It’s such a sad reality that in Samoa today, we see so much crime and evil.
Although this is not confined to Samoa as we see it in other places around the world, the truth is that on a daily basis, we see the endless struggle between good and bad. Just about every day we read stories of robberies, rape, incest, murders and petty crime.
You only have to look at your daily newspaper, watch the news on TV, listen to the radio and update your newsfeed on Facebook or any other form of social media to come away with that sickening feeling that something is terribly amiss somewhere in the world today.
The signs are not promising. Look at the growing number of young children hawking goods on the streets at all hours of the night and day. What about the exploitation of our most vulnerable people, the cry for help from members of this community who can barely afford to keep up with the menacing cost of living?
It’s a fact that when people look to Samoa from afar, they see pristine beaches; lush greenery and they imagine the sort of tranquility that cannot be matched anywhere else. They see pictures of friendly Samoans. Which are true and accurate to an extent. These are great attributes to promote about ourselves and our country.
But it’s not all roses. You see, over recent months, there have been a number of cases where homes and businesses have been robbed and burgled. Many of these robberies appear to be organised crime. It’s a scary thought.
Then there is the issue of suicide involving people of all ages. Gone are the days when suicide in this country mainly involved young people. We’ve had several cases this year where grown men and women have resorted to the unthinkable.
Elsewhere, incest is on the rise. Fathers turn to their daughters, mothers on their sons, brothers to their sisters and young girls are being sexually molested by grown relatives and people they are supposed to trust. These incidents have become so common these days.
It’s disgusting we know and we can go on and on but you get the point. Now, we’ve asked these questions before and we will ask it again, what is going on in Samoa today? What has become of this country that is supposedly founded on God? There is no doubt that something is terribly amiss somewhere.
We are reminded that recently our Government changed our Constitution so that today, we have become an official Christian state. But how can evil flourish in a country where there are so many churches? How can this be happening in a place where people are supposed to be following Jesus Christ’s teachings about forgiveness, compassion, love, caring for one another, honesty and more of those wonderful virtues?
How can we exalt God with one hand and kill with the other? How can we profess to love God and harbor so much hate for a brother/sister? Have we become a nation of hypocrites? Whose examples are we following?
It just doesn’t make sense. We need to be asking tough questions about ourselves.
Now yesterday, a letter arrived from an old friend. I’d like to share parts of it with you today. John writes: “We all know burglaries, and violence, have always been a problem in Samoa. It’s one of the reasons why we are not there anymore.
“In other countries there are plenty of places where this sort of crime doesn’t occur (Sorry if I sound like I’m preaching). Where we live at the moment, we have never locked our shed, which holds thousands of dollars worth of equipment and tools.
“We have never locked our car or house, we don’t have a high fence around our place and don’t have any dogs. We once went away for two weeks and accidently left the front door wide open – a flimsy wire screen door was closed though, which did keep the insects out and we had no robbery. There is nowhere in Samoa, especially in Apia, that one could do that.
“Samoa’s problem is very easy to fix, in my opinion. People need to put concealed cameras around their properties and in their homes. A robber would be caught on video and the victim can take the image to the local village council, the police and to you.
“Nobody in the villages gives these low lives up to authorities, even when they know full well that stuff they have has been stolen. They’d rather buy a cheap phone, camera, or computer for a few bucks, than give them up. Even some matai, who we know are supposed to be moral and behavioral mentors, are tempted by the thieves’ booty.
“An image in the paper should have this: “DO YOU KNOW THIS MAN?” People need to do something for themselves, they need to band together and get this scourge out of the Islands.
“People living with the thieves need to start questioning them. “Where did you get that from?” and have the guts to go to the police if their brother, sister, son, father or neighbour has stolen goods. Give these scumbags up and don’t worry about being called a snitch. A crook is a crook - who cares how they are caught? They may be related to you, but they have harmed others and someone somewhere is suffering from their evil deeds.
“Dogs don’t work, they just keep you awake at night with their barking. When caught, magistrates need to come down very hard on the thieves, who we know are often very violent as well.
“After a while when a few of these mongrels are doing substantial time in prison (without weekend leave – how ridiculous is that? Samoa is the only country I know of with that stupidity), a simple sign on the front fence of residences, showing the image of a camera and saying that they are “installed on this premises,” could be a far better deterrent than any dog, or pet lion for that matter.
“As you know, we will always have our hearts in Samoa and do very much care. Of course I realise that it’s your prerogative to publish whatever comes your way and you are welcome to publish this, edit it, pull it apart, around and about, omit some or a lot if you want. Or just use it as an idea, it’s up to you and we would never have ill will towards you for anything my friend, and if it can help us all to have a better place to live in, well how good is that?”
Well dear friend, I’ve decided to share your note with Samoa and the world. Samoa is home and a place we love very much and like you, we want these issues addressed. Indeed, the things that are happening, especially the evil and criminal elements, need urgent attention. All our leaders need to wake up.
The Government leaders cannot ignore what is going on. They have got a part to play just like the church leaders. Village matais have to step up just like every family leader. What do you think?
Have a fantastic Friday Samoa, God bless!