Health merger: A brave move or an epic fail?

There are two ways one can interpret the latest developments at the public Health sector detailed in a story titled “Govt. Health vision” on the front page of the Samoa Observer on Monday. The first pair of lens can see that the government is learning as they go along and that the merger between the National Health Services (N.H.S.) and Ministry of Health (M.O.H.) reflects a government that is not afraid to make tough decisions when it has to. That’s the good news.

85 Hits

Time to get those “sumo wrestlers” in shape

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi is absolutely correct. This country needs fit and able-bodied Prison guards who can chase after prisoners who run away from Tafa’igata Prison. And even some Police officers need to get in shape so they can do their jobs properly.

262 Hits

First the E.U. blacklist and now the U.S. ban? What’s going on?

The United States Department of Homeland Security’s (D.H.S.) decision to remove Samoa from the list of countries whose citizens are eligible for temporary work visas is an unexpected surprise. Not just because we’ve hardly heard about anyone from these shores taking up the visa class but the reason behind the decision is rather poor and disappointing.

891 Hits

White elephants, economy and the need for cost benefit analysis

Aid and white elephants are not exactly strangers to each other. Especially where cheque-book diplomacy is involved since the focus is not always on what people really need but rather a formality so that the funders can tick their boxes, have their cocktail functions, be merry and fly the flag.

268 Hits

Bad start for Team Parker, they need to do better

Let’s admit it. Our man Lupesoliai Joseph Parker is a lot better being the nice genuine bloke that he is. He should just be himself. We don’t think he suits the role of trying to play the bad guy clearly judging from the events that have been unfolding during the past few days in the lead up to the first official press conference where he and Anthony Joshua faced off.

952 Hits

Tufuiopa’s pool plight a matter of urgency

It’s about time. Unless the government moves to do something to protect users of the Tufuiopa village pool, someone is going to get killed. There is absolutely no doubt about it. By the grace of God and sheer luck, no one has died yet during the recent incidents where vehicles have ended up in the pool.

196 Hits

No need to burn our bridges over Australia and China row

The truth is simple enough. Australian Minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells might have sounded rather undiplomatic in her criticisms of China’s aid to the Pacific region but we cannot deny that she does have a very valid point.

421 Hits

Convicts, law and silly excuses

The Minister of Prisons and Corrections Services, Tialavea Tionisio Hunt’s attempt to defend the indefensible on the front page of yesterday’s Samoa Observer is pathetic at best.

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Beautiful from afar, sickening at the core

Some great things have been said about this country over recent weeks. If you’ve been following the Dear Tourist pages of your newspaper, you would have been proud. Indeed visitors from all over the world - including many Samoans coming back for the holidays - have been impressed so much by the changes they have seen that they have been doing nothing but singing praises of how wonderful this place is.

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Kudos to creativity, originality and yes … yumminess

Are you serious? I had to ask again. It happened two weeks ago when the Samoa Culinary Association contacted me to be a Judge for this year’s Oka Festival, which was held at Home Café on Saturday.

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Just tell us the truth. That is all.

The good news – if Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi is to be believed – is that Samoa doesn’t owe China “billions”. Yet. While there is no doubt that Samoa’s debt to China is growing and substantial, Prime Minister Tuilaepa has at least assured the nation the amount is nowhere near the figures that have been floating around in cyberspace and on the social media realm.

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Could Iuniarra Sipaia’s ban be a conspiracy?

Poor Iuniarra Sipaia. First she was denied a gold medal when she competed against a transgender lifter and now she has been suspended for testing positive for a banned substance through no fault of her own. What next?

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The Post, press freedom and Samoa

The International Press Institute and the Samoa Observer hosted a special screening of The Post at the Apollo Cinemas last night, to promote the value of press freedom in Samoa and around the world. The writer spoke at the event and this is what he said:

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Value in our own local medicines

Long before western medicine became available on these shores, our forebears had their own cure for all sorts of sicknesses and ailments. And it was mostly sourced from plants and resources locally found and accessible to everyone.

