Editor Mata’afa Keni Lesa, and Reporter, Sapeer Mayron, contributed to this editorial
Now listen up folks. Let’s talk about our Prime Minister, Dr. Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, and why he’s screaming all the time, even though there is really nothing of real consequence, to scream about.
And if you really want to know, every time he accuses the “Samoa Observer” of being a piece of rag that’s being put together by “idiots and fools” the mind winches, and then it refuses to think.
Since at that very moment, we remember the Chinese man name “Jin Jipei” who arrived in Samoa illegally in May 1997, and was therefore jailed at Tafaigata Prison.
As a result, “Jin Jipei” had become the centre of attention so that during a visit, the warden explained: “Jipei is not doing well. He is deteriorating both physically and mentally.”
In the next edition of the Samoa Observer, an editorial comment titled: “This passport scandal will just not go away,” was published.
And then it asked: “Did Jin Jipei envision being jailed here after he had spent thousands of dollars buying his passport, his so-called ticket to a new life?
“We doubt it. He was most likely thinking the most pleasant thoughts instead, in anticipation of a new life of peace and Freedom in Paradise.”
“He must be regretting all that now, as he’s screaming inside: ‘Thank you Samoa for your hospitality! Thank you for the dream!’
“It is something for the PM and his immigration people to think about.”
On 11 May 1997, another story titled “Concern over Jipei’s health shown” was written; this time it was published on the front page of the Sunday Samoan.
It said that concerned over Jipei’s health “members of the public have asked that he be released on humanitarian grounds.”
Over the following weeks the public response was intense. Letters to the editor urging that Jin Jipei be released were published. Under the headline: “Set Jin Jipei free”, one writer wrote: “Jin Jipei should not be in prison because of corrupt government officials who cared only about making easy money.
“This will make another scar on Samoa’s reputation in the eyes of the international community. Looking forward to a fair and corrupt-free Samoa.”
And Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi showed up. He attacked the Samoa Observer for publishing the Kim Quang-I1-Jin Jipei story, and he told Parliament: “Such things should have never been made public. The problem is that the Samoa Observer is being run by idiots and fools.”
In response, the Member of Parliament, Tuala Falenaoti Malietoa, stood up in the House, and told the Speaker: “But what is happening is that the Samoa Observer has been publishing the truth.”
Then she sat down.
Now 22 years later, in January 2019, a new threat had shown up.
This time though, it’s the “Atomic Bomb,” and the joker who’s threatening to use it, is none other than the “Atomic Bomb” maker himself, the Prime Minister of the Independent State of Samoa, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi.
Indeed, he told Parliament on 25 January 2019, he would use an “Atomic Bomb” to “blow up” the petitions that were being made, against the Government’s Electoral Constituencies Bill 2018.
He did not say.
Nor would he explain why he’d chosen the “Atomic Bomb” to get the job done, from all the “Bombs” that are readily available, in the market today.
The last time we’ve heard, both the Middle East and Russia were loaded with “Bombs” they were apparently quite eager to get rid of, so why doesn’t our Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, take a quick trip over and get himself a couple of “Atomic Bombs” to blow up those petitioners who have been giving a hard time.
But never mind.
Promised Dr. Tuilaepa: “The time will come when I will address the three steps the government took to make major amendments to resolve this matter for all eternity.
“We’ve been independent for nearly sixty years now, and yet this matter of some constituencies having two, three, four reps in Parliament is always brought up.”
He said that this time, the Electoral Constituencies Bill 2018 is a move by his administration to “address this once and for all.”
Let’s wait and see.
Still, it was around that time that Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, declined to be asked questions by the Samoa Observer Reporter, Sapeer Mayron.
During his weekly media programme in his office, Tuilaepa told Ms. Mayron to send her questions to the Ministry of Prime Minister’s Press Secretary, Nanai Laveitiga Tuiletufuga.
He did not explain why.
Later though he accused the Editors of the Samoa Observer of changing his comments, but then he did not say which comments he was referring to.
All he’d told Ms. Mayron was: “Can you please send your questions (to Nanai) because I cannot speak to you after the programme?”
He then told Ms Mayron he would read her stories and he would answer in writing.
Explained Tuilaepa: “Also I need evidence of what I am saying because - and it’s not you - your editors are changing what I say.”
“So you can send your questions to Lave and we will answer them?”
The exchange took place before Tuilaepa’s weekly programme which was aired live on Radio 2AP.
In the past, the Samoa Observer had been allowed to sit in on the Radio 2AP programme, and afterwards she had been allowed to ask questions.
Ms. Mayron wanted to seek comments from Prime Minister Tuilaepa, on the developments of the Parliamentary proceedings during the week, as well as how the bills on the agenda would impact members of the public.
In addition, she wanted to ask the Prime Minister if he could elaborate on the latest developments that the national airline, Samoa Airways, has been making so far, and well as whether the Government was planning to fund the acquisition of a new aircraft.
And lastly, the Samoa Observer reporter, Sapeer Mayron, wanted to ask Prime Minister, Dr Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, who is the Chairman of the Samoa Rugby Union, if he could comment on the death of Vaimoso rugby player, Faiva Tagatauli, who had died from head injuries he’d sustained during a game, in the previous weekend.
The reporter’s request was denied.
This is not the first time, Prime Minister Tuilaepa, has refused to be asked questions by Samoa Observer reporters, at his weekly conferences.
Questions about the issues highlighted – among others – were emailed to Government’s Press Secretary, Laveitiga, that night.