Smoke, Govt.’s legacy of changing everything and those “fools”

By Mata'afa Keni Lesa 30 January 2019, 12:00AM

Now we know Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi and his administration has another mantra. Apart from “what’s good for Upolu is also great for Savai’i” as is often always used and abused, we were let in on another secret philosophy last week – perhaps inadvertently.

It happened during that infamous exchange in Parliament, when Prime Minister Tuilaepa was talking about “atomic bombs”, and things he wanted to blow up like petitions in Parliament.

“We’ve been independent for nearly sixty years now, and yet this matter of some constituencies having two, three, four reps in Parliament is always brought up,” he said. “The Governments of the past avoided it. Why? They were afraid to touch fire but with the H.R.P.P. government, it is our belief that it is only smoke, no one will get burned.”

Well that’s quite telling isn’t it? No wonder why this Government has been behaving with such reckless abandon during the past few years, acting like someone drunk on power so that they have just about changed everything in Samoa today. 

The worry is that wherever there is smoke, there is bound to be fire somewhere. All the smoke needs is the right amount of oxygen and a little breeze for it to light up. 

Looking at Samoa today, the breeze is picking up so that soon it will become wind. And there is plenty of oxygen from so many poor decisions made by this administration, we know it will only be a matter of time before smoke turns into fire. 

We’ve lost count of the number of things this Government has changed over the years. 

But what we do know is that it appears to be a crusade to destroy history, culture and whatever was good, decent and of value to Samoa. It feels like someone is on a mission to create a new legacy so that the sacredness of our past, history and the wisdom of our forebears is demolished, destroyed and erased. 

It started with the decision to demolish the old Parliament house. That was symbolic of this Government’s intentions. Something changed in the atmosphere the day they bulldozed that historical building, which signified Samoa’s struggle for freedom. Looking back now, everything else that has followed has been like a domino. It’s scary. 

Nothing is beyond this Government’s reach. What from meddling with the affairs of the Office of the Head of State, to villages, families, businesses and more. Is there anything they haven’t touched? Who can forget the day they dragged Church Ministers to Court demanding that they pay their taxes? 

That day shall live on in memory as one of the worst days in this country’s history. 

The point is the forefathers of this nation would be turning in their graves, at the idea that this Government is doing everything in it’s power, to turn things upside down. Folks, they have already butchered the Constitution blue with so many unnecessary changes. When are they going to stop? 

The fact is, if our forefathers did not see fit to tax pastors and the Head of State office holders when the Constitution was written, why now? Don’t we believe anymore in the wisdom of our forebears who fought blood, sweat and tears for the freedom we enjoy today?

Now the latest one is the ramming down of the Electoral Constituencies Bill, which was passed in Parliament this week. Contrary to opposition and public views expressed to the Parliamentary Committee, the Government simply wouldn’t be persuaded. 

Like he promised, Prime Minister Tuilaepa’s Government rammed through the bill in Parliament and no “atomic bomb” of any sort could’ve stopped it.

At the hint of objection from one of only two Members of Parliament who voted against the bill, Tuilaepa raised his voice. He told Parliament the amendments in the bill are the “final phase” of the multiple phase reform programme the Government started 28 years ago.

 “This is the final amendment. This is to clean up electoral boundaries. The traditional and cultural boundaries are not affected, that remains.”

When he was asked why they’ve removed one M.P. for Savai’i, Tuilaepa was not impressed. “We are not fools,” he shouted, “the people who drafted this law are not fools.”

Well that’s good to know. But perhaps the Government needs to be reminded one more time today, that even the people of this country are not fools. They can easily read between the lines and they can see fire. Wherever there is smoke, fire will sure follow. 

Have a wonderful Thursday Samoa, God bless! 

By Mata'afa Keni Lesa 30 January 2019, 12:00AM

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