It pays to be reminded now and then. We reap what we sow. It’s the way life goes, or as some people prefer, that’s just how the cookie crumbles. And it works in all areas of life.
Looking at some of the problems today, whether it’s political, economical, spiritual or whatever, we cannot blame anyone else.
We can only blame ourselves.
Take the government for instance. This is the government we voted into power.
So when we hear so many people complain about this and that about the government, you cannot help but cringe.
This is the very government they voted in.
If Prime Minister Tuilaepa is starting to act like a dictator, it’s because this nation has allowed him to.
It’s what happens when we continue to make compromises and open doors that should otherwise be shut. It happens when we continue to tolerate the ridiculous and accept what should be unacceptable.
The same goes for the church. The church’s ridiculous demands today are the way they are because our people allowed it to reach such ridiculous levels.
The point is that it’s hard to ignore the idea that perhaps with a few key changes we did not make along the way, the outcome in relation to life in Samoa today might have been a lot different.
Alas because we didn’t, we are all paying a hefty price for them now.
Take the government’s inability – or refusal - to effectively deal with corruption and the millions wasted through collusion, mismanagement and the reckless spending on white elephants we see around us.
Today as we look around Samoa with all these problems staring us in the face, we believe our leaders should be reminded again about how imperative it is that they deal with corruption, abuse and misuse of power resulting in the suffering experienced by some of the poorest people of this country today.
The truth is simple enough. To say life is tough is an understatement.
Life is more than tough; it is atrocious for many people. Look at the state of farmers, mothers and their poor children and what they have to go through every day just to make a tala or two in Apia and Salelologa.
Look at the growing number of Samoans – of all ages - who are being enslaved to run all over town to sell pins, cans of soda, twisties and air fresheners while their “foreign masters” sit in the shade and collect their handsome cash.
Think about the basic cost of living and basic services.
What percentage of those increases is the result of negligence, corruption and mismanagement by the public service?
Think about how taxes are hurting everybody, especially when they are being taxed to the bone every day. Imagine how much more people will continue to suffer when the government is done with its present review and decides to increase taxes once more?
Isn’t it downright cruel then that we are taxed everywhere we turn in this country today, and yet we find that the cost of living, the cost of basic services and the cost of basic utilities continue to show no mercy to the downright depleted soul? Look at the stories on the Village Voice about how poor many of our people are? Many of them live in third world country conditions. If that’s not poverty, I don’t know what is.
Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve said this before and we will say it again: somebody – or some people - are responsible for this suffering. And the government should take a large chunk of the blame because of their lack of care and absent-mindedness about doing what is right and decent.
What we find especially shameful is the attitude of apathy that’s being shown towards these problems by some public officials whom – judging by their comments in public – show total disregard for people’s suffering.
These are the same officials who took an oath to do what’s right in the eyes of man and his God, to protect the best interests of the people they exist to serve.
Today, there is reason to doubt them.
We say this because as ordinary members of the public struggle to get by on a daily basis – including businesses and the thousands of employees depending on them – the government just doesn’t seem to accept that somewhere along the line, its behaviour, or misbehaviour if you prefer, has played a big part in this struggle.
Let’s not forget the abuse, overspending and the misuse of millions of tala – that otherwise could have been spent to help people – highlighted by the Controller and Chief Auditor in his report to Parliament for 2009 and 2010.
The findings in this report were clearly confirmed during an investigation by the Officers of Parliament Committee who recommended that legal action be taken against the officials implicated.
We are talking about millions of tala by the way. And some of these failed projects are staring us in the face every day, as if it’s a reminder about the need for justice to be served.
What is this government waiting for? When will they stop these political games and get on with what needs to be done for true justice to be achieved?
Now you wonder why we’ve got so many problems?
You wonder why we’ve got so many social, spiritual and economical challenges?
Think about it.
Have a great Friday Samoa, God bless!