P.S.C. asks Health Chief to explain

The Chairman of the Public Service Commission (P.S.C.), Aiono Mose Sua, has asked the Director General of the Ministry of Health, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri, to explain his actions after a video of him stripping down to his underwear at a Government function earlier this month went viral online.

In an email response to questions from the Samoa Observer, Aiono said the first time he heard of the incident was when he read the Samoa Observer’s coverage.

“We have asked and are awaiting a written statement as soon as possible from the Director General,” Aiono said.

On the matter, the Chairman was asked whether he considers the performance in the video appropriate or acceptable behaviour from a Government chief executive, and what actions his office would be taking in response.

He was also asked what he expects of senior Government officials. 

Aiono said he would be able to respond more fully after receiving a written statement from Leausa.

On Monday the Samoa Observer reported the Director General had been caught on camera dancing luridly at a function, most likely the end of the Annual Health Sector Forum, hosted at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel. 

In the video, which lasts for just over a minute, Leausa dances up close to a woman seated on a chair with his singlet pulled up over his head, revealing his chest. 

Later, he undoes his ‘ie faitaga and removes it entirely, wearing it over his head while the remaining crowd cheer and laugh.

Leausa and the woman were not dancing to a Samoan song. 

The Minister of Health, Faimalotoa Kika Stowers, has been asked for her views on Leuasa's performance.

In an emailed response from Faimalotoa’s Secretary, she wrote: 

"I have informed the Minister about your questions regarding the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Health. She said to inform you to leave it with us, there will be a time."

She did not say when that might be.

Earlier this week, the Samoa Medical Council, which is responsible for ensuring the medical profession’s ethics are upheld, was also contacted for comment.

Chairman Motuopua’a Dr. Aisoli Va’ai said until an official complaint is made, the Council has no comment on the matter. 

Motuopua’a said he had not watched the video of Leausa’s dance, nor did he intend to. 

The origin of the video could not be independently verified. The Samoa Observer understands the video's circulation comes just over a week after an official Ministry of Health function, which a witness said was a “big party” that finished around midnight.

The hotel events manager confirmed the Annual Health Sector Forum and closing function was held Friday 13 March at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel, the Samoa Observer has independently confirmed.

Last Sunday afternoon when given the opportunity by this newspaper to comment, Leausa hung up the phone.

“No comment please,” he said.

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