Misbehaviour, inconsistency and inquiry

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Dear Editor,

 

The people of our country at the moment are so confused because there are so many confusions and contradictions in our Government about our laws, justice and authorities. 

Because there is a problem about our laws, justice and authorities, there is also a problem about what is right and what is wrong. It is very uncomfortable and unsafe. We have to find out the truth about that situation and also, we have to find out a way to tackle the problem.

Personally, there is no possible way to find out the truth and to tackle the problem other than studying the leadership’s and individual’s behavior from their “words,” “actions” and “services.” For the purpose of this discussion, I’ll be focusing mainly on “words.” The next separate discussion in the near future will be focusing mainly on “actions” and “services” as well as the truth behind the “actions” and “services.” 

As we move along through our discussion I will raise again by quoting some of the powerful words and messages of the leadership from the past. Raising again some of the powerful words and messages of the leadership from the past does not mean that I am creating problems or magnifying a problem. The main goal is just about tackling the problem and finding the truth about the whole situation. Also, it is impossible for me to identify the problem and address it without those informations. 

So firstly, “Chairman backs off, P.M. reminds who is boss” (Samoa Observer 30 May 2018)

“But in a Ministerial statement he delivered yesterday, Prime Minister Tuilaepa said law has been passed and there is nothing that can be done about it anymore.” “He reiterated that the Parliament is the supreme law making body of Samoa and their decisions are final. If Parliament gives in to the wishes of E.F.K.S. Church, he fears what would happen to integrity and finality of laws passed by Parliament.” 

The Prime Minister is wrong again. He is not concentrating on facts and truth. What he said is not what the Constitution is talking about. There is a Constitutional process in the Constitution that can show us the reason why the new tax law to tax Church Ministers is un-Constitutional. Not only that, it can also confirm to us that the current new tax law can be void or repealed. 

Section 43. Power to make laws     

“Subject to provisions of this Constitution, Parliament may make laws for the whole or any part of Western Samoa and laws having effect outside as well as within Western Samoa.”

You see Mr. Editor; the provision for making laws as quoted above is starting with “Subject to provisions of this Constitution.” If we take that part of (section 43) and apply to (Section 2) of the Constitution as quoted below, we can find out afterward at the end of the process, the Prime Minister was absolutely wrong. 

Section 2. The Supreme law.

“(1) This Constitution shall be the supreme law of Western Samoa.”

“(2) Any existing law and any law passed after the date of coming into force of this Constitution which is inconsistent with this Constitution shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.”

Remember, there are three parts of the Constitution. Cover, preamble and body. Therefore, the Parliament cannot make any law without considering first all provisions of the Constitution. In this case about the new tax law to tax Church Ministers, the Parliament cannot create that law without having the provision in (section 2) in its consideration. 

If bracket (2) is taken into consideration then it appears, bracket (2) is like a tablet specifically made for the Prime Minister to correct what the Prime Minister has said – “law has been passed and there is nothing that can be done about it anymore.” “He reiterated that the Parliament is the supreme law making body of Samoa and their decisions are final.”

It says in bracket (2) “Any existing law and any law passed after the date of coming into force of this Constitution which is inconsistent with this Constitution shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.” That confirms what the Prime Minister has said is a direct contradiction to (section 43) and (section 2) of the Constitution. In other words, bracket (2) is speaking directly about the Prime Minister’s misleading words and his inconsistency.

I can tell from the whole scenario as just explained above, the Prime Minister is caring only about the power and glory of Parliament instead of the truth. Unfortunately for the Prime Minister, the integrity of the Parliament that he was talking about is disgraceful. It’s just about misbehaviors. It’s just about misleading and inconsistency. 

The real integrity is about truth through humility and services. God the truth, the Majesty and the most High, He left splendor of heaven in heaven and came down to earth coming from below through birth or through vagina (tulou lava le gagana ma le faaaloalo tele lava i tuafafine ma le va ma tuagane, o tina ma matua) as a servant.

He lay down his baby body in the manger and He also lay down His life for us and for the truth. He delivered the truth through humility and services but not through power and glory. 

God through Christ did not come from above in the first coming. God came from below or from between the legs of Mary in order to clean the mess from bottom to top. After resurrection, people have to decide between that way and the other one in order to prepare for judgment and the second coming. The second coming of Christ is not like the first one which is coming from below or from birth or from Virgin Mary. The second one is from above. Christ will be coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 

When we come from above to defend untruths then that means proud, anger, greatness and disobedience. That is not the integrity of our Parliament. Probably that is where the Prime Minister is coming from. If it’s true then that means he abused the integrity of our Parliament and the purpose of election. There is a big difference of us coming from above like when we travel from above in our Samoa Airways and Christ’s coming from above on clouds. Christ is God, sinless and perfect. 

