Aitasi Ugapō Aumua

Head of State or Governor General?

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi’s government has moved to amend the Constitution once more in relation to the position of the Head of State.

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Should envelopes given to Cabinet Ministers be taxed?

The announcement by the Ministry for Revenue of taxes on the incomes of the Head of State and church ministers, has generated much discussion. Particularly when church ministers found out that not only was the money given by the congregation on Sundays to be taxed but also envelopes given when they attend weddings, funerals and other functions. One aggrieved church minister then suggested that Cabinet Ministers should be similarly taxed when they receive money in envelopes when attending functions. What do you think? Neretiti Matatia asked in today’s Street Talk and this is what people said:

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‘Walking ahead’ with the Tui Samoa Cable

Our reporter asked members of the public if they were aware of the Tui Samoa Cable which recently reached our shores. According to the Government of Samoa website, Samoa’s new Tui-Samoa Cable will span more than 1,470 km, connecting Samoa to Fiji with branching units to Wallis & Futuna and Vanua Levu, Fiji, enhancing fast, reliable and affordable internet services across the region. We also asked people why it is important and what it means to the people in Samoa.

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Pea Papali’i,  21

What’s your take on the burning of the Samoan flag?

Tensions are rising after an image emerged of the Samoan flag being burnt. What went through your mind when you saw it? Is it a crime or is it freedom of speech? What would be your reaction if you see this person? Nefetiti Matatia asked in today’s Street Talk and this is what people said:

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Fa’afetai Timo, 29

Questions over sports administration

The administration of sports in Samoa has come under the microscope once more. American-based Samoan Sprinter, Jeremy Dodson, has raised serious questions about the way sports are run. “From the three years I have represented Samoa, I have seen officials do nothing but get free trips, trips spent lounging in sponsored hotels while athletes eat processed food,” he said. “I have seen officials get elected not off merits, but friendships.

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Mele Maulolo Iasoni, 47

Line blurred between tips and bribery

The difference between tipping and bribery has been spelt out by a Cabinet Minister who said public servants should not feel bad about accepting tips for doing their work. The Minister of Revenue, Tialavea Tioniso Hunt, said it is only wrong when public servants accept bribes. What do you think? Should members of the public be encouraged to tip public servants, especially people like Customs officials? Ulimasao Fata asked in today’s Street Talk and this is what people said:

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Semi Uisa, 40

Fuimaono’s appointment a popular choice

Fuimaono Titimaea Tafua has been reappointed to coach the Manu Samoa. He replaces Namulauulu Alama Ieremia who resigned last month after the team’s losing record in the past year. What do you think of the appointment? Do you think Fuimaono is the right man or has the Samoa Rugby Union got this wrong again? Ulimasao Fata asked people in today’s Street Talk and this is what they said:

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Fa’alafi Lilomaiava, 56

Members of the public react to Live Bingo

TV Bingo, or as some prefer to call it, Live Bingo, is coming soon to Samoa. The initiative has been designed to address the issue of domestic violence. How does it work? It will be like a normal Bingo game except people will ring a number when they think they have won. What do you think? Do you support it? Wouldn’t this encourage the mentality of gambling among members of the public? Reporters Aruna Lolani and Talimalie Uta asked people in today’s Street Talk and this is what they said:

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Jofi Aiomanu, 20

Abortion call strongly rejected

A call has been made by the Ministry of Health to the government to amend laws that govern abortion in Samoa. The call is made in their 98-page National H.I.V, A.I.D.S, and S.T.I. Policy 2017-2022 obtained by the Samoa Observer. At the moment, abortion of any form is illegal. Do you think the law should be changed to allow abortion? Lizzy Hunt asked people in today’s Street Talk and this is what they said:

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Kaisara Itoa,  27

What’s your Yazaki solution: Find new jobs or turn to the plantation

Samoa’s biggest private employer, Yazaki Eds Samoa Ltd, is no more. The company shut its doors officially on Friday. This has left as many as 700 people without jobs. Where to from here? Lizzy Hunt asked people in today’s Street Talk and this is what they said:

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Logoitino Salima, 22

Should construction workers be allowed to work on Sunday?

