Who is the author of all this confusion and contradiction?

By Mata'afa Keni Lesa 19 February 2019, 12:00AM

What is driving this Government today? The question – as blunt as it is – is quite necessary given some eyebrow-raising decisions they have been coming up with lately. 

The motives, the bad and the  ugly, have been manifesting themselves in laws passed in Parliament and policies they are proposing to turn into laws. 

From what we see, they are signs all is not well in there. 

In fact, they speak of a Government where the public service is following their leaders blindly,  not even asking questions about the ramifications of these laws. 

The truth is judging from what has surfaced publically so far, these laws do not make any sense whatsoever. They are in fact dangerous for the people of this country, which is perhaps the most worrying aspect of it all.

In other words, regardless of what spin has been put on them, they don’t reflect well on the leadership today. For obvious reasons.

Firstly, these new laws and proposed amendments to the law clearly highlight the lack of communication within the Government Ministries themselves. We have one Ministry say one thing and another Ministry coming up with a piece of legislation that completely contradicts it. It’s mind boggling.

Then there is the fear these laws put lives in danger. They don’t instill hope in people, instead they make the mind want to stop thinking, so that all we want to do is sit down and cry. That’s precisely what they do.

Let’s take the piece of legislation that would allow 18-year-olds to sell alcohol as a form of employment for example. Who is the genius – or idiot – who came up with this ridiculous idea? Have they been hiding under a rock so that they are oblivious to the growing number of incidents involving alcohol and young people? 

And what happened to the Government creating an enabling environment for the private sector to grow so that employment opportunities don’t depend on kids selling alcohol? Are these people so drunk with power that all they can think about are more ways of getting people drunk?

Besides, did they consult the Ministry of Police about what’s happening in Samoa today? Did they talk to the Ministry of Women Community and Social Development about the mountain of alcohol-related social issues they are trying to resolve? Now let’s park alcohol there for a moment.

Another equally crazy idea they have come up with is a law that Parliament passed last month which now makes it legal for children aged 15 years and older to sell cigarettes – anywhere.

While the legal age to purchase tobacco products remains unchanged at 21, amendments to the Tobacco Control Act have now enabled children 15-years and older to sell tobacco.

Again we say, what on earth are they thinking? In terms of internal communications within the Government, was the Ministry of Health consulted? And what did they say about this given all the noise they keep making about tobacco use and the like? 

Is it fair to say then that all this noise about raising awareness on the harmful effects of cigarettes is pure hot air simply for the sake of using donor funds? 

We say this because it seems this Government has no qualms about exposing our children to cigarettes? Why don’t we just give them marijuana and ice to sell too then? They would probably make more money? It’s employment right?

Lastly, there is that mother of controversy called the law that allows teachers to use reasonable force to discipline students. A lot has been said and written about this law, from the day it was brought to the public’s attention. 

We don’t have the space here to re-highlight the pile of evidence and opinions which support the notion that this law is bad for Samoa.

What we do want to remind though, which is a point we’ve made time and time again, is that violence begets violence. 

In other words, when we sow violence through the use of reasonable force as an excuse to slap and assault students, we will also reap students who grow up to be adults who are violent. We cannot plant an orange and expect an apple. This is the real world we live in.

Indeed, we talk about dealing with domestic violence, family violence and violence in general among members of the community, and yet after all these years and millions of tala in terms of donor funding, this Government’s only solution to problems within schools is more violence?


Folks, who is the author of all this confusion and contradiction? Is there method to thy madness? Or are we correct to say that the muddier the water becomes, the better it is for their agenda – whatever it is.

It’s undeniable that we live in a country where people are confused. There are mixed messages coming from our leaders day in day out. Whether it’s by design or unintentional, these mixed messages are driving people nuts.  No wonder we have so many nutters out there? 

It’s a product of the system in Samoa today where contradictions and confusion is the name of the game.

What do you think? 

Have a wonderful Wednesday Samoa, God bless!

By Mata'afa Keni Lesa 19 February 2019, 12:00AM

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