“A small party made up of small-minded people,” says M.P. Faumuina Wayne Fong.

By Gatoaitele Savea Sano Malifa 16 October 2017, 12:00AM

On the front page of the Sunday Samoan of 15 October 2017, the headline read: “Member hits out at dirty H.R.P.P. politics.” 

The “Member” in question is Parliamentarian Faumuina Wayne Fong, of the Human Rights Protection Party, who claimed that members of his party “are engaged in dirty politics.”

He went on to say those members were taking part in what he described as “underground jostling” for the position of Prime Minister, “now that Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi is undergoing a medical check up, in New Zealand.”

Now the questions are: Why didn’t he reveal who those members were? Indeed, was he alright mentally when he’d made his revelation, and if he was, was there method is his madness that prevented him from explaining fully, what those dirty politics he’s claimed members of his party were engaged in, were?

He went on to tell the Sunday Samoan “it is sad seeing that whereas Prime Minister Tuilaepa was undergoing treatment in New Zealand, where he had been evacuated two weeks ago,” here at home “certain members of his Party have been campaigning for votes, should something happen to the Prime Minister.”

Like what, for instance!

Like something even far more inconceivably gruesome like never coming back! 

Faumuina said: “I find this absolutely disgusting.

“This is all happening while our Prime Minister is in New Zealand undergoing a medical check up. How can they think that way? These people are so driven by the hunger for power they will stop at nothing to get what they want.”

“Hunger for power.” 

Now isn’t that a powerful phrase, so that right away we’re reminded of Lord Acton, who said: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Indeed, it came effortlessly to mind, with the disclosure by the Member of Parliament, Faumuina, that members of the governing H.R.P.P. “are engaged in underground jostling for the position of Prime Minister.”

Who are these members by the way? 

It would be wonderful to know.  

Faumuina confirmed that he himself “had been approached by a certain party member who is rallying for his support. 

“This one is a devoted member of the H.R.P.P.,”  and he has invited me to join his group.”

But then Faumuina revealed: “I declined the offer based on so many factors.

“The most critical of which for me, is the fact that these people are power hungry, and they are self-centered. They will do anything to get to the helm.

“I call it the small party made up of small-minded people.” 

He also said: “Here they are rallying up other people to select a leader when our leader is overseas getting his medical check up. 

 “We should be praying for our leader and not do this while he’s on his bed being sick.”

Now that reminds of the day the late Prime Minister, Tofilau Eti Alesana, resigned from Parliament. 

It was back in 1998. 

After he’d announced his resignation, he named his understudy, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, as his successor.    

Tuilaepa stood up, acknowledged Tofilau’s trust in him, and then after he’d graciously accepted the post as Samoa’s next Prime Minister, he sat down. 

Soon Parliament was adjourned, and as MPs were filing out of Parliament, Tofilau, who was accompanied this time by his wife Pitolua, had not moved

He remained seated in his wheelchair instead, and then finally when the chamber was empty, and the two of them were alone, they looked like a still photograph of an old, lonely couple sitting side by side in a large enclosure, with no one else around.

That way, Prime Minister Tofilau Eti Alesana’s last day in Parliament, was heartbreaking; it looked as if he’d been abandoned by a government and a people, to whom he had bequeathed all that he’d ever cared for in his entire life.

Now shrouded by an eerie shade of emptiness he looked powerless and despondent; the aura of authority that in his prime had exuded incessantly from his face as he was addressing the House had vanished; vanished too were his many friends who in the past had rallied excitedly around him and adored him. 

Today, all that remained was simple love and mutual devotion that were now holding two people together in their old age, one of whom was a gaunt frame of a man whose voice in his prime, had instilled fear in everyone as it’d roared without faltering inside that Parliament.

And yet today he’s even been deprived of his ability to move a muscle freely, or speak a coherent sentence; when finally they were making their way outside, with Pitolua pushing Tofilau’s wheelchair slowly from behind, they looked as if they did not belong.

It was as if an invisible blast of brute justice had instantly blackened one’s vision, so that all the fine achievements that were supposed to always remind one, about Prime Minister Tofilau’s many years of devoted service to his country had been reduced to nothing, and I felt tears start forming in my eyes.  

Tofilau did not leave politics completely; he was to remain a Cabinet Minister without a portfolio acting as an adviser to Prime Minister, Tuilaepa and his Cabinet. 

After Tuilaepa had been sworn in as Prime Minister he acted promptly; he appointed lawyer, Misa Telefoni, as his deputy and later he made it publicly known, that his government “would insist on accountability, transparency and good governance.”

Tofilau passed away in March 1999.

As for Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, today he is convalescing in Auckland.

A government statement says he is progressing well. It also says  the doctors are expecting to give a clearer picture of his condition sometime soon.

His message to Samoa, that has been passed on by Cabinet’s Press Secretary, says simply: “I want to say thank you to the country for your prayers and well wishes.”

Still, no one’s worried about the H.R.P.P. It’s just “a small party made up of small-minded people,” as M’P. Faumuina Wayne Fong has pointed out.

Tuilaepa will be back. He has a lot of work to do. Indeed, he is the only one in H.R.P.P. who can get the job done, the way it should be done.

That way, he will definitely be back.

By Gatoaitele Savea Sano Malifa 16 October 2017, 12:00AM

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