The following dialogue is quoted from a facebook page, Yap State Youth, initiated by Mr. Zachary Tman on November 11, 2012. We re-post the conversation here for it concisely summarizes several issues which we are concerned about, with particular relevance to the current situation.
can i share something? lol actually, imma just go ahead and say my piece….
so i got two things i want to get off my chest cause i am pissed….
1. I am all for investments by ETG as long as it is environmentally safe, culturally preserving, and economically favorable. what i am not on board with, is for a company to prosper of the resources of the island of Yap. the state of yap is one of the most vulnerable places in the world. the little the state has is not even enough to support its future generations. if ETG is profit at the expense of our island and people’s identity….then ETG, you bettah pack yo freakin bags and leave….but if you are all up for helping this tiny little nation survive and grow in what i like to call “a cruel world”…then homie, c’mon in…make yahself at home, let me get you some sugar honey ice tea. but in all seriousness, i understand that there are advantages and disadvantages to everything….and after weighing out my options, im all for this investment…a long as they stick to the rules, and we, the yapese, play our part….i also want, on paper, something that gives the yapese a say in everything that is to be done…and a right to have it done or not…4000 room hotels, what are you kidding me! that’s big enough to fit maybe even near-half the population of yap…and that’s one of my concerns…over population…this world aint got enough food for all of us…heck, when i was in yap, i’d wake up to see my neighbor stealing my shindiggities right from my back yard…so over population on one small island will be a huge problem….another problem i got is the exposure of Yap to the entire world when and if this is done….it’s normal that when a yapese goes somewhere…people ask “where yah from honey?”…we say “from yap”….them clueless b-peeps dont know where the heck yap is…but the exposure of yap to asia if this project is successfully done, will bring some major tourism, which is good, but also bad….so, all im saying…is i want ETG and the yapese people….to really consider what’s going on and whether we’re really in it….or not….
now im tired of typing..and i still got a whole lot of issues with this thing….but imma skip to point number 2
2. People of the state have really got to get their facts right. i keep hearign arguments about “oh we’re gonna lose our lands to the chinese”, “the chinese gonna ruin our culture”..this chinese this…the chinese that…WAKE UP man!!! stop your racist crap and pull yo head outta yo bleeping….have you seen the land of china!!! big-A place they got…ETG doesnt sum up the whole of China…so when you categorize all chinese under the actions or investments of ETG, you’re going a little too far. as for cultural preservation, please dont get me started on that….what is cultural preservation exactly??? is it wearing the traditional attire while also having some flip flops on and a pair of sunglasses..not to mention wearing thuw over underwear, that shi* dont go togetha…is it wearing so much lipstick, you dont know whether yo mouth is bleeding or you are a heavy chewer??? when people talk of cultural preservation, i am aiming to see them really walking the walk about the talk they talking…in other words, when you wanna preserve culture, get involved…dress culturally, make handicrafts, fund-raise to keep the museum running, start community and culture preservation groups….dont just be talking and expecting someone else to do the work….i love our way of life, but i also love to see progress and a better future….the people need to see that we cannot hang on to our culture forever…it’s a hard-A truth….but it’s the truth..with every dying generation, new things come up, and parts of our old culture slowly dies with the previous generation…so im all for cultural preservation…but i am also for economic progression…i want good schools back there, good businesses, more opportunities…good telecommunications, the telecom and internet sucks..sorry mom and dad, you both work there…>.> nobody say anythign to them about this…our roads are so bad in some places, you dont know whether to swim or fly to where you wanna go…i jus pull off the road and take a dump cause all the bumps and curves make me feel sick….taxes….taxes…the rest of the world is going up in prices of consumer goods..adn because most of our stuff is imported…everything is expensive….shiyeet man…i call home, and my mom’s like “hey kiddo, your eating all right over there”..i say “yeah mom”..and she says “good….cause i aint eating jack over here!!! one can of sardines is over my paycheck….”
it’s sad….and another thing is, for those of us who go off island to get good education…they tell us…coem back and work for your people…i love that….but the level of school we achieve does not fit what we come back to work with….im studying to be a neurosurgeon, but the hospital doesnt have a neurosurgery ward…soem of my friends are studying to become lawyers, when they come back, all they gona be dealign with is “baray bang ae binaw u rull ni yibe foleg, ra ba beq ni bay rogon ngay…mu call nag 350-argon argon argon….”….other people are studying complicated fields that are not existent on our islands..and they come back and work low-paying jobs that dont fit what they got their butts grilled for in college..so yeah…i want to see some progress…..but my underlying theme is….i want progress, but not at the cost of our cultural and human identity…..
and i’ve said enough to make half the world sleep….sorry ya’ll…it’s saturday here in vegas…nothing to do…but be homesick and wonder whats going on back home…
nge par ae gapas ko Ani Gaq rodad….forgive me if i said anything wrong, and im truly sorry….but i just want this ETG thing to be over.
