P.M. targets Olo
The Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi, has warned independent Salega East Parliamentarian, Olo Fiti Vaai, against undermining the integrity of the Parliament of Samoa.
During his 2AP programme on Saturday, the Prime Minister pointed out that the verbal jabs by Olo made last week could be the subject of an investigation in the following sitting of Parliament.
"There is a member who constantly does this," said Tuilaepa.
"[He said], I tried to discredit the Prime Minister's claims but he still catches on. And he says this confession while laughing. And I also hear that he is also planning other statements which may undermine the work of the Parliament.
"All this may be touched on by the Parliament in the next sitting; any member of Parliament who may undermine the integrity of the Parliament. Especially this member of Salega."
Attempts to contact Olo for comment on Sunday were not successful.
The Prime Minister noted that there have been many occasions where Olo would bring matters into Parliament with a hidden motive.
"I am keeping a close eye on all these [things]. The standing orders are clear, and [if anyone] threatens the integrity of Parliament and announces any [unfounded] comments, the Parliament will address [it],” he said.
"These are the actions of a member who is a show-off... not all members are ignorant."
He took the case of Gagaifomauga No. 3 Parliamentarian, Laaulialemalietoa Leuatea Schmidt, for example, saying the report which found him guilty of breaching Parliament standing orders was not from any other member but La’auli himself.
The Privilege and Ethics Committee report was based on what he had announced in Parliament with his written reports submitted, said Tuilaepa.
He said that the investigation by the Privilege and Ethics Committee into La’auli was made at his own request.
In January this year, La’auli queried the amount of $300,000 allocated by Parliament's Finance and Expenditure Committee for a 200kva generator for the Prisons.
The Member of Parliament claimed that he bought a similar 200KVA generator for personal use in 2019, costing only $100,000. Based on this, he questioned whether the Committee had even looked at alternatives, which would save the country a lot of money.
P.M. Tuilaepa moved a motion for La’auli to provide proof of his claims.
"It wasn't something that was planned to defame anyone, but an investigation to find out the truth which is what we have both been determined to find out. It wasn't planned by anyone else but the member himself and supported by the Salega member of Parliament," he said.
"And I think that this is why the Gagaifomauga No. 3 member has been implicated, it's probably because he has been listening to the bad influence from the member of Salega too much."
The Prime Minister took offence to Olo's comments made a day after Laauli's verbal resignation saying the Privileges and Ethics Committee report was "manoeuvred and they targeted Laauli instead".
Tuilaepa assured that in the next Parliamentary sitting he will move a motion for Olo's claims to be looked into, "it will not be taken lightly."
"I cannot leave this alone because since I was born I have not come across another member with so many lies. Lies without boundaries. This is why I cannot tolerate this, whenever something like this is said I stand up to set the record straight.
"If not corrected, the records will be dispersed as if their statements are true."
Last week, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Nafo’itoa Talaimanu Keti also warned Olo last week over comments he made in the Parliament, where he labelled a group of politicians “newbies”.
He said Olo’s comments criticised first-term lawmakers such as himself and caution should be exercised as they also represent their own constituencies.
"It is outright disrespectful,” said Nafoitoa.