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January 10, 2009


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One of the promises that our president elect promised was that priority will be given to palauans before hiring any expatriats and I hope he will get rid of these bunch of Haoles who profess to know what is best for us.

These Haoles, especially lawyers, should be banned from any government positions. Let us hold the president elect this one promise he made. If there is one thing we have a lot of in Belau it is that we have a lot of palauan lawyers.

I feel the same way, so well said Uchelmelis.

I agree with the comments and think it would be great if there were fair and ethical Palauan attorneys that actually wanted the government jobs. Not a single Palaun attorney applied for the House or Senate Legal Counsel positions in the past few years. The problem is Palauan attorneys can make more in private practice in Palau or in the United States. Government jobs are low paying with lots of conflicts and political pressure. The reason ex-pats are hired is because they are willing to take the lower pay and (supposedly) don't have the conflicts of interest with family that the Palauan attorneys have. --Plus, it is not really fair to just blame the haoles. We (Palauans) hire them. (And it is not ex-pat government attorneys that ran PSB into the ground.) Many times the politicians hire certain haoles because they know they will do their bidding. It is not a question of Palauan attorneys against ex-pat attorneys. The question is: Are we hiring ethical and qualified people to do the job??

where can the entire article be found?

The latest word is that we will have a Palauan AG....Ernestine Rengiil.

Not to dispute any of the statements made above, just want to point a few things about this article that are innacurate and/or misleading:

It's Mark Copeland, not Mathew Copeland. I have no idea if he wanted Chin for President or not, but it wouldn't matter because he is a haole and has no influence.

Who is Sheree Tinder anyways? Haole lawer in Palau working for Social Security.

It was incoming President Toribiong who suggested combining the offices of the SP and Ind. Counsel.

Dear Friends,

The Palau judiciary has for a long time now (under the Nakamura & Remengesau administration) been bias, corrupt and/or inept.

There will now be a new administration under President Toribiong who is himself an attorney. Let us have new brooms in the judiciary. Starting with a new Chief Justice.

The Peter Moran case is a case in point where bias, corruption and complancency brought about the prosecution and conviction of an innocent man. Please do not let such injustice to ever again occur in Palau.

Long live our new President.



Dear Friends,

Let me say this, 90% of the ex-patriate attorneys who are hired by our previous two administrations are bums! Most are drunks, 99% are lazy. Some even take drugs and have criminal records like spotty SP Walton.

I suggest that all government servants be sujected to ramdom drug and alcohol tests.

A full security check be done on all ex-patriates who apply for government jobs with scrunity on all documents they produce with regards to paper qualification/s and references!

Let us not be so stupid as was the last two administration was!



It will be great if the identity of ISLANDER can be posted in order for the Presidents, CJ, ex-pat Attorneys and others he insists on slandering can take appropiate legal action---if Islander has any decency at all, he/she will oblige with the identity so his/her "victims" can exercise their legal rights. Those who utter words and accusations like Islander and do not show their idenity are no less than pitiful cowards living a self created life of misery. Come on Islander, do yourself proud and identify yourself

It is not all about money people. Look at what Dr. Kuartei sacrificed to accept the ministership. If you really love your country and want to help belau then you and I should follow the good Doctor's.

I didn't realize that the letter I wrote would get this kind of response. Personally, I have nothing against anyone I mentioned in the article I wrote. I am not "fighting" with any attorneys in Palau. My letter is merely my opinion. I still have great affection for Palau and care about its well being.

I wrote the letter because I felt the legislative and political history of the Office of the Independent Counsel was not being considered. Nor was the island politics. I also thought is was important to note the difference between a "merger" and a "lapse" of the SP Office and Independent Counsel Office. A merger suggests bringing the resources of the two offices together (this includes budget and personnel), while a lapse would end the Office of the Independent Counsel.

As for my history in Palau, I did work for the House of Delegates and the Social Security Administration. I took and passed the Palau bar examination for attorneys. I think you can ask any of the Palauans I worked for or with in Palau (including the newly elected President and Vice President) as to my integrity and work ethic. I still have many Palauan friends that I am in contact with and wish nothing but to see the island prosper.


I don't think your facts about the previous
lawyers are accurate. I think it's based
on few that you knew or you might had an issue with someone that made you think that they were all the same. They were drunk, lazy, bums, drug users, and they have a criminal backgrounds?

