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Swimmers ready to brave Samoa's high seas

Organiser and manager of Samoa Events Afoa Seti Afoa said he is excited to see an entire team competing this year, and a good group of solo swimmers to carry on the legacy of swimming in the Pacific. “Samoan’s were great swimmers in the past. We swam all these waters, and a lot of our titles come from the water-borne activities: Leaiataua, out of Manono and Alaiasa out of Savaii. Your part in that tradition is continuing the story."

By Sapeer Mayron, 03/27/2019
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Namulauulu’s dream, HRPP’s dominance and rugby

Dreams do come true. Ask Namulau’ulu Papali’i Leota, who contested the Fa’asaleleaga No. 2 by-election under the flag of the Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP), and he’ll tell you all about it.A businessman by trade, the long-serving General Manager of Federal Pacific Insurance and the President of the Samoa Rugby Union, was one of two HRPP candidates in the race. The other HRPP man was former Opposition party member, Papali’i Lio Masipau, who made the interesting switch at the beginning of the year. In the end, the official results confirmed a landslide victory for the former Manu Samoa Manager who polled 1208 votes. The second runner up was independent candidate, Mailemalo Eneliko Pau with 685 votes, followed by Papali’i Masipau with 564 votes. History was also made for the newest political party, Samoa First Party with their first candidate, Lema’i Faioso Sione, collecting 14 votes.Now, Namulauulu, set to become the newest Member of Parliament, continues the HRPP’s dominance in political circles in this country. Contrary to a lot of stuff that’s been said on social media and exposed publically about flaws, corruption and infighting with the HRPP regime, it doesn’t appear to have had any bearing on where in matters the most – with the voters. It’s quite interesting and we say this with a view of the next General Election which isn’t too far away. As this piece was being compiled, another member of HRPP will soon take his oath to serve not just his constituency but more importantly all the people of Samoa.  If recent history is anything to judge by, the idea that even people who used to be opposition members are lining up for the HRPP ticket is fascinating. Whatever it is, Samoa's love affair with the HRPP looks set to continue. In any case, today is about Namulauulu, to who we offer our heartiest congratulations. We know it’s not the first time he’s run, having lost the last General Election to the late Pa’u Sefo Pa’u, but persistence, perseverance and the relentless pursuit of one’s calling does pay off. Suffice to say, this is not just a special moment for Namulauulu. It is equally a marvellous occasion for his wife, Maria, their children, families and all their supporters. Many people who have contested elections in Samoa know that when a matai makes the decision to run, it’s not an individual race. Everyone becomes involved which is why victory is especially sweet. Speaking after the election, Namulauulu said the result is a “dream come true.” He had a good reason.“I have always wanted to be a politician,” he said. “I have been serving our people in the village, church and especially my extended family. The work done in the past has come to fruition and I am thankful. “Throughout the whole campaign, I was confident that God’s favour was upon me and I had faith. I am humbled to have won the hearts of my people.”And now that he’s won, what’s in the pipeline? “I am happy with the confidence my constituency has in me and it’s evident, through their vote. After losing in the last election, to win in the middle of this Parliament term, is quite fulfilling,” he said.“The next move is to prioritize the needs of the constituency in terms of infrastructure, health care, water issue etc, as we are not the only district that are vying for the government attention on what is needed in the villages.“Today I tried not to be emotional, but I just couldn’t hold the tears of joy, all the work put into assuring that we succeed.”Well we wish Namulauulu the best for his new journey. There are exciting times ahead – not to mention the challenges that come with the role. Indeed with greater power comes greater responsibilities, which Namulauulu will soon find out.Looking at all the challenges confronting Samoa today on different fronts, the new Member of Parliament already has his work cut out. From his constituency and Savai’i’s standpoint, top of his list should be providing more employment opportunities for so many able-bodied men and women who are sitting idle doing nothing. That is one of the biggest problems in Samoa today, we have far too many men and women unemployed so all they do is sit around all day and wait for handouts.Namulauulu is also not a stranger to the business community. His lengthy involvement with the Chamber of Commerce would have already given him an appreciation of the challenges confronting the private sector. He should feel duty bound to use his new found power to alleviate some of these challenges with the goal to make the private sector the true “engine of growth” for the economy, not cripple it as we’ve seen with some Government policies.Lastly, as the President of the Samoa Rugby Union, well we don’t need to remind him about the issues there. And with the Rugby World Cup around the corner, it is understatement to say there is a lot of work to be done. But maybe now is the time for him, and many other politicians involved in rugby, to seriously consider letting go of their roles in the Union so they fully concentrate of governing this country. They've got to make up their minds about what they want to, rugby or the country.Who knows, our rugby might even take off to another level without them? Congratulations to Namulauulu once again, God bless!  

