Tuilaepa: Visionary, fearless leader

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi’s vision in the development of Samoa has been hailed by Cabinet Ministers.

Speaking to Samoa Observer yesterday, the Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti, congratulated Tuilaepa on the milestone of his 20th year as the Prime Minister.

 “He is a fearless leader,” Sili said. “I want to congratulate him for his 20 years and wish for another 20 years with the Prime Minister.”

The sentiments are echoed in congratulatory messages from other Cabinet Ministers.

Minister of Works, Transport and Infrastructure, Papali’i Niko Lee Hang, congratulated the Prime Minister in an advertisement published in the Samoa Observer today. He thanked the Prime Minister for his vision and leadership steering Samoa’s ship for the last 20 years. 

Minister for Revenue, Tialavea Tionisio Hunt, offered profound congratulatory remarks.

“Thank you for your valuable contributions and extraordinary leadership.” 

Minister of Justice and Courts Administration, Fa’aolesa Katopau Ainu’u, agrees.

“Twenty years is a milestone and we congratulate you.” 

Minister of Health, Tuitama Dr Leao Tuitama also congratulated the Prime Minister. 

“Thank you for everything that you have done for Samoa.” 

For Sili, who had worked with Prime Minister Tuilaepa for many years prior to becoming a politician, he said Samoa today would not be where it is without Tuilaepa’s vision and drive.

“Investing in infrastructure, roads, plantation access roads, water, electricity, technology, education and health care services; Samoa is in a much better situation now compared to the past,” he said.

“This was everything he put in place from those years when he was Minister of Finance more than 20 years ago.

“Looking back, we can confidently say that Samoa today is doing well. Tuilaepa is a man with a vision and he works hard for it. We are seeing the fruits of his labour.” 

Yesterday, Sili took a journey down memory lane, when he was working with Tuilaepa while he was the Minister of Finance. 

“He was very clear as to what his expectation of me and the Ministry was and what our role was when he was Minister of Finance.” 

Sili was fond of the fact the Ministry of Finance then was tasked to give the best possible advice on the financial status of the Government for submissions to Cabinet. 

“He always said ‘don’t worry about Cabinet, leave politics to the politicians, you just work on the best advice and I will do the work’.”

Sili said Tuilaepa loves engaging with the community.

 “He cares especially about the social and economic wellbeing of our people, providing health care and educational services in the rural areas.” 

The Minister of Finance said that Samoa, despite being small and having limited resources, has done extremely well under Tuilaepa’s leadership.

 “We have also engaged with developing partners to support the plans for the future. Looking back compared to where we are today, I can confidently say that we have done well. 

“But there is always room to improve and innovate. It’s evident that there is a lot more that we need to do to improve the quality of health care and education services.” 

The Minister said working with Tuilaepa at the Ministry of Finance, and in the private sector has helped pave the way for him into Parliament. 

“I am blessed to have him as my Prime Minister and working with him has been fulfilling. A very bold leader and well respected not only in Samoa, (but) the regional and globally.” 

Sili also highlighted Tuilaepa’s ability to unite the Pacific islands. He also shares a unique relationship with the media, which is something very unusual for world leaders. 

“He faces issues head on and does not shy or hide from it. I admire that and it reflects democracy.” 

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