P.M. writes to Judges about "drinking alcohol in public places"

Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, has written to Judges of the Courts in Samoa, telling them to refrain from drinking alcohol together in public.

Tuilaepa said some of the drinking sessions resulted in what he described as “embarrassing  incidents” that have not been addressed by the Judges themselves.

The Prime Minister does not detail the “embarrassing incidents” nor does he identify any Judge in particular.

The dressing down is contained in a letter written in Samoan, addressed to the Acting Chief Justice, His Honour Vui Clarence Nelson, and President of the Land and Titles Court, Fepulea’i Atilla Ropati.

Dated 23 October 2019, Tuilaepa, who is also the Minister of Police, reminded the Judges that members of the public are observing them given the prestigious positions they occupy.

“There have been numerous reports about your consumption of alcohol in public, which is inappropriate for Judges,” Tuilaepa writes.

 “There were embarrassing incidents which you have not addressed that I am well aware of because the complaints from the country are directed at me, rightly or wrongly.”

When the Samoa Observer contacted the offices of the Acting Chief Justice and the President of the Land and Titles Court to seek a comment, both their Secretaries referred questions to the Secretary of the Judicial Service Commission, Moliei Vaai, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration.

Questions sent to Mrs. Vaai for a comment were not responded to at press time.

But Tuilaepa reminded the Judges that “nothing is a secret in Samoa.”

 “I am writing because you know what is happening and yet you are generalising (such behaviour) under the guise of “socialising.”

 “Your appointment is sacred, and you should serve it with dignity.”

Lastly, the Prime Minister makes the point that his primary concern is the protection of the overall image of the Government in the eyes of the public.

 “It is in the spirit of cooperation amongst the different arms of the Government that I am writing this to you. But I have no business in behaviour that have become habitual.”


The following is a translation of the letter:

 CONFIDENTIAL

 23 October 2019

 Acting Chief Justice

President of the Land and Titles Court

  ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION IN PUBLIC PLACES

 ·      There have been numerous reports about your consumption of alcohol in public, which is inappropriate for Judges. Members of the public have taken notice and have written to me about them.

·      There were embarrassing incidents which you have not addressed that I am well aware of because the complaints from the country are directed to me, rightly or wrongly. Nothing is a secret in Samoa.

 ·      I am writing because you know what is happening and yet you are generalising (such behaviour) under the guise of “socialising.” Your appointment is sacred, and you should serve it with dignity. It is in the spirit of cooperation amongst the different arms of the Government that I am writing this to you. But I have no business in behaviour that have become habitual.

  Ma le ava lava e tatau ai,

  Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi

Prime Minister

 

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