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April 24, 2009


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Sorry Doctor, but as an expert in the body, you know that drinking water and wine after 4 or more drinks ain't gonna sober you up in a minute!

But kudos to the law enforcers to doing their duty and kudos to you for not resisting. This is important for the public to know that even big shots don't get away from the law.

Good for you Mr. Copeland!!! and good for Palau.

Palau sure has changed for the better.

In the old days, all high government officials
would never get hit by the law. Prosecution in my days growing up, was only for the ngariou el chad.

Equal justice under the law has arrived in Palau.

This is comedy hour at it's best eh? Poor guy, was he hurt?

that happens too in other places/culture, peeps of that status, getting into DUI and such....lol.

A full blood transfusion between him and a suitable doner would have made his alcohol level close to zero... and his donor drunk. Must have been one special occasion for Dr. Kuartei to drink.

We all have skeletons hidden in our closet so let's go easy on him. I'm sure he knows now and is very grateful that the Lord spared his life to serve us again. It's a lesson learned for all of us.

I am not making fun of him or picking on him, maybe I worded a bit wrongly as I respect him a lot.

I was just remembering some lectures where it was mentioned that a full blood transference between two people would make an un-sober person return to the state of soberness.

He is a very good person, and something like this is just a small dent on his well earned reputation and he has more dignity than most of us. In fact, he probably jokes about it, maybe even telling stories to his patients about it as well.

Didn't Pres. Toriboing proclaim April 2009 as Alcohol Awareness month? What kind of example is this when one of the President's ministers and a Minister of Health lacks the wisdom not to drive under the influence?

From everyone's comments, it seems you have given Dr. Kuartei a light pat on the back. Everyone should know that DUI's can kill...

I am sorry if I sound blunt, but Dr. Kuartei's license should be revoked at the very least ... that should be the law for the republic.

For his wisdom and knowledge, Dr. Kuartei's DUI is the stupidest thing ever for a man of his stature and public reputation....

Why is it that when a high government official violates a law there seems to be a universal sense of forgiveness toward him or her, but when it is an ordinary person, he or she is convicted even before the court renders its decision? Dr. Kuartei violated a law, and since the law is blind, let him be subjected to the same consequences as an ordinary person....that is what equal justice is all about.


What the heck are you talking about! Dr. Kuartei has just been charged by the SP so I do not know what are you talking about. Further Governor Kodeb also.

There is no sympathy from this side for these two gentlemen.

Dr Kuartei has led by example and thanks to him we probably wont be seeing a lot more DUI and wreckless driving incidents. During this month of alcohol awareness, he did actually run his car into a pole on purpose to emphasize clearly what actions and behaviors the youth should avoid. Through such actions, anyone from high gov officials to ordinary citizens can be charged with the crime as Dr. Kuartei demonstrated. So this was all premeditated. bravo to Dr.Kuartei on such magnificent artistry. Thanks Dr., we owe you one!

We all hope that Dr. Kuartei will pay for the consequences. But to have his license revoked as a result of his DUI is ridiculous. We need doctors in Palau and getting overseas ones are expensive. Dr. Kuartei is a medical practitioner and doctors drink alcohol like you and me.

If he's regretting right now, he's thinking he should have had a designated driver. Rest assured people, he will face charges but don't suggest that he stop seeing patients because there are too few medical doctors around... especially those that actually have a medical degree.

I think he meant a drivers license.

my apologies :) in that case, i think revoking his driver's license is a good thing. but then again, that would be hard for him to drive to and from ngerulmud. now that he's a minister, i'm not sure if he's still seeing patients anyway. but i might be wrong.

I want to congratulate the officer who did the arresting. Goes to show that there is justice in our island.Does not matter who you are. It's just sad that it took this long for the media to report it. It's either the reporters are that slow in their field or the media has been compromised.


Drinking and driving is a very serious offence. As a doctor the guy should have known better.

