‘Walking ahead’ with the Tui Samoa Cable

Our reporter asked members of the public if they were aware of the Tui Samoa Cable which recently reached our shores. According to the Government of Samoa website, Samoa’s new Tui-Samoa Cable will span more than 1,470 km, connecting Samoa to Fiji with branching units to Wallis & Futuna and Vanua Levu, Fiji, enhancing fast, reliable and affordable internet services across the region. We also asked people why it is important and what it means to the people in Samoa.

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Pea Papali’i,  21

What’s your take on the burning of the Samoan flag?

Tensions are rising after an image emerged of the Samoan flag being burnt. What went through your mind when you saw it? Is it a crime or is it freedom of speech? What would be your reaction if you see this person? Nefetiti Matatia asked in today’s Street Talk and this is what people said:

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Fa’afetai Timo, 29

Questions over sports administration

The administration of sports in Samoa has come under the microscope once more. American-based Samoan Sprinter, Jeremy Dodson, has raised serious questions about the way sports are run. “From the three years I have represented Samoa, I have seen officials do nothing but get free trips, trips spent lounging in sponsored hotels while athletes eat processed food,” he said. “I have seen officials get elected not off merits, but friendships.

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Mele Maulolo Iasoni, 47

Line blurred between tips and bribery

The difference between tipping and bribery has been spelt out by a Cabinet Minister who said public servants should not feel bad about accepting tips for doing their work. The Minister of Revenue, Tialavea Tioniso Hunt, said it is only wrong when public servants accept bribes. What do you think? Should members of the public be encouraged to tip public servants, especially people like Customs officials? Ulimasao Fata asked in today’s Street Talk and this is what people said:

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Semi Uisa, 40

Fuimaono’s appointment a popular choice

Fuimaono Titimaea Tafua has been reappointed to coach the Manu Samoa. He replaces Namulauulu Alama Ieremia who resigned last month after the team’s losing record in the past year. What do you think of the appointment? Do you think Fuimaono is the right man or has the Samoa Rugby Union got this wrong again? Ulimasao Fata asked people in today’s Street Talk and this is what they said:

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Fa’alafi Lilomaiava, 56

Members of the public react to Live Bingo

TV Bingo, or as some prefer to call it, Live Bingo, is coming soon to Samoa. The initiative has been designed to address the issue of domestic violence. How does it work? It will be like a normal Bingo game except people will ring a number when they think they have won. What do you think? Do you support it? Wouldn’t this encourage the mentality of gambling among members of the public? Reporters Aruna Lolani and Talimalie Uta asked people in today’s Street Talk and this is what they said:

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Jofi Aiomanu, 20

Abortion call strongly rejected

A call has been made by the Ministry of Health to the government to amend laws that govern abortion in Samoa. The call is made in their 98-page National H.I.V, A.I.D.S, and S.T.I. Policy 2017-2022 obtained by the Samoa Observer. At the moment, abortion of any form is illegal. Do you think the law should be changed to allow abortion? Lizzy Hunt asked people in today’s Street Talk and this is what they said:

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Kaisara Itoa,  27

What’s your Yazaki solution: Find new jobs or turn to the plantation

Samoa’s biggest private employer, Yazaki Eds Samoa Ltd, is no more. The company shut its doors officially on Friday. This has left as many as 700 people without jobs. Where to from here? Lizzy Hunt asked people in today’s Street Talk and this is what they said:

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Logoitino Salima, 22

Should construction workers be allowed to work on Sunday?

The decision to allow Chinese construction workers to work on Sunday has attracted widespread anger. Members of the public are very vocal against calling on the government to change the laws to stop them from doing Sunday work. What do you think? Should Chinese and other foreign builders be allowed to work on Sunday? Lizzy Hunt asked in today’s Street Talk and this is what people said:

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Rachael Iosu, 22

P.M.’s media call wrong

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has stopped the Police’s monthly press conference in a bid to control media reports about cases of rape, incest and other vile crimes, in Samoa. In doing so, he has also criticised the media for reporting such cases. He said they are lazy and they only want to be spoon-fed by the Police. What do you think? Do you think the media should stop reporting about rape, incest and other crimes, in Samoa? Talimalie Uta asked in today’s Street Talk and this is what people said.

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Luna Gautolu, 16

Miss Samoa Pageants: Love them or hate them?

