Olo challenges P.M., condemns Lopaoo's comments
Former Member of Parliament, Olo Fiti Vaai has hit back at the Prime Minister's claims that he is a "pathological liar" and dared the veteran M.P. to take him to court to prove it.
Speaking on E.F.K.S. TV on Thursday with the former Urban West MP Faumuina Wayne Fong, the former Salega East MP said he was open to going to court.
"The Prime Minister is saying I am wrong then let us go to the court," he said.
The challenge comes after Olo revealed a Cabinet directive in August suggesting that four Chinese nationals – Honghai Miao, Aiguo Shi, Xiao Wang and Jing Wu – were given the green light to enter the country through a fishing vessel which was exchanging sailors at the dock, despite border restrictions being in force since the declaration of a national state of emergency in March.
The Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi strongly defended the Cabinet decision, calling Olo a “pathological liar”.
This was followed by the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries (M.A.F.), Lopao'o Natanielu Mua, who also dismissed Olo's claim and added that the former M.P. had the habit of picking up rubbish and "eating" it.
However, this did not sit well with Olo who condemned the language used by the Minister, saying Lopao'o should be subject to a conduct review by the Parliament.
In addition, Olo responded to claims by Lopaoo saying he has a point.
"In politics you cannot get angry. But Lopao'o is right about one thing: yes I eat rubbish," he said.
"I eat chicken that is puffed up by injections, I eat canned fish that is infested with worms and other insects that have been found inside, and I also eat the dirty imported sugar from India, yes I am eating rubbish.
"If only you had stopped by my house to offer one of your many steaks but that's okay. Whether it is a rubbish eater or a steak eater we're still alive.
However, I on behalf of my constituency, forgive you for what you said."
Olo added that Lopao'o language mirrors that of their leader’s way of speaking, suggesting that the Prime Minister's use of disrespectful and offensive language is a bad example.
"You see Prime Minister? The examples you have set, now your Minister has spoken," he said.
Faumuina added that a rubbish eater is better than a "sweat drinker" (ai afu) and went on to criticise the Prime Minister's claims that Olo is a "pathological liar.”
In relation to the fishing vessel in question, Olo revealed the vessel number as Hua Nan Yu 737, which is a fishing vessel registered and sailing under the flag of China and operated by China Southern Fishery Co. Ltd.
Olo claims the vessel was never out fishing as stated by the Prime Minister, saying they were fishermen who had been stuck out at sea for three months.
However, the shipping advisory in his possession says otherwise, Olo added. Rather than the fishing vessel going out to fish, it sailed to China and back in the span of four months.
"Okay but our Samoan sailors have been wanting to return home for seven months already, even after many letters and messages, that they are affected by stress and sitting out at sea; my question to the Prime Minister and Cabinet is, have you not thought about them yet and a FK to bring them home?" Olo said.
"And yet only three months these Chinese nationals were out at sea and the Cabinet issues a FK, without a consideration for the sons of Samoa out there."
He then questioned the Government's interest in the Chinese fishing vessel, claiming those who were allowed entry into the country are neither sailors nor fishermen as the Prime Minister insisted.
"Why is the Government so interested in this vessel? What's special about this vessel for it to require a Cabinet directive to travel in and out of Samoa?" Olo said.
"It seems the vessel went to get something during its trip to China and back. I'm telling you, the Cabinet has an interest in this small vessel."