On Tuesday we here at Daily Post made a mistake, a mistake that questioned the integrity of our newspaper and professionalism of our reporters.
An apology was quickly followed-up but in this day and age, nothing truly is ever forgotten. Thanks to the immortal internet, everything is in a perpetual state of existence, the good, the bad and the ugly, all we can do is use it as a grim reminder of how to be better professionals in our field of work.
Now moving away from the blunder and into the underlying issue that was highlighted in this article. The private sector is going through a hard time and just because the majority of the businesses named are saying they didn’t support the threat to sue the government, doesn’t mean that the private sector industry in general is flourishing.
The private sector has been staring down the barrel of a gun since our borders closed and now things have only gotten worst with the curfews. One brave business owner has stood by this threat that the others have shied away from, and I applaud you for that. Being driven to the extent to make such a threat in the first place is testament on how desperate some private operators are and this should be noted.
In some online chat circles, individuals question what right this private business owner has to ask the government to drop the curfew? What right does it have to speak out against the government?
In this context, I believe you’re confusing the government with the hierarchy of chiefs. Traditionally, you would need a rank to question or make an accusation of this caliber but in a conventional government, where we the citizens vote for our leaders, we all have the right to question them. We all have the right to raise our concerns.
Our leaders are not divine beings from the heavens, their orders are not commandments carved in stone on Mount Sinai. It’s OK to question them or to even challenge them.
Over the past two years, we spoke with businesses who waited for the stimulus package which came too late and the result was the closure of their humble shop. There are many of these stories and the owners simply didn’t want to create a fuss about it. Is it because they are afraid of the authorities?
Should we be so obedient that we’re basically docile to our government? Should we all have a hive mentality to never question government?
This reminded me of a recent video I watched about how Omicron is being handled in Shanghai. Chinese citizens are scared of the authorities, online presence being monitored, an airplane flies across the city blaring intimidating messages through a speaker, no laughter, no singing, citizens advised and encouraged to simply conform to a system created on fear.
Now we may not be at that level and I doubt we ever will be, but there are some mindset similarities in regards to the interpretation of unwavering respect for one’s nation and how it should never be questioned.
We live in a democratic country and we all have protected rights. With two-years of border closure and followed by curfews on the third year, I’m not surprised that this threat was raised.
The question raised on Tuesday was ‘What is the relevance of this curfew when we already have widespread Omicron in Efate?’ The answer cannot be the VT1.2 billion stimulus package.
So, while the announcement of a stimulus is good. It’s not the answer to the issue raised on Tuesday, it’s not the answer businesses are looking for.
Is the curfew working? How has it curtailed the spread of Omicron? Where is the data to support this curfew? Does the 8pm curfew justify the loss of business to the private sector?
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