The decision to allow Chinese construction workers to work on Sunday has attracted widespread anger. Members of the public are very vocal against calling on the government to change the laws to stop them from doing Sunday work. What do you think? Should Chinese and other foreign builders be allowed to work on Sunday? Lizzy Hunt asked in today’s Street Talk and this is what people said:

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Rachael Iosu, 22

P.M.’s media call wrong

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has stopped the Police’s monthly press conference in a bid to control media reports about cases of rape, incest and other vile crimes, in Samoa. In doing so, he has also criticised the media for reporting such cases. He said they are lazy and they only want to be spoon-fed by the Police. What do you think? Do you think the media should stop reporting about rape, incest and other crimes, in Samoa? Talimalie Uta asked in today’s Street Talk and this is what people said.

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Luna Gautolu, 16

Miss Samoa Pageants: Love them or hate them?

The Miss Samoa Pageant is billed as an event much more than simply a parade of physical attractiveness. There is a strong emphasis on confidence, culture, individual talent and general knowledge. Lizzy Hunt asked people to share their opinions about the pageant:

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Tanielu Fiu, 21

Dealing with dengue

The torrential rain over the past few days has led to the Ministry of Health and others issuing warnings about an outbreak of dengue fever. Whilst most people are aware of the symptoms of dengue fever, it is a timely reminder to us all, as individuals, to prevent what can be a killer epidemic from spreading. Lizzy Hunt spoke to a few people to share their opinions on the matter and to see if everyone is aware of preventative measures that can be taken.

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Tai Faapito, 26

Do you support Moata’a’s decision?

The village of Moata’a is standing by its decision to ban a Chinese man from operating a store in their village. Village paramount chief, Asi Semisi Blakelock, said they will not change their village foundation which prohibits outsiders from running shops there. What do you think? Lizzy Hunt had a chance to interview a few people for today’s Street Talk and this is what they said.

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Simati Samoa, 47

What’s the real water story?

A recent Water Conference was held in Samoa highlighting its importance and the S.W.A. Managing Director is urging people to contact her organization about water problems. This has left the public confused. On the other hand, there are frequent stories each day in the Village Voice feature where citizens complain of no access to water or water tanks and little help from authorities.

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Sio Fala’i, 20

Lima preferred Manu Samoa coach

Who should be the new Manu Samoa coach? Lizzy Hunt asked people in today’s Street Talk and this is what they said:

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Lina Pola, 23

Our new Airline’s logo is way “too plain”

Samoa’s new international airline, Samoa Airways, has revealed its new logo as it prepares to launch international jet services. The logo acknowledges the airline’s origins and links, and features an adapted version of the iconic coconut tree, which has been the symbol of the National Carrier since 1959. What do you think? Lizzy Hunt asked people in today’s Street Talk and this is what they said:

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Larry Vasa, 23

Opinions favour local coach for Manu Samoa

The hunt is on for a new coach of the Manu Samoa after Namulauulu Alama Ieremia resigned from the role during the weekend. In resigning, Namulauulu becomes the latest in a long line of coaches to have either been sacked or made to leave the role under very controversial circumstances. Who do you think should coach the team now? And why? Lizzy Hunt asked in today’s Street Talk and this is what people said:

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Mapu Iosefa, 67

Is six months too long for an investigation?

The mandate of the Ombudsman’s office includes investigating complaints by the public. However a local businessman claims to have been waiting for more than six months for the results of an investigation into his claims of unfair practices in the Customs Division of the Ministry of Revenue. Lizzy Hunt asked people on the street for their views on the issue.

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Editorial

Celebrating the good and fabulous

Today in beautiful Samoa, there is so much to celebrate. Whether it’s educational milestones, professional achievements or developments that will benefit the wider community through businesses and public projects, the vibes are very positive as everyone gears up for Christmas and the New Year.

Letters to the Editor

Marching in support

Re: Chairman rejects report Sister marches are taking place all over the world in support of this march. Indigenous people are sick of having their lands taken from them.

Think a Minute

Character Worth Copying

Think a minute…A man named Cliff Streigling told about an older man, Bud Abbot, who changed his life. This is Cliff’s story and testimony.

Columns

Why are you unemployed?

If you are unemployed, blame yourself. Nobody else. Almost. Let me explain. People say I need a job. Doesn’t anybody? Unfortunately, those who proclaim that way, and I don’t blame them, do not know, with all certainty, what kind of a job they want.

Between the Lines

BETWEEN THE LINES

LEARNING THE AIRLINES LINGO Heard the term “close in bookings”? Chances are, you are one of the many Samoans who fall into that category used by airlines to describe your booking when you travel.

Sunday Reading

PRESIDENT OF THE S.A.M.E.:Tagaloa Eddie Wilson with Happy Ava Farmers Tupai & Asoono- from Savaii.

Samoa’s Ava Exports expected to rise to prominence again

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.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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