PNG Minister for Police and MP for Madang Open, Bryan Kramer
In August 2019, the Guardian Online News paper ran a story about the Police Commissioner of PNG and MP for Madang Bryan Kramer. The title read:
“…Meet Bryan Kramer, Papua New Guinea’s anti-corruption tsar…”
The subtitle called Kramer a “a rising star in Pacific islands politics…”
Such praise was not uncommon for Kramer. Kramer was a star, if a star is means having the largest followers on social media – Facebook. Tsars were the monarchs of Eastern Europe. It is not clear why the Guardian equated Kramer to the supreme rulers of Eastern Europe. The last Russian Tsar was from the House of Ramanovs, and he was killed: but not for fighting corruption. He was killed during the Russian Revolution of 1917, which ushered in the Communist party Bolsheviks, led by Lenin.
Perhaps the Guardian intended to say he was this epitome of anti-corruption. If there was an emperor of anti-corruption, it would be this no nonsense corruption fighter, who was willing to die fighting corruption.
They were correct to call Kramer a rising star though. Bryan Kramer is rockstar of online political movement in the Pacific. He arguably has more followers on his Facebook page the ‘Kramer Report’ than any other Papua New Guinean from any walk of life. That includes musicians, sports personalities, and wannabe celebrities in PNG. By 2019, his posts were reaching hundreds of shares, and thousands of reactions (likes, hearts, etc.) in less than 24 hours. Facebook care reaction was introduced later on, had it been introduced earlier, there would be thousands expressing their concern/care.
Also by his own admission, people from Solomon Islands follow him. So he is a Pacific star. But his stardom began at home: PNG.
Much of his popularity has to do with his opposition against the O’Neil Government between 2012 and 2019. His anti-corruption fight began before he entered parliament in 2017. The high point was probably when he was jailed at the Boroko Police Station in Port Moresby, following complaints laid by former Madang Open MP Nixon Duban’s father against Kramer. Duban was in Peter O’Neill’s government, and he also defeated Kramer in the 2012 elections for Madang Open.
That’s the past. Kramer has been in government for more than a year now. Is Kramer still popular after one year in the government? Below are two sets of 5 screenshots. First set of screen shots shows Bryan Kramer’s article about lawyer Greg Shepard, who filed a complaint against Bryan Kramer regarding social media publication by Kramer, who Shepard argued was amounted to defamation under the Cyber law of PNG. The first picture is a screen shot of the original article (showing only the first part of the article). The other 5 screen shots show replies/comments to the article. This is followed by another article posted this evening (December 2020), which is accompanied by 5 screenshots containing replies/comments on a short article by Kramer concerning the Supreme Court ruling against the Marape Government, of which Kramer is an integral member, and Minister. The ruling declared Government MPs’ parliament sitting on 17 November 2020 without opposition MPs as invalid, nullifying all decisions taken that day. Including the K19. 6 billion budget. Interestingly, the lawyer representing the case was Greg Shepard.
Both sets of screenshots (2019 article and 2020 article) are related to Kramer & Shepard. But they are one year apart.
Back to the question: Is Kramer still the anti-corruption Tsar? Or is the tide changing against the political star? How do Papua New Guinean view him today? Let’s see their comments.
Firs set of screenshots: This is a screenshot of the first article posted on 20 November 2019….
A snapshot of Comments from PNG Facebook community:
These comments gives you an idea of what the Gurdian was referring to. Kramer was a star, not only of the work he did, but also a star among Papua New Guineans. They loved him.
Now let’s see the second set of comments responding to his most recent post. The first screenshot is his original post on 10 December 2020:
A snapshot of Comments from Papua New Guinea Facebook community:
There you go. Five screenshots of comments from each post, one year apart. You will find this consistency:
An overwhelming majority in support of almost every single article Kramer wrote up till the pandemic (COVID-19) entered PNG in March 2019. After COVID-19, and especially after the November 2020 debacles on both sides on PNG parliament, you will find comments similar to the second set of screenshots.
Time will tell whether the rise of Kramer to stardom, driven by love form PNG Facebook community, will become the same means by which he will loose popularity.
Just one question to readers: why do you think Kramer (The Scientist) seems to be getting more negative reactions now than before?
Comment below and let us know. We may probably write part two of the article based on what you think the reasons are…