Service before anything else? Whatever!
I was in Samoa last week when Tuila’epa scolded the Pulenu’us and subtly attacked those voices against the government such as SSIG Global.
When he insisted that they (Govt) and the Pulenu’us must crawl under in service of the people (“Totolo i lalo e tautua le atunuu), effectively demanding they put “THE PEOPLE OF SAMOA FIRST”.
Those words sounded honourable but sadly, that’s all they were – “words” – empty useless words – “untruths” to be frank. Tuila’epa had said the right things to deliver his political agenda down the throats of those Pulenuus serving as his mouthpiece in the villages.
On Friday (18th Jan) while waiting in our cars to be loaded on the 10am trip to Mulifanua, we witnessed the complete opposite of what Tuila’epa had asked the Pulenuus to do. A stream of flash fourwheelers made their way around the edge of the carpark into the ship. They were packed into the ship AHEAD of us waiting in line for a long time in the sun.
We have “CONFIRMED” stamped across our yellow receipts for that trip on – the Big Boat. I made the point of booking on that Big Boat because it has protection for the vehicle from the seaspray as well as an air-conditioned room upstairs. I sensed something was not right so I approached the worker directing the cars and asked him whom those vehicles belonged.
He said it was the Government’s and he whispered that they were booked to travel on the little boat, which was anchored around the corner. He apologised for the inconvenience and said they were just following orders.
I went across and spoke to a lady who also gave the same answer. I protested profusely but she asked me to make my concerns known to the management. A Palagi gentleman joined me along with many other drivers who were at that stage getting restless and very angry.
The Palagi pleaded with the staff that he had confirmed their booking a whole month earlier and they have a plane to catch that afternoon so there was a risk of them missing that. It all fell on deaf ears.
She also confirmed that they were following orders and that the UNPLANNED Government trip was booked to use the little boat. Some drivers started swearing but we soon asked for calm.
It was heartbreaking for me to see some elders who had sat patiently in their cars, in the sun waiting to board only to be told that the boat they were booked on was being hijacked by Tuila’epa and his Mafia.
They don’t give a s*** about our elders and they have no respect for anyone for that matter. They are above everyone maybe even God in their own minds.
I felt betrayed by our PM Tuila’epa. Only a couple of days earlier, Tuila’epa had pledged that he, his government and the Pulenu’us must “Totolo i Lalo e tautua le atunu’u” – crawl under to service the people of the country. Where was that service then? What happened to those honourable words to put the people of Samoa first? Where is the respect the courtesy?
My advice to Tuila’epa and his Mafia is that: “Stop fooling the people. Be honest with what you say and follow them through. A Matai should be a light of hope and a leader with integrity so behave like one with all those heavyweight Matai titles you have. No more broken promises. Stop treating our people like idiots. Have some dignity and consideration for our elders and the poor in society. The Lord’s gonna come tumbling down on you – and soon - Mister.”
Ed’s note: Attempts are being made to get a comment from the Samoa Shipping Corporation and Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi.