Village, church will not apologise to P.M.
Former Member of Parliament, Faumuina Leatinu’u Fong, is adamant Vaigaga will not apologise to Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Mailelegaoi, in a bid to secure funding for their primary school building.
Speaking on E.F.K.S. TV, Faumuina claimed there was a message from “the office” for the Vaigaga Village Council, School Committee and the Church to apologise to the Prime Minister before the school building could be built.
“Our village and church has met and it was resolved that we will not do that,” said Faumuina, the former H.R.PP. Member of Parliament who recently signed up for the Faatuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.).
“The village hasn’t committed a sin, the Member of Parliament also hasn’t committed a sin for us to apologise. So why should we apologise?”
Faumuina accused the Government of playing dirty politics by withholding the funds for the project.
“All that we know is that the World Bank has approved funding for the school building, so why have they stopped it now?” Faumuina said.
“The only reason is because I have not sided with what the Government wanted which is to build the Vaiusu wharf. The worst part is that these are World Bank funds that are meant to build the school, it’s the government’s money.”
The former M.P. insist they will not grovel to the Prime Minister for the project to be done.
“The church, village and committee is also prepared to build their own school, if the Government doesn’t want to build it.
“It’s not as if we relied on Government to give us the money to do things, everything that is inside our church compound at Vaigaga was funded through the sweat of the village and the church. The school building is no different. Our village will not apologise to the Prime Minister because they haven’t done anything wrong.”
But Prime Minister Tuilaepa rubbished Faumuina’s claim when he responded on TV1.
“It is such a stupid opinion by Wayne. The Government doesn’t do things like that,” Tuilaepa said.
“Faumuina’s claim is wrong all the way up to the moon, it’s a claim designed to antagonize and badmouth the Government to make it seem like if the village doesn’t apologise (we will not do anything), it is such a foolish claim. This Government is not like that.”
According to the Prime Minister, a proposal submitted for the project was too costly.
“They brought a ridiculous proposal where it would cost $600,000 for the architectural drawing and $1.2million to build the school.
“I recently opened a school building at Safotulafai, it only cost $280,000 and it was funded by Japan. You saw the school building and the hall, it was amazing.”
The Prime Minister said most buildings for Primary schools cost between $300,000 and $500,000.
“And yet for this school building (at Vaigaga), before we even start, $600,000 would have already sunk. We could build three different school buildings with that money.
“And that’s why the Government is very careful and it is the reason why it reconsidered its plans that it will not leave it to overseas donors but for the Government to do it so we can adjust the costs so it doesn’t reach that much.
“The Government would provide the architectural drawing, just like all other schools.”