Remittances, Samoans abroad and the concept of tautua

Numbers don’t lie. If Samoa’s economy received $503.73 million in remittances from Samoans overseas last year, that is a massive contribution to the economy by any standard. Now let’s quickly take a look at the Government’s revenue collections during the past few years. In 2011, the Ministry of Revenue collected $420 million; it dropped to $377 million in 2012, and went up to $409 million in 2013. In 2014, it further increased to $421 million, $431 million in 2015 and for 2016 it was $485 million.

485 Hits

Marist Sevens worthwhile investment in local potential and talents

It’s an easy choice. The most exciting event taking place in Samoa this weekend is the Vailima International Marist Sevens, which kicked off at Lotopa yesterday. An annual fixture on the nation’s sporting calendar, the tournament has become more than just another Sevens rugby competition.

135 Hits

Promoting tobacco products to the detriment of our health outcomes

It was only two weeks ago when the Government announced plans to introduce legislation to make it legal for an 18-year-old to sell alcohol. And just the other day we were alerted to another Government-sponsored legislation – which Parliament passed into law last month – that now gives a child 15-years or older the authority to sell cigarettes.

96 Hits

Boots donation, P.M’s comments and friend of Samoa Jo Mirkana

Jo Mikarna. Now that’s a name to remember folks, she’s a true friend of Samoa. A Policewoman in Melbourne Australia, she has been dubbed Samoa’s “most prolific tourist” for obvious reasons, and has perhaps been to Samoa more times than most Samoans residing overseas.

395 Hits

Threat to shoot P.M. unnecessary. It’s illegal and shameful

This much is undeniable. The language used by Saute Sapolu to attack Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi – in a video that has since been watched by thousands of Samoans here and around the world – is low. Even worse, the threat he made to shoot him is not only criminal; it cannot be ignored.

2415 Hits

We don’t allow kids to play with guns? Why should we let them sell alcohol?

Let’s see. The story titled “Govt. law to legalise 18 year olds to sell alcohol” published on the front page of the Samoa Observer last Friday immediately raised the alarm bells. Coming at a time when the leaders of this country are struggling to find answers to countless alcohol-related problems, including the needless loss of lives, the story definitely struck a sore point with many members of the public. And rightly so. Who wouldn’t be concerned?

192 Hits

University fees and giving every child access to quality education

It is that time of the year again with school fees and other expenses associated with our children’s education taking center stage. In yesterday’s edition of the Sunday Samoan, there was an article titled “University’s tuition fees and payment deadline under fire”, which quoted a parent and two students and highlighted the difficulties that they were facing paying fees owed to the university.

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P.M’s fear, pig head thrower and charge against King Faipopo. What great fun.

It’s all happening in Samoa today. For such a small country, there really is no dull moment. With the latest political maneuvering within the ruling Human Rights Protection Party, and the developments in the halls of law and justice during the past couple of days, things are certainly heating up.

2476 Hits

Leave shopkeepers alone. Please.

Changing habits, mindsets and attitudes is not easy. It’s always the case, whether the change is good or bad. Folks it doesn’t matter if the change is taking place in Samoa, United States of America, Europe or anywhere in the world, getting people used to change is always the challenge and it takes time, a lot of time.

293 Hits

Prison escapees and using the media in Community Policing

Today marks 18 days since prison escapees Pati Chong Nee and Aniseko Vaelei dashed for freedom from the Tafa’igata Prison. And they continue to leave a trail of destruction in their path as they play a cat-and-mouse game with the Ministry of Police – a Moamoa shop missing hundreds of tala worth of goods, and an expatriate lecturer at the University of South Pacific (USP) Staff Compound and his family being robbed of their personal effects.

330 Hits

Poor La’auli and Olo. If only there were other M.P’s from Savai’i

So there you have it. The former Speaker of Parliament and Cabinet Minister, La’aulialemalietoa Leuatea Polata’ivao’s decision to break his silence – over his future with the ruling Human Rights Protection Party – has at least given us a better idea about both sides of this most fascinating story (read story front page of Tuesday’s Samoa Observer).

