Beggars, kids on the streets and Samoa today

And so once again, we are done with another celebration of our Independence Day. Today all is well that ends well. With our special guests making their way back to their countries with great stories and memories to share, we ourselves will look back with fondness and remember with joy the events of the past few days.

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Why tomorrow’s public holiday is bitter sweet

The private sector and members of the Chamber of Commerce have a legitimate complaint. Since Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malieleaoi’s Government often refers to them as the “engine of economic growth,” they should stop paying lip service to their concerns and start taking them very seriously.

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On top of all else, insist on transparency, accountability and good governance

What a glorious day it was yesterday. From dawn to dusk, we couldn’t have asked for a better day and better conditions to enjoy the celebration of another year added to our journey as a politically independent nation.

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A time of reflection: The past, present and future

Today is a day of celebration. Throughout the country – and especially noticeable in front of the Government building this morning – our people will take a moment to pause and reflect on the importance of our political independence, 56 years after that historical day when the late Malietoa Tanumafili II and the late Tupua Tamasese Meaole hoisted Samoa’s flag of freedom for the first time, in 1962.

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Education holds the key to end lawlessness in villages

If anything stands out like a sore thumb from the disturbing developments of violence and crimes we see in Samoa today – including the reign of terror in Savai’i last weekend – our young people need education. Indeed, we have far too many uneducated young men and women who have nothing better to do so that their idleness drives them to a world of crime and stupidity.

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An alarm, a warning

Satapuala, Luatuanu’u, and now Salelologa and Salelavalu on the big island of Savai’i. What do they all have in common? Well some people there think they are above the law so that they can do whatever they like – including putting lives of innocent members of the public at risk.

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“No school before” and the biggest laui’a* of them all

Well Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi has spoken. If the Manu Samoa Sevens players want to argue about the “no school before” comment, which was aimed at them, there is only one way to go about it: Win a tournament and prove Tuilaepa wrong. No ifs, no buts.

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Slow down and drive safely

It was only a few weeks ago when motorists were screaming from the top of the hill about the atrocious condition of Cross Island Road. Many of them were in up in arms about it, describing the stretch of road from Tanugamanono to Vaoala as the worst piece of road in Samoa.

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Church vs. State, what to do?

What we feared would happen one day in this country is unfolding before our very eyes. With Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi’s administration acquiring such political power over the years turning Parliament into a one-party state, they perhaps thought they are so powerful no one would ever dare to question their decision-making, let alone stand up to them.

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Encouraging local artists and the creative juices of Samoa

Creativity and innovation are critical for Samoa in terms of moving forward. And if the work of artists being displayed at two separate exhibitions in the country this week is anything to judge by, the country is in good hands.

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Dealing with a sick health system

When we are sick, we go to the hospital. But what happens when the hospital is sick? In this instance, we are referring to the entire health system in Samoa. Who provides the diagnosis? And who prescribes the medicine? Judging from what’s being reported so far, our health system is not suffering from just a minor cold.

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Without soil, without land, we have absolutely nothing

And so Samoa is celebrating the importance of the soil this week. Since Monday, the Government through the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and their partners have been drilling home the message that “without soil, without land (there is) no life.”

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P.M. Tuilaepa, midnight dramas and Pastors refusing to pay taxes

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi was the man of the hour in Japan last week. There is absolutely no doubt about that. All you have to do is read the story titled “Japan pledges $4.6 million aid for Samoa” on the front page of the Sunday Samoan.

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An utter waste of public monies

Here is the truth. When the Government through the Minister of Health, Tuitama Dr. Leao Tuitama, talked up the merger between the National Health Services and the Ministry of Health, we said that the decision was yet another one in a long list of screw-ups by this Government costing poor taxpayers too much money.

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Love remains one of the most powerful forces for change

Royal wedding? Big deal. That’s what I thought anyway as I tried to understand why there was such a big fuss about two people getting married. It happens everyday when people wed, doesn’t it? And some weddings last less than a day, so who cares?

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Aid galore Samoa, what a wonderful world!

Two weeks ago, the Government officially opened a new and improved Faleolo International Airport in grand style. The $147 million tala facility is fully funded by China – one of many projects in Samoa that are only made possible by China’s endless streams of monies.

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Not all idiots are fools: Why punish Samoa for sins of others?

Let’s face it. Samoan rugby has been dealt another classic from World Rugby. It’s laughable if only the issue wasn’t funny. This time it came through the announcement earlier this week about the new path Manu Samoa will take to reach the World Cup in Japan next year.

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A wonderful puzzle called Samoa

Samoa is such a wonderful puzzle. That much we cannot deny. It has got so much potential in many areas of life yet it just cannot seem to find what it does best so that as a people, nation and most importantly an independent country, we get the feeling we take one step forward and two backwards.

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Pacific nations must proceed with care

The so-called secret plan by New Zealand Rugby (N.Z.R.) and the New Zealand government to establish a ‘Pacific Force’ team to enter Super Rugby in a couple of years is an interesting development. While it presents an exciting opportunity for cash-strapped Pacific rugby nations like Samoa, it might have come a little too late; possibly missing the boat in as far as Super Rugby excitement goes.

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A year after dumping Virgin Australia, how fares P.M. Tuilaepa’s Govt.’s airline dreams today

About a year ago, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi’s Government made a critical decision. After more than 12 years of working with Virgin Australia in the joint venture to operate Virgin Samoa, they pulled the plug on the deal. The decision was relayed by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi to the Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Australia Pty Ltd, John Borghetti.

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Letters to the Editor

E.F.K.S. gives reasons for clergy not paying taxes

Dear Editor, Finally, the E.F.K.S. church gives in writing the reasons for refusing to have its church ministers pay income tax. Here are a few brief responses to some of the reasons given and to the church’s General Secretary’s comments about his own beliefs and actions on the subject.

Street Talk

Mumu Elia 55

Should the Govt. listen to plea from E.F.K.S. Church?

“The Elders of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (C.C.C.S.) are urging Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi and his administration to reconsider the law to tax the alofa received by Church Ministers. This is the gist of a letter from the Church to Prime Minister Tuilaepa, dated 15 June 2018. The 11-page letter, written in Samoan, highlights the church’s position on the issue. It was submitted to Tuilaepa prior to their much-anticipated meeting on Monday. Do you think the Government should reconsider based on the request from the church? Adel Fruean asked in today’s Street Talk and this is what people said:

Think a Minute

Mama’s Boys

Think a minute…In 1946, the United States Army showed to the public its brand new 30-ton computer called the ENIAC. All the credit for this invention was given to two men, John Mauchly and J. Eckert. But it was actually a group of six women who programmed the computer and made this complex machine work.

Columns

To tax or not to tax

With apologies to Shakespeare, but this is no longer the question. Prime Minister Tuila’epa and his Government have made up their mind. Faife’aus will pay tax. The only question left is how they will get them to pay and what process will be used to ensure that the tax they pay is fairly assessed.

Between the Lines

BETWEEN THE LINES

Banking whispers Whispers about the change of ownership for a major player in the banking industry in Samoa has been laughed off.

Sunday Reading

HONOURING THE VOLUNTEER VETS: The members of the A.P.S. board alongside the 3 volunteers at Taumesina Island Resort.

The Howler: A.P.S. says thank you

Members of the Animal Protection Society (A.P.S.) board gathered at the beautiful Taumeasina Resort for a dinner to honor the volunteer vets that came over from Australia to help conduct the clinics.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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