P.M. gives Faumuina second chance

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi says he continues to give Member of Parliament for Urban West, Faumuina Wayne Fong a second chance and wants him to return to the ruling party. 

Tuilaepa said he pities the outspoken M.P., who made a vocal outburst, following reports he had ordered Faumuina to resign from the Human Rights Protection Party.

Faumuina had claimed that the order from Tuilaepa was due to his views expressed during a village council meeting, where he clearly opposed some of the Government's amendments to the Land and Titles Bill 2020. 

But Tuilaepa said he has been patient with Faumuina and his behaviour and had continued to give him a chance. 

He said this is not the first time he had called in Faumuina to talk to him about his views that deviated from the H.R.P.P. position.

The Prime Minister reminded that he has been in politics for many years and new Members should observe, so when it comes to their second term they will have a better understanding. 

“There's something that one should be aware that is called small knowledge is dangerous knowledge,” said Tuilaepa. 

“So in terms of his statement that he has publicised I’m not mad at that, he has done that for a long time but I have been patient. 

“But that is why I had called him in so we can talk and have some tea because he is new in this game of politicians and I continue to give him chances.” 

Faumuina had defended his opposing views on the three bills that were expressed during the Gagaifo Lefaga’s village council meeting. 

He said the Prime Minister and Government should not interfere with opinions expressed in such meetings that were made to formulate a submission from the village on the proposed changes. 

And while Tuilaepa agreed that he has no business in what was said during the meetings, he reminded the M.P. to remember the party whose flag he carried and entered Parliament under. 

The Prime Minister said he had received word that the M.P. had told the council that he had suppressed him from expressing his views. 

He said he also wanted to correct accusations that the bills had already been passed, when they are still with a Parliamentary Committee for consultation. 

“These are all lies to say that I have suppressed him, these are all rubbish that are publicised on newspaper,” he said. 

He added that Faumuina has been misled by other M.Ps who are always seen to be sitting on one another. 

As the Leader of the H.R.P.P., Tuilaepa said it is his intention to keep the party together, in unity. 

“If I see a Member that is wandering off I call them in for a talk,” he said. 

“He [Faumuina] has been doing this for a while where he makes statements that does not reflect that he conforms with agreement that he signed with the party when he signed up. 

“So I often talk to him about the spirit of unity just like a father to his son …”

Tuilaepa then added that the difficulty with Faumuina is there are two other Members of Parliament who are misleading him. 

One of the M.Ps he mentioned is another senior H.R.P.P. Member of Parliament, La’aulialemalietoa Leuatea Polataivao. 

Tuilaepa said there are currently 46 Members of Parliament in the H.R.P.P. since La’auli left, saying he is no longer part of the political party. 

He said La’auli and Faumuina are involved in a matter before a Parliamentary Privilege Committee in relation to a generator. 

Furthermore, he said that there are rules in politics parties and once its Members are told to vote in support of a legislation, whoever doesn’t agree knows they will be censured. 

He then made reference to previous Members of Parliament whom the party executive decided to remove from the party for opposing legislations. 

Faumuina, in his Facebook page earlier this week, 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. 

 “Opinions and views that were expressed in the meeting was for the purpose of village discussions and to inform the village of the legislations,” he said. 

“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, which 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.” 

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