That office where honesty and integrity should be without blemish at all times!

By Gatoaitele Savea Sano Malifa 10 March 2018, 12:00AM

Come to think of it though, some of the headlines in the Samoa Observer over the last couple of weeks, were quite shocking to say the least.

They screamed: 

• Father pleads guilty to sex charges against daughter; 

• Principal suspended over sex allegations; 

• Govt. to crack down on couples working in the Police Force; 

• Avele College students charged over attack on teacher;

• Taxi driver stuffed in car boot; 

• And then there’s the one being attributed to Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, who was apparently “hitting back against his critics,” and as he was doing so he was telling them: “I’ve never been burnt.” 

  Well, what he meant by that little revelation, had obviously not been spelt out until now.

 So let’s do it this way. 

Sometime ago, a bag of money got on the road, and it started rolling all the way to Anoama’a; on arrival, a by-election was taking place, voters were standing in a cue, and they were waiting for their chances to vote.

Now seeing, that the electors were ready to vote, the bag of money detached itself from the cue, and then it started handing out money from inside it, to those electors as they were standing in the cue.

In the end the man who won the elections was “burned.” He was “burned” because during the court hearing that followed, he was found against and the other candidate won. 

That other candidate, by the way, is the former Head of Sate, His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi. 

As for Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malilegaoi’s claim, that he’d never been “burned” well then, let’s wait and see!   

And so, now that we’ve got a pretty good idea it was all about this on-going squabbling, between the government and its critics over the use of Samoa’s customary lands, we’re a bit shocked that another little skirmish about this much debated issue, has shown up once again during a time like now.   

 Indeed, now that it appears the former Head of State, His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi, has been brought back into the fray and yet he’d been kicked out of the Office of Head of State, by the government of Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, the question is: What exactly is going on here now? 

Now according to Tuilaepa, even though “the Government’s plan over this country’s customary lands”, had somehow grown to include the former Head of State, Tui Atua, he, “Prime Minister Tuilaepa remains unfazed.” 

What he meant by his being unfazed had not been spelt out. 

However, he went on to say he is steadfast that there is nothing for Samoa to be concerned about in as far as the Land Titles Registration Act (L.T.R.A.) 2008, is concerned.

Now is that so? What exactly is he talking about here? What about those customary lands that are being carved up everywhere for projects where local control is nil? 

Tuilaepa said there was nothing to worry about.

He also revealed that when someone warned him that he was playing with fire when Cabinet considered the L.T.R.A. some time ago: “I laughed and I said to him, I’m the type of person who laughs when I see smoke, I’d actually like to place my finger on it, to see if there is fire and whether I will get burnt.” 

“And you know I have never been burnt.” 

Tuilaepa went on to say: “The Government’s critics are all smoke anyway.”

But then, whatever he meant by that claim of his, he did not explain. 

What Tuilaepa said though was: “When I was asked about the concerns that had been expressed by the former Head of State, His Highness Tui Atua, in relation to L.T.R.A, I was dismissive.

Now he explained: “Our Head of State is our leader. He holds the highest rank in all of Samoa. All of Cabinet papers go through to him and he has the chance to make recommendations, seek an explanation and we would sit down and review it over coffee.” 

Tuilaepa said reports quoting the former Head of State saying he was under pressure are wrong. 

He said: “Who is the stinking pig who dares to question the Head of State?”  

Tuilaepa said His Highness Tui Atua is more than welcomed to contact him directly if he has any concerns about the L.T.R.A. 2008. 

He added that the Executive Director of the Samoa Law Reform Commission (S.L.R.C.), Telei’ai Dr. Lalotoa Mulitalo Seumanutafa, has already addressed the issues raised about the L.T.R.A.

“She holds a Doctrine Degree in Law and she is a Samoan Chief who is well versed with our laws.”  

Tuilaepa explained: “Telei’ai works with Attorney General, Lemalu Hermann Retzlaff, who is also a matai Samoa. Under their watch there are more than 50 lawyers.”  

This is to say: “There are 50 brains who are working with the A.G. Some of them have two degrees.They are highly intelligent people working to serve our country.”  

He also said: “They have all graduated with scholarships so that the government, Cabinet, Associate Ministers and lawmakers, are educated people.”  

“We no longer have those people who agree to things yet do not even know what is going on. In Samoa today, we have our chiefs drafting our laws and our chiefs passing our laws.”

He’s got a point there.   

And now finally, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, reserving what he obviously believes is his most wounding jab yet for the illustrious finale, is saying: “So who is the stinking pig (pua’a elo) who would force the Head of State to sign any bill?”  

We have no idea. 

All we know is that a new Head of State has taken over from the old one, and as far as we’re aware, the one we’ve got now has yet to prove that he has the making of the kind of leader, whose honesty and integrity are without blemish, at all times.  

As for those shocking headlines we’ve told you about, let’s hope and pray that the man who knows all the answers to our problems, none other than Prime Minister Tuilaepa, would sort things out, and at the time, please leave the (pua’a elo) out. 

Have a peaceful Samoa, God bless!

By Gatoaitele Savea Sano Malifa 10 March 2018, 12:00AM

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