Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sex, lies and facebook

it appropriate for the Deputy Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea to
trawl Facebook looking for extra-marital relationships, asks
Sam Corcoran?

I've started calling the Deputy Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Belden the Ubiquitous. 
'Here Belden, there Belden, everywhere…Belden, Belden.'

Although he has a plethora of portfolios and acting portfolios, one has eluded him, the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Belden the Ubiquitous has been engaging in 'Foreign Affairs' anyway –
extra-marital ones, using his facebook account.
Is this conduct unbecoming of a leader of a Christian nation?  You decide.  
Michelle's story (Not her real name)
The incident
on Friday morning 25 November 2011 at around 3.45 a.m., Michelle's
phone rang in her hotel room at Port Moresby's Airways hotel.

"Be ready in five minutes," instructed the gruff voice of the Deputy Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea.
"Why?  What's happening?" she replied.
"I'm sending my driver to pick you up."
"I'm going to need a half an hour," countered Michelle.  "I'm still in bed."
"No! You've got five minutes my driver will be there then, be ready" he said before hanging up.

decision to comply with the summons was one of the worst judgment calls
Michelle ever made.  She describes what happened at the block of flats
owned by Namah in the Port Moresby suburb of Gordons as the most
sordid, degrading and humiliating episode she'd ever experienced and it
was at the hands of the Deputy Prime Minister of the Christian nation
of Papua New Guinea.

the immediate aftermath of the 'incident' while Michelle was still at
Gordons, obviously upset, Namah told Michelle that " …he had
witnesses," although she'd accused him of nothing.     

incident left her shaken and frightened: angry at herself for being so
naïve, angry at herself for being so starstruck by the position he had
offered her by telephone from New Zealand and had confirmed at a Sydney
meeting that she had left herself vulnerable.  But more than anything
else, she was profoundly grateful that she had survived the episode
relatively unscathed – at least physically.

irony of the situation wasn't lost on her when, at breakfast that same
morning, back at Airways Hotel, she was introduced to and spoke briefly
with the Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill and a former Prime Minister, Sir
Rabbie Namilu.

not lost on her was that she needed to get out of PNG – the sooner the
better.  She forfeited her Qantas ticket to Sydney in favour of an
earlier Virgin flight to Brisbane.  When she was safely on the plane,
she sent a text to Namah.

"The pen is mightier than the sword," it read.  There was no reply

A couple of months prior…
It was in September 2011 that Michelle first met Belden Namah via facebook.
She sent a 'friend request' he accepted and sent a personal note asking for her email and telephone number.
Namah asked if he could telephone her and whether she would be interested in meeting if he came to Sydney.  

indecent haste he started to sign off his facebook messages "with love"
and calling her 'Darling'.  She made light of it in their

in the early hours of the morning he'd telephoned to ask whether they
could have sex before a scheduled dinner date in Sydney.  

"No," was the reply.
"Why not?" he retorted
"Because I've never met you," she stated.

enticements kept coming – including a job offer as Namah's personal
political and media advisor.  He would put a down payment in her
account of  $AU50,000 and she could dictate her own terms, he said.

the Novotel Hotel, Brighton Beach, Sydney on Saturday, 29 October 2011,
they met and spoke of a possible personal relationship as well as the
professional one. The Deputy Prime Minister assured Michelle that the
one would not impact on the other.  They shook hands on the deal.

seal the deal, on November 19, 2011, Michelle took a direct flight from
Sydney to Port Moresby. Would Belden be available to meet?  He would -
dinner that night at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

Port Moresby, Namah was nowhere to be found.  He did not front
parliament for the reading of the Women's Bill on 22/23 November.  He
was out of the country on business she found out when he phoned her
from an airport in transit back to Port Moresby on the Wednesday.  He
would see her that night.  But Belden Namah, was a 'no show'.

Namah's history of unreliability (promises of meetings and phone calls
that never eventuated, money that never materialised for jobs offered
etc.), Michelle conceded defeat and accepted that the relationship
either personal or professional wasn't meant to be.

texted Namah wishing him all the best for the December court cases and
brought forward the date of her departure from Sunday to Friday.

But it wasn't over:

Early on Friday morning at around 3.45 a.m., Michelle's phone rang…

The aftermath
heard nothing more from Belden Namah until she published a retraction
of all of the positive things she had said about him on facebook in a
headline that read  'Mea Culpa -I was wrong'.  

The response was swift – his telephone call went unanswered:
"Please call me," he texted.
"What do you want?" she replied, also by text.
"Nothing," he wrote, but nevertheless went on to write further:
"I just want to say sorry, I was so drunk when you came.  Please forgive me.  I promise I will make up.  I love you."

That was on the 26 November.  He never has  'made it up',

Felicity's story (Not her real name)
only reason Felicity had a Facebook page was to contribute to a chat
group.  Minimal details were on her 'info' page.  She had no facebook

A spur of the moment decision saw her sending a 'friend request' to Belden Namah whose facebook friends numbered almost 5000.  

back came a note containing his personal email and newest mobile
telephone number.  He "looked forward" to hearing from her.  

Politely, she asked:
"Do you give the number to all your facebook friends?"  Your phone must really run hot."

He didn't - and said it was "luck" that he'd decided to this time.

less than a dozen messages, the Deputy Prime Minister of Papua New
Guinea suggested that Felicity end her relationship with her boyfriend
and "start" one with him.  He was "a free man."

persuaded Felicity to agree to meet him for the weekend in Sydney by
offering to pay her double her weekend earnings.  He offered to send
her money ($2,000) through Western Union" for her ticket to Sydney from
where she lived on the Gold Coast.  She refused the cash but accepted
his offer to send her a ticket

Felicity phoned Belden Namah on Wednesday, 25 January, she told him her arrangements were in place for the weekend.  

"Not this weekend, next," he said in a procrastination manoeuvre familiar to Michelle.  

Later, on facebook's messaging, he asked her what was to become of their arrangements?  
me the ticket," she said "and I will try to fit in with your dates."
Adding:  "Make it refundable in case I can't get away".  

"Deal," he replied.  

less than a week, the Deputy Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea had
offered a stranger on facebook a weekend in Sydney and $2,000 in cash,
a two-week, all expenses paid holiday (with him). He'd offered to send
her money to buy a phone that she could use for phoning only him –
(there was a problem with hers given that she shared a joint account
with her boyfriend.) He was available to her by telephone "any time of
the day or night".  

At present, Felicity is still waiting for the airline ticket to emerge.

"I don't only say, I do," said Belden Namah to the mutineers at Taurama Barracks last week.  

There are those that would beg to differ because they know better.

Deputy Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea while stopping short of
outright criminality has certainly been operating on the margins of
decency with these women.  People should expect that their national
leaders have higher morals than those of an alley cat.

more, by his behaviour, the Deputy Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea
has revealed himself a fool because the final irony to this story is
that Michelle and Felicity are the same person.

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