An innocent and hard working member of the community was brutally beaten in Apia last week. David Main was going about his business, as any ordinary member of the community would do, when two men dragged him out of his vehicle, beat him and left him for dead in front of the old Chan Mow supermarket before they took off in his vehicle.
This, it must be said, is clearly one of the worst incidents to have emerged in this country for a while.
You see when the news broke last week, it sent out a shock wave and triggered fears that Samoa is no longer as safe as we thought. We agree that this sort of incident is not new.
When it comes to petty crime and security threats, we have witnessed the rise of some nasty incidents in many parts of the country over the recent past.
But there is something quite disturbing about the attack on Mr. Main, which we should all be concerned about.
There appears to be an element of predetermination and organised crime involved. Of all people they could have robbed opposite McDonald’s, why Mr. Main? And a BMW vehicle of all vehicles to steal?
This cannot be a coincidence. Someone was up to something and it’s alarming. It tells us that these crimes are no longer just committed for the sake of it. Obviously these men would have picked their target, did their homework and executed it. They didn’t just steal the vehicle; they also took other expensive equipment including a golf bag. Nobody would steal a golf bag in Samoa unless you know the value of that stuff.
The only good news today is that the men have been caught and are behind bars awaiting their day in Court. But there is an even more worrying fact about this.
According to the Police, the men are no strangers to crime. One of them had a warrant for his arrest issued by the Court while the other is a known narcotics offender.
The question is who is supposed to follow up these warrants of arrest? Are we to think that they are just issued for the sake of it? Or what? Would Mr. Main have been attacked if the warrant of arrest was executed and that the person wanted had been found? What about the known narcotics offender, what was he doing out in the open? And how many more of these people are walking among us?
The real worry is that what happened to Mr. Main will happen again if these questions are not answered. Immediately by the relevant authorities.
Another innocent member of the community will pay the price, and who knows, maybe next time, he or she would be killed?
We are grateful Mr. Main is alive. He is very lucky.
“I’ve been here for twenty years and I have never had a problem in my life, even with my children,” he said. “Samoa is a very nice place to be so I have just taken it as two bad apples in the community.”
The concern is that there is an increase in frequency with the way these bad apples are popping up. And their behaviour cannot be ignored.
In Samoa today, we’ve seen how ruthless criminals have become. Starting from prisoners who seem to break out at will, they have absolutely no regard for law and order.
So where are we going from here? What are we to do to ensure what happened to Mr. Main will not happen to anyone else? And how can we make Samoa a safer place for everyone?
The sad part about this is that there are many people who are making a sincere effort to ensure that good things are done, to give everyone in this country the chance to live a better life. And in so doing, they help promote Samoa to visitors and tourists to come to share this paradise with us.
But then crimes such as the beating and robbing of Mr. Main will inevitably tarnish that image. They also destroy the positive contributions others have worked hard to achieve. Which is not fair.
What do you think?
Have a restful Sunday Samoa, God bless!