My good friend was the HLC, other was
the public defender, another friend was the Senate LC, Other two friends were working at the president's office, and many more that i knew were not in any of the category that you mentioned. The ONLY thing that made us to start thinking about moving out were the top guys that didn't want those who reccomend what's good for the people of Belau so they seek a way to say they're bad. I am a Belauan and i can tell you that some of the lawmakers didn't care about our people, but themselves and how to get more money in their wallets. One example is when the code of ethics was introduced for the first time (friend's reccomendation)some lawmakers went mad and you know why. Belau was signed up in
Bono, Germany for the global warming was done by a friend who decided to pay for his flights, hotels, food, and etc. because he knew that Belau was running dry.

Other thing that the OEK staff didn't like,a subject suggesting that if you have a relative in Guam, US, Saipan or some friends in other places that the you can stay with while attending meeting/trainings they should do it to save us money. They do but still collecting the hotel stay expense and that is just a shame when you cheat.



Alii. I won't presume to speak about any of my former colleagues' drinking habits but I can attest that none of them, to my knowledge, were lazy bums, criminals, and/or drug users.

I will admit that I frequented the DropOff and Kramers more than a few times, chewed more than a handful of betelnuts, and shared a bowl of kava with friends during my tenure in Palau.

Point of clarification: I didn't accept my position as Senate Legal Counsel in 2007 because I was "willing to accept lower pay", I did it because I wanted to try to make a difference somewhere, share the Palauan experience with my family, and leave the life-draining, California law firm lifestyle behind for island life, Honto style.

I believe I accomplished some of what I set out to do and I never took political sides but always had a legal opinion. Ask the Senators of the 7th OEK. Many Senators differed greatly on various issues and some took me to task for my opinions. It didn't make me popular but that is why I was hired. Dissent is the sign of a healthy democracy.

The beauty of a democracy is the fact that you can openly criticize your government without fear of reprisals. Palau is a young democracy with centuries of tradition and no shortage of political commentary.

In every occupation you will have two types of people: those who serve and those who don't. 90% of the attorneys I worked directly with in Palau were, in my opinion, there to serve. Ms. Tinder, my colleague in the House, was there to serve just like Dave Shipper, Elise Milstein, Chris Hale, Megan Walsh...all damn fine lawyers.

Enough said.

Dave Greenlees

Wow! Never in my wildest dream did I expect to
see a comment from you guys(Lawyers) in here. I am glad to see both side of the coin.....


Three cheers for the lawyers who took a stand against the discriminatory and racist talk! I am grateful and appreciate the work of lawyers who come to Palau to try and make a difference, and I encourage Palauans to take on that challenge. However, for other individual lawyers who try to feed lies to the public (whether intentional or not), the truth will always come out!
PSB was a fiasco, and unfortunately, the prosecution and it's so called "independent" counselor - is even more of a fiasco. Axe the man and let someone more competent handle the case!

People of Palau should vote for the Attorney General and Special Prosecutor. This is the only way to have justice and peace without any political influences in our country.


I have entertained that idea a while back, but I think TR including JT and probably any other incoming Administration don't really want to loose that grip of power. They all want to have a final say on anything that pertains to the law of land. Guilty or not...The idea of having one in the palm of their hands is to tempting to simply let go.....


* Why do we need to merge the SP and OIC?
* What are we trying to accomplish?
* Have we indentify the problem yet? What needs to be replaced or fixed?

Let's have the Special Prosecutor office and OIC provide us with their case status report. Who is being doing his job?

Why the need for change all of the sudden?

Key issues:

Now, the Republic is on the verge of going into recession. The compact review is awaiting Obama's administration, the new administration strongly believe in Transparency and Accountability.

The KEY ELEMENT element of Transparency and Accountability is 2 PNCA sub section 501 " The Special Prosecutor Act". Who at the State Department would recommend to give us more funding when we want get rid of the Special Prosecutor office.

I' am not an attorney nor an expert of the Law. But a concern citizen who strongly believe in Transparency and Accountability.

Bod kerkikel ra Klukuk er kid

I think the better part of you rolled down your daddy's leg.


Alii Everyone,
There are good "haole" attorneys in Palau that are working for the greater good. I know this for a fact. We shouldn't generalize as there are also bad Palauan lawyers that are also corrupt, lazy, and some just plain stupid (i.e. imelda, mariano carlos, etc.)

So, lets stop with the hatred of people because if its so easy for my fellow Palauan to hate another person from another place, you can just as easily hate your follow Palauan in the same way.

Again, quit the hate cause its getting ridiculous. Let the system work, with all its drawbacks, and see what the outcome is and not blame others for the mess we are in.

