M.P. mum on H.R.P.P. resignation order

Member of Parliament for Urban West, Faumuina Wayne Fong, is remaining tightlipped on reports that Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, had asked him to resign from the Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.). 

“I have no comment to make,” Faumuina said when the Sunday Samoan asked him. “You will know at a later day."

Faumuina did not elaborate.

But another senior Member of Parliament, who spoke to the Sunday Samoan on the condition of anonymity, said Faumuina had been asked to leave the party over his open criticisms of the Government.

The order from the Prime Minister was made during a meeting between two earlier this month, the Member of Parliament said.

A request for a comment from Prime Minister, sent through his Press Secretary, Nanai Lave Tuiletufuga, on Friday afternoon has not been responded to. 

When the Whip of the H.R.P.P., Alai’asa Sepulona Moananu, was contacted for a comment, he said he was not aware of the alleged incident. 

Asked about the H.R.P.P. by-laws if a member can be removed by the Leader, Ala’iasa said he will confirm after when he refers back to the by-law. 

Faumuina is known for speaking up against Government decisions he disagrees with. On his Facebook page, he often expresses views that contradict that of the ruling party.

For instance, the Member of Parliament recently criticised the Prime Minister’s decision on social media on the appointment of the new Chief Justice, Satiu Simativa Perese.  

Encounters between Tuilaepa and Faumuina have also been visible in Parliament where the M.P. had been rebuked by the Prime Minister for questioning Government developments. 

One of the debates in the Legislative Assembly in 2019 was evident of the Prime Minister’s disapproval of Faumuina speaking up against public development. 

During the debate on the 2019/2020 budget in June last year, Tuilaepa cautioned Faumuina against making comments Tuilaepa claims incite anti-government sentiments.  

“The Member is not prevented from expressing his views,” Tuilaepa said about Faumuina. 

“We are the Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.) that stands to protect people’s human rights.

“There are speeches that appear to be clear from the start but it stirs things as it comes to the end and the Member is the one who is inciting things.”

Tuilaepa did not say what “things” he was referring to. 

But he warned Faumuina that he is taking notes.

“The backseat may not be paying attention to it but I am listening to him talking about the unbalanced budget and the waste of money,” Tuilaepa said.

 “I can talk the whole day about just how wrong you are with the matters you are raising.”

Faumuina had taken the floor and told Parliament that as a member of the H.R.P.P., there are matters, which need to be clarified for public understanding.

He said “there are members (of the H.R.P.P.)” who speak that “the old man does not want to listen to.” 

The “old man” he was referring to is Prime Minister Tuilaepa.

But before the M.P. could start talking about the matters he wanted to clarify, the Prime Minister intervened. 

It was then the P.M. warned the M.P. against inciting anger against the Government’s projects.

Tuilaepa reminded the M.P. that he is new in Parliament and that he should present his views in acceptable manner.

“In this party, there are members who came under the flag of H.R.P.P. just to win their seat,” Tuilaepa said.

“There are members (of H.R.P.P.) who joined just for getting through (the General election) but they cannot be trusted and I am aware of them. I didn’t become a leader yesterday..."

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