Threat to shoot P.M. unnecessary. It’s illegal and shameful

MK
By Mata'afa Keni Lesa, 12 February 2019

This much is undeniable. The language used by Saute Sapolu to attack Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi – in a video that has since been watched by thousands of Samoans here and around the world – is low. 

Even worse, the threat he made to shoot him is not only criminal; it cannot be ignored. No one is above the law and regardless of whatever motive drives the person making the threat, the act is illegal and the person responsible should be held accountable. It’s that simple.

It’s even sadder when the person fires off such a threat against the elected leader of an independent nation, knowing well he is not in Samoa to face the music. 

Which is why the threat made during the weekend is not only cowardly, the language used reflected very poorly on the person who made it. It’s shameful.  As a people, as a nation and as a family of Christians, we are better than that. 

Ironically, the threat was made during the same weekend where the man known as “King Faipopo”, who had been a strong critic of the Government, was arrested. 

On the same day, another character, Talalelei Pauga, the man who threw a pig’s head and dog food at Prime Minister Tuilaepa in Australia last year, broke his silence and revealed why he did what he did.

 “I wanted my voice to be heard loud and clear and I wanted his attention so he can wake up and hear the people who are voiceless,” Mr. Pauga told this newspaper.

Asked why the choice of a pig’s head and dog food, Mr. Pauga responded: “My approach was on the political level and the reason why I used the pig’s head was because he called the people of my country stinking pigs.”

“He also called our people dogs and all that. If you don’t have respect for my people why should I have respect for him?”

Everyone is entitled to his or her views and Mr. Pauga is certainly entitled to his. It’s a free world after all. But his choice of actions is not the way to go. 

The point is that there are better ways to deal with these issues: lawful and legal means that do not embarrass us as a country.

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Prime Minister Tuilaepa is not faultless. We all know that. And like Mr. Pauga, lot of people might be upset with what he has been saying, calling people many colourful names including “stinking pigs,” “dogs,” “fools” and the like. 

Today, we want to remind our people, in Samoa and abroad, of an old Samoan saying; O lalo e maua ai malo. In English, it translates: It is through humility where victory is achieved.

Wanton acts of threats and violence are not the way to resolve our problems. Threatening people online in powerful mediums like Facebook is childish and must not be encouraged. 

We know it’s been tough, we know some people have certainly had enough of the way things have been done under the H.R.P.P. regime led by Prime Minister Tuilaepa. That’s okay, it’s expected.

But we want to remind once more that this is Samoa where our response should be deeply rooted in our culture of ava fatafata and va tapuia. Our problems are not resolved through acts of violence, throwing pigs as weapons, confrontation and fists. We use dialogue, mutual respect, compassion, patience, love and the respect for the rule of law. That’s how peace and political stability have been preserved by our ancestors over the years. 

All of us are duty bound to do the same. We owe our forebears that much.

We’ve said this before and we will urge you again today Samoa. As a nation of Christians, we must exercise restraint. 

We believe in a God of truth and justice who sees and deals with each person in his own time. We also believe in a God who controls times and seasons, the one who removes kings and sets up new kings.  We know there is coming a time when that will happen in Samoa. 

Folks, Prime Minister Tuilaepa, just like you and me, will face the music. No one is indispensible regardless of how powerful you think you are.

Besides two wrongs don’t make a right. Attempting to embarrass the Prime Minister of a sovereign country for the world to see is not only wrong, it is disrespectful and spineless.

Today, we’d like to think that we exist in a civilized world where we sort out our differences like grown ups. 

In a democracy, we remind that there are several ways where people can express their disapproval of their leaders. One of the avenues avails itself two years. It is called the General Election folks. 

If Samoans who are attacking the Prime Minister and the Government on social media and all other forms of media don’t like him that much, we strongly suggest they start making plans to come to Samoa, spend some time here and vote them out. Screaming from afar, hurling insulting words and threatening remarks, only reveals a person’s true character. We know what Prime Minister Tuilaepa would call them.

Have a peaceful Wednesday Samoa, God bless!

MK
By Mata'afa Keni Lesa, 12 February 2019

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