These informative & thoughtful inputs were extracted from:
Micronesia Forum: CHINESE ETG VS. YAP STATE LEADERS
Passion, January 12, 2012
The ETG group visited Yap once again to endorse the contract agreement as
agreed. The Honorable Chief Bruno Tharngan signed the agreement yesterday,
January 12, 2012 at the Yap Explorer resort except for the governor and the
speaker. the speaker declined to sign and the governor asked more time to
re-view and will determine at a later time. so one envelope already distributed
on this day and the other 2 still remain... hope the governor will get the
second one... lol.
Mor Watit, January 14, 2012
That contract agreement is as worthless as a used piece of toilet paper. No
chief in Yap has the authority to sign any contract on behalf of the state. In
their own municipality, maybe, but for the state, no siree! The governor is the
only person in Yap State who can commit the state to any contract..
Chief Bruno Tharngan had nothing to do with the paved roads, schools in Maap.
These are the collective efforts of Yap State leadership of yester-years, when
they were working together as one. Nowadays, we have all sorts acting alone and
independently, out of self interest and greed..
Yap traditional council don’t have the power the older ones used to have back in
the days. The chiefs of yester-years commanded the people’s respect.
Mor Watit, January 16, 2012
One thing is for certain, not all yapese will welcome ETG. Tourists will get
hurt when they step on the wrong land, or take picture of the wrong person. If
this matter is to be done without the people’s knowledge, no good will come out
of it. Mark watit’s words, people will get hurt. Yapese people are running out
of patience with self-centered leaders.
lak, January 16, 2012
I heard that Chief Bruno Tharngan is the chairmen of the council. I’m sure he’s
not the decision maker behind the signing of the MOU. Also, I heard the council
was created during the trust territory days and that the power of traditional
leaders of Yap reside in the “seven.” Is this true?.
Lastly, I was extremely worried about what was said in the press release from
the signing. According to Yapstategov.org “Chairman Deng also mentioned
historical and cultural plans in which the company will build new villages where
the local people could conduct business with visitors interested in the culture.
The villages will serve as centers for local activities such as local dance
performance, carvings, weaving, etc. The ETG plans to build several villages
which will be given free to the communities so they could be used for daily
activities by the local people..”
This sounds like a cover for relocation of Yapese villages. Also, who are the
Chinese to build a Yapese village? Are they going to have the Yapese women lay
the stone for the stone paths? Are they going to celebrate the completion of a
men’s house with a thumthather? Do they even know about these things?
If this isn’t a cover for relocation than it must be a sort of stage where
Yapese can demonstrate their culture and tell stories of their history. Isn’t
that what the Yap Living History Museum is?
rzrbck, January 16, 2012
I believe it is something akin to the Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii.
Employees go to work and act like they are living like they did in the old days.
They wear traditional dress, and do all the thing they did in the old days in
the ways they used to. The tourists just walk around and watch and take
pictures. Things are available for purchase. (coconut oil, woven hats, etc.)
Nobody actually lives in the village and at closing time everyone goes home.
They say N. Fanif will be the first place to have things happen. Just what I
Dwarf, January 16, 2012
N. Fanif will be at point on the first leg of journey. Amin, Maap is revving on
sideline for now. ETG is eyeing Makiy for its biggest investment. COP has given
the green light for development at landowner’s and municipality request. ETG
will assist in beautification and enhancement of villages and traditional
at-tractions for villagers and tour purposes. There are no relocation plans
unless municipality, village and landowners have common understanding to offer
such locality for development.
Tokai, January 17, 2012
Several people have pointed out the benefits to Yap, but what is the quid pro
quo? What, for example would Maap village give up if the Chinese build all
the-se tourist attractions? Do the Chinese want exclusive access to land to
bring in more Chinese to live? If they want permission to build commercial
facilities will they also want to import labor to staff such? What does the MOA
say? For facilities on the scale that were originally talked about on this
forum, has someone done a study of water availability? Water has always been the
bane of development on Yap so how is this matter being addressed? Since Speaker
Falan is also from Maap and did not sign the agreement what were his
reservations? For such a monumental decision facing the Yap leadership, why has
the MOA not been posted by some Yapese forumers?.
