Olo, La'auli views on scheme "immature knowledge": Tuilaepa.

The views of two Fa'atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi [F.A.S.T.] party Members on the seasonal worker scheme has been dubbed "immature knowledge" [poto moto] by the caretaker Prime Minister. 

Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi did not mince his words, when he was asked to respond to claims by Olo Fiti Va'ai and La'auli Leuatea Schmidt earlier this week, following a commotion at the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa hall at Sogi on Monday, when close to 3000 people turned up to register in the seasonal worker scheme.

The Ministry of Commerce Industry and Labour had canceled the registration for Upolu Island until further notice due to the melee on Monday which led to damage to the church property and three people suffering injuries. 

Olo suggested that the scheme "should not continue" as it was not only "temporary" but a sign that unemployment issue in Samoa is a serious problem. 

He said the more people rely on the seasonal workers scheme, they will be encouraged to rely on and resort to this scheme as a way to earn an income, and added that the F.A.S.T. party has a solution to the problem. 

The solution is spelt out in the party's manifesto that was launched prior to the April general election. 

La'auli shared similar sentiments saying that international opportunities are welcome but should not be an economic priority.  

He said the Government's goal should be not to rely on such temporary measures for the betterment of families while reminding that retaining manpower in Samoa is amongst the top priorities of F.A.S.T. party's long-term plans.

However, the leader of the Human Rights Protection Party scoffed at the comments made by his two rivals, claiming that their views reflect "immature knowledge."

He also went as far as calling Olo and La'auli "wannabes" and "inconsiderate", claiming they both have very "little understanding of what it means to be a leader."

"That's exactly what you call immature knowledge [poko moko]," Tuilaepa said. "That reflects the lack of understanding in those wannabes. 

"The country can now see the type of leaders they are...they are inconsiderate.

"That's inconsiderate of them to say that. What happened to the promises they made before the election? 

"This shows that they don't think of anyone but themselves."

Tuilaepa said the comments from Olo and La'auli did not surprise him as he is aware both of them have their own businesses to take care of their families and children. 

"These people don't care about others...they are not worried as they have businesses to provide for their families," he said.

"They have never struggled before which means they don't know what it means to strive in life. They have never been in the shoes of those who struggle to get by. 

"They were born into families with money and have their own businesses, so they don't care about others. 

"I am not saying their businesses are thriving, but I am saying this because they don't care about other people and their children as they have their own businesses to take care of their children."

Tuilaepa said that Olo and La'auli interpreted the incident that happened on Monday incorrectly, and claimed that their views showed how they "look down on Samoan people."

"They should've looked at the bigger picture and the message behind the whole incident. 

"Those people who broke the windows [of the C.C.C.S. Hall] wanting to get the chance to go overseas for employment opportunities means they are desperate to reap the benefits of the scheme. 

"But it seems like they [Olo and La'auli] look down on our people who are hoping to be chosen as part of the scheme."

Tuilaepa then explained the reason behind the government's plan to push for big projects such as infrastructures and wharves in the country. 

"It is because it creates employment opportunities for our people. 

"For instance, infrastructural projects that are assigned to local companies such as Apia Lua constructions and Ah Liki Constructions. 

"That is also why we are pushing for projects such as wharves and others because it creates more job opportunities for our people. 

"But Faumuina [Wayne Fong] is also against that project [Vaiusu wharf] because he doesn't care about other people as he has his own business to raise his own children and family. 

"But the projects will benefit the people of Samoa."

On the other hand, Tuilaepa said that while they welcome the possibility of having online registration for the seasonal workers' programme, he believes that there is a lot to consider before reaching a decision. 

"We are considering the option because it's convenient. However, we do need to do interviews face-to-face, and that is very vital. 

"There are a lot of things that we need to look into which requires to have people come in and have a chat with the officials in charge of selecting the suitable people for the jobs.

"Something that we cannot do online so we are working on that at the moment and reviewing all the selection criteria to make sure that there won't be any problems. 

"We also need to make sure that there is no politics behind the selection of those who are hoping to get the opportunity. 

"We need to make sure they are the best people to send and we need to sit down with them and assess whether they are fit for the job."

The registrations process for those who are interested in traveling overseas for work has been postponed until further notice.  

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