For me, the Most Disturbing Issue for Melanesians is We Think in an “Asian Way”

5 years ago


Or worse, “We think we are Asians”, or even worse than that, “We think we are less than those Asians”. What a nightmare as a human race.

I am honestly disturbed by many Melanesian politicians turning to Asia and talking more about development, security and peace across Melanesia, these are problems that bother most to those Asians, not Melanesians. Our issue is not terrorism and security. Our issue is not economic development.

Our issue is our “self-identification” as Melanesian people, and based on that our own “self-confidence” in presenting ourselves to the regional and global arena. We are looking at others and thinking about others wrongly because we have a misconception on our own self-image .

“The Asian Way”, that is the Way We Melanesians Are Thinking About Ourselves

By the phrase “Asian Way”, I mean

  • non-western way,
  • against the western way,
  • withdrawing or getting away from the western influence way.

If you choose white than you are getting away from black, if you want light then you need to get rid of darkness. Dualism it is called. Therefore, we Melanesians are not ONLY turning away from the western influence, but at the same time and on the other side of the action, we are automatically giving our face to Asia.

We are not mistakenly thinking that the way forward to get away from the western influence is to choose Asia.

The most famous argument, that I have heard so many times, from the mouths of many politicians across Melanesia, is that Asia is our closest neighbour. They further argue that Asia is our biggest market for doing business, compared to both Australia and New Zealand, or even compared to all Oceania, Asia is still very big.

Another argument is that Asia is our closest neighbour, therefore it is better to listen to them and follow their examples, and invite them to come and dk o business here in Melanesia.

Another classic argument is that we Melanesians do not know, and therefore cannot do the work that those Asians can do, therefore, we are better off cooperating with them, integrating into them to develop our peoples and countries.

In fact Really, We are not Really thinking about or saying anything against the west

What we are doing is really listening to Asia more than before. Dealing with Asia more than before. And engaging with Asia more than before. Nothing and nobody is leaving the west, at all.

Yes, dualism is here. Because many Melanesian leaders think as Asians, forgetting our own self-image, the western community who have been colonising Melanesia for centuries are now confused and asking,

  • “Why Melanesians are turning to Asians?”

Or rather rudely,

  • “Why Asians taking over our colonial peoples and territories?

Australia and New Zealand are being told with clearer and harder words, just like speaking to younger brother in Melanesian family,

You have to take care of them properly! Do not let them taken away by Asia, particularly China!

When Melanesian leaders are asked, these questions or another question, “Don’t you know Asia is dangerous for you? Don’t you remember we have been good allies?” then Melanesian leaders say,

“Yes, we are still friends, we are still allies. Nobody will limit or stop us in our relations. But that does not mean I should always be listening to you. By the way, I am not your slave anymore, right? Well. You told me that colonialism already ended. That is why you gave me my flag, composed my national anthem, called the name of my country, and allowed me to run my own business.”

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