I keep thinking about the experience of the RMI when they let in the Taiwanese
who now control 75% of all retail activity... even taxicab companies are now
Dwarf, January 17, 2012
Chief Tharngan is Chairman of COP but not necessarily the one pushing forth for
ETG investment; although he is pro- ETG investment there are other influential
council members who are pushing forth for ETG investment. I believe the effects
of ETG projects will be felt by the State and will change Yap forever. The most
opposition toward ETG may surface in Nimgil area (Southern Rull and Kanifay) due
to local politics; the scope of development may be open to the people of Yap
making it precarious at the get go. I think we all should be soul searching in
2012, we are on the upsurge of a tidal wave.. Yahooooo...
Mor Watit, January 17, 2012
If only people would understand the audacity of the proposition offered by ETG.
Total relocation of entire villages, relocation of Colonia, Damming up entire
vil-lages (tin ni thaab i mathang liwol rorad yu Waab, nga gun chuweg bee u
tafen). It pretty much will take control of the whole island and rearrange
things to suite the need for ETG. Yap will turn into a tourist island overnight.
if we agree to such a proposition, we might as well change the name of Yap to
peace2u, January 17, 2012
i heard it said that the river (stream?) in Okaw is proposed to be dammed up for
water resources, and the families currently living in the project site to be
re-moved to Numnung. anybody care to elaborate on this?.
Mor Watit, January 17, 2012
“He emphasized on the need for the people in the State Government as well as the
people of the State to support and fully understand the benefits and other
un-foreseen impacts that the investment project will bring to the State so we
could have control of both..”
When is this happening?? what exactly is the plan? where is the copy of the MOU?
why is everyone still in the dark about this? There is a lot that’s not be said
on this matter and that’s what’s bothering watit! CAN WE GET A SIMPLE ANSWER
HERE? WHO DO WE HAVE TO KILL TO GET SOME AN-SWERS TO OUR QUESTIONS?.
Tokai, January 18, 2012
Well, I don’t think this MOU is anything to get excited about because it asserts
prerogatives that do not belong to the Council legally or traditionally… Hence,
the Gov and Speaker not signing. This is the polite and quiet way for the Exec
and Legis to say “No” by doing nothing but making polite comments to the ETG
group. But probably the start of a long volley of proposals on which the
executive and YSL will undoubtedly have to get involved if they go anywhere.
Tokai, January 18, 2012
You don’t have it quite right. The last reorganization put the former land
commission functions under the AG’s office and land management under R&D. The
council members have no powers to adjudicate land and they are often defendants
in disputed cases. Moreover, there are EPA and R&D investment activities in
exec, and independent visitor’s bureau and water authorities GTWA and SYWA that
are not under the control of the pilung but be a major part of MOU issues. Of
course it is only right and proper for the COP to advise on social, cultural and
traditional matters and help resolve local disputes. Also, #5 does not even
mention “land” so I don’t know where you are coming from..
I think the COP MOU was well intended… after all, anyone in their right mind
would want to have a major say before they are overrun with hordes of Chinese.
northernwarrior, January 19, 2012
relocate whole village? I think we all know about the Native Americans. and what
is happening to our neighbor sister, Guam. the natives are disappearing at an
alarming rate. and who is taking over? this warrior is very concerned. just my
Mor Watit, January 21, 2012
It is a sad day for watit to see a sold out Yapese. Actually, watit is not sure
whether to consider this person a Yapese or not. If he was truly a Yapese, he
would understand values such as self-reliance and self-sufficiency.
Unfortunately the smell of green paper is strong in his nose and the Yapese
blood thin in his heart. That’s what happen when one’s first navigator fails to
instill Yapese values into one’s upbringing. “Food is thrown, much like chicken
feed, and no words of teaching accompanies the food..”
Mor Watit, January 22, 2012
The idea that Yap has to rely on outsiders to develop Yap is what watit can’t
stand. Yap should develop at her own expense and at her own pace, that is what
sustainable development is all about. Relying on outsiders to develop Yap will
only work for as long as the outsider has the money or the willingness to give.