I think a stiff fine and a warning should do for a first offence but if he does it again put him in jail and confiscate his vehicle,


You made the same comment about my posting regarding Gov. Kodep. Well, since we may not be in the same place at the same time, and since we may be talking to different people at the same time, I know what I am talking about. Charging Dr. Kuartei is not in and of itself the conclusion of the case. He still has to go through the legal process and given his high position, it is always possible that he will be given a light sentence. I hear from the people at Happy Landing fish market, from the various watering holes in Koror, and restaurants where this is still a good topic for discussion. At one of the breakfast places in town, there were more people who felt he should be given a very light sentence, if any, since he is a "...respectable member of our community." I disagree.

for all been said just hope that he gets the same punishment that everyone gets. wouldn't be fair to the public if he gets off easily because he's of a higher office. even though he made a mistake he should pay for it as an example to the young people of our country.

These are instances where we as citizens have to let the system work. My only question is WHY THE SP is prosecuting this case????? Aren't these the types of cases that the AG's Office normally handles? Looks like grandstanding to me by the SP.

We have to trust the process to take its course and let the man defend himself in the court of law. Whatever the outcome of this case will be, will be.


I could not agree with you more.

It's the SP's job to prosecute crimes committed by elected and appointed officials, especially the high ranking ones like ministers.

Dr. Kuartei is the man. It's too bad he got a DUI but he was just trying to have some good times. I know he worked his way up all his life to be a public figure and you folks expect him not to fault but hey, me and his younger brother use to do some crazy stuff back in Palau.
Lesson learned but Doc is an ordinary man. Just another day in paradise.

Yap, another day in paradise!



I admit having voted for people with criminal record past because they were genuinely remorseful for their act. Especially when they repent and turn their ways for the better. And that is personal judgement call on my part. These people turned out to be good examples in our community today. We all make mistakes.

I just know that the good Dr.K just underestimated his tiredness. I know most people who drink and drive cars and boats just fine. As a mater of fact, many of us have ridden on cars and boats with the driver having consumed a few beers. Then again it is judgement call on the part of everyone involved.

I am just glad that he was not hurt or harm anyone in this unfortunate mishap.

the Court has dismissed much more serious offenses than this mishap in the past. And presidents are known to commute sentences in light of other considerations.

I personally feel that the good Dr.K has suffered much more punishment than the ordinary fellow from public embarrassment such as this forum because of who he is to us. I voted for him to be our champion of Ulekerreuil A Klengar with our cause on NCD including alcohol abuse even after I heard about his accident. He is more human than I expected after all. He will do just fine among the living from here on. I know that he is remorseful and I am willing to bet on him.


I am sure he is reckoning this incident seriously and will much more not only for himself but for us as a community.

Amen to that Santy,

I agree....


Santy listen to yourself, so pathetic... of all the people Dr.K should know better, that's what bothers me. Younger ones have done similiar mistakes and have had to pay for what they did and noone backs them up or feels sorry for the embarassment they endured so I hope the SP,AG, Ombudsman, or whoever nails his ass for what he did as an example that no crime goes unpunished.

Hey Santy,
I can appreciate what you're trying to say, but seriously, have Dr. K surgically remove you from his nuts. You're a serious Dr. K nuthugger. I thought you are "Sechal Tetael"! Thank goodness, no one got injured. Pls. don't call this a mishap. it is far from it. Dr. K is not only a respected Doctor, but also, Minister of Health. If I'm not mistaken, didn't palau recently have an alcohol awareness month? he should be held to higher standard. You are an "enabler", Santy. Please stop trying to make excuses for him, especially minimizing the situation. "Call a spade a spade!"
Personally, I like Dr. K, but SP should make an example out of him.

God Bless Belau!

Thank you Alias, Dr.K is a cool dude may have missed out earlier in life but he's allright. The thing is I saw his truck being towed away and again good thing noone got hurt besides Doc... the if's keep on coming. By the way, why is it that the Press Conferences for the President or Ombudsman don't cover these kinda events? Looking away...?..hope not.

I heard the car was moved and covered up to avoid attention after the accident. And, he was not arrested for DUI after the accident.

So, I'm wondering what is the normal police procedures in those types of situations? Or, was an exception made because of Dr. K's position or because of intervention from an even higher official? Enquiring minds want to know.

Dr. K would soothed you with a reason to worry or to what causes worry if you see him next time. A gran Ma would said oh, Nooooo....while the kids would ask, is it possible?

I think Dr. K is within the syndrome of being caught between the high sees of politics and life time served code of ethics in health profession.

Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves."--Confucius, Chinese philosopher

It's like what Santy said, "Dr.K has suffered much more punishment than ordinary fellow.."

And I agree, the fact that he is a public figure makes him or any public figure a target. No body really care about any ordinary citizen getting charged for DUI other than family members. Dr.K can easily face his punishment pay the fine and so forth. But the biggest damage is his image that has been tarnished and the public trust that was entrusted upon him as a role model. He did not steal any government money or abuse his power. He was just being a normal human that also has mistakes in life. So while he is down on his luck, I see no need for us to start kicking and throwing jabs. It's sad and shamefull to us and the leadership as a whole. I think the message has been sent loud and clear to the rest of the Ministers and the whole Administration as well.

The thing that I can't understand is what inquiring mind's comment. It has been in my mind for sometime. If there is some type of cover up than I think it should be universal to all citizens. Where is the transparency and equal right to all citizens is what comes to mine...


Inquiring mind is a troll! pay attention to his/her use of the word..."heard" either cite a source or do us a favor and delete your comment

I didn't know our English teacher has arrived in the room. Keep writing e mosi, you are doing a great job. As they say, inquiring mind is hard to come by.

Dr Kuartei did what any other ordinary person would have done, except he did not bribe the cop(s) nor used his position as MOH and Doctor to influence the cop(s) from doing a job required.

So put it to rest and shift your tiny brains to check if the court system would render fair judgements.

Leave the good Doctor alone and give him some support.

Ko meral di meduch el omes a kengtil a rechad e diak kuk besterir a sesei el oldanges ra urellir ma ungil teletellir el chad.

Kid el rokui el di ngarngii a elitechetud.

Enquiring Mind, there was no cover up. The cops did their job by attending to, securing and reporting to proper authorities an accident. The cops are not paid to report incidents to the media unless asked. The cop(s) and Dr. Kuartei did what they had to do in a clean and legal way!

What's the SP's role in here? None as I see. Dr K did not abuse his power nor use a public property when he got into an accident.

Olekoil...bo momkiis a meral issues el kired a rechad el rokui e becherei a ngkal blak a rengul el mengetekled e sibil a buai mebol ruul a urellel. Mal diak om help.


I would be a hypocrit if I would not admit that I too have had a few sips which I suppose would be legally drunk if my blood was tested but was able to drive home without any incident. Dr. K should know because we were together in some of these outings. I have been lucky not to get into an accident. Most of us have been lucky thus far. Nonetheless we need to stop this practice including myself. Good thing is that I have stayed dry for few years already. But the lesson is for most of us and not only for Dr. K.



I think the SP prosecutes any crime committed by high government officials and police. I saw him in court today for a police officers DUI, and I know he is the one who charged the assistant AG ledgerwood with DUI.

I think the system worked like it was supposed to. We're just not used to seeing the system working, that's why it has us all confused.

Hey Santy,
Now that's the "Sechal Tetael" talk I appreciate from you! You don't need to make excuses for another man, but rather, use your position in the community to remind us to promote drinking responsibly, because drinking driving is definately one of the main cause of deaths in Palau. Much respect to you, Senator!

The affidavit "stated that Kuartei drank wine and water to sober up before he left the bar to go home." what kind of wine will make you sober?

maybe he or she meant he drank wine earlier and then drank water to sober up. the police offficer may have been illiterate.

Alii to All:

I happen to know Dr. Kuartei well, very well to consider him one of my best friend. So, it is quite sad to sit and read some of the comments being made about him. I cannot help but feel that such comments are coming from people who have no idea about the simple statement that "no man is perfect" and that "one is innocent until proven guilty." In fact, I will go further to say that such comments are fueled with jealously and what not. Dr. Kurtei, like some of us here (very few) does not need a court of law to tell him that what he did was against the law. He is, after all, a very well educated man who made a mistake. Nothing more and nothing less...

Now, for those of you who have nothing better to say, move on. And, next time you dare make any negative remarks about somebody, take a good look at yourself and ask yourself this question: Do you have an "MD" after your name?

I for one, come hell or high water, will stand by a FRIEND. So, for those of you who are quick to pass judgment on somebody, stop sounding like you are "God Sent."