Right on Mardi,
There are also many "idiot, lazy palauan bums" living in the U.S.
"its better to stay silent and be considered a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt" You have spoken out and obviously revealed that your an idiot.
What Sheree Tinder wrote was something we palauans and non alike need to ponder about for better solution to problem at hand.
Just a bit of our Belau history. We started a journey toward independence due to free help from a Harvard Law professor"....thats right, an American Lawyer who worked on behalf of the Palauan people for free.

Janet, you are one of the "idiots" living in Palau. What the hell do you know what our lives like in the U.S.?
Take your advice and stay silent. fool!

Kemesulang er tial article er kau, it brings up an interesting conversation as you can see from the above comments. Here are my two cents worth comments. You statement that “…not all foreign attorneys come to Palau with the intent to do their job well,” seems to have instigated the generalization that all expatriate attorneys have bad work ethics (as alluded to in many statements above). The value of wok ethics, to me, is a personal trait, and such generalized comments are baseless and biased. If a foreign attorney is hired to work for the government and his/her work performance is not meeting the expectation, then he/she should be fired. Should the contract is renewed subsequently, then, in my opinion, he/she and his/her (whatever) supervisor should both be fired. It is just as much the fault of the supervisor for condoning such poor work habits. A ker a kmo tiang sebechel meket mokl era elsel Belau?
On the issue of the merger of the Office of the Special Prosecutor with the Office of the Independent Counsel, I do I agree with you that it is “…another wasteful spending of public money....” These two offices have duplicated functions as that of the Office of the Public Auditor and the Attorney General and should only be authorized to operate on a limited term basis, on special cases. Palau is a small country, why would the Executive Branch need 4 different agencies to prosecute violators of ROP’s Codes and regulations?
I will second “ngerdiis” motion for an elected AG, who would not succumbed to the pressure of any politician to look the other way. We, the people, will ascertain that he/she will perform to our expectations. So, where do we go from here? How do we begin the process?

TO sheree tinder if the letter was your opinion I would really love to know and hear from you how your letter or opinion, ended up being topic on here. Please tell me.

To Dave greenless I am surprised you wanted to adapt to our culture, and save our dying race, and for some reason I don't believe you. We as a struggling people left our island to pursue more in the United States. You as an American left your comfortable lives to pursue what?? in Palau? ARE YOU SURE? smelling..
-o-l-d m-o-n-e-y

ONE THING..... I hate to inform you but I think it's about time you should know that honto style does not mean island style , that is the made up "haole version" that you and your friends wanted to hear. Honto style simply means ghetto or backward style.


palauan so your saying honto style is fuccdup style

Palauan Pride,

Dude, I think that you need to ask the website moderator why he posted the article as a topic. Given, the comments people have stuff to say--don't ya think?

Palauan pride,

You should change your name to Palauan Embarrassment instead. Interpreting Honto Style as ghetto is an insult, and for your information the way all the westerners see us, they cannot tell the difference, we're all the same to them, laid back islanders. They even label us the same as the folks from Chuuk or Marshall Islands so get off your high horse. Even Phillipinos don't want to be considered Pacific Islanders, they rather be labeled as Asians. Stop dividing us Palauans with your name calling and start uniting us with good words of encouragement so we can move forward to better future. Enough Said.

Did I hit the nerve....Your probably one of the idiot palauan living among us. I do live in the U.S of A.
Come to NY upper westside general hospital emergency room. I usually on 2100-shift. I'l cure your idiocy...


Check yourself into that emergency room, or your'e probably a patient there. Look at yourself before calling people stupid. idiot! Don't compare yourself to the rest of the people living in the U.S.

Let's be supportive of one another e Janet. I'm in the same field as you are and I hope we can return to Palau someday and join the tean down there. Adang mekerang? We cannot cure idiots as you well know.

My understanding of the ongoing divisive and inflammatory rhetoric with respect to Honto vs Peleliu simply emanated from the election battle between Peleliuan/Chin vs Hontonian/Toribiong. Come on guys, both men performed well in Bab and Youldaob as the 200-vote difference indicates. What if it was JT vs SW? We need to stop the bullshit, accept JT's win and move on. Truth is, JT and Chin including their own families are very well-off financially while most of us common folks are hurting! Please let's stop the negativism and unite under JT. The man is bright and I trust he will make well informed decisions.

On a different note, Pres Bush in the last hour presented three leaders from Britain, Australia and Columbia some Presidential Medal of Freedom awards and I am now very dissappointed because I feel our outgoing Prez TR should've gotten one as well. ah ha ha ha!

Why are there idiots from Palau working in hospitals in USA? Allak el tedobch ete diak a skulir. People with attitudes like you should not work in hospitals. Techebuul ar smecher.