Once the outsider’s interest is no longer being served, he will leave and where
would Yap be, still the same because they are unwilling to work for development
by their own sweat. That is where the Yapese cultural value comes into play..
Watit is NOT against development. Watit does not want to see development of Yap
according to some foreigner’s vision. and especially on an outsider’s expenses.
Watit would like to see Yap develop at her own expense and according to her own
vision. ETG proposal is not the way to go. It is the easy way but not the best
in the long run..
What are in your heads?.
Mor Watit, January 22, 2012
“What is so unique about Yap that people are afraid to change? What are the
values of self reliance and self sufficiency that Mor Watit is so adamant to
Yap is not afraid to change, but not according to somebody else’s vision. The
values of self reliance and self sufficiency is the reason why Yap state is the
only state out of the whole FSM who has not gone broke.
peace2u, January 22, 2012
all i hear in here from the pro- ETG posters are general statements; nothing
concrete on the real benefits the project will bring into Yap. for those of you
who really want to know what the Chinese are intending to do in Yap get your
hands on the investment agreement between Yap the ETG that is currently being
discussed and considered by the governor and his cabinet. after you read the
pro-posed agreement i don’t think you will be singing a pro- ETG song.
it is every yapese right to know what will happen to him or her and to just let
a few leaders of the state decide on behalf of all yapese, without any concrete
idea by the people of what the project entails and the people’s input, is
irresponsible. every yapese is entitled to get a copy of that proposed agreement
so demand a copy from the governor; he prides himself on being transparent so
let us see how transparent he is in releasing a copy of that agreement.
please people read the damn agreement before you talk in generalities. we all
want development but i don’t think we want the kind of development that is being
proposed in the investment agreement.
i am one of the cavemen but i am concerned about what will become of Yap if we
go into this thing with blindfolds. there isn’t any WRITTEN plan of what the
project will be like; ETG wants the investment agreement signed before a master
plan is produced. is there something wrong with this picture?
Mor Watit, January 22, 2012
There are Americans who wished they could eat like us, there are chinese who
would kill to get their hands on banana’s, papaya’s, pineapples, etc., there are
Americans who are dying of hunger because they have literally nothing to eat.
lets compare their situation to Yap. In the long history of Yap, has anyone ever
died of hunger because they had no food? So watit is really interested to hear
more about this so-called “standard of living” and “hardship” you are talking
peace2u, January 23, 2012
wow A! the investment agreement is not a phantom one. it is a 60 pages
agreement. copies are with the governor, ag, and legislature. the language is
both in english and chinese (or at least i think in chinese). please secure a
copy of that agreement, read it, and then tell us if the governor should sign it
on behalf of the state.
Gavilan, January 23, 2012
Perhaps your greatest resource is not the potential for tourist development; but
your fisheries and other resources.
I am confident the soft power that China is exerting through the ETG is founded
on this fact. I assure you, the value of those fisheries will increase
dramatically over the next decade as world fisheries continue to decline; and
the Chinese have a huge population to feed. There will come a time when your
fish will be more valuable than oil, which you probably also have, if there are
Would it be foolish to sell the rights to those fisheries when you can develop
them yourself? When you sign the rights away to the Chinese will there have been
consideration made of the huge increase in future value of those fisheries? Do
you really think that China will act in your best interest once having gained
access to your resources?
China is very good at long term strategic planning. I do not think the true goal
is to develop tourism; but to gain unfettered access to one of the largest
Exclusive Economic Zones on the planet.
I have often wondered why people would think that being paid as maids and
servants to foreigners is so much better than being fisherman and farmers in
control of their own destiny..
Gavilan, January 26, 2012
Please tell me again; why is being a maid or a servant for foreign tourists
better than being a Fisherman? I am sure once you explain it to me I will
Perhaps your horizons should be bigger than the carrot held in front of your
nose by foreign interests.
When the golf courses have killed the mangroves and reefs do you think the
tourists will travel 10,000 miles to play the golf courses and gamble?
Why would a golfer or gambler go to Yap when there are better and bigger courses
and casinos much closer?
