Leatinu'u's mixed feelings over new role

New Minister, Leatinu’u Wayne Fong, the new public face of the controversial national carrier, Samoa Airways says he has mixed feelings about his new role.

Under the Appellate Court’s ruling, Leatinu’u has been the legal Minister for Public Enterprises (M.P.E.) and Ministry of Commerce Industry and Labour (M.C.I.L.) since the tent swearing in on May 24.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Leatinu’u said he is undeniably “excited” for the “new step” he has been appointed with, but at the same time, there is reluctance after seeing the state of what is being handed down to them, the new Government of the day, “especially me as the Minister of Samoa Airways.”

“Sometimes I think, whether or not the bringing over of the new aircraft was a political decision or is it really going to benefit everyone?” he said.

“Anyways, we’ll see how it goes.”

Less than a week since Cabinet has sprung into action, Leatinuu said they have only seen the surface as they continue to go through each Ministry’s progress report.

Leatinu’u entered Parliament in 2016, running under the flag of the former Government of almost four decades, Human Rights Protection Party, until he was sacked from the party due to his opposition to the party leader’s proposed constitutional reforms in July 2020.

Leatinu’u ran in the April 9 General Election under the flag of the Fa’atuatua I le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.).

Speaking to the Samoa Observer ahead of the April Election, he said with confidence that the “F.A.S.T. are not running to be in opposition, we are going into Government.”  Asked how he feels following the unfolding of the events that immediately installed FAST as the new Government of the day, he credited their “determination” and “faith” in God.

“It is absolutely true when they say that when your faith remains in what you want to happen, it will happen,” he said.

“You cannot want something to happen without applying your faith, because it won’t happen that way.

“But this, its reality now, and the paths we took to get here; it wasn’t easy.

“It’s not something for me to boast about but rather be grateful to God who made it happen, together with 25 other M.P.s whom we all worked together; unfortunately we all didn’t make it through but this is only the beginning of a new era.”

Faumuina is a father to three boys and currently resides in Vaiusu.

He was a Cargo Manager for the Polynesian Airline in the United States where he lived for more than ten years.

After Polynesian Airline came to a close, Faumuina and family migrated to Hawaii for a while before making their way back to Samoa.

Before entering Parliament, he operated a shipping company with his wife.


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