Good one Zack…one word Home….
Karim’magar, Zachary Tman. You capture what many of us have tried to say for many months now, and you do so in a few paragraphs–something I have a particularly tough time doing (as my many long posts in this group make clear). I am not going to respond to any of your specific points–you express them well, and you don’t need any commentary from me. Kam’magar ko skul, ma mu tinum ko gubin banen.
For now, I wish to address Mr. Gang Yang. Sir, I respectfully request your comments on Zachary’s post. As part of your comments, please let this group know whether ETG is willing to dissolve its signed Investment Agreement with the State of Yap and start over. In my opinion (as I have expressed in numerous posts in this group, including a recent string of posts starting here: http://www.facebook.com/groups/ouryap/permalink/516517388360114/?comment_id=517775011567685&offset=0&total_comments=35), the signed Agreement does not adequately secure enough benefits–including significant improvements to infrastructure and social programs and services–for Yap and her people, especially when one compares those benefits to what ETG stands to gain from pursuing its proposed Project in Yap. Zachary’s post highlights the very real need to ensure that those benefits flow to Yap and her people, but in my opinion, the signed Agreement does not ensure that, at least not to the extent that Zachary’s post desires (and that many Yapese, I believe, desire as well).
Additionally, the signed Agreement does not give the people of Yap the explicit authority to have “a say in everything that is to be done,” as Zachary insists. Yap, being the fragile entity that it is, is interconnected–ecologically, culturally, politically, economically–and the decisions of one group of Yapese will likely affect the lives of other Yapese, especially when those decisions have to do with leasing land to ETG and allowing ETG to go ahead with its proposed Project in Yap. The signed Agreement was negotiated by ETG and a single branch of the Yap State Government (actually, by ETG and a single office–the Attorney General’s Office–of a single branch), and that was done without the direct participation of the Yapese people, despite numerous public petitions and statements decrying that failure. Indeed, the people’s elected representatives in the Yap State Legislature could have conceivably stood in for the people and allowed the people to participate at least indirectly in the decision-making process, but the signed Agreement did not give the Legislature the authority to ratify the signed Agreement (despite repeated requests by Members of the Legislature for that authority during the Legislature’s sole public hearing on the Agreement), and the signed Agreement says that ETG’s Master Plan can be approved or rejected only by the Anefal Administration (i.e., the “State of Yap”), with the Legislature having no role in that decision except to be “consulted.” The people of Yap should have an explicit say in ETG’s development of its proposed Project, but right now, the people do not have that say under the signed Agreement.
Mr. Gang Yang, I repeat, is ETG willing to dissolve its signed Agreement with the State of Yap and start anew? Or does ETG insist that the signed Agreement is sufficient to ensure that Yap and her people receive the benefits that they deserve, that they are able to directly participate in deciding whether to let ETG proceed with its proposed Project, and that ETG will pursue a Project that is “environmenally safe [and] culturally preserving,” as Zachary rightly insists should be primary factors in determining whether ETG’s proposed Project goes forward? If ETG insists thusly, then please state–with specific details rather than general statements and promises–how ETG will allow for the people’s direct participation in the decision-making process and drive significant benefits to Yapese without harming Yap’s environment, culture, and overall uniqueness. Your response is respectfully requested and will be most welcome.
Thank you, Mr. Gang Yang, ma kam’magar, Zachary.
I love this…I feel exactly the same way!!!
dissolve the current agreement and let the people of Yap come up with a proposition that truly reflects the aspirations of the people of yap which any investor can view and compete for . That is my proposition.
On Investment Agreement (Infrastructure Development and Social Welfare Improvements)
Dialogue between Mr. Clement Yow Mulalap and Mr. Yang Gang (ETG’s Authorized Representative)