P.M. told me to resign, Faumuina confirms

By Matai'a Lanuola Tusani T - Ah Tong 18 May 2020, 5:00PM

Member of Parliament for Urban West, Faumuina Wayne Fong, has confirmed that Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi had told him to resign from the Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.).

Tuilaepa apparently made the demand over Faumuina's views on three bills before Parliament which threaten to "destroy" the rule of law and reshape the judiciary.
Faumuina maintains that he remains a member of the party. Contrary to reports, Faumuina offered the confirmation in comments he made on his Facebook page, responding to a story published in the Sunday Samoan under the headline “M.P. mum on H.R.P.P. resignation order.”

The article stated that Faumuina remained tightlipped on reports that he was asked by the Prime Minister to resign from the political party. 

But on his Facebook page, Faumuina maintained that he is still open to express his opinion and answer back to critics whenever he wants.

Furthermore, he said the order from the leader of H.R.P.P. to resign from the party followed a village council meeting of Gagaifo Lefaga on the Mother’s Day public holiday.

“The special meeting was to discuss matters pertaining to the three bills being deliberated in parliament,” said the M.P. 

The three bills involved that proposed an independent Land and Titles Court are the Constitution Amendment Bill 2020, Judicature Bill 2020 and the Land and Titles Bill 2020.  

“Opinions and views that were expressed in the meeting was for the purpose of village discussions and to inform the village of the legislations,” the M.P. continued to say. 

“My opinion was also sought on the legislations and I made very clear there are amendments in the law I don’t agree with.”

Faumuina went on to say that someone had reported his opposing views expressed in the village council to the Prime Minister that prompted a meeting where he was ordered to resign.

“The truth is that village council and district meetings should not be intervened by the Prime Minister or the Government,” he said. 

“The villages have their rights to express views on their position to be presented before the Parliamentary Committee on the bills. 

“If the Prime Minister does not agree with our views, I apologise but not all views are the same.” 

A follow-up email to Press Secretary, Nanai Lave Tuiletufuga on a comment from the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi on the issue was not responded to. 

The M.P. alleges that the leader of the political party was the one that called him to join H.R.P.P. following the 2016 General Election. 

“The H.R.P.P. didn’t give me a sene for me to contest in the election,” he said. 

“I was in the H.R.P.P. from 1980 during time of my uncle Tuaopepe Tuigamala Anetipa Lam Sam on the executive of H.R.P.P. where I served bowl to wash hands and collected funds from companies to assist the party from that time to date.”

Faumuina added that he knows what is right from wrong and will not support anything that is wrong. 

By Matai'a Lanuola Tusani T - Ah Tong 18 May 2020, 5:00PM

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