Furthermore, apart from the process in the Constitution, there are other legal processes still available to handle misbehaviors, complaints and to repeal un-Constitutional laws. Those legal processes are Inquiries, Petitions and Justice. 

Secondly, in 2016 in the wake of speculations about mishandling of some cases by some of the Judges, the Prime Minister ordered an inquiry accordingly in order to put those Judges under investigation. I believe according to news report on the Media, the opening of that inquiry was based mainly on public complaints and public opinions. That means the complaints and opinions against the Judges were well received by the Prime Minister and the Parliament. 

The panel of Investigators from the Parliament who carried out the investigation, they did not get on well with their investigation at the beginning because the Judges refused to appear before the panel of Investigators. As a result, the Prime Minister looses control of his leadership and rebuked the Judges during one of his Parliamentary speeches in Parliament. 

Without a doubt, what the Prime Minister and the Parliament organized in respond to the complaints against the Judges was absolutely right because the Judges cannot investigate themselves in relation to public complaints against them. Also, the rule of law starting from the Constitution is in charge of overseeing the Judges, the Prime Minister, the Parliament and everyone else. Therefore the enforcement of the law by the Parliament upon Judges was spot on. 

The Parliament handled the complaints against Judges in the right way and the Parliament’s obligation of serving justice for all parties involved was also fulfilled. Serving justice for a situation like this is a very important move because it is the only solution for such a difficult type of situation. That is how important it is of the Parliament’s responses about grievances of our people. It is so important for the Parliament to be answerable to grievances of our people.   

However, there was something else upsetting and unpleasant about the fulfilling of that obligation by the Prime Minister and the Parliament that makes no sense at all. They reject some complaints against them from other groups of people in our country in relation to the L.T.R.A 2008 and the new tax law to tax Church Ministers. So the upsetting and the unpleasant thing that I am talking about here is the inconsistency of the Prime Minister and the Parliament.  

Because of that inconsistency issue, it makes the whole situation about the rejection of the complaints about the L.T.R.A 2008 and the new tax law to tax Church Ministers very suspicious. I believe it was an intentional plan in order to prevent the Prime Minister and his Government from the law because they are the main parties involved in that case. So the inconsistency issue to me is hypocritical. It is unfair and unacceptable. 

That whole situation which is the combination of the inquiry to investigate the Judges, the inconsistency of the Prime Minister and the Parliament and some of the powerful words of the Prime Minister’s messages to the Judges is the main reason that compelled me to write this letter. Therefore, before moving on any further, let me quote right here for information some of the powerful words of the Prime Minister’s messages to the Judges. 

 (Samoa Observer 25 January 2017 – P.M. rebukes Judges)

“He added that “some” of the Judges are “unqualified, dishonest, reckless and abusive of our people.” “Tuilaepa said their refusal is “a contempt of the dignity of Parliament.”

 “This is why the government needed to raise this matter. There would have been no refuge for our people if we did not initiate this inquiry. The Court would not have done anything about the numerous complaints from the people.” “Needless to say, the Prime Minister said the Inquiry has been extremely useful.”

 “For the Judges of Land and Titles, it has made them aware about grievances of our people and to know that they are not gods but rather they are servants appointed to serve Samoa with honesty and show God’s righteousness in their judgment.” 

 “We can never dry the tears of our people if these people who are unqualified, dishonest, reckless and abusive of our people…” 

If that is the truth and if that is the way it works according to the Prime Minister’s powerful messages as quoted above and according to the enquiry to investigate the Judges then the Parliament right now, must not wait any longer but respond immediately to the complaints against the Prime Minister and his Government by initiating an Inquiry to investigate everything according to the complaints about the L.T.R.A 2008 and the new tax law to tax Church Ministers. 

To tackle the problem, this is the best time for the Parliament to do it. Even if the Parliament already passed those laws, those laws are still problems because the people of the S.S.I.G and the E.F.K.S. Church are seriously complaining about those laws. 

Also, the Parliament must seriously taken into its consideration the Prime Minister’s message to the Judges about gods, servants and God’s righteousness because the Members of Parliament themselves, they are not gods but rather they are servants elected to serve Samoa with honesty and show God’s righteousness in their judgment. 

That is another perfect reason why it is always a must for the Parliament to wait and put themselves under Inquiry according to the complaints from the people of our country because they too can make mistakes like the Judges.

Third, “C.C.C.S. Church opposes the Govt.” (Samoa Observer 31 March 2018). “no one is above the law” Those are words of the Prime Minister’s response about the rejection of the new tax law to tax Church Ministers by the C.C.C.S. As of now, there are still no signs of O.P.C reports and financial statements of the country. 

That is another inconsistency issue that contradicts the saying “no one is above the law. Also, the Prime Minister must never forget that the new tax law to tax Church Ministers is still an unsolved issue. From a Biblical perspective, when you overrule God’s law with your own laws then it means you are above the law and God.  

