Crash F.A.S.T. roadshows to counter "brainwashing": P.M.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi says the Faatuatua I le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) party is “brainwashing” the public and being “better liars than satan”.
At a Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.) conference on Wednesday, the Prime Minister urged supporters to turn up to the opposition party’s roadshows to “counter” their rhetoric.
But the Prime Minister laughed off questions about whether he was worried about the opposition party.
“They have decided to take their plea into the villages in efforts to brainwash people and there may be those that do not understand these issues at hand,” Tuilaepa said.
F.A.S.T. has been holding community roadshows in villages since the new year.
“And that is why I chose to give direct comments so that it’s easy for 17 -41-year-olds to understand, even with the complex issues I speak blatantly to eliminate the dishonesty being spread around,” the Prime Minister said on Wednesday.
“As you all know, the three that left [H.R.P.P.] most likely they are better liars than Satan himself as they lie with a straight face,” said the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister’s comments clearly referenced former Deputy Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata'afa; F.A.S.T. founder, former Speaker and Cabinet Minister, Laauli Leuatea Schmidt and Faumuina Wayne Fong.
All three left the party, most recently Fiame, an independent M.P. for Lotofaga and veteran H.R.P.P. member who this week officially confirmed she would join F.A.S.T. after Parliament rises for the final time next week. (She has been a guest speaker at F.A.S.T. roadshows despite not being a party member).
Efforts were made to seek a response from the three politicians Tuilaepa attacked on Wednesday but were not immediately returned by deadline.
Tuilaepa challenged H.R.P.P. members to attend the F.A.S.T. roadshow in the respective villages and ask them questions.
He added the opposition party should not be allowed to spread lies about the developments and what the Government is doing at their roadshows.
“I urge you all to go and ask questions,” said Tuilaepa during a meeting with the party members; during their caucus on Wednesday morning.
The Prime Minister added that once the village councils agree to allow the F.A.S.T. roadshow in the villages then they should attend as well.
“Go and ask them questions,” he said.
“The issues they raise, we will respond accordingly,” said the Prime Minister during their caucus.
After the caucus, the Prime Minister fielded questions from the media where he brushed off claims the H.R.P.P. are “worried” about the roadshow.
“I have nothing to worry about. The public knows what is going on and I am correcting all their [public statements] so no I am not worried," he said while laughing.
“Also their claims during the roadshow, the people come and report them to me. Remember I am the one that is responding to [F.A.S.T.] allegations.
“Do I look like I am worried? I am not worried at all.
He said the public is being persuaded by the F.A.S.T. roadshow and it is their (H.R.P.P.) responsibility to counter them.
During the first week of January the F.A.S.T. roadshow programme kicked off and the event will bring all 50 F.A.S.T. candidates to an open forum with their respective village communities in each constituency.
A roadshow for Savai’i will follow in February, starting in Fa’asaleleaga, moving towards the Itu-o-Tane and all over the big island.
La’auli said that the spirit of the roadshow is not to engage only with chiefs and village council members.
Instead, the party has planned a specific time to be allocated in each community for consultation sessions encompassing young people, church ministers, and the village’s women’s committee.
Tuilaepa previously suggested that the party’s methods were “foreign” and similar to those employed by the disgraced outgoing American President Donald Trump.
“We stick to the traditional way of making announcements and advertisement within the villages and districts,” he said on state-owned media last week.
“We rely on the knowledge and wisdom of the matai and the chosen representative of each district to explain to them our goals and vision.”