Dear Editor – I read with interest in the suggestion that consideration be given to providing cash bonuses to our winning athletes at this year’s Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea.
It is an interesting proposition. In fact I was more or less inclined to support it.
However, I have made a conscious decision not to for a number of reasons, including but not limited to the fact that taxpayers have made substantial financial contributions towards the cost of getting our athletes to the Games.
For example, there were charters, accommodation and perhaps a daily sustenance allowance for every single athlete and official.
In this regard, I am reminded by what former US President John F Kennedy said in his famous speech in the 60s, when he urged Americans to do more for their country than for themselves.
Here’s the quote,
“Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.”
This famous saying now graces the grounds of the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. We should instil such principle in the minds of our youngsters – that the interest of the country must be foremost in all our endeavors.
To do otherwise would be to encourage a dependency mentality which unfortunately is slowing engulfing the nation.
Please note that what is expressed in this letter is my own private view and does not represent the Government’s position or view.
S Alfred Sasako