What has poverty and the new Cabinet approved process of appointing new A.C.E.O’s have in common?
Nothing and everything. Let me explain.
When the issue of poverty was first raised in this newspaper, Stui came out and said that there was no such thing as poverty in this island paradise.
Two C.E.O’s (Government Statistician and the head of the Ministry of Finance) came out with statements supporting the PM’s words.
The reality is that there is poverty in Samoa as your Village Voice participants attest to the veracity of this statement.
Maybe Stui was talking about abject poverty rather than ‘a-little-bit-of-poverty’.
If I know about poverty and the people at the makeki know this how can these learned C.E.O’s not know this?
The answer, according to my learned friend at the makeki, is that these are yes men appointed through the same process which Stui is now proposing for the A.C.E.O’s.
It is disappointing to read about the statements these C.E.O’s made considering the wealth of anecdotal evidence presently available to support the statement about the existence of poverty.
Perhaps the department of statistics can formulate social surveys to provide empirical evidence about the hardships presently faced by people who in in poverty.
I am sure Stui would only be too happy to receive evidence based advice about levels of poverty and where they exist in the country.
The P.M., I am sure, listens to good and well-researched advice rather than for his C.E.O’s to blindly follow his words and making them sound like unthinking yes men (and women).
I have serious reservations that the proposed selection method would yield A.C.E.O’s courageous enough to offer impartial advice.
Rather, this sounds like a recipe for the appointment of more yes men and women.
Hopefully this is not what the P.M. and Cabinet want but the quality of A.C.E.O’s appointed could be an unintended consequence of this selection process. What we might get then would be lauia’s of questionable value to society especially those at the makeki.
Ma lo’u fa’aaloalo lava,