Developments, good intentions and the future

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Mata'afa Keni Lesa

There is no doubt about it. Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi and his government must be commended for a number of wonderful developments they have achieved for Samoa. 

As a nation we have a come a long way both socially, economically and spiritually. Infrastructure-wise, the transformation has been nothing short of amazing. 

From the days of dirt roads, no electricity, inadequate inter-island transportation, the one telephone at the post office where we used to stand in line to make a call to what we have today, we can only be grateful. And we are.

But we believe there is a need for caution to be exercised on the part of the government. We say this because looking at a number of infrastructural projects it has committed to and the reality of our economic prowess, it is certainly alarming. 

Folks, don’t get us wrong, all these projects are potentially sound for Samoa. We are talking about the multi-million-tala airport, the Apia Waterfront Development project, the Vaiusu Wharf and so forth. They are wonderful. 

Let’s not forget that someone once coined the phrase that “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” We would never raise a question if we did not believe our leaders of today need to exercise caution in watching our spending ever so prudently. The fact is a lot of these projects are being funded by aid money and loans. Someone will have to pay for it.

Which brings us to the question, are they the best way to spend money – or aid money in some cases? Do they necessarily have to cost millions of tala – especially in cases where we don’t really need such elaborate structures? Is there not a way where costs can be kept to a minimum to reflect our economic capabilities as of now?

Most importantly, how will these projects reduce the growing number of beggars and children resorting to a life on the streets day and night driven by hardship, struggles and poverty we see today?

Now speaking of the rising foreign debt, some time ago, Prime Minister Tuilaepa told off former Member of Parliament, Lefau Harry Schuster, for raising the issue. According to Tuilaepa, the debt didn’t just appear. It exists because of the government’s good intentions to develop Samoa otherwise the development would be set back several years to 1985. 

So for “idiots” and “fools” who don’t understand this, Tuilaepa reassured Lefau there is nothing to worry about as government has got it under control.

Is that so? In 1982 when H.R.P.P came into power, the country’s foreign debt was $15million. Today, that has ballooned to more than a $1.5billion tala, possibly higher.

Should we be concerned? Absolutely. This debt will not suddenly disappear and someone will have to pay it. Our children’s children will be paying it in years to come.

Today, let’s be reminded that “Good intentions” are not necessarily the best intentions. “Good intentions” are sometimes wrong, and evil. Believe it or not, good intentions are corruptible. We see this today. Take a look at the world around us; so many headaches and heartaches begin with “good intentions.” They begin with ideas that are meant to benefit people but in the end, they end up hurting more people. They end up killing people, causing unimaginable suffering.   

Think about all the governments around the world. 

No government ever gets into power on the promise to destroy its people. And yet that’s precisely what they do when they are voted in. They become greedy so that they shut their minds, ears and eyes from the suffering of the majority. 

In the process, they gather everything for themselves. Greed slowly but surely gets the better of them as they sweet talk their way with plenty of good intentions into our pockets.

Think about the churches. The church is such a wonderful idea, no doubt run by people filled with good intentions. 

But what’s the problem today? In some cases, those good intentions have been corrupted by greed so that all you’re doing is robbing people – and God – of their dignity.

Now getting back Samoa and what it has become today. We have arrived at a season of the year where most Samoans return and we hear them talk about how Samoa has developed and how far we have come as a country. It’s wonderful to hear. Who is not proud when our country and the development is being praised in that way?

But when was the last time we checked what would become of it in the future, given the rate the government is continuing today? What happens when our children will no longer be able to afford to pay this debt, when all these leaders of today are gone? What’s the future for them? That should be our priority.

But then again, that’s what we think anyway? 

What do you think?

Have a wonderful Wednesday Samoa, God bless!

© Samoa Observer 2016

Developed by Samoa Observer in Apia