If you lose your mangroves and reefs you will become just another piece of
re-fuse in the junk pile of failed states that have followed the conventional
course to “development.”
No one is going to serve your best interests but you. And that is going to take
more than just sitting back and letting some foreign investor gain control of
your lands a resources. If will require imagination, hard work, and cooperation.
I believe I have much historical precedence to support my position.
Are you envisioning and working towards a future? Or hoping for a job as a maid
Does your vision encompass the realities of location and available resource?
It is very difficult to have a vision of a future that extends beyond one’s own
self-interest! It requires effort and a willingness to sacrifice for a greater
good. Are you exerting that effort? Are you willing to make that sacrifice? If
not then the ultimate outcome will serve neither your own self-interest nor the
interest of your people.
There is no easy path.
Tokai, January 26, 2012
Like Gavilan and Mor Watit I think a healthy skepticism is called for, but do
not impugn the Yap leadership who have acted prudently so far. I view the COP’s
What I wonder now is how this will play out in the near to medium term. Do you
all remember when the purse seining venture was first being promoted by the
State leadership with the fly-by-night outfit from San Diego? At a certain
point, it became “you have to act now” or all kinds of bad things would befall
Yap State. In the event, we got into business with them and Yap lost about $30
million before it got its small-scale model right with the Diving Seagull. The
Palau Air fiasco with Alan Seid was another such scam. So I’m just wondering if
we will get an ultimatum from ETG and a handful of insiders on why we have to
“act now.” and what will it entail?
They keep talking about the need to expand the airport and this in particular
makes me suspicious. Will they request Yap use its own funds to do major
air-port construction to show good faith with its new partners? I expect some
pro-posal for Yap to front a large of amount of cash for some component of the
Also I keep reading about the enormous number of ghost cities and buildings
throughout China that are uninhabited and reflect the enormous mal-investment in
infrastructure that China used to promote its economy… no studies were done on
whether there were people or businesses who would purchase or use them… the
construction was an end in itself. In several instances it hasn’t been the
central PRC gov’t promoting such but rather the regional investment authorities.
Now we have the company from Chengdu proposing a huge scheme in Yap… has
somebody in Yap done its due diligence and investigated this company and its
officers? That, surely would be a minimum requirement of allowing such an
Dwarf, January 27, 2012
You know rok Watit chaps my hide at times but I see and feel his points and
counterpoints—I may even label him a conservative person. Whereas, Linda and A
keep bringing up supposedly the poor state of life in Yap as if they hail from a
successful island economy, which I think we can all agree is a dream still for
all in the FSM. We all have the same struggles, so to keep dumping on Yap as if
you have something else better going on somewhere else, in this case foreign
in-vestment, is misguided. Being Yapese, I believe that Yap is taking prudent
steps for its own purpose at the same time standing tall in moving the
federation for-ward toward betterment for its people. At this point in time, ETG
for whatever purported purpose is enticing Yap to open for business. The
discussions, heated, at times belligerent are not excuses for talking like Yap
really need ETG in-vestments—I think we can all see the advantages of having
money, it’s the hook that such people like Mor Watit is concerned about. Yap
will still be there as part of the federation contributing its share without the
ETG investment, even more with it—but that is the question we’re all shouting
about. There is no such thing as a poor state of life in Yap, maybe the
hardships faced by Yap just like Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae. Let’s be real, Yap
is fine as is, it’s head is above water unlike others and in no immediate danger
of an economic bail-out.
