Petition to parliament like taming a venomous snake

Dear Editor,

There have been obvious talks by Unasa Iuni Sapolu and her S.S.I.G. team about their next move. They had already done their first move where they bravely marched the street of Apia with their banners against the govt and the Land Titles Registration Act 2008 (L.T.R.A).

It seems like a success in their own books because they did deliver on the street of Apia the march that they had promised us on social media. 

Now they have another move. Unasa and her S.S.I.G. are planning to launch a petition to Parliament. I take it that this proposed petition would be another form of voice of objection by a group of individuals against the L.T.R.A.

This is another expedition move by the S.S.I.G. in their effort to see Parliament and the Government have a change of heart and mind to disarm this L.T.R.A. 

The S.S.I.G. supporters in Samoa and afar continue to sustain and praise Unasa for her valiant act. 

Now I do give credit to Unasa for her courage in this fight against the government given the lack of an opposition party in Parliament. It takes a lot of courage to lead the S.S.I.G. and walk the streets of Apia and demand changes to the government of the day. 

Yes, we may argue against Unasa or agree to disagree with her on her stands but she still deserves some credit for her brave effort.

Now I do not mean to be pessimistic and dishearten towards Unasa and her course but I have been contemplating a lot about her next move. 

I have been thinking on whether this upcoming petition is the right option. I am saying whether going to Parliament with a petition is the best recourse? 

In saying that, I am mindful of the fact that this is a fight against a piece of law that was passed by Parliament or basically the Government of the day. This is a fight against government politicians and since the H.R.P.P. controls the inside of Parliament with their one side ruling party then I think the fate of the petition is inevitable. The move seems a bit immature at this stage.

Presenting this petition to Parliament or going to the same people who voted and elected the L.T.R.A. is like trying to tame a venomous snake and hoping for the snake to be your friend so it won’t bite you back.  

But the reality is inevitable; the venomous snake will always bite because of its nature.  The snake will be very territorial and defensive when it’s under attack. So taming a venomous snake may require training, time, efforts and professional skills. 

Similarly the ‘taming of the snake’ concept can be used in Unasa’s petition to Parliament.

I ask myself, how can Unasa tame the Parliament? 

How can Unasa convince the heart and mind of sTui and the Parliament with her petition? 

Does Unasa have the professional and diplomatic skills to pull this through? 

Does she have the political will to make this happen given the lack of opposition in Parliament? 

Does Unasa have the political skills to maneuver the political minds and hopefully tame sTui and the H.R.P.P. to be her friend and not a foe? In addition to that, will sTui and his government or Parliament be territorial and defensive in this form of attack or petition? 

Will the government maintain its position or will they give in and make amends or repeal the L.T.R.A.? Can the Parliament accept the petition?  

Now, we all know sTui, once his mind is set then there is no going back.  I mean think about the many changes that already came to pass despite challenges and petition from a group of protesters and even opposition but still it went ahead, for e.g the P.A.S.S. and the road switch. 

Perhaps this is one of the main reasons why Unasa and her S.S.I.G. followers and other non-followers of S.S.I.G. strongly dislike sTui because of his unwavering position. It seems arrogant to many of us but that’s the same sTui we know from 30 years ago. One can foresee the fate of this petition especially so when Unasa Iuni Sapolu and her SSIG and OLP supporters have been calling sTui and his government with many many impolite and untidy names on social media. And now she is going to Parliament with a petition to tame and beg sTui and the Parliament to change his heart and mind. Surely sTui’s heart is tough and probably boiling so I wont be surprised if Unasa’s petition is rejected by Parliament. There are also Parliament rules that Unasa needs to consider. I still think that the best legal option is the Supreme Court and then petition can be done later if there is no remedy from Court. 

So there quite a lot of hurdles for Unasa’s petition. 

Now sTui also didn’t mince his words when it comes to Unasa and her campaign. The P.M. has been very strong on his responses towards Unasa and her S.S.I.G. and OLP supporters. His words can be untidy and impolite but it’s a clear preconceived reflection of sTui’s reaction to this petition. 

Now, I’m not saying that Unasa should reconsider her next move or change how to approach the Parliament. All I am saying is whether the petition is the right move given the challenges and its inevitable fate.

Ae aua le fo’i Unasa ae alu pea iai…e leai foi se leaga ole fusu masalosalo e velovelo a lima kei maua se laki. lol..o ou mama na.

Manuia lavasiga o lenei aso Samoa.


Fale J Galuefa (FjG)

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