Has Tuilaepa finally heard the secret whisper? Or is this just another masterful diversion?
Six years ago, the Government’s decision to allow Chinese construction companies to work on Sunday created quite a commotion.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi insisted that the Government could not stop the Chinese companies from working on Sunday because they had deadlines to meet in terms of the projects they were working on.
Besides, he said if the Government stopped Chinese workers, all hotels and other essential service providers should be shut on Sunday. Of course anybody who spoke up against the decision at the time was simply brushed aside as either an “idiot,” a “kid” or “fool,” among other colourful descriptive words in Tuilaepa’s vocab.
Still that did not deter the then Opposition leader, Palusalue Fa’apo II, who criticised the Government’s decision.
“They are allowing contractors to work on Sundays, disrespecting Samoans and our Christian beliefs,” Palusalue said. “The government should enforce such legislation and push our people to go to church. It saddens me to see people heading to work on Sundays when they should be going to church. Sunday is a day of worship. Some people have put money and contractual obligations before what is most important.”
Palusalue of course was not the only one.
Another critic of the Government, Tuilaepa Soiamoa Grey, said the decision was odd especially given Samoa’s move to become an official Christian state.
“It’s really disturbing that I cannot have a peaceful Sunday when these Asians are doing hard labour work,” she said. “What is the robustness of the Samoa Constitution when it comes to these Asians who are conducting heavy labour work on Sundays? What’s more annoying is that their actions are a clear indication they have no respect for the laws of the land.”
Now this was several years ago.
Today, it appears that the Government, or more specifically Tuilaepa, has had a change of heart. Whether the opposition to work on Sunday back then in 2016 has finally had an impact, we don’t know. Perhaps he’s finally heard the secret whisper? Who knows?
What we do know is that Tuilaepa has gone all in with the decision to close all business activities on Sunday. He has gone as far as to instruct the Attorney General’s Office to draft a law to make Sunday business closure permanent.
“Let us go back to keeping the commandments from God. There are rights that we should adhere but there are also rights that are questionable on my mind that is not relevant to God’s commandments,” he said.
Looking at what is happening around the world, he said there are "devilish ways" being allowed on Sundays, stuff that he said led to God destroying “Sodom and Gomorrah.”
“Other countries have legalised businesses such as prostitution where men or women to sell their bodies for worldly pleasures to get money,” he said. “This includes abortion which refers to females aborting their babies so parents would not know, but the moment that a woman is with child that is the time God has given her a soul and if it is taken away, you have become a murderer. Many countries have also legalised these ways but it is illegal under our laws.”
Now what on earth is the Prime Minister talking about here? Is there prostitution in Samoa? What other “devilish ways” is he talking about?
When it comes to the issue of abortion, isn’t that already illegal in this country? And what does this have to do with closing shops on a Sunday?
If none of this is making sense, there is a very logical explanation for that. It’s not meant to make sense. The Government, especially under the leadership of an experienced politician in Tuilaepa, wants you confused so you cannot see the forest through the trees.
Apart from a complete 360 turn around of the Government’s position on this issue from six years ago, we get the feeling all this is just another smokescreen. Indeed, this is just one of those laws designed to divert attention and conversations from the real issues we should be focusing on, especially three controversial bills before Parliament which we’ve been told would completely destroy the concept of rule of law in Samoa.
How is it that the Government is so hell bent on respecting Sundays, and changing laws to make sure everyone goes to church, when at the same time they are pushing through bills which threaten the existence of this nation and her people.
Let us be reminded again today that the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2020, Lands and Titles Bill 2020 and the Judicature Bill 2020 threatens to destroy the Judiciary, violate the separation of powers concept and disrupt peace, stability and poses a risk to the future generations of this country.
We are talking about measina we have inherited from our forefathers including lands, titles, families, language, fundamental rights and freedoms, Constitutional rights, concept of separation of powers and a lot, lot more. This is the stuff that we should really be concerned about.
What do you think? Write and share your thoughts with us!