Mor Watit, January 27, 2012
Thank you dwarf,
Watit has said it before, watit is not in any popularity contest. At times he
gets on people’s nerve, at time he can be an A-hole. Do not judge watit’s
personality, but rather try to understand what he is saying. Watit speaks from
the heart. He is deeply passionate about what he say, so much so, that he can
come across in a negative light. But if you ignore the manner in which he
delivers his massage and focus on the content of his message, you may find the
message to be worth thinking about. Politeness and diplomacy is not a part of
watit’s nature. Watit speaks his mind. Like him or hate him, it matters not, but
do pay heed to what he is saying and you may just find his messages worth your
Mor Watit, January 29, 2012
its true we vote for them, based on what they promised in their campaign, but
tell us truthfully, have they kept their promises? If you don't know what the
hell is going, then STFU and watch, you may just learn something. Government
officials needs watch dogs. that is how government is suppose to work. People
need to be vocal with their opinion on any and all issues. Government should
want to hear how the people feel about all issues facing the state, how else are
they to serve the people if we do not voice our expectations of them? If you
don't understand that then please go back to school and learn something. You
know sometimes it preferable to remain silent and be suspected a fool, rather
than speaking up and removing all doubts. Watit is tired of trying to teach dumb
arses who think they know it all just because they can use a computer and speak
a little English.
tide, January 30, 2012
INTRODUCTION OF RESOLUTION BY SPEAKER HENRY FALAN;
Resolution No. 8-50: A RESOLUTION Respectfully requesting Governor to defer
signing an investment agreement proposed by the ETG until such time when the
people of the State of Yap have been fully informed about the proposal, and
until the State Leadership has unanimously agreed that such proposal will be in
the best interest and welfare of the people of the State of Yap.
Mor Watit, January 30, 2012
The best piece of Official information that has come from the government on this
whole matter. Thank you tide.
rzrbck, January 30, 2012
Pass the resolution YSL! Put this nonsense on hold. Put it to a popular
vote/referendum after some public hearings and education.
Mor Watit, January 30, 2012
That would most fair and sensible. Let everyone have a say in the matter, after
all, everyone will be affected whether they chose to put up their land for ETG
development or not. and most of all, educate the public so whatever happens
afterward, no body can make an excuse of, “oh, but I did not know that.”
mkefel, January 30, 2012
I heard on the radio last Thursday that the resolution was adopted by all
members present during that session. Now it is time for education of the public
on the project. Who is to conduct the public education remains to be the
question. Maybe after the education of the public, then a referendum can be held
on whether or not the chinese should be allowed to invest in the State.
Mor Watit, January 30, 2012
Do you ever stop and think before you blabber? tell us of one piece of land in
Yap owned by one person. all lands in yap are owned by clans, whole clans do
need to have a say in what goes with the land. Besides that, ETG is not looking
for small pieces of lands, they looking for whole villages, big parcels of lands
own by many people. Its the government’s job to protect its people, hence the
involvement by government to insure people’s interest are looked after.
lets take watit for example, watit is from one part of Yap, but he has lands in
other parts of Yap. what if his lands in Okaw, weloy, for example, are given to
ETG without his knowledge? Don’t you see that as a potential problem for Yap?
ETG proposition has the potential to cause us more problems than we are
currently aware of. the YSL is putting a stop to further steps in the matter
until such can be understood and dealt with before proceeding any further.
what about the people of lower villages who live on the land, but do not own it?
Don’t you see the potential problem if the individual who owns the land decide
to give ETG the land? Where will those people go? where will they live? We have
to think this thing through. And while we are on that subject, don’t you see
already some people just do not have that opportunity to gain, but lose from
that proposition. Some people in Yap just live on the land but somebody else
owns the land. Lets us try to understand the nature of this beast before we open
our doors to it.
Ina Chok, January 30, 2012
I guess not, but I did hear that before the COP chairperson signed the MOU
between COP and ETG, he did held a meeting with villagers and land owners.
Ac-cording to a “person” who did join the meetings, the land owners were in
agreement with the proposals by the ETG. By the way the Governor was in on this
meeting as well. COP then signed the MOU representing the land owners. Don’t ask
me why the Governor didn’t sign his document and no I do not know if they were
bribed in any way. Just heard from a very trustworthy “source” so to speak.
fsmer, January 30, 2012
just curious: was this meeting between the COP and villagers and land owners
widely publicized in advance? did it involve more than a handful of people from
only a single municipality (if not a single village)? did those villagers have
the right to speak on behalf of all the land owners in the entire state? were
additional meetings conducted in every municipality, soliciting opinion of all
i’ve had my ears open in yap for a while hoping for such meetings to be held,
but i hadn’t heard a peep until now. i say it’s time to slow things down, chew a
few, and choose our words (and our destiny) carefully. a small cadre of
individuals meeting in secrecy should not determine the fate of wa’ab. that is
neither democratic nor culturally sound.
