During an interview with the Savali Newspaper last week, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, apparently made known his view that the news being published in Samoa’s newspapers today, “are not real news”.
A copy of the entire interview says:
Question: PM, the Samoa Observer newspaper highlighted its general views on Samoa Airways (SA) operations which you are reported to have disputed. Can you clarify further the points of contention?
P.M.: To re-fly our own national airline requires farsighted vision and courage to support this major investment by government which will contribute positively to our tourism industry, the biggest foreign exchange earner and contributor to the employment for the youths of Samoa. Tourism will continue to be the mainstay of our economy today and into the future. This Airline therefore needs all the support of every Samoan at heart with action, mind and soul. To ridicule and to nick pick at this early stage of the SA is uncalled for at this particular point of development of the Airline when management and staff need all the encouragement they deserve. The negative and often destructive views expressed do not help to promote the Airline established with the sole goal of serving our people well – people who are 200% Samoans at heart and reflected through their actions and spoken words.
Question: But the Observer is only doing what it is supposed to do – To disseminate News for the public to know what’s going on in any branch of government.
P.M.: That golden rule of freedom of speech you implied has been abused thousand times over by the so-called Free Press in Samoa. There is no such thing as absolute freedom of speech, and our Courts have already addressed that frequently misunderstood term. When the press decides to exercise the freedom of speech doctrine, it has to use extreme caution to ensure that the article does not impinge on somebody else’s reputation, or else face the consequences. These days almost all the news in our papers are opinionated. They are not real news. I have now directed legal counsel to pursue to the end at whatever cost legal action against the numerous baseless allegations in the Face book from faceless people who are murderous of characters hiding behind false names whose identity are well-known and who are all parties to their murderous intent in the social media.
Question: You spoke in an earlier interview with the media that there is a difference between real and unreal profits and annual reporting of the Samoa Airways. What did you mean exactly?
P.M.: You now sound more like the Editor of the Observer. The exact correct terms I used were Real and Estimated Profits of any organisation like the United Nations, World Bank, etc., or any business, big or small like Air New Zealand or Simi’s Barbecue (SB) during our Flag Raising Day. The only time that a Real or Actual Profit of any kind of business is known for sure is when it is wound up – that is, the business is closed. Then the owner counts the actual moneys it earns, take away the costs and the resulting profit or loss is real. It is true. It is a fact. If Simi therefore spends $200 for all the purchases made and the cash collected at the end of the day when his business winds up is $300, the actual profit is therefore $100 – pure and simple.
But if a business is expected to operate beyond one day like Air New Zealand, the Observer Newspaper, The Savali, The Playboy – or those huge organisations like the UN, ADB, World Bank and all governments of the world, these organisations are therefore assumed to have eternal existence (the continuity Doctrine). But they need to be periodically reviewed to assess where they are heading – downward? or upward? Hence the necessity to fix a universally agreed period of 12 months for regular reviews by the owners, the Directors, etc., for a possible change of direction to improve further and for the governments to get their share of the profit through taxes to pay for public goods and services provided for the use of the public. (This is referred to technically as the Period Convention). And the period now adopted throughout the World is 12 months variously described as the Financial Year of a business or a Fiscal Year for governments.
Question: Excuse me P.M., I am getting very confused. Do you mean this is why 12 months is taken as an artificial period to review the business whether it is making a profit because a business may go on and on for thousands of years before it closes and no one is alive at the time it closes to know the real profit?
P.M.: Now you sound normal again. The 12 months period is universally accepted by all the businesses in any part of the globe. Why? It is now written into Law in all countries to enable governments of the world get their taxes paid for services and goods enjoyed by the people in general – like roads, etc., etc., etc. Of course, many businesses try to evade their responsibilities. Presently in Samoa, a small number of our holy people have tried to use all kinds of very strange arguments to evade their tax contribution ignoring that Jesus, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, who is God Himself honestly paid His taxes without arguing that His only income came from donation (Alofa and Taulaga) from the wealthy Romans and Jews who believed Him – to be the Promised Son of God. He never disputed that His only income came from incomes of the Romans and Jews who had paid taxes on them.
Question: So this is where Real Profits and Imagined Profits of business come in?
P.M.: You are from the Savali Newspaper aren’t you? It’s not imagined, it’s estimated, reasonably calculated and estimated and not very far out – from actual profit! You see, even some costs incurred by businesses and organisations are also estimated – like the depreciation cost of Fixed Assets – Proof. Some assets like vehicles are written off in the books after many years of use but are still being used when they are supposed to be in the Rubbish Dump – The reason for the write off. So when some editors are running around and publicly tell everyone the SA is kaput, when it is four months old, that’s a lot of hog wash. There are still 8 months remaining before its 12 months of operation is completed. Then its accounts for its financial year of 12 months are drawn up and audited to find out the true and fair view of SA’s financial state of affairs. But Management Practice requires weekly or monthly reports for its own management purposes.
Question: So the lesson to learn is to wait for 12 months to get proper Audited Accounts of SA to pass any judgment on its performance?
P.M.: That is right and also pray and support this great national Airline which will continue on till Kingdom come.