Janet, not all of us is like Islander. Watch what you say. Stupid. Hit a nerve?

puter nerd
Westerners see us, they cant tell the difference, that's sad but true because of people like you.
when heole says honto style he means backward style but he wonts say backward he'll use "island". Why cant they say Palauan Style?
They label YOU the same as chuukese and marshalese, so either think highly of yourself or get on the high horse.

Palauan PRIDE!

In response to the complete mischaracterization of my earlier comments:

"To Dave greenless I am surprised you wanted to adapt to our culture, and save our dying race, and for some reason I don't believe you. We as a struggling people left our island to pursue more in the United States. You as an American left your comfortable lives to pursue what?? in Palau? ARE YOU SURE? smelling..
-o-l-d m-o-n-e-y"

You shouldn't believe that because I never claimed I was Palau's savior nor did I say I wanted to adapt. I wanted to experience your culture, not adapt to it. I never said I wanted to save what you refer to as a "dying race". I wrote: "I did it because I wanted to try to make a difference somewhere, share the Palauan experience with my family, and leave the life-draining, California law firm lifestyle behind for island life, Honto style." Pretty clear.

As to your further commentary:
"ONE THING..... I hate to inform you but I think it's about time you should know that honto style does not mean island style , that is the made up "haole version" that you and your friends wanted to hear. Honto style simply means ghetto or backward style."

My understanding of "Honto style" refers to living on Babeldaob and not in Koror. I lived in Airai and many Palauans I know (not haoles) referred to it as living in Honto or living "Honto style." It does not mean backwards living or "ghetto" as you assume. I elected to live in Ngerikiil in order to get away from the standard American version of living in Koror and hanging out with Americans all the time. I spent the majority of my time on island (fishing, cooking, hanging out etc.) with my Palauan friends.

Not quite sure what you mean by old money. I certainly don't have to explain or justify my decision to come to Palau but I can assure you it in no way enriched me financially. My choice had nothing to do with money. My family and I were enriched by our experiences in Palau in innumerable other ways. We made incredible, lifelong friends and will always treasure our time in Palau.

Haole literally means a person without breath or spirit. I believe that I gathered that breath while in Palau and continue to share an island spirit, Palauan style, Airai style, whatever style...to this day. Palau changed our lives for the better in many ways. I have a much better outlook on life in general knowing that life does not have to be so hectic. It took a year in Palau to figure that out. Wouldn't you agree?

My basic point is that you can never judge others based on group stereotypes. This plants the wrong seed. It perpetuates misunderstanding and foments unnecessary and unproductive arguments like this.

If I were in Palau I'd invite you over for a beer, grill some fish, and talk about these issues. Anonymous blogs don't move issues forward but allow others to toss anger and falsehood into the open without attribution.

I'm done here but felt obligated to reply. Be good to each other. Palauans are few but they are strong.

Dave Greenlees

Sheree Tender,

I don’t know you and I’ve never met you, but I understand that you lived in the Republic before my family and I arrived here. In reference to your attack on me in the Island Times, as someone once said, “good press or bad press, it’s all irrelevant - so long as you get the spelling of my name right, that’s all that matters.” In that spirit, I would like to inform you that my actual name is Michael Copeland, not Mathew or Mark. :)

I know some will argue that your letter was the act of a petty person trying to assassinate the character of someone that they don’t even know. Others may criticize you for speaking authoritatively about subjects of which you are fairly ignorant. Still others may say that it was wildly inappropriate for you to put allegations like the ones you made in the paper, when you have no reliable evidence to support them.

But nothing could be further from the truth. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and just because yours are based on rumors that you-heard-from-someone–who-heard-from-someone, that shouldn’t stop you from trying to publicly ruin the reputation of a complete stranger.

So even though merging the OIC and OSP was completely and totally the idea of the new administration, and even though I first met IC Harley less than a month ago, and even though current VP Chin has little or no influence on the incoming administration, don’t let that stop you from broadcasting your conspiracy theories to the public. The fact that what you said was untrue, and that I play zero part in any of these decisions (which I understand are still in the process of being made), and that your theory really makes no sense, that shouldn’t stop you from recklessly putting your ideas in the newspaper.

On a serious note, while I don’t know you, I do know your soon-to-be husband Chris Hale. He’s a pretty good guy, and if he sees something redeeming in you, then I know you can’t be all bad. So I hold no grudge against you. I wish you two the best of luck on your upcoming marriage, and I hope that, like me, you end up having a wonderful family with happy children.