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Street Talk

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Public gives thumbs up to new electoral law

This is a very good idea or amendment. It’s another way to refrain from using political and bias methods during the election because that’s been quite common these days. But yes I very much like this new amendment where people get to go to their real home villages to vote. I live in Upolu, and if this means I would go all the way to Savai'i to vote then I would gladly do so.It is very good in a way that it can help the electoral colleagues to ease their jobs in trying to sort out this and that because I know for sure it wasn’t an easy job before. To add on to my support, it would also be nicer for everyone to vote in their original or their own home village, because it would be fake if you vote for someone you don’t know, just because where you register is too far.I guess it’s something we can use to prevent the people from migrating from island to island, just because they want to vote for whoever they want to vote for. Another thing is that it’s an opportunity for everyone to be part of the development of their home villages. What I mean is like myself, I would love to go back to my village, even if it’s far and travel there to vote for whom I think is best for my village.It’s better for people to go to where they were born or where they’re registered to vote, so it would also showcase that this person belongs here and this person belongs wherever. It can also be an opportunity for other people, who haven’t visited their original villages and families for a long time, so they can go back to where they started and see how it’s been.I strongly support this new amendment. It’s not only because I would love to go back to where I come from or where I was born from – but it’s because if I vote in a place, where the person I’m voting for or even either of the two nominees, do not know me and what I want, what is the use of voting for him or her? I would rather go back to my home village and vote for the person that I know, is suitable for the position to take care of the people and even myself and my children.I think this should’ve been implemented during the previous elections already. In the past elections, I didn’t think it was right for anyone to just vote for whoever is being nominated, at where he or she is staying at. Most people don’t live at their real homes and they voted for people they don’t know, which is not right so with this new amendment, I’m happy that people will finally go back to where they came from and vote.

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Letter to Editor

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“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God…”

Me thinks Pr. Samoa Unoi of the Peace Chapel Christian Fellowship protests far too much when found out about his involvement with cryptocurrency. And in spite of his job description, I find nothing peaceful about his language. It’s also hard to believe he does not really care about the money he invests in cryptocurrency as he repeatedly claims. It only makes one wonder about the origin of such money. As for his rave against government interfering in how he spends money, the good pastor ought to know that the Central Bank of Samoa is duty bound to warn the people of Samoa about money scams that come to Samoa from overseas. The Bank is only doing its job as all good shepherds should.And in any case, the Central Bank did not tell the good preacher what to do with his money or with his flock’s money for that matter. What the Bank did was give a blanket warning about the dangers of these shady get-rich-quick money schemes, in the same way it warns people about pyramid schemes and counterfeit currency. And the good pastor may not be concerned about throwing money away, which incidentally is not what a faithful steward would do with heaven’s blessings. But most people do, and they will find the Central Bank’s warning of great value in avoiding being scammed. In fact, this is not the first time the good preacher has publicly shared his thoughts about money. The first time was to oppose the government’s proposal to tax church ministers like himself. He did not want to pay taxes and is one of only a few church ministers that spoke out publicly on the subject. As for Pr. Unoi’s claims about losing money by investing in UTOS, if true, he would be among a very select few who have had that happen to them. It makes you wonder whether the good preacher is not confusing UTOS with some other get-rich-quick scheme he is dabbling in.But no wonder the Good Shepherd told his followers to “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth, nor rust doth corrupt, or where thieves do not break through nor steal” And if He was around on earth today, Jesus will no doubt have included as well all ge- rich-Squick scammers and prophets.F.S. SheepSamoa.

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