P.M. Tuilaepa downplays criticisms

29 January 2018, 12:00AM

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi is not worried by criticisms made against him in the papers and on Facebook. 

This was revealed in his interview with government-owned Savali Newspaper. He was asked for his thoughts on public criticisms made against him and his administration in the papers and on Facebook.

This is the interview in full between Savali and the Prime Minister Tuilaepa printed in full: 


Savali: “You hardly ever comment on public criticisms against you and your government in the papers and in the face book.”

PM: “I’m not President Trump who seems to have time to respond to every stupid Tom, Dick and Harry of the Social Media.  In any case, my media conference every week raises many important issues of wider interest that I have to respond to.  It means, democracy is alive and well in Samoa.  I value constructive criticisms, not the load of garbage that we get every day.  Do you have any particular critic in mind?”


Savali:  “Oh yes.  There is Mr Maua Faleauto who always appears in the Papers with some kind of axe to grind.”

PM: “He is a member of my extended Fatialofa family – a branch of the family tree that is well known for criminal activities including murder, etc., etc., etc.  I knew his grandparents well and also his father Leifi Faleauto.  When I was at St Paul’s College in 1964 his grandparents invited me to a Sunday toona’i at their home not far from my school then.  Now that I hold the title Fatialofa, I am therefore the Matai of the Faleauto Clan.  Several years ago I presided over the family ceremony conferring the Faleauto Matai title to his brother who was then CEO of the National Bank of Samoa.”


Savali:  “Did you talk to his brother then about Maua and his behaviour?”

PM: “I did but after I heard something about Maua being a loose cannon, I understood immediately.”


Savali:  “But Maua seemed to be quite intelligent.”

PM: “Yeah – He is a qualified lawyer.  Some fifteen years ago, he came to Samoa.  Worked briefly with the Police as prosecutor for the police, during Papalii Lolenese’s term as Commissioner, then opened his private practice for a short time, then closed when his father died suddenly.  I helped with the arrangements for the transfer of his father’s body to New Zealand, and I saw Maua off at the airport with the coffin.  That’s the last time I saw him!”


Savali: “What about Mr D. Smith - The blogger.  Do you know him?”

PM: “Yes – he came to my office over 5 years ago to request my help over a rent dispute with his landlord at Satapuala.  I summoned the landlord to my office and settled the dispute the Samoan way.”


Savali:“Which is?”

PM: “Forgiveness!  And to celebrate the occasion, I hosted dinner so that the Satapuala landlord and Smith would both forgive and forget.  At 11:00 p.m. afterwards that night I came out to the dark car park for my transport home, and there was John Campbell waiting with his camera trying to catch me for an interview which I had scheduled for the following week.  Meantime, Mr Smith did not attend the dinner.  He left for New Zealand the same evening – The rest is history.”


Savali: “He said some nasty things in his facebook.”

PM: “I can understand.  Since I helped him he regularly visited my office with a request that I employed him to set up my facebook.  He never understood that I never wanted publicity.”


Savali:“But you granted two/three media conferences a week.”

PM: “Yes.  Not on my own volition though.  It’s because of your media’s constant pressure; and I realise that Government has all the information that the media needs for their news releases – which is bread and butter for the undernourished journalists and reporters.  It’s that spiritual consideration only that I granted the interviews.  I too was brought up in a similar environment of the have not.”


Savali:“So back on your face book – what happened?”

PM: “So as many times Mr Smith came to me on the subject of the face book – I redirected him to my CEOs to talk to them whether it was necessary.  My two CEOs in the PM’s Ministry and the Tourism Ministry were quick to note that Mr Smith was an unlikeable character – especially when he casually used my name as official authority – for his own designs – He did not know that my CEOs were highly qualified technocrats at their profession and they became subjects of attacks by Mr Smith.”


Savali:“We noted that on two occasions you had a face book established.”

PM: “That’s the extent some bad people like Mr Smith had urgently wanted to create a face book without my knowledge.”


Savali:“Have you had any more contacts with Mr Smith?”

PM: “I don’t even know where the guy is now.  My Minister of Samoa Lands Corporation informed me some time ago that Mr Smith was granted a lease hold on land under the SLC for a Tourism Development which he never implemented nor paid the lease, rental accrued.  So the Minister evicted him from the land and deported him from Samoa for good.”


Savali: “Thank you Prime Minister.”

29 January 2018, 12:00AM

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