Tokai, January 31, 2012
Good points, Linda and Ennui, lots of public education necessary. The current
MOU may have more to do with Maap municipality than the entire Yap… only
understandable how investors would eye Maap first for a resort. I’m sure some
sort of gratuity or “incentive payment” has already been made… I recall the
Vancouver B.C. gold prospectors about 20 years ago and how they pre-empted much
discussion by paying the municipalities $25K each for the right to take samples…
Bruno was on the receiving end of that also. At least in that instance, the YSL
was kept fully informed and even some mineral right legislation passed.
I think the YSL resolution was very much in order. The issues are major and
public, and far transcend just private sector or landowner interests.
Nice to have a forum to talk over things. Big dreamers and schemers have always
been a part of our islands; maybe one day something good will result.
Mor Watit, January 31, 2012
That puts things in a clearer light. Watit does not know anything about the
“gold hunt,” as he was not on the island at that period of time. Intriguing, to
say the least. It does connects some dots in this missing picture. From what
watit can make of this picture now, it does not look very pretty.
Be that as it may, watit is confident that there are those who will always
uphold Yapese values above other things and will eventually reason things out.
Yap has no shortness of wise people who will put things in the proper
perspective and navigate our course through pitfalls and tribulations. Watit has
confidence in these wise people he is willing to stake the future of his
children on the decisions they will make.
Now, if watit may borrow your words and make a minor change to it? “Big dreamers
and schemers have always been a part of our islands; one day some-thing good
nutcracker, February 1, 2012
I am still doubtful. I value nothing more than my land and my neighbor.
Individual self-interests can not be considered prominent than the sum-total
interest the whole society can benefits from. This is not something that a
single family, village, or municipality can impact upon. Knowing from our
experiences and the practices alluded by our custom and tradition dictates some
consensus formality to aspire to some unity so that we can keep calling
ourselves yapese and our is-land Wa’ab.
The fact that the chinese are coming is something that really scares me and
pondering in my mind day and night. And I believe I’m not alone in this frame of
mind that I will definitely take counter-measure to root them out no matter how
generous their handouts might be. He have had experience spainish, german,
japanese, and american and I regret them all for some of the things they did to
us but nothing I see coming can be compare to the chinese on our island.
Mor Watit, February 1, 2012
Watit is thankful there are still those who remember those lessons they were
taught in their younger years. Those who aspires to the fundamental Yapese
values. while there are some among us who do not seem to remember those things,
watit is glad there are still others who remembers. Watit has used the name
“Wa’ab” in here time and time again, hoping that will serve to remind, watit
does not know if that was successful.
“wa’ab” means “the land,” all else is ocean. the land is the source of
everything, the stable ground on which to stand. Give that up to anyone and we
are giving away our foundation, we will become like debris in the wind, blown
which ever way the wind takes us. No amount of money can replace that. “Wa’ab”
is the starting point of all things Yapese.
Mor Watit, March 8, 2012
if ETG master plan was allowed to go through, watit is wondering, where will the
Yapese live? where will the Yapese fish, garden, or simply go to get away from
the hustle and bustle of it all? Yap island is only about 38 Square miles, are
we sure we can fit all of those on the island? LOL or perhaps, the Chinese can
make magic to enlarge the island? all these is just ridiculous! watit declares
"open season" on Chinese! hehehe ok, that was a joke.
nutcracker, March 8, 2012
If we are going to swallow some of these
offers, lets take it piece by piece and not force anyone to do something he/she
doesn't want. Lets us be conscious about our culture to be remained in tact for
generation to come. Lets not sold Yap to China or Yapese to Chinese. Lets not
price our pride or forsake our dignity for our indulgence. And finally, lets
politically guide our destiny based on "pluralism" rather than totalitarian and
particularism. Our Unity preempts by our constitution is not by one or the
other, but the totality of everything inclusive of all oppositions in remedial
I sincerely thank our leaderships for their profound judgments!