this to secure Palauans who do want these jobs and for the ones who can not be Doctors, Lawers and Buisness man.
I say good job OEK!!
CHad er Belau |
May 15, 2009 at 09:47 PM
Eyes wide open,
The U.S. government will provide financial and military support, whether overtly or covertly, to protect its national interest. The U.S. national interests is not limited to natural resources only, i.e. oil; it includes also safety of its citizens as well spreading its democratic ideology through out the world. For instance, the US spent millions of dollars, covertly, in their failed attempt to dethrone Fidel Castro of Cuba, a Communist leader (Bay of Pigs); the Korean War and Vietnam War were fought to prevent the spread in communism in Asia- cost US billions of dollars and thousands of young Americans lives. The US spent millions of dollars also, covertly through CIA, aiding Afghanistan in their war against Russia to prevent reign of communism in the region; the fail attempt by CIA in Somalia to seat a Democratic leader cost the US government millions of dollars and the lives of more than 20 special force military members. The point is, US government will not stop at any cost to promote its interest. So, yes it will continue to spend millions of dollars to maintain its positive relationship with the pacific nations to maintain and promote its democratic ideology.
May 15, 2009 at 10:00 PM
Husky my friend,
We are not talking about attractive or what not. The fact is a lot Palauans are leaving home to go look for jobs elsewhere. I drove taxi for a while. It's good money and I found out while at it that the hotels prefer drivers who dress decently and know our historical sights around Palau. They also prefer those who can speak english or Japanese. So for that reason they always call certain taxi drivers when they need professional drivers who can take care and give good services to their customers.
I also have worked with susnset cruise around Malakal and I know what professionalism is and I have seen a lot of young Palauans who are really good at it. I can guarantee that there are young Palauans out there who would do a great job if given the opportunity. As far as a dive guide. You know yourself that it opens doors to knowledge and opportunities that few of us are able to get. You also have seen the bus drivers from PPR. They are not retirees.
If you really look around our island. You would realize that our government is over bloated because there are not that many private sector
out there that have openings for Locals. And the sad thing about it is we are being over run by these cheap labors that our Congress allowed with out seeing the effect it has on our people and the government. If they can allow it. They can also take it away or at least control it.
I am very proud of OEK for this Law.
May 15, 2009 at 10:47 PM
Ho! Ho! Ho! Which clown proposed this bill!
The Senate should know that there is no point in making laws that cannot be enforced or by enforcing such badly thought of laws the people suffer!
This smells a tommy/Diaz collaboration! Lol
Realistic Man |
May 16, 2009 at 02:27 PM
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