Re: The monotaga is the right thing to do
This piece of legislation has created more problems than it solves. The definition of monotaga in this piece of legislation appears to be very narrow.
Service to the village should not be limited to monetary contributions because a matai can be living overseas, promoting the good name of the village by achieving in life, sending remittances to family, achieving in his or her field of studies, work and in whatever calling, are all rendering invaluable service to the village. If you talk monetary value or convert those contributions or promotions in dollar terms, they are in the thousands, much more than any local monotaga.
If that overseas candidate wants to visit his village just before the election to run, then that is his or her right. That discussion should be left to the matai and his family and village.
But whether the village will vote for him or her is another thing. Again that is their free will to exercise. It should not stop a candidate from running in the election.
In Le Tagaloa’s case, the mere fact that he holds a high chief title from the village is enough evidence to say his service to his family and the village has been exhaustive throughout the years via his family, his church, his chiefs in the village and through his service to society.
His exhaustive service to society was not limited to his village but to Samoa.
To disqualify him simply because the courts only saw the narrow definition of ‘monotaga to the village’, ignoring his exhaustive years of service to the whole society and Samoa which in reality serves his village is in simple terms ridiculous.
This piece of legislation is not inclusive but exclusive. It excludes people. It discourages innovations to the village. It discourages ingenuity and businesses to the village. It divides villages. It excludes matais. It does not encourage the spirit of service to the village but out of duress forces you to give service.
Then who in their right mind would want to offer service if it’s demanded of you? Not a good road. In that case, I for one, would definitely buy a freehold property and forget about the village altogether. Is that the road we want to head down? I say NO. This the worst idea I have ever seen.
What would you do if you were Le Tagaloa? His years of service to his village, church, society and Samoa amounts to nothing according to the court’s findings? The courts can only find on what’s in law. What a divisive piece of legislation and it needs to be removed.
The residential requirement is also ridiculous and discriminatory to those supporting the economy from overseas. It is a global village we live in today. If a villager is able to run for Manukau, Oahu, Sydney or Samoa, then why not let them? If he or she gets elected for Manukau, then isn’t that worth much more monotaga to the village than any local monotaga?
Though he or she lives overseas, the monetary value for that goodwill for his or her village is worth much more than any local monotaga.
It is encouraging our people from the global village to come, bring new ideas, and come and contribute. Forcing them to reside in the country for 3 years before running is the silliest business idea ever. Businesses don’t run like that. It’s anti-competition legislation. That is the old way of doing business. An opportunity don’t wait around for 3yrs. Samoa can’t afford to wait around for another 3yrs while new and fresh minds are being sidelined by red tape.
No wonder why we asked the question, are there any new worthy candidates to be P.M? The answer is there are many but anti-competition legislation designed to sideline them is hindering the country’s progress.