Former top cop guns for Parliament
A former Police Superintendent, who has served the Government for more than forty years, is running for Parliament.
Ulugia Matafeo Siatiu, of Vaiusu and Asaga Savai'i, has thrown his name in the hat to contest the Faleata II seat in the upcoming General Election where he will lock horns with incumbent Member of Parliament for Urban West, Faumuina Wayne Fong.
A senior matai of Vaiusu, Ulugia Matau said he had already asked the Village Council for their blessings because he wants to continue his service in Parliament.
The request, he said, was approved and supported by the village council who accompanied Ulugia to be registered for the Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.) last week.
He recalled that Vaiusu is one of the biggest villages in the Faleata district and the last matai from the village to secure the seat was Ulugia Ale Nofoaiga before 1985.
There are a lot of pressing issues and development happening in the village and Ulugia feels it time for someone from Vaiusu to take the helm to address their concerns.
One of the developments that he pointed to that will create a lot of problems for the marine life in the area and affecting the daily lives of those in the village is the proposed Vaiusu wharf.
“It's not a temporary development, it will affect us in the long run and the marine life that our villagers turn to for survival,” said Ulugia.
“Our plea is for the government to consider our villagers and assist us should the development presses forward.
“The marine life of Vaiusu is where the villagers fish from and turn to daily and we hope to work together with the Government to provide assistance for the villagers and ways to preserve the marine life.”
Ulugia, 68 years old, also spoke about government initiatives and proposed plans within each constituencies.
He said there are already guidelines in place for those initiatives and villages should take the lead in initiating it rather than waiting for government to implement it.
One of those initiatives he said is tackling social issues with youths and crimes where the village council should take the lead.
Ulugia believes that it takes a village to raise a child and the role of the village council is crucial in keeping their youths in line.
He said strengthening the village council’s role by disciplining their youths, putting in place programmes to support them are some of the ways to address the issue.
One of the practices from established village to keep control of the youths is enforcing curfew hours for the evening to ensure that children are not roaming the road and committing crimes.
The father of six said this is crucial to strengthen village rules and curfews to avoid the youths from committing crimes.
“The challenge with our youths is the proximity of the village to town area,” he said.
“But these crimes can be addressed and the village council just needs to strengthen its rules during curfews and encouraging our children to attend church and evening prayers…”
To keep the village in order, Vaiusu has also put in place restricted hours for the sale of alcohol for shops in the village and restricted hours for bingo games.
Speaking about education, Ulugia said the village Primary School is so congested on the land it’s located on that there is no room for a sporting field.
He said this limits the scope of opportunities for their children and would seek help from Government for land to build a field to breed young talents.
Furthermore, Ulugia said the village has a high rate of students not going to school despite Government subsidizing school fees.
Some of the reasons why the young children do not attend school is they prefer to sell seafood, he said, but he said there should be efforts to increase the school role for the village.
A former Health Inspector, Ulugia emphasised the importance of reviving Women’s Committee within the village especially with vaccination and caring for young children.
From the villages of Asaga, Salelologa, Vaiusu and Vaimoso, Ulugia said he observes with sadness the disputes from the leaders of the country.
He said one man’s meat is another man’s poison and claims that individuals can judge for themselves what is right and what is not.
“God is the only righteous person,” he said.