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:
Mele Maulolo Iasoni
I disagree. The reasons for my concern is that these people end up making more money from tipping than what they should be paid. Didn’t they take an oath to serve honestly without fear or favours. There is a fine line between tipping and bribery. This encourages public servants to do the wrong thing.
I think this sort of comment encourages dishonesty. Our leaders should lead by example in doing everything good so the public will do the same. I think the Minister’s comments are shameful. Public servants are there to serve without favour. So what if we don’t tip them? Where do you draw the line between tipping and bribery?
Pearlynn Brown Malie
I disagree with the Minister. The main reason is that this will encourage Customs officers to break the law. This sort of thing reflects the lack of integrity in what they do.
I think the reason why some people are doing this it’s because they think it’s the easiest way but the thing is, that is so unfair to other members of the public that are doing the right way. So to me we should say no to this. People should do their work honestly.
This issue is not a new issue. I think most people who are doing this illegal action know that this is bad for Samoa. It’s not just Customs officers, it’s the Police and many other public servants who accepts money to force their decision making. I don’t think Samoa should be doing this because we as a Christianity state. We should be honest in everything that we do. I hope this is not the new standard set by this government.
Paulo Ilalio Fonoti
To me I think there’s a good and bad thing about this. The good thing is that members of the public are doing the Samoan way of respect and appreciation. But the bad thing is when they abuse their power. I understand that the Bible says blessed are those who give but then this has gone over the limit. There is nothing there to stop the abuse and when tipping becomes bribery.
Seufale Filipo Foaluga
This is nothing new. Many government Ministers and senior government workers have been doing this for years. I personally it should be stopped. I have been a victim of this so many times because they take advantage of your desperation. I think the government should introduce a no tipping policy.