Brien Sers Nicholas

"I for one, come hell or high water, will stand by a FRIEND. So, for those of you who are quick to pass judgment on somebody, stop sounding like you are "God Sent." "

Right on, Brien! You took the words right out of my mouth. Folks, let that be a lesson for the day.

"one is innocent until proven guilty." some palauans may be tulechoid but were not all stupid and oblivious. the man did what he did and the timing for it couldn't be much worse. do you expect us to kiss his ass because of two letters after his name and especially after so much praise, privilege, and money has been given to him. please lets not act like we all "have our mouths taped" because the man has md after his name. people are all equal under the law.

Brien, and let me include Angaur gal while i'm at it since she strongly agree with brien.

you managed to successfully contradict yourself in the same paragraph. "one is innocent until proven guilty" and few lines later you say "does not need a court of law to tell him that what he did was against the law." you basically say he's innocent, but yet, concede that his actions were unlawful. the facts are stated on the news article. it makes me think that your opinion is clouded with heavy emotion.
listen, i can only speak for myself, i'm certainly not jealous of dr. k. on the contrary, i really like him as a person. the issue here that we're all commenting on, is drinking and driving. it is unfortunate that he will bear the brunt of public embarrassment, but the fact that he is a long time practicing m.d and holds a high position in our gov't as minister of health, we must hold him to higher standards. "you reap what you sow" and in this case, i think he should come out and make a public apology and say something like he's willing to accept any repercussion. you know, he could also use the experience to promote awareness and make something positive out of it.
God Bless Belau!

Alias, ungil tutau...sorry but I do not think I contradicted myself. If anything, I think what I say has been taken out of context. Yes, like anyone of us regardless of titles, positions, etc., etc., Dr. Kuartei is innocent until so proven guilty in a court of law. Be that as it may, given his whole being and at the of the day, he knows that what he did was not right and he needs nobody to tell him that but himself. There is nothing contraditory about the foregoing.

On my opinion being "clouded with heavy emotion," may be so. After all, I am see a dear friend getting fried in this place and ready to be shot simply because of who he is. And, if you go back and read some of the comments, there does not appear to be any fairness to them. I guess you can say that the defense lawyer in me for the last 20 years sort of came out of the closet. I trust that Dr. Kuartei, when all is said and done, will make the right decision in light of what had happened. And, when he does, he has my full support.

Oh, almost forgot Moh...Moh, no one expects you to do anything. I do agree with you totally when you say people are all equal under the law. So, why not treat Dr. Kuartei as one of those people and forget about his praises, privileges, and money. What do you say? I will say these, what he has or received were all EARNED and WARRANTED because of his hard work and sacrifices!

Brien Sers Nicholas

thanks for the response Mr Nicholas.

So if one has an MD, JD, MBA, etc. etc. he/she should be left alone and not criticized for breaking a law. A drunk driver is like a kid or an ape with a loaded gun who at any given point can kill or maim someone so I do not understand those of you who seem to feel that this incident is minor thing that should be shelved.

We should hold our leaders to higher standard. They should lead by example and in this case the good Doctor should come out publically and apologize and should do it quickly.

I don't know my friend Uchelmelis,

This is not about MD or breaking the law. It's about being human. All over the world we find all kinds of people who have once or twice tripped and fell. It's a reminder to all that even our own role model's are not perfect. Off course he still has to face judgement by our court system just like the rest of us. But like Santy said, he has suffered more than any regular fellow....


Mosi, Mosi;

Should we say the same thing about Governor Kodeb that he has suffered enough by the humiliation of being indicted ergo put the whole thing behind us and move on!!!

I have a lot of respect for Steve Kuartei. I still do after this incident. I hope this experience shows him just how quick Palauans turn against each other when they see that a person, especially of good community standing, is in a very weak position.

I very much agree with Uchelmis in that the good Doctor should at least give a public apology for this incident and put it to rest. However, we must remember that he is a good doctor, treated many of my family members, and I thank him for being a Palauan Doctor.

Now, the charges have been filed, the systems' wheels are turning. Let the process work and everyone give it a rest already. Years of had work and paying his dues to become a doctor are not going to be erased by this one lapse in judgment. Let him be - I'm sure he is suffering every day thinking about this mistake, and every day it will burden him until his day in court.

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