With all due respect I write this letter apologetically with regards to recent legislations passed in Parliament where women are allowed to run as members of Parliament in the upcoming General Election or to sit in Village Councils as Matai Titles in future.
Evidently Mr. Editor, I have no objection to any one of the two issues bearing in mind we are all human beings created by God in His Own Image “FREE FOR ALL THINGS (both Men & Women alike) within our own limits as Humans according to the Laws of God and Prescribed in our Constitution).
It means therefore these issues are natural according to tradition and culture of Samoa. But Amazingly I was surprised when listening over the Radio to some of the interviews run by some who seem to be saying, “I thank this government for this opportunity and when the chance is given I have no other choice but to give it a go”.
Mr Editor I will have no apologies to this end, knowing fully this is a free speech country where you are free to express your own person.
But the fact is, what opportunity are they talking about? As can be clearly understood in those interviews, firstly the chance to get elected to Parliament and secondly the opportunity to sit in with the Village Councils and I have firm belief that both these issues were clearly understood in our Constitution long before the HRPP government came to grab the reins to govern.
By this I mean there is no need for further legislations and in particular a further Constitutional Amendment on these issues. In my opinion, I would rather simply see it as another waste of time, effort and money.
It thus poses a number of questions like what do women think about being in Parliament only because of the power of the law. Later on they may become the ridiculed as representatives possible only because of the law as they did not come as they would think. It is a must of their free choice. I even overhead them as giving thanks to the United Nations for the money given them to run workshops and do campaigning.
This is one other problem of accepting funding along these lines which looks like aids but in my opinion they are bribes to get their message through, which is so common these days with this administration. To obtain funding is good, but it does not mean the funder give us commands of what to do with the money. Bear in mind we are an independent country. They can either accept our terms or take back their aid money.
If there are any bans on these issues then they must be from village Councils in which village consent and approval is required as well something the villages are to be cautious of. No doubt this could be the rationale behind the law now in progress that all village laws are to be registered with the Court House.
So hopefully this is not some tantalizing and some window dressing tactics by government to gain momentum in the upcoming general election where in my opinion, women are going to regret at the end. The big question arise “do we really need these extra legislation particularly when the Highest Law of the Land Allows it.
It would not have so much of a hassle if they say, thank you government when we have been appointed by you for the extra seats because we will not hath to think of money to have us in your payroll. (The HRPP will always have money as long as they lead).
And amazingly also in my opinion Samoa is seemingly lenient to the introduction of imported ideas and foreign thinking that are contradicting to tradition and cultural values the first of which is Human Right which is now a United Nations mandate and as a law introduced and fully sponsored by the HRPP hence in my opinion the cause of the PARTY Name. And as I understand this funding, is coming through in pushing these mandates to rally for support by government.
In my opinion, ever since this issue (Human Right) is introduced and became law of this land, the people were on many occasions perplexed and undecided on matters of normal traditional life, as well in religious, and even political matters.
In fact we have those doing the tautua service to their chiefs and orators questioning the equality of their votes with their masters during elections. On many occasions we have students suing their teachers or even parents for smacking them in class and at home. Of course there are cases where parents and teachers have over done this smacking beyond the children and students to learn a lesson, but smacking to injure thus suing is valid.
We also have seen individuals suing villages and districts saying village and district protocols have violated their human rights guaranteed by law and these individuals came out as winners. The respect that we used to be enjoyed by the young over the old seemed to have been lost somewhere never to be recovered. And perhaps this could be the cause of the many violations against women between men and their wives thus the increase of cruelty shown by men’s actions sometimes causing death and the breakup of families. Because of laws are to a large extent lenient to women.
In Biblical teachings where men are taught to love their wives and wives are to respect their husbands, but it looks as if it the vice versa happening. Traditions and culture highly support these habits in the course of Samoan life, men respecting the weak.
And despite the numerous organizations and individuals set out to deal with family violence, we are still about to see some mitigating results to inform the public that this sickness will finally be overcome and eventually disappear. Only records speak of unpopular levels rising.
All these in my opinion are the result of employing imported ideas and foreign thinking neglecting our local traditions and culture. Of course there are those who think they know better, and they ended up breaking the law, but we use to see them at a very minimum, not an explosion as it is these days.
All because of the foolish ambitions of the HRPP. It has brought back the headlines in a South African newspaper when Nelson Mandela won the Presidency of the Republic, “he has won the election, but can he run a country”.
These words ought to be reminded to those who are intending to become members of Parliament. “CAN YOU RUN A COUNTRY?”
This country is fed up with unfulfilled promises and ending up as a Moral Sewer of unwanted manners. The main problem with the current administration, is they put money first before the people. The fact is in my opinion, without the money they cannot win because people are bought to vote as was with previous elections.
Thank you once again for the Samoa Observer and All the Staff working for the paper. May God Bless You.
Iteli M Tiatia