Government, taxes, L.T.R.A 2008 and customary lands. Part II

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Dear Editor,

 

Since 2011 through the Cabinet Handbook 2011, the double standard policies became a standard practice in our government. Its target is just about the finishing products. Only the finishing products and that is it. In other words, the H.R.P.P’s political interests are better served by not having meaningful and proper consultations with people than having meaningful and proper consultations with people. That is how dictatorship works and operates.

In dictatorship, governments can get what ever they want 100% from the people and the country through policies like Prime Minister Tuilaepa’s and the H.R.P.P’s Cabinet Handbook 2011. In democracy, a government cannot get anything 100% from the people and the country because Human Rights Protection always comes first. 

Democracy in Samoa, God always comes first because our human rights and our freedom are under the control of the commandments of God. Unfortunately for Samoa these days, that is not happening anymore because Prime Minister Tuilaepa and H.R.P.P have already turned things around in order to suit their political interests. When the public criticized them about their wrong doings, they jumped straight to their double standard policies in the Cabinet Handbook 2011 to justify their wrong claims and inappropriate actions. The Cabinet Handbook 2011 is their shield. 

It was so unbelievable when I came across with the word “defend” in the double standard policies in the Cabinet Handbook 2011. Why did a government that is owned by the people of Samoa to serve the people of Samoa establish defensive policies to defend the government from the people who owned the government? What is the point? 

Those kinds of thinking have two evil intentions. 

1) Those kind of thinking are establishments for protection of one another because they are scared of being exposed and that is going to put them in difficult positions to try to defend what they have done to Samoa, the Constitution of Samoa and customary lands of Samoa.

2) Those kinds of thinking are establishments for justification in order to increase power, to maintain power and to keep them in government for a very long time.  

Remember Mr. Editor when the public criticized the H.R.P.P government about the L.T.R.A 2008 because it is un-Constitutional. The H.R.P.P government starting from Prime Minister Tuilaepa rejected all the criticisms and defended the their position. 

That is the same reaction of any Cabinet Ministers. But where is the right standard [the mandate by the people is to govern in the best interests of Samoa] that is highlighted in the foreword of Prime Minister Tuilaepa in the same handbook, the Cabinet Handbook 2011?

Remember when the public criticized the H.R.P.P government about the new tax law for taxing Church Ministers because it is un-Christian and un-Constitutional. The H.R.P.P government starting from Prime Minister Tuilaepa rejected all the. That is the same reaction of any Cabinet Ministers. So where is the right standard [the mandate by the people is to govern in the best interests of Samoa] that is highlighted in the foreword of Prime Minister Tuilaepa in the same handbook, the Cabinet Handbook 2011?

How about Samoa’s failure to cast a vote for Jerusalem as the capital of Israel during the United Nations vote? As always, members of Cabinet starting from Prime Minister Tuilaepa continuing doing the same thing; defending the untruths according to their double standard policies in the Cabinet Handbook 2011.

That is the same reaction of any Cabinet Ministers. So where is the right standard [the mandate by the people is to govern in the best interests of Samoa] that is highlighted in the foreword of Prime Minister Tuilaepa in the same handbook, the Cabinet Handbook 2011? 

What about the releasing of a convicted murderer from the prison to attend his matai bestowal ceremony? 

This the reason why corruption remains a big problem in government.

And if a Cabinet Minister wants to stand up for the truth by challenging the rest of Ministers of Cabinet about the wrongdoings during Cabinet proceedings, that Minister cannot challenge it in the Cabinet. If the same Minister wants to keep his position about the truth then he/she is requiring to resign from Cabinet according to the double standard policies in the Cabinet Handbook 2011 known as Collective Responsibility 1.23 “If any Minister feels conscientiously unable to support a decision of Cabinet, he or she has one recourse and that is to tender his or her resignation to the Prime Minister.” 

Not only that, that same Minister cannot tell the truth publicly of what has been happening in Cabinet after he/she resigns because he/she is still tying to another double standard policies call Secrecy of Proceedings 1.26 “This undertaking of secrecy is binding not only when a Minister is serving in Cabinet. It also continues to bind the incumbent even when he or she is no longer a Minister.”

I understand, the basis of Secrecy is the Constitution of the Independent State of Samoa however, the constitutionality of the framing of that specific Secrecy policy by the H.R.P.P government in the Cabinet Handbook 2011, is not right. 

If we look at the whole picture of our Constitution, then this is the message from the Constitution about Secrecy for the H.R.P.P party. The H.R.P.P government must never interfere or meddle up the truth with their political interests. Apart from that situation, the H.R.P.P must never violate the human rights of any Samoans to speak for the truth because of their political interests.

The one thing that we are sharing in common with members of the H.R.P.P when it comes to the law is our human rights. Prime Minister Tuilaepa must never use the colour of law to deprive other people’s rights.  

The H.R.P.P party must always keep this in mind that all government Ministries and organisations are not political Ministries or political organisations because they do not belong to any political elected government like the H.R.P.P party. They belong to the people of Samoa.

All government Ministries and government organisations are free of politics or politically neutral because they were founded upon the Constitution of the Independent State of Samoa but not upon a political elected government like the H.R.P.P party. 

Therefore the H.R.P.P party should never politicize and standardize the Public Service as well as our system of government according to the H.R.P.P’s political interests.  They should stop establishing political alliances with members of the Public Service, it is wrong. 

The example of the truth that is free of politics is the reverse version of the double standard policy call Collective Responsibility 1.23 “If any Minister feels conscientiously unable to support a decision of Cabinet, he or she has one recourse and that is to tender his or her resignation to the Prime Minister.” That double standard policy needs to be changed with the right one. 

If a Minister wants to stand up for the truth by challenging the rest of Ministers of Cabinet about wrongdoings, it should be considered 100% by Samoa’s system of Cabinet but not the H.R.P.P’s system of Cabinet that is based on their political interests. That is the right standard; [the mandate by the people is to govern in the best interests of Samoa].

The Cabinet can still continue on its proceedings on other matters but the proposals of policies that have been challenged by the Minister who is standing up for the truth must be sent back to the responsible Ministries to be reviewed and to be re-investigated. Let public opinions involved during the processes of reviewing and the re-investigation. That is democracy.

That is a new challenge for the Public Service in our government. They should stand up for the truth according to the Constitution of our country. With that being said, the “Cabinet Handbook 2011” and the “Standing Orders” for Parliament are in need of a massive overhaul in order free them from dirty politics. 

 

Nanai Malonuu Lealaiauloto Nofoaiga.

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