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Abandon traditions that hurt you financially: P.M.

Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, has called for local customs and traditions that placed families in financial strife to be abandoned, if one is to overcome the economic downturn currently being experienced due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Speaking on the 2AP programme on Tuesday, Tuilaepa made the comment in response to concerns at the increasing number of people going without employment due to the economic crisis triggered by the pandemic.

“The reason why some families are poverty-stricken is because they do not listen to what [we’re] trying to apply,” he said.

“They insist on continuing to do those malo usu [Samoan custom during a fa'alavelave] despite us trying to prevent them. They’re relying on their children overseas but where can the children get those money from?

“In the Samoan lifestyle, parents are too used to being wannabe rich people. Even if it’s only $50 that’s needed but they try and ask for $2,000 without understanding or considering how their children will feed their own children.”

The Prime Minister said pressures from families to meet traditional obligations has led to people getting sacked from their jobs due to theft at work. 

For Samoans who think they’re at their lowest and cannot afford to eat, Tuilaepa advised them to consider making changes to how they participate in traditional Samoan cultural practices and obligations.

Not only to the malo usu, but also to other parts of the Samoan culture that need to change, he added. 

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