Remittances and generosity keeping the economy afloat

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Dear Editor,

Thank you Savea Sano Malifa for your editorial called “Now seriously, who is the stupid one here?” 

In the Samoa Observer article dated June 21 2015 titled “Unemployment Alarm” the Deputy P.M. of Samoa was quoted as saying: “about 80 percent of our people work the land to provide bread and butter for their family.” 

“We also have relatives overseas who send remittances to support their families”....

I believe that the writer was asking a question about the state of the economy, that was approximately 8 months ago. Were there any positive changes within that 8 months?  Umm I am not sure but then again it may not happen overnight but it will happen… hopefully. 

However if we scrutinise the few statements from the deputy P.M. approximately eight months ago, we can almost see without a doubt the game plan and strategy of the H.R.P.P for a working economy.


 (i) “about 80 percent of our people work the land to provide bread and butter for their family.”...

My question is that how can you run an economy when 80 per cent of the population are subsistent farmers and fisherman? There is absolutely no question about the resilience of our people in looking after themselves but to have the deputy P.M. happily quoting this is like he was admitting to the failure of H.R.P.P to create job opportunities from government policies. 

If 20 per cent of people have paying jobs to support their families, not only has the H.R.P.P failed to create prosperity from government policies but the government also misses out on employment taxes necessary to pay for developments and run the economy. 

It is the only reason why our foreign debt keeps climbing like a ‘fuefue saina’ growing unchecked in a taro patch. Our foreign debt is a reflection of failed economic activities and badly designed policies and as a consequence of their lack of insight and mismanagement; the H.R.P.P relies heavily on foreign loans to run the economy. 

The question then we should be asking at this point come Samoa is not dirt poor or exhibiting any signs of third world poverty if only 20 per cent of the population are working in paying jobs? 

Well Stui in his last ranting quoted an amount of $102 million dollars of aid money being included in the budget. That’s about 17per cent of the budget (we will take his word for that) so Samoa will never go bankrupt because Samoa is still getting financial assistances from overseas donors. There is one other important component of HRPP deception, the Deputy himself happily quoted this in that same article.


(ii) Remittances

That is the only reason why Stui can take 80-84 million dollars out of the economy to service our foreign loans and nothing drastic happens to Samoa. 

In the words of the deputy P.M.”We also have relatives overseas who send remittances to support their families.”

The amount of money the ‘Children of Samoa’ living overseas have sent home to their families are in the hundreds of millions of dollars and for a country of 190,000 people that is an amazing feat of achievement. 

That amount of money (hundreds of millions of dollars) is helping alleviate any form of third world poverty if we take into account the lack of economic activities created by the government policies. 

Yes we are looking after our own families, when the ‘Children of Samoa’ send money to their families, that money (hundreds of millions of dollars) is circulated within the economy and creating opportunity and businesses in the country. 

Samoa’s G.D.P looks very much like our foreign debt but there are no major issues with the economy because Remittances and Foreign Aid money are keeping the economy afloat. 

These are facts, Samoans should be very proud of their children living and working overseas. Their donations and daily phone calls to the motherland have inadvertently created business opportunities for many people in Samoa and thus creating a lot of job opportunities. 

It’s not about prosperity from government policies; this is about hard working people creating their own opportunities through hard work, resilience and character. 


Do we ever get any acknowledgement from Stui and Samoa government, well personally I think it will never happen while H.R.P.P is in government. 

They will do anything to suppress the importance of Remittances to the economy of Samoa because they want to steal the glory of hard working people and their families. 

They can happily go on record and proclaim our abilities to service our foreign loans but has he ever mentioned the reasons why he is able to take so much money out of the economy without hurting the economy? 

They can happily go on record and deny the existence of poverty but the facts don’t lie we are looking after our dear families and the economy is ticking well because of the contributions of ‘Alo o Tupu ma Tamali’i o Samoa’ living and working overseas. 

That is the difference between ‘Serving’ your country and doing a ‘Disservice’ to your country. A great example of ‘Disservice’ is the inability of Prime Minister Stui to refer the O.P.C 2010 report to the Ombudsman to investigate mismanagement and corruption identified by the report. 

Why is the Prime Minister refusing to exercise due diligence? A famous orator once said “ask not what your country can do for you but ask what you can do for your country.” 


Le Mafa P

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