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Boy winner with Farmer Joe's "Shop and Fly"

"This is all part of the celebration for the reopening of the Saleimoa new Aita Farmer Joe and we also wanted to have a partnership with another local company and Samoa Airways, we thought was a great partnership. "And this was a specific promotion for this store and we feel it’s worked out fantastic for us and Samoa airways and it’s something we feel we’ll roll out more with more stores in the future."

By Soli Wilson, 04/17/2019
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Opinion

Editorial

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MK

Why the Government must listen to concerns from the private sector

Listen up folks. Members of the business community have a legitimate complaint and the Government would do very well to pay attention and take notice.From our standpoint, the decision by the Government to increase Samoa National Provident Fund (S.N.P.F.) member contributions to 10 percent without even consulting the very people who are expected to pay for it is not only ridiculous, it’s arrogant. But then this is typical of what is happening in this country today where the Government can do anything they want without the common courtesy to consult the people who are affected the most – in this case members of the business community.Now think of the Government’s catch cry of the private sector being the “engine for economic growth.” Really? Is that so? Put it this way, if economic growth was important to Prime Minister Tuilaepa and his administration, they obviously either forgot to consider the engine or ignored it completely in relation to the S.N.P.F increase.Why do we say this? Well when the Chief Executive Officer of the S.N.P.F., Pauli Prince Suhren, fronted the Chamber of Commerce on Monday night, he merely confirmed what we’ve feared all along; that the increase has already been approved by Cabinet. In other words, whether anybody agrees or not, this is a done deal. As if to add insult to injury, Pauli then suggested that if the Chamber insists on demanding changes, it should go directly to Cabinet. “I would advise that perhaps it’s the only other avenue available is to approach Cabinet directly,” he said.  “The law will be changed in May. What goes into the law, including the phased plan, is what is going to happen.”Incredible isn’t it? Looking back at recent history, when was the last time Cabinet changed its mind about anything raised by concerned members of the public? Besides, we can almost already see the Government’s response about the concerns by members of the Chamber. It would probably read something along the lines of that the concerns are by ‘greedy members of the business community wanting to protect their private interests.’ We know. It’s predictable but we’ve seen it time and time again.The issue here is that the S.N.P.F. increase is not the only cost these poor business people have to try and contend with. This is on top of increases in the cost of other services, taxes, basic utilities and countless other compliance costs.Indeed, it’s another one of the many increases being rammed down the throats of ordinary people in this country who apparently have absolutely no say in it.No wonder people are throwing around words like dictatorship and abuse of power? How else do you describe it? What happened to common courtesy and the Government’s promise to create a conducive and an enabling environment to spur business growth? If anything, they are killing businesses; many of them are already struggling to stay afloat. Which is sad, isn’t it? Ironically, there are millions of outstanding taxes owed to the Government that still remains uncollected. On top of that, there are millions more in terms of monies loaned from the Develop Bank of Samoa that could easily help offset some of these costs if they were collected. Today, we urge the Government to consider the concerns expressed by members of the private sector. Their voice deserves to be heard. “As a matter of principle we support any initiative that helps the worker. Their incomes are modest and they deserve whatever benefits that they are able to get,” said Ray Hunt, Frankie Company’s Financial Controller. “We should look at the impact on employers as well as employees and not lose sight of the fact that it is the private sector creating employment in the first place.” Samoa Stationery and Books C.E.O Tofilau Fiti Leung Wai said while the increase is tough on employers, it may not help employees either.“I do the payroll, I look at the final numbers,” she said. “Some of your contributors actually have less than 50 bucks going into their account, there are so many deductions. That is the reality I am looking at.”Ah Liki Investments General Manager, Asiata Alex Brunt, urged the S.N.P.F. to consider the impact on the private sector. “Our biggest issue is that there have been a lot of surprises in the last 12 to 18 months,” he said. “We are scared there will be more surprises before the year is out. With all these extra costs we pass on, business and sales will generally decline.”But perhaps the Chief Executive Officer of Skyeye, Fa'aso'otauloa Sam Saili, summed it up best pointing out that with the proposed increases to minimum wage, public sector salaries and 2018’s increase in business licensing fees and now the S.N.P.F. contributions, the business environment is becoming less encouraging. “A lot of things are coming into effect around the same time and the environment for business is difficult when you take all of this into account,” he said.Interestingly, in response to the issue of multiple costs being raised, Pauli said this is “in no way” a cross-government effort. “We have not had a secret discussion to raise everything at once,” he said. Well isn’t that telling? The truth is that it’s time for these Government entities to talk to each other about what they are doing – especially when they raise costs that impact on the public. That way they can come up with a better plan of rolling them out instead of raising them all at once expecting everyone – especially the business community - to absorb them submissively and silently.What do you think? Write and share your thoughts with us.Have a productive Thursday Samoa, God bless!

