Monday, December 21, 2009

FAQ From Friends About Working in PNG

1. Questions Asked by Friends about Working in Port Moresby

Q: Have you got your table tennis team already?
A: I cannot even find a partner! So, please come. Bring along lots of table tennis balls (but don't get caught by Customs). It is very expensive here. It costs over 22 Kina for 3 balls.

Q: We all feel you must have a very good pay/prospect in PNG. That was why you quitted with such a short notice and flew off in a hurry, while forfeiting your year-end bonus.
A: Actually, my bonus was minuscule, smaller than peanut. So it was affordable (eventhough it was smaller than peanut, forfeiting it made me nuts). Over here, the local clerks could get an average increment of 50 Kina for a fortnight's pay (they are paid every two weeks) or 100 Kina for four weeks. 1 Kina = RM1.20. I guess the pay here should be good.

Q: How big is the upcoming hypermarket?
A: I don't really know. The latest information I got from Malaysian workers working at the site was that it was more than three times the size of the new Sing Kwong supermarket in Sibu (also 3 times the size of the current hypermarket).

Q: By the way, how much is the approximate remuneration for a candidate without diploma? with diploma? with degree? with professional qualification?
A: I don't have access to the information on salaries. Ask for a salary that will make you smile.

Q: Is PNG time the same as Malaysia's time?
A: It is two hours ahead of Malaysia's time. For eg. when I am in the toilet in the morning, you are still sleeping.

Q: Is the weather in PNG hot (in December)?
A: At the moment, it is summer. So, it is hot like in July in Malaysia. I was also told that humidity is lower here. It is also very dry. The first thing you notice while flying into Port Moresby is the barren hills, without trees and green grass. You can see it from the photos somewhere in this blog site.

Q: Is it easy to get infected with dengue fever/malaria?
A: Dengue fever/ malaria in Port Moresby is uncommon, just like in Sibu. Like Sarawak, malaria is only found in the interior.

Q: Are groceries in PNG expensive?
A: Yes, it is expensive. They are usually 2 - 3 times more expensive than in Sibu, but cars are cheap. If you want to be rich, go into business. You can make a killing without killing anyone. For example, a tray of 10 small eggs (65g) cost 9.35 Kina. Bring your hens over to PNG and you do not have to do another day's work.

Q: What are the common sporting activities there?
A: Among Malaysian expatriates, they play badminton. Many play golf too. Membership here is cheap, and I was told it was only about 2,000 Kina. You can also buy cheap second hand golf clubs in Brisbane, Australia (typical Malaysian). If you need to do some apple-polishing, then join the golf club. You can afford it here.

Q: Are there any entertainment?
A: There are cable TV stations.

Q: Any lenglui there or not?
A: Dark skin lenglui are really difficult to find. I don't know why. Yellow skin lenglui are all married. Sad.

2. Questions About Working in the Timber Camps and Sawmills

Q: How do I apply to work in PNG?
A: Send your resume to the company head office in Sibu, stating your name, the position applied, your work experience, your expected salary, your age and very importantly, your telephone number.

Q: How far are the timber camps/ sawmills from Port Moresby?
A: Roads are not linked, so nobody knows the actual distant. All transportation to the camps/ sawmills will be by air (either Air Niugini or company privately owned planes, depending on the locations). If you are flying on company planes, you shall land at the airstrips at the camps/ sawmills. I was given to understand that one sawmill was situated on a beautiful beach in Alotau (South-eastern part of PNG).

Q: Are sawmill/ timber camp workers insured?
A: Yes. The company will buy you Group Personal Accident (GPA), Group Term Life (GTL) and Hospital and Surgical Scheme (HSS). Should you die, you shall not be able to exhaust the paper money that will be burnt at your grave.

Q: What about language skills?
A: You need to be able to communicate in English. Surely you don't expect to communicate with the locals using sign language. How do you say 'fuck you' in sign language?


  1. My question is any lenglui there or not? Haha...

  2. Jam: Dark skin lenglui are really difficult to find. I don't know why. Yellow skin lenglui are all married. Sad.