Businessman to campaign on education, tourism development
A businessman says he is more than up to the challenge of seeking to defeat the current Member of Parliament for the Salega No.1 constituency on a campaign focused on education and development.
Fepulea'i Fa'asavalu Faimata Su'a, is 47-years-old and the owner of the Island Trust Refrigeration business but he is not new to the political ring.
But in his next campaign, in the 2021 General Election, he will not only be coming up against the seat’s current M.P., To'omata Aki Tuipea, but also the leader of the Tautua Samoa Party, Afualo Dr. Wood Salele.
The last time he threw his hat into the political ring was in the 2016 election where he contested as a candidate for the Tautua Samoa Party.
But this time he is returning to the challenge again and hoping to collect the support of his villages, Faiaai, Samata-i-Uta, Fogatuli and Fagafau, as a candidate for Samoa’s newest political party: Fa'atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) party.
Fepuleai admitted that he has been preparing to contest the seat for a very long time.
"For your information, I did not wake up in the morning and decided I should prepare for this. I have been preparing for this for a very long time,” he told the Samoa Observer.
Fepuleai said his desire to run under a different party flag this time was a result of his drive to see a change in the way Government operates.
While he acknowledges the work and efforts of the Government in the development of Samoa, Fepuleai believes that there are still some areas that need to be prioritised in the future.
"The livelihoods of our people is key," said Fepuleai.
"We can have big developments and big houses, but what's the point when most of our people are living in hardship every day?
"That, in my opinion, is something we should really look at."
In saying that, Fepuleai said the main plank of his campaign platform will be education.
"I am a true believer that if our children are well educated, we will not have to question the prosperity of this nation in the future," he said.
"Moreover, I also believe that if we all work together in building up (our children) starting from our families, we will not have to worry about tomorrow and the future.
"Everything begins at home, so if we build a strong and solid foundation for them, we will not have to deal with the many issues we face nowadays."
Second on Fepuleai's list is agriculture.
"Ava is the main crop and that's the main development for our constituency," Fepuleai said.
"But the problem is, there are so many farmers and so many ava sellers, but we do not have enough places to sell the ava."
Salega No.1, Fepuleai said, has some of the most "beautiful beaches" in Samoa.
However, he argues their potential is not being developed for tourists and commercial use.
"That is another asset to our constituency. We have some of the most beautiful beaches ever, however, we are not using it as a beach fale or develop it so we can attract our local people and tourists,” he said.
"Those are hidden treasures. The problem is, no one has ever sparked the idea and has made a strong push for the beaches to be used for commercial use."
The father-of-three has vowed that he will make a strong push for such developments should he succeed in the upcoming election.
"I stay in the constituency, so I know what each family needs and the type of lives they have on a daily basis,” he said.
"Why don't they send their children to school? Because some families do not have enough to send their children to school. Some parents do not have jobs and they depend mainly on the land and sea to earn money."
Fepuleai is quite confident that, with God at his forefront, he will win.
"I am not nervous, because of my faith in God. I know that if I put my trust and faith in God, no one will ever take away what God has planned for me,” he said.
"I understand all the other candidates are also praying to God and fasting for the upcoming election, but we will leave everything to God. "There is always that outstanding touch and prayer that stands out. But that is for God to decide.
"I truly believe that faith, like the name for this political party, is the key to anything in this life. That faith can turn anything from nothing into something big."
Fepuleai Fa'asavalu Faimata Su'a is married to Lucy Fa'asavalu. They have three children.