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Street Talk

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Public express mixed reaction to M.M.R. vaccination resumption

I have heard of the incident in Savai'i before and I have to apologize to the nurses for saying this but I will not trust my kids to be vaccinated anymore. I’d rather have them stay at home and I take care of them there, than have them take the risk of not knowing if the same thing would happen again or not. It’s not like I’m bad mouthing the nurses and their job or whatever, but I just do not intend to continue my son’s vaccination ever again.It’s good because what usually happens is that parents are always looking forward to having their children vaccinated and having that would protect them for a long period of time. But ever since the incident from Savai’i, I noticed that a lot of parents are starting to doubt the MMR vaccination. I am just want the people to know that we have to have our faith again in the jobs of the nurses. That was just a mistake that could be learnt and to never happen again because at the end of the day, it’s for the safety of our children.I’m about to give birth to my baby and it has been such a worry for me when I heard of the deaths last year, I was confused of whether to vaccinate my baby in the future or not but I guess it all depends on our faith. When the right time comes that I feel confident to vaccinate my baby then I will wait for that right time but for now I am putting my trust in God to show me what to do.I support the continuation of the MMR vaccination because we all know that it’s something that can protect our children from all the different diseases that are floating in the air. Two, we have to think about the safety our children in the future. What will happen to them if they don’t take vaccination? These are the things that we should consider when we think about our decisions. I know that ever since the incident, we have doubted the vaccine, but we are a Christian country and we have to put our faith in God to guide our nurses and ourselves as well.I have a one-year-old son and he has had only one MMR vaccination. Ever since the incident from Savai'i, I stopped taking him to the hospital, up to when I heard that the vaccination was terminated for a period. From then onward, I told myself that I will never take my children to for vaccination ever again – even if it opens again. But this morning seeing all these mothers and their children sort of changed my mood so to be honest, I am putting my faith in God to guide me in doing what I am supposed to do for my children.The right thing to do is to have our own children protected at home by ourselves. That is the right thing to do because it has already taken lives of those innocent babies who are our blessings from above. So what I suggest we should do is to have them checked at the hospital if they’re sick and maybe take medications for them for cure instead of vaccinations. I am willing to do whatever it takes to safeguard my kids at home rather than taking risks. My kids are my blessings from the heavenly Father and I can’t risk their lives.

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Letter to Editor

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U.S. Ambassador tries but no one is fooled

The photo in Wednesday’s Samoa Observer of the American Ambassador and his good lady with Imam Laulu Mohammed Stanley is very touching. Such fake empathy and compassion! If Ambassador Brown is truly sympathetic about what happened to the Muslim community in Christchurch, why not do something real like telling his boss in the White House and his former employers at Fox News to stop demonizing the Muslims with lies and fake news? And while you’re at it by the way, do the same with the evangelical so-called Christians of America.Because when you have such power over how people think and behave, you can’t go on preaching hate against other peoples and then not expect your followers and admirers somewhere to act on it. Words have consequences, the more so when they come from leaders. And what good is wearing a hijab in Samoa other than to take people here for fools, and to copycat the incomparable Ms. Ardern? The big difference is that Ms. Ardern wore the signature Muslim women dress with panache, compassion and most importantly sincerity. The whole world saw that in her, and with the exception of you know where, applauded. She also backed it up immediately afterwards with concrete action.  So please don’t add insult to injury and desecrate the hijab.  Your current employer in the White House and former employer at Fake News continue to empower killers like what’s his name in the Christchurch massacre. Wearing the hijab at this time is nothing but hypocrisy of the highest order and fools no one here. E le valea uma ValeGasa Lefa T. Vailima

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