2165 Hits

Salary increase for M.Ps, fewer working hours for public servants and the poor

On the front page of Monday’s Samoa Observer, a story titled “Committee request Tribunal to review salaries” was published. Given the recent debate about the Government increasing the salaries for the public service while the minimum wage remains at a bare $2.30 an hour for some of the poorest people in Samoa, the story naturally attracted attention.

464 Hits

Let this be the last of these multi-million tala experiments that don’t work

Another new era in the history of the health sector in Samoa started last week. With Parliament passing the law to merge the National Health Services and the Ministry of Health, Samoa in a sense is back to square one.

858 Hits

Marking World Cancer Day and drawing the battle lines against the disease

Today is the 4th of February and is the World Cancer Day –authorities in countries around the world including Samoa will raise awareness and encourage prevention, detection and treatment.

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“It seems like the Prime Minister and his Ministries are trying to master and remote control us…”

Let’s face it. This without a doubt is one of the most interesting times in the journey of our beautiful Samoa in recent memory. If anything, the developments in the past couple of days, especially in the political arena – open up some interesting questions – on not just about what’s happening today, but the answers could provide some clarity in the future.

1022 Hits

Public deserve answers over Clerk of Parliament’s absence

The secrecy surrounding what has become of the woman holding the all-important position of the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly is unnecessary. This is especially so for Parliament, an institution that should be guided by the principles of transparency, accountability and good governance.

511 Hits

Dissecting the plastic ban and joining the global effort

A lot has been written and said about the ban on single-use plastic bags and straws in Samoa since it was announced. The Government-imposed prohibition went into effect January 30, 2019.

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Smoke, Govt.’s legacy of changing everything and those “fools”

Now we know Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi and his administration has another mantra. Apart from “what’s good for Upolu is also great for Savai’i” as is often always used and abused, we were let in on another secret philosophy last week – perhaps inadvertently.

929 Hits

Education system, learning from mistakes and priorities

Education is critical. We know that much. As such, it has been a hot topic on these shores for the past couple of weeks. And rightly so. Until Parliament convened last week, education has pretty much dominated the focus of the national conversation.

191 Hits

There should be a proper investigation into the death of Faiva Tagatauli

The death of Faiva Tagatauli is a real tragedy. The 27-year-old father of one died at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital from a suspected head injury during a club rugby competition at Tuana’imato two Saturdays ago.

467 Hits

Letters to the Editor

Suppressing the voice of dissent

Dear Editor, You should embrace the thriving democratic principles now showing in the Samoan political system. The right to dissent is one of the corner stones of democracy.

Street Talk

Anesone Elama, 43

Govt. policy versus freedom of opinion

The Government’s decision to sack the Nofoali’i village mayor over his comments against the Government’s land law reforms has raised a rather interesting question. Can the Government sack village mayors who are appointed by the villages? What’s more, where does this leave Government employees when it comes to the question of freedom and rights? Talaia Mika and Misiona Simo discussed the issue with members of the public and these are their views:

Think a Minute

The golden rule of Business

Think a minute...This is the true story of a boy named Jim who started working on farms at the young age of eight. By the time he was 20 Jim was training as a store manager, and within a year was a successful salesman.

Columns

HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE WITH METI: Otara Eteru Autagavaia.

Changing lives: Prevention and reversal of obesity

Talofa Samoa! I am happy to start this Health Column by informing the Public that METI has now received official support from government for its Healthy Living programme.

Between the Lines

A hungry thief. Your house might be next

A prominent member of the community had his house broken into where the thief ransacked it looking for valuables to take.

Sunday Reading

Alpha Cafe and Chemist owners Nataivai Siitia and her husband Junior Siitia.

A café and a pharmacy - service with a difference

The Alpha Café and Chemist is not your everyday kind of pharmacy – it offers a service with a difference and is within the vicinity of the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital at Motootua.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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