Welcome to the New Year. It might be three days old today, but the novelty of the change from 2017 to 2018 is still new and that’s reason enough to rejoice, especially if you are still on holidays.
Speaking of holidays, the past few days have been divine for many of us. It’s truly wonderful to be able to step back, take a breather, re-vitalise and re-energise for the New Year. We wish these holidays would last longer.
But not everyone had the same luxury of course. For many people, they made sacrifices so that everyone else could have the time of their lives.
Today on this first edition of 2018, we want to acknowledge with gratitude the work of people who toiled throughout the public holidays tirelessly to allow everyone else to celebrate.
We are talking about the Police officers all over Samoa, the doctors and the nurses at the hospitals throughout the country. These people would have had to sacrifice time with their families and loved ones for the call of duty.
But our thank you does not stop here. We acknowledge the hardworking crew of the Samoa Shipping Corporation who keep the travelling public moving between Savai’i, Upolu and vice versa. We thank the airport workers, pilots, crew and everyone else involved in the aviation industry.
Sometimes we take for granted the work these people do, but it is times like these when we come to accept that without them, international travel, inter-island travel would be impossible.
Let’s not forget those supermarkets, stores, hotels, restaurants, bars, bus, taxi drivers and all service providers that remained opened during the holidays. We thank you for providing such essential services and doing so with a smile.
We also want to thank the Metrological Office, the staff of the Disaster Management Office, the Electric Power Corporation workers, Samoa Water Authority and all public servants who were on call in case of emergencies.
We want you to know that the people of Samoa appreciate your service. You all play such a vital role in days like these and we are all indebted to you for your commitment and dedication.
Today, what we’ve learnt over the years is that these special days disappear as quickly as they arrive. Another year has begun and whether we are prepared for it or not is irrelevant because time waits for no man.
What we do know is that the world seems a more uncertain place with violence, strife and hardships tearing people apart.
In Samoa, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi’s first address of the year on the front page of the paper you are reading gives us a glimpse into some of the exciting things we can look forward to.
Faster and cheaper internet connection through the Tui Samoa Cable is on top of the list.
“The Tui Samoa Cable will bridge the digital divide for our people and our neighbouring island nations; promote economic and social developments, and provide Samoa with access to fast, reliable and affordable wholesale broadband internet,” Tuilaepa said. “This is a vital progression toward effective connectivity that will further strengthen education and health, trade, employment creation, and information sharing.”
The progress of Samoa Airways, launched two months ago, will be another interesting project to follow in 2018.
“In November of 2017, the Samoa Airways was launched and has since been burning the sky, flying to New Zealand and Australia,” said Tuilaepa.
“Our partnership with Virgin Australia over the last ten years had taught us that it is crucial for Samoa to own and manage its own airline. Twice we joint venture with major international carriers, and twice they failed us.”
On the jobs front, there is good news since the closure of Yazaki EDS last year.
“The former Yazaki Samoa compound has reopened for business with the opening of two New Zealand based Companies – Fero and Sleepwell operations in Samoa,” the Prime Minister said.
“When Yazaki Samoa announced its closure in 2016, people were worried of what the future holds for them. However just a month into closure of Yazaki, Fero and Sleepwell had begun their operations, providing 120 immediate jobs with the first choice given to those who were employed by Yazaki.
“The companies had undertaken that by 2020, five hundred more jobs will be available. God has certainly responded to our prayers.”
Well that is great news to begin the year.
It’s important that we remain optimistic in the face of great adversity.
We say this because in this country today, there are some real concerns we cannot ignore. It has everything to do with making sure our leaders put people first.
In doing that, they must desist from being greedy, but insist on doing what is right and making sure they are accountable, transparent and follow the key principles of good governance in their decision-making.
For this newspaper, we’ve said this before and we will say it again. Our biggest hope for 2018 is that it will become the year when Prime Minister Tuilaepa’s government will not make any excuses, but clean up the rot called corruption and abuse that has been going on behind closed doors for far too long inside some government ministries and corporations. This is hurting our people. The time has come for the government to address these issues once and for all.
We also hope they will pay attention to the growing number of young people hawking goods on the streets and the poor people of this nation who continue to call for help when it comes to basic things like water and electricity.
What do you think?
Have a wonderful Wednesday Samoa, God bless!