The Miss Samoa Pageant is billed as an event much more than simply a parade of physical attractiveness. There is a strong emphasis on confidence, culture, individual talent and general knowledge. Lizzy Hunt asked people to share their opinions about the pageant:

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Tanielu Fiu, 21

Dealing with dengue

The torrential rain over the past few days has led to the Ministry of Health and others issuing warnings about an outbreak of dengue fever. Whilst most people are aware of the symptoms of dengue fever, it is a timely reminder to us all, as individuals, to prevent what can be a killer epidemic from spreading. Lizzy Hunt spoke to a few people to share their opinions on the matter and to see if everyone is aware of preventative measures that can be taken.

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Tai Faapito, 26

Do you support Moata’a’s decision?

The village of Moata’a is standing by its decision to ban a Chinese man from operating a store in their village. Village paramount chief, Asi Semisi Blakelock, said they will not change their village foundation which prohibits outsiders from running shops there. What do you think? Lizzy Hunt had a chance to interview a few people for today’s Street Talk and this is what they said.

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Simati Samoa, 47

What’s the real water story?

A recent Water Conference was held in Samoa highlighting its importance and the S.W.A. Managing Director is urging people to contact her organization about water problems. This has left the public confused. On the other hand, there are frequent stories each day in the Village Voice feature where citizens complain of no access to water or water tanks and little help from authorities.

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Sio Fala’i, 20

Lima preferred Manu Samoa coach

Who should be the new Manu Samoa coach? Lizzy Hunt asked people in today’s Street Talk and this is what they said:

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Lina Pola, 23

Our new Airline’s logo is way “too plain”

Samoa’s new international airline, Samoa Airways, has revealed its new logo as it prepares to launch international jet services. The logo acknowledges the airline’s origins and links, and features an adapted version of the iconic coconut tree, which has been the symbol of the National Carrier since 1959. What do you think? Lizzy Hunt asked people in today’s Street Talk and this is what they said:

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Larry Vasa, 23

Opinions favour local coach for Manu Samoa

The hunt is on for a new coach of the Manu Samoa after Namulauulu Alama Ieremia resigned from the role during the weekend. In resigning, Namulauulu becomes the latest in a long line of coaches to have either been sacked or made to leave the role under very controversial circumstances. Who do you think should coach the team now? And why? Lizzy Hunt asked in today’s Street Talk and this is what people said:

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Mapu Iosefa, 67

Is six months too long for an investigation?

The mandate of the Ombudsman’s office includes investigating complaints by the public. However a local businessman claims to have been waiting for more than six months for the results of an investigation into his claims of unfair practices in the Customs Division of the Ministry of Revenue. Lizzy Hunt asked people on the street for their views on the issue.

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Is electricity affordable?

Making electricity affordable and more accessible is on the agenda in Samoa this week. The issue is at the centre of the Pacific Power Association’s (P.P.A) 26th Annual Conference held at Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel. At the opening ceremony, the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Meg Taylor, called for an innovative approach to cheaper electricity for the Pacific region.

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Rebecca Faaumuina, 21

Widespread support for Pacific Games bid

Samoa is one of three Pacific countries vying to host the 2019 Pacific Games. As of yesterday, Guam and Tahiti have also put in bids after Tonga withdrew. Do you support the government’s bid for the Games? And why? Talimalie Uta asked people in today’s Street Talk and this is what they said:

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Editorial

Election talks, outstanding taxes and that helicopter

It’s a rare story but it’s true. Days before the General Election in March 2016, the Government couldn’t contain its excitement about a certain company that had mysteriously moved from Tonga to Samoa.

Letters to the Editor

The real problem

Re: Helicopter owners owes govt. I figured that was wrong with this helicopter. The reason why the government is holding the helicopter for tax payment that the owner owed to the government of Samoa.

Think a Minute

Feeling, Faith, and Fact

Think a minute…A young man was discouraged and depressed about the problems he was going through. His wise father asked him: “Son, have you ever gone through a tunnel?” “Yes,” his son answered. His father continued, “When you were in the tunnel, did you think the sun no longer existed?” “No, of course not,” said the young man.

Columns

Climate justice denied

By now the Samoa and indeed the Pacific delegations will have returned home after participating in climate meetings held in Bangkok, Thailand, a week ago 4 to 9 September.

Between the Lines

BETWEEN THE LINES

Don’t be a tosser, keep Samoa clean Sometimes when driving around our beautiful island admiring the lush green vegetation and gardens, - you get the shock of your life when you see young people and sometimes older people casually chuck their food packaging or whatever waste they have in their hands aside onto the path or in someone's garden and continue walking.

Sunday Reading

Myths and Legends of the Ancient World

The spears flew towards the youth on the hill, whistling as they cut through the air. Grinning, Queen Medb’s general drew his sword, eager to take back to his Queen the head of this warrior whom they called the Hound of Ulster. He had no doubt his spears would find their mark.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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