Improving essential service vital: Assoc. Minister

Humbled and grateful for his appointment as an Associate Minister to the Ministry of Police and Fire and Emergency Services, Fepuleai Fa'asavalu Su'a, says he looks forward to carrying out his new role to the best of his abilities.

Fepuleai is the Associate Minister to the Minister responsible for Police, Prison and Correctional Services and Fire and Emergency Services Authority (F.E.S.A.) as well as the Office of the Electoral Commissioner.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Fepulea’i said he is appreciative of the new role, as it is a good balance with the Minister of Police being from Upolu whilst he is a representative from the big island.

“I am thankful and humbled by the appointment by the honourable Prime Minister, as well as the Minister of Police to be his Associate,” he said.

“If we look at it from another perspective, the Minister is from here at Tumua, while I am appointed from Salafai as there should be an Associate from the big island to work in unity to enforce our laws and ensure the protection of our people.

“Additionally, I look forward to sharing my knowledge and putting my qualification in law-related courses to good use.”

Fepuleai was one of 13 Associate Ministers who were sworn-in last Wednesday to support those leading the ministerial portfolios at the Fiame Mata'afa Faumuina Mulinuu II building; a few days after the Court declared the Fa’atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) as the official Government of Samoa.

He noted that looking from the outside it is much different to their perspective now that they are inside, but one thing is for sure, some things are due for a change in all the Ministries under their portfolio.

The first on Fepuleai’s list is the need for improvement in customer service for essential services.

Fepuleai edged out former M.P. To'omata Aki Tuipea in the April 9 election, which is a feat he said was “unexpected.” He also ran against the Tautua Samoa Party leader, Afualo Luagalau Dr. Wood Salele.

"It wasn't just that," Fepuleai told the Samoa Observer."As you are aware, I was also up against the leader of the Tautua Samoa Party and an economist, Afualo Luagalau Wood Salele so it was not an easy battle.

"I am a nobody compared to my election opponents and I am nothing but a servant with a strong desire to serve and help with the development of Samoa and my constituency."

Fepuleai secured the Salega No. 1 seat after the Supreme Court dismissed three counts of bribery leveled against him by Afualo in an election petition and the court found Afualo guilty of bribery.

But this is not Fepuleai's first time to contest a general election. He also ran for Parliament, but unsuccessfully, in the 2016 general election under the banner of the Tautua Samoa Party.

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