Crimes, Impunity and the Rule of Law

Dear Editor,

The Pacific Transnational Crime Coordination Centre (PTCCC), established in Samoa in 2008 under the HRPP administration, has been very active in monitoring the movements of criminal elements and illegal drugs within and across our borders.

 The Centre collects and shares vital information from international agencies and Transnational Crime Units (TCU) in 20 member nations across the Pacific, including Samoa, to combat transnational crime.

The effectiveness and integrity of our TCU operations require the full support of our Government.

However, the recent actions of several senior Cabinet Ministers demonstrate a blatant disregard for the rule of law. Their actions threaten and undermine every Samoan law enforcement official and agency.

The lack of care or simple ignorance of the Cabinet Ministers of the impact of their disregard for law and order is breathtaking.

If Cabinet Ministers act with impunity, then naturally others will follow.

It is shaking investor and donor confidence and our international reputation as a safe and law-abiding nation is now a farce.

Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa publicly reprimanded her Cabinet Ministers in Parliament over the illegal entry of a vessel from American Samoa.

A motion was even passed for Parliament’s public debate of her statement.

Yet up to now, the people of Samoa are still waiting for that debate to take place. The matters raised were of public interest.

The reprimanded Ministers must also be given the right of reply to defend themselves for their alleged countless misdeeds.

The Prime Minister was most vocal in her pre-election campaign speeches that her Government would champion Good Governance and the Principles of Transparency and Accountability.

Fiame must now own up to that leadership promise.

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi

Leader of HRPP

Samoa Observer

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