Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi has blasted the media in Samoa – saying they are “lazy” and they only want to be “spoon-fed.”
Tuilaepa made the comments in a strongly worded statement issued by the Press Secretary in Samoan during the weekend.
The statement was in response to a story in Samoa Observer titled “P.M. Tuilaepa attacks media for reporting on rape, incest” published last Friday.
Tuilaepa said his comments were “wrongly reported.”
“The correct meaning of my statement as it was wrongly reported by the Observer is that I want Police officers to use their time wisely for Police duties and leave the collection of news to the media,” Prime Minister statement translates.
“Let the media go to Court where they will the truth about the stories from the Court.”
Tuilaepa said the practice of the Police holding weekly press conferences is making the media lazy.
He accused newspaper makers of free riding on the Police and what they say. He did not say which newspaper he was referring to.
But he added that his media programmes in Samoan are often misreported and misinterpreted, reflecting the stupidity of journalists.
“When it’s in Samoan, they don’t understand,” he said.
“Their weakness is even more exposed in English. All they want is to be spoon fed all the time.”
According to the Prime Minister, the media should go to Court where they will find the full details about what is happening rather than relying on statements from the Police.
“Even Police officers get it wrong sometimes.”
Last week, Prime Minister Tuilaepa accused the media and the Police of giving Samoa a bad name around the world over stories of rape and other criminal offenses.
This is why Tuilaepa, as the Minister of Police, has suspended the Police weekly Press Conferences.
He expressed his concerned over the negative impact of media reports on incest and rape cases that have been reported each day in the media.
“These negative reports give the impression that our country is not a place people would like to visit, and this is what the newspapers and radio are doing,” he said.
“In New Zealand with its thousands and thousands of citizens, you hardly hear of any incest case being reported like here in (Samoa).
“In fact, the Police’s weekly reports of the crimes being committed around Samoa that are being reported by the media, are always on rape and incest.
“If there are five sex cases announced during the weekly press conference, the media will publicise them, each day of the week.”
“This gives outsiders the impression that Samoa, while a small country, yet there are a lot of rapes being committed.
“You hardly hear of these cases being reported in New Zealand or Australia, because their journalists are wise and they are protective of the image of their country.”
As for Samoa’s journalists, Tuilaepa said, “They are lazy and they don’t go to the Court House to sit in during the cases. Instead, they run to the Police for information.”
The following is Tuilaepa’s statement in Samoan:
Ole tali lea ale Palemia, Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi ile tala sa lomia ile itulau muamua ale Samoa Observer, Aso Faraile 18 o Aukuso, 2017 ua faaulutalaina, ‘P.M. attacks media for reporting on rape, incest.’
RAPIST NEWS FROM THE COURT
Ole faasaoga o lou taofi, lea oloo lipoti sese ele Observer, e faaaoga tatau le taimi o leoleo oloo pito moamia ai leoleo ae tuu le tapena o news faapitoa mo le media.
O pea le au tusitala ile Court e maua mai ai a latou tala sa’o i iuga ale faamasinoga.
Ae o le faiga o fai nei, ua atili ai le pai’e ma le ai afu o le au fainusipepa.
O au talanoaga foi oloo faafoe ile gagana Samoa - ua atagia mai ai e le malamalama tusitala ile uiga o au upu. A faaSamoa e le malamalama. A faapalagi ua atili ai ona atagia le vaivai tele. Na’o le spoon fed, spoon fed le mea oloo fai nei.
Faataitai loa ona o ile Court e maua mai ai tala o faaiuga o faamasinoga e lelei e sa’o atoatoa nai loo le tusi o tala e avatu ele le’ole’o.
E o’o foi ile le’ole’o ia ele sa’o i taimi uma.