And, unlike my wife, I hope you never have to wake up to find a hurtful article about your husband in your local paper, written by someone you don’t even know, based on rumors, and filled with untruths, half-truths, and speculation.

I sincerely hope that your family is never treated as unfairly as you’ve treated mine.


Michael Copeland
a.k.a Mathew Copeland,
a.k.a. Mark Copeland

Mr. Greenlees,

I wish I had a chance to meet you and your family. I would have invited you over to meet my family for some home cooked meal and listen to stories from your home State.
I'm glad, overall, you enjoyed your time in Belau. I must apologize for some of us here who don't know what they speak of. Not all Palauans think like that.
You and your family are always welcome in Palau. I'm pretty sure you just gained more Palauan friends today than you had yesterday.

Thanks for the kind words and encouragements.
Guys, we can learn something from him.

Tender, your actions, in palauan we say, "tekoi ra mesei". Your'e making excuses for yourself now and being defensive. Shame on you! Maybe there are some "opinions" you need to keep to yourself? Adang mekerang? Ask one of your "many palauan friends" to translate it for you.

To all chad ra Belau, blame our gov't for hiring them if you have a problem and stop "lou tulechoid".

Best of luck, Cope!

Elik, temla mei ra delongeled mete kau mondai tirkal becheleleu el chad.
Olekoi, your'e dumb.


Just because your man JT won does not give you the right to accuse people of things that are not true. Akele kora medal a Jacko.

Just a thought, Michael, but it you are going to criticise someone for getting your name wrong, you might make a tiny effort to get that person's name right.

Or was that an intentional and petty slight from high on your soap box?


I plan to visit Palau with my family within the next 2 years. Saving our money now. Keep in touch and I'll take you up on that offer.

Alii Everyone,
I hear that Mr. Greenlees is a good fisherman too and pretty good with a hand line. I also heard that Mr. Greenlees was a very good counsel for the Senate.

All in all, I think there are more good people than bad ones in this world and we should generalize and paint everyone the same before we get to know them.

Mr. Greenlees, I hope its not too cold where you are at right now. I bet you could still put on the barbeque even if its snowing...just no good saltwater fish to grill plus Asahi beer may not be available.

I meant "we SHOULD NOT generalize and paint everyone the same..."

We shouldn't even be talking about this nonsense. There are more important issues that should be discussed on this blog...like the proposed increases in salary for the President and the Vice-President.
I have not heard the new President on his position on the new raises. Why is that? Is it because he actually supports the raises for himself and the Vice?

Pls.. anyone...do comment on this issue...a critical issue affects us...


Is it true that Ex-president finally ink his signature at about 08:30 am, January 15, 2009 to "PARDON??? - all Ex-speaker, ex-con/felon the Tony the Tiger".

I wishes him the new hopes, pride and good health/prosperity for many years to life.

Now, your free man. Your miserable life was not a problem to solve but only experience it. i.e when hitting a Catholic priest/father.

So as, Esebei Julius Echang was "Pardon" and you are required to grow out of your damn stupid childish. You need to humble yourself and act as Elab hamlet chief #10, soon to be retired at 60 of age.

just my thought 2-1/2 cents.

Yeah Mardingaol, remember that next time you decide to be stupid when you "generalize and paint"...
Yorosku from Imelda and Marv.

Why is this topic an issue with us? Let these american lawyers fight among themselves.

Mardingaol, it's a shocker that were able to correct yourself after that comment! I guess you needed to come back up for air... LOL

i admit i've been one of the fiercest anti-JT people here, but now for the first time that we have a lawyer as president, i think it's time palauan lawyers take over. JT knows the law and i think that will make things less complicated. it's time for expats to go home and thanks for your assisatance.

E kau lombekebok er a ngerem, bom elellakl e lak di lngerang e bol medakt a rengum e bai bo mui el mesebechakl era beluam ma rechedam, tirka chad ra ngodech el beluu el mei e oumeduch er tir ra beluad ma siobai. Kemiu kom tmelang kom tmeleches. Alii kom tomellid. Bolluk a medemiu ma ngeriu kuk de besterir a techall el mengedecheduch. E lak dilkemiu lomtok er kemiu.

American made,

Mal meral uaisei, bomungil ra beluam ma rechedam ellak molius er tir. Bai bolluk a ngerem al sekum ekemecha oltuub ra rechad ra beluam.
Ngdiak kem tmelang or tmeleches, ke telubch. Kokau ebdasue a tekoi.

Hey Omdui, you're getting popular by the minute! Now we have lawyers at each others throats for all to see on your doorstep. lol.

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