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When the govt. thinks China is all we need to solve our problems

This much we know. The idea of direct flights between Samoa and China has been talked about time and time again. It is not a new idea. In fact it has been a point of keen discussions as far back as ten years ago or more when the government was negotiating a number of tourism-related developments.

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Woman as Head of State is only a question of how soon it will happen

Yesterday’s front-page story titled “Govt. considers law change to allow female as Head of State” was certainly an interesting read. For the uninitiated, the story quoted a Public Service Commission Newsletter which referred to Cabinet Directive (FK (17) 33 where the Ministry of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (M.P.M.C.) had been tasked to lead the preparations for the review of the Head of State Act 1965.

224 Hits

All they need to do is to tell the public the truth

Let’s get this straight. The so-called “secrecy” shrouding certain costs involved in the operation of the government’s latest grand dream called Samoa Airways should not be there at all.

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“Criminal Libel” and Prime Minister Tuilaepa’s gift from American Samoa

Let’s face it. For every beginning there is an end. And for every end there is a reward to be extended, the quality of which would depend entirely on how keenly persevering the attempt would be.

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Kudos to Asau! And now for everyone to follow

The village of Asau in Savai’i has set a great example for all men and all villages in Samoa at the start of 2018. Their decision to set rules in place to deal with abusive men is something every village in Samoa should look to emulate – if they are not doing it already.

388 Hits

Why legalising marijuana should never be allowed in Samoa

The call to legalise the use of marijuana in Samoa for medicinal purposes will win a lot of support and applause from liberal online pundits but that’s as far as it is likely to go. The truth is that it is unlikely to progress very far in conservative Samoa for reasons that are easy enough to understand.

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Letters to the Editor

Send them to China

Dear Editor, Re: First the E.U. blacklist and now the U.S. ban? What’s going on? U.S. noticed that Samoan P.M. and his government does a lot of meddling with China more than U.S. The move is an indirect way for Trump to say “send your people to China, not to the U.S.”

Street Talk

Ioane Isa’ako, 72

Your thoughts on China’s aid

According to the Lowy Institute, China has provided A$1.8 billion in aid and loans for the South Pacific nations between 2006 and 2016.The main recipients were Papua New Guinea, which received A$632 million, Fiji (A$360 million), Vanuatu (A$244 million) and Samoa (A$230 million). Last week, Ms. Fierravanti-Wells launched an unprovoked scathing attack on China’s aid to the Pacific countries – including Samoa. She accused the Chinese of building “roads to nowhere” and constructing “useless buildings” which will only leave Pacific countries with debts they cannot pay. What do you think of China’s aid to Samoa? We asked members of the public in today’s Street Talk and this is what they said:

Think a Minute

Resolve or dissolve (Part 1)

Think a minute…”If you win all your arguments, you’ll probably lose all your friends.” Just imagine if we cut off our relationship with every person who disagreed with us, we would have almost no friends or family left! If we are around someone long enough, we will eventually disagree with them about something.

Columns

The woman and her bones

Do you feel the earth would be kinder if Adam was Eve instead? When I look at the children of the streets, I feel sorrow only. There is not a bone in a loving mother which does not ache for the grief upon any child. I miss my own mother like I miss the rain.

Between the Lines

BETWEEN THE LINES

LEARNING THE AIRLINES LINGO Heard the term “close in bookings”? Chances are, you are one of the many Samoans who fall into that category used by airlines to describe your booking when you travel.

Sunday Reading

PRESIDENT OF THE S.A.M.E.:Tagaloa Eddie Wilson with Happy Ava Farmers Tupai & Asoono- from Savaii.

Samoa’s Ava Exports expected to rise to prominence again

Samoa’s Ava Exports is looking promising, with exports expected to increase in the next couple of years. Ava exports was Samoa’s second largest export commidity from 1998 to 2001 until some European countries led by Germany imposed restrictions on the Pacific Kava Trade. Samoa’s exports of Ava in 1998 was just under $20m.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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