About a month ago, on 18 December 2017 that was, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi shocked everyone when he did something that was quite inconceivable at the time, so that it seemed pretty clear that no one in his right mind would have known what to do in response.
Every time we hear Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, demanding that all church ministers in this country pay taxes to the government, the mind winces and for a moment there it feels as if it’s refusing to think.
The war of words fought in Parliament last week between two government politicians, is clearly the sort of drivel we’d thought this country’s politicians would have learned a long time ago to ignore, and if it’s humanly feasible with just a simple giggle and a frown.
On the front page of yesterday’s Weekend Observer, the main story’s bold headline reads: “P.M. accuses lawyers”. Accompanied by a photograph of Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, facing the camera, the story reveals that at the time, he was addressing Parliament.
We know this much. This country needs better prison facilities for reasons that are obvious. Apart from the fact that the prison population is growing rapidly, the idea that two more prisoners escaped from Tafa’igata yesterday is further evidence something needs to be done urgently to improve the way they are locked away.
Two imminent threats were identified in Parliament this week. The first threat was raised by former Speaker and Cabinet Minister, La’auliolemalietoa Leauatea Schmidt, on Tuesday when he finally addressed Parliament after a long absence.
After the fun comes reality. And with the Festive Season of last year now only a distant memory, it’s back to school time again with all its joys, sorrows and all other feelings it brings. Whatever feelings you have, we know one certainty for this week and the next.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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:
Dear Editor With due respect to Jeffrey and his typical H.R.P.P. worded rant about idle land in Samoa going to waste, due to inactivity? What rain shower did Jeffery come down on? Has Jeffery just been swept into Samoa via Cyclone Gita? It is absurd to even suggest, that families from abroad are hell bent on keeping their Samoan families living on Customary Land in poverty!
Tropical Cyclone Gita devastated a number of Pacific island countries last week. In Samoa, it left many families at Lelata, Ma’agao and Vini devastated. What was going through your mind during the cyclone? And what would you do differently if another cyclone comes? Nefertiti Matatia asked in today’s Street Talk and this is what people said:
Think a minute…Someone said:”All fun ends with marriage.” Do you feel that way some days? Maybe your marriage is going through a change of seasons. Remember, “Love is more than just a game for two.”
Ladies and Gentlemen, Talofa lava! As an Indigenous Samoan, Let me first pay my respect to the Indigenous Owners of this land and thank their ancestors, past present and future, for letting me stand before you on these sacred cultural lands!
THE BEST A big fa’amalo to the skilled and courageous E.P.C. staff who braved the winds and rain to restore power from broken and dangerous power lines on Cross Island Road on Wednesday night in pitch darkness.
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.
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