China’s Belt and Road Initiative has got the leadership of some Pacific Island nations excited since it was first proposed by China under President Xi Jinping in 2013. The Belt and Road Initiative is an ambitious plan by China to link Asia, Europe and Africa with a network of ports, highways and railways and it is giving tens of billions of dollars in loans to countries, in a bid to build major infrastructure development projects in the various participating nations in central Asia, Europe and the Indo-Pacific region.
And so it continues. The war between Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi’s Government and the church, especially the biggest denomination on the land, the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (C.C.C.S.) over taxes has taken another ugly turn.
It’s been a sad week for a number of reasons. While the countdown to tomorrow’s nationwide White Sunday celebration is no doubt keeping most of us preoccupied, the loss of precious lives through vile acts of crime and the unforgiving nature of the ocean hurts deeply, especially if you are related to a couple of men whose journey have been ended unexpectedly this week.
Talk about the ugly and the bizarre! Here in Samoa today we’ve got a classic case on our hands. Yes all the ingredients that would make other fake news from anywhere else in the world insignificant. We’ve got a main character in Liua Va’asili Savai’inaea, now infamously known as “superman.”
Here we are again. The world leaders have this week been reminded once more about what we’ve always known living in this part of the world, where the impacts of climate change are severe, scary and deadly. The latest reminder that inaction is not an option has come from the much anticipated report on the impact of global warming of 1.5°C, by the international body for the assessment of climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (I.P.C.C.).
Amendments to the role of Head of State and functions of the Office have become so commonplace in Samoa that nothing surprises us anymore. Depending on what suits the mood of the Government on any given day, the countless amendments to the Constitution passed by Parliament over the years are shameful.
This much is undeniable. When it comes to excessive spending on fa’alavelave, whether its church, family or village obligations, we are all guilty. Yes we know we should be spending a lot less, especially since its money many of us don’t have, but we continue to go out of our way to find money, whatever it takes, to keep up appearances.
It is perhaps not a coincidence that a non-government organisation recently held a workshop on child protection, as Samoa begins the countdown to White Sunday celebrations this weekend. The Wellbeing and Community Solutions (WCS) ran a workshop to introduce “child protection case management” systems.
A few weeks ago, the awarding of a multi-million-tala contract to a senior Associate Minister raised many eyebrows so that everyone who cared enough about the principles of transparency, accountability and good governance stopped and took a closer look.
Parliament’s session yesterday was quite quick. If you blinked you would’ve missed it. That’s not a joke by the way. You see after not having a session since June when they only convened to pass the 2018/2019 Budget, if you were hoping for a decent debate on a number of issues and the Bills tabled yesterday, you would have been disappointed. And rightly so.
Today in Samoa is a very special day. Teachers’ Day is being marked throughout the country by different programmes and activities involving students and members of the community. The events today are the culmination of a host of activities dedicated to honouring teachers in Samoa for the past week.
An issue of critical importance, especially in relation to the protection of young girls, has been raised this week. It has naturally sent out a wave of panic across the nation. The truth is that we really don’t know enough to draw any conclusions at this stage. What we do know is that the alarm had been raised on social media by concerned members of the public until Tuesday night when the Police announced they have launched an investigation into claims of an alleged abduction attempt.
Here’s a question. Why is it that after all these multi-million-tala projects by the Government, which always and usually promise improved and cheaper services, and yet we hardly see a difference? Let’s look at basic utilities for instance, particularly electricity.
And so the soap opera called the Samoa Rugby Union’s selection dilemma keeps on giving. Like a water spring that cannot be stemmed, the Union’s problems keep finding its way into the public arena so that we are all left wondering when this madness will finally end.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) released its Human Development Index (HDI) a couple of days ago, heralding progress in Samoa, Fiji, Palau and Tonga due to their ability to maintain their positions in the High Human Development category.
Well it’s been an interesting week. Judging from the stories on the pages of this newspaper; there is never really a dull moment in this slice of paradise we call home. The good, the bad and ugly, you name it we have it all.
The annual Public Service day was celebrated yesterday. But unlike previous years where there is usually a big parade along Beach Road with the Public Service Awards ceremony to follow, yesterday was a little different. The celebration was a lot more subdued in the sense it was more in-house.
Here’s a fact. The majority of families in Samoa identify themselves as subsistent farmers. For all of them, their humble plantations, banana patch or vegetable garden is not only their source of daily sustenance – it is also their only income stream. In the absence of much-needed formal employment opportunities in this nation, this is what their survival depends upon. In essence, it’s their bread and butter.
The truth is simple enough. The public outrage among the Pacific community all over the world following Heather du Plessis-Allan’s “leeches” attack on Pacific countries is justified. It is not okay for anyone to abuse a privileged position in the media to demean and insult anyone else – or in this case an entire group of people – for whatever reason.
Two weeks ago, a story titled “$3.57 million contract awarded for new airport” was published on the front page of the Sunday Samoan. It certainly raised a few eyebrows. Firstly, very little has been said about the Tia’vea Airport project, certainly from the Government that is.
Dear Sir, So you thought tax for church ministers is a “Bullying tactics, church, desperation and hypocrites” as you had editorialised? So you think Mr. Editor the CCCS church ministers, who are earning very very high incomes, should continue to be treated diﬀerently from the rest of the taxpayers in Samoa, and give them an exceptional utmost above all else courtesy in the country?
Should the 2019 Miss Samoa Pageant and Teuila Festival be held in Savaii? Reporter Adel Fruean travelled to Savai’i to cover the pageant and also had the chance to speak to locals on what they thought of Samoa’s two premier events.
Think a minute…You have heard the saying: “No pain, no gain.” Recently a little boy wrote to God and said: “Dear God, my brother just told me how much it hurt my mom when I was born, but he’s just kidding, right?” Unfortunately not! So why do millions of women choose to go through the terrible pain of childbirth?
I’ve been ruminating on the release of the I.P.C.C. Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C (SR15) in the past few days.
Is this Samoa’s Manu Samoa? Two issues stand out like a sore thumb in the selection of the Manu Samoa. Firstly, there is not a single player picked from the competitions in Samoa.
The spears flew towards the youth on the hill, whistling as they cut through the air. Grinning, Queen Medb’s general drew his sword, eager to take back to his Queen the head of this warrior whom they called the Hound of Ulster. He had no doubt his spears would find their mark.
© Samoa Observer 2016
Developed by Samoa Observer in Apia