Fourth, the people of our country have already been warned about the “Cabinet Handbook 2011.” So I believe they are well aware about the handbook right now. That is the main reason why I quoted from the “Cabinet Handbook 2011” several times in the past because the significance of words and procedures in the “Cabinet Handbook 2011” speaks volumes about our leaders’ personalities and intentions. 

Which means the personalities and intentions responsible for the creation of the “Cabinet Handbook 2011” are the same personalities and intentions responsible for the creation of the L.T.R.A. 2008, the new tax law for Church Ministers and the Electoral Constituencies Bill 2018. 

Finally, the people of our country are also aware about an illegal attempt by the Prime Minister to demolish the declaration “Samoa is founded on God” from the cover of the Constitution and to demolish another declaration about God’s Sovereignty, Christianity, national sovereignty, Samoa’s Independence and our Samoan customs and traditions from the preamble of the Constitution. 

During his attempt to change the Constitution, he also misled the people of our country with his own opinions about the Constitution. He did not talk about facts and the truth about our Constitution. 

1) “P.M. pushes ahead with Constitution amendment” (Samoa Observer 21 May 2016) “Looking at the Constitution as it stands today, Tuilaepa said the preamble only talks about Christianity and Samoan traditions but that carries no weight.” 

2) “P.M. aims to “correct” Constitution” (Samoa Observer 30 May 2016) ““To correct what the papalagi did. Our forebears wanted that inserted in the body of the Constitution. The preamble is not important but inside the body of the Constitution, it should have these words inserted that Samoa is founded on Christian principles and values period to make it very clear.”” 

3) “Parliament backs Samoa being declared Christian state” (Samoa Observer 26 January 2017) “With the amendment, Tuilaepa said Christianity will no longer be at the Cover or the preamble of the Constitution. Rather it will become an integral part of the body of the Constitution. “The phrase “Samoa is founded on God” will no longer be used. Instead, under the Constitution, it will be, “Samoa is a Christian nation founded of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.” 

4) “Freedom of religion not threatened: A.G.” (Samoa Observer 09 June 2017) “When the Bill was introduced, Prime Minister Tuilaepa said the Constitution’s reference to Christianity was only in the Preamble. This was inadequate, he said. “Inadequate in terms of how Samoa as a Christian State is not included in the body of the Constitution. Instead it is in the cover and the preamble of the Constitution, not within the body of the Constitution. “This shows that it is not part of the Constitution. This does not stand in Court as it is not included in the body of the Constitution.”” 

Under the same news article by Samoa Observer, it shows that the Prime Minister has also said something mean about the Constitution. That is, he went further and insulted the “Founding Fathers” with the following words.

“This means that we have been misled all these years. And every time we say that Samoa is founded on God because it is within our Constitution, God must’ve had a good laugh and thought that we have been fooling him.”” “”And it has been more than 50 years since we have been fooling God, because this is not in the body of our Constitution.”  

If the Prime Minister’s words were true then the E.F.K.S. and other Churches would never challenge the Government about the new tax law to tax Church Ministers. On the other subject about the illegal attempt by the Prime Minister to change the Constitution, there is no Constitutional authority in the Constitution to allow the Prime Minister to do the changes that he attempted to do to the Constitution. 

In other words, the people of our country through the “Founding Fathers” and our Constitution did not provide that type of authority in the Constitution. Therefore there is no such type of authority within the scope of the Prime Minister’s mandate. 

If that is not enough, there is another support. We have our “Standing Orders for Parliament” that provides orders about personal responsibility of every Members of Parliament to protect the Constitution. 

“It is the personal responsibility of every Member of Parliament to maintain the highest standards of ethical behaviour to protect and maintain integrity of Parliament and to make every endeavour to uphold the principles of the Constitution.”

“Every member shall uphold the laws of Samoa and safeguard the principles contained in the Constitution.”

Moreover, it is very important to realize that the Constitution has three parts. The cover, the preamble and the body. The “Founding Fathers” framed the Constitution that way and called it as the Supreme law of Samoa. Therefore, what the Prime Minister had said that the cover and the preamble are not included in the body of the Constitution and the cover and preamble does not stand in Court is absolutely not true.

The bottom line is this. We are at this position today because of the misbehaviors and inconsistencies of Members of Parliament. They have failed miserably in two sides. They have failed about their responsibility of maintaining the highest standards of ethical behavior to protect and maintain integrity of Parliament. That failure is the main reason why they also failed to make every endeavour to uphold and safeguard the principles of the Constitution.

That is why it is so important for any public servant in Parliament to be prepared at any time to pay very good attentions to the complaints from the people of our country. They need to listen with an open mind and with lips closed. If not, we will always see the continuation of misbehaviors such as misleading and inconsistency. 

Ma le faaaloalo lava lau Susuga i le Faatonu,

 

Nanai Malonuu Lealaiauloto Nofoaiga

© Samoa Observer 2016

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