And so once more, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, has issued a veiled threat to the E.F.K.S. Church in connection to the ongoing dispute over the taxing of the alofa received by Church Ministers.
Poor Prime Minister Tuilaepa! We really do feel for him. As the Chairman of the Samoa Rugby Union (S.R.U.), he must be running out of excuses in a bid to appease members of the public who are obviously upset and angry about the performance of our national teams. It doesn’t help that he leads a broke Union where he is then required to front up to the nation and beg for more money.
And so the Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti’s 2018/19 Budget tabled in Parliament two weeks ago was passed last night. Guided by the theme “The Right Path,” the passing of the budget will no doubt come as music to the ears of Government bodies and businesses whom the Government owes money to.
We live in an increasingly sick society. Not just physically but morally too. All you have to do is read some of the stories that have been published in the recent past to know that something is terribly amiss somewhere. It has everything to do with the rising number of rape, incest and vile crimes committed against innocent young girls – and sometimes boys.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa’s obsession with O.L.P. hit a new level last week when he reportedly named two members of the public as people behind the infamous blog. He apparently coughed up the names during his weekly programme with Talamua Media, which immediately posted a story on its website.
Two Sundays ago, the Minister of Revenue, Tialavea Tionisio Hunt, issued a thundering warning to Ministers of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa.
Now and then, people come along and things happen near us we can’t quite work out, let alone explain. You see it’s natural for us as mere mortals to always try to rationalise, reason and figure out everything that happens near us. It’s just the way we were created.
Two weeks ago a reporter brought a document and landed it on the desk. It was bundled up, stapled and quite a thick one too. Upon closer examination, it was revealed that the document was the Report on Irregularities in the Ministries and Parliamentary Offices reported to the Audit Office for several years. For 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 in fact. Quite a lot of bed time reading.
It wasn’t a perfect start, let alone a winning one, but if we are honest with ourselves, many of us were quietly happy with the effort from the Manu Samoa last week during their opening game of the Pacific Nations Cup. You see new beginnings are always exciting. Anxious times too. Which is what it was last week.
Here’s a fact. Not many tertiary institutions can lay claim to the title of ‘regional and international university’ at the same time. But at the University of the South Pacific (U.S.P.) at all its campuses across the region, this is truly the case. Set up in 1968 to serve its member countries’ tertiary education needs – including Samoa – U.S.P. has gone beyond that to also service the educational needs of people from all walks of life, across the globe.
Two days ago, Samoa joined the rest of the world to commemorate the World Day against Child Labour. Driven by the local office of the International Labour Organisation (I.L.O.) and its partners in Samoa, the occasion was marked with a gathering at Tuana’imato where the work being done so far to address the issue was acknowledged.
Several years ago, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi’s Government ordered residents of Sogi to relocate. With the offer of a quarter acre land at Falelauniu they could lease to own for $30,000 and $3,000 relocation cost, residents were given a few years to make the move. At first many of them opposed the decision. But as time wore on, some residents decided to accept the offer, packed up and headed inland to what they now call home.
The facts are clear. Samoa and her Pacific neighbours occupy the biggest ocean in the world. In fact, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (N.O.A.A.), the Pacific Ocean covers 30 percent of the Earth’s surface, making it the largest water mass on the planet.
The inevitable is about to happen. A few nights ago, what many people who fought and expressed views in a bid to preserve the old Courthouse feared, has come true with the announcement that work will soon begin to demolish one of the last remaining historical buildings in Samoa.
Well, it’s Sunday again today, so perhaps Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, should slow down on his plan to tax church ministers in Samoa. Perhaps he should sit down and rethink his decision, and yes, much harder this time, if he would. From what we’ve discovered, there are 195,979 members of all churches in Samoa. Of that number, 56,818 are members of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (C.C.C.S.), who has 201 churches.
It’s an uphill battle for Samoa. That much we know. During the next few weeks, the Manu Samoa has a lot to do, not just to restore some pride in Samoan rugby but most importantly to secure a spot in next year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan. If anything, it will be nice to win over Fiji, Tonga and Georgia in the Pacific Nations Cup, which begins today. Make no mistake about that. How we would love to see the Manu Samoa get back to their winning ways.
On Wednesday this week a press statement from the Attorney General, Lemalu Hermann Retzlaff, arrived. Explaining that the statement was merely addressing media inquiries alleging government corruption, it seemed the writer was either being evasive or perhaps he was being diplomatic, we could not tell.
The suspended Manu Samoa Sevens captain, Alatasi Tupou, is not the first rugby player to misbehave – in Samoa or anywhere in the world for that matter. But he is certainly the first player in Samoa the Samoa Rugby Union has chosen to make an example of – publically at least – of how they are moving to deal with bad behaviour that soil the sport’s reputation.
Let’s see. This country has been politically independent for 56 years now. Throughout that time, although there have been a few skirmishes here and there, we’ve been largely blessed to have been able to enjoy an environment of peace and mutual respect driven by our culture, Christian values and protected by the rule of law.
Here is something positive we should all think about. The goal of making Samoa healthier is something everyone should insist upon. You see, when we are healthier, we are able to do a lot more and contribute positively to the developments of our families, villages, churches and country.
Dear Editor, Re: China, U.S. and Trump I've been longing to hear from you my friend on your take on this issue.
With a few months left for Samoa to host the Pacific Games 2019, expectations are high. In the lead up to the region’s biggest sporting event, the Pacific Games logo was unveiled on Friday evening. Our reporter, Adel Fruean asked the views of the Samoan people on the new Pacific Games logo, which people responded to.
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.
Talofa Samoa! We have emphasized in previous Columns that M.E.T.I’s strategy to tackle the ‘epidemic’ of obesity and N.C.D. is - instead of targeting the general population- to direct its health promoting messages to the thousands and thousands of N.C.D. sufferers, who feel miserable and incapacitated and are at a real risk of dying from their disease at an early age.
Banking whispers Whispers about the change of ownership for a major player in the banking industry in Samoa has been laughed off.
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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