Fuel prices, power outages and failed promises

And so the Government has increased the cost of fuel once again. The increase announced by the Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti, this week is the latest in a year where fuel prices have continued to rise. You wonder if they will decrease ever again. Probably not before Christmas.

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Christian principles, Samoan Customs and “six million Jews”, Part II.

This is an interesting story. Remember the man of God from Germany who said his name was Dr. Karl-Heinz Kuhlmann? Well, if you’ve gone hazy in the head all of a sudden for whatever reason, please let me rattle your memory.

1001 Hits

Opportunity for Samoa to rise and be counted

It may only be a speck in the large expanse of the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and New Zealand. But the opportunity is there for Samoa to rise up to the occasion and become the regional hub that its leaders espouse it to be, with a wave of uncertainty now descending in Fiji with the country set to hold its general election next month, and the region’s largest nation Papua New Guinea (P.N.G.) strangled by an economic and governance crisis.

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Export plan, banana breakthrough and the role Govt. must play

This much is undeniable. This country of ours needs a solid export plan to make good use of the products being manufactured in Samoa and the produce harvested from the fertile soil we have been blessed with. There is great potential but we also know there is also a lot of work that needs to be done.

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Hold the funeral boys and girls, Cabinet meets Wednesday

Last week, an interesting letter penned by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi surfaced. Samoa being a small place, the content of the letter had already been the subject of much discussions among the inside circle of the Government. You see, in this place we call home, even walls have ears; they talk. Trust me.

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Christian principles, Samoan Customs and “six million Jews”

On 25 October 2018 an email arrived. Sent by a person who said his name was Rev. Dr. Karl-Heinz Kuhlmann, he revealed he was staying at the Piula Theological College out there at Anoama’a. In his letter, Dr.Karl-Heinz Kuhlmann, said in verbatim:

2444 Hits

The link between Audit Reports and the Fourth Estate

It has been a busy week with the Samoa Observer continuing to publish details of the Ministry of Finance and Audit Office’s various reports into the financial affairs of various Government agencies. Most of the reports are from the 2016-2017 financial years with some of them also making reference to the previous one to two years, due to the carrying over of various financial transactions into the new financial year.

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Invest wisely not white elephants

Think about this. Imagine if the “millions” being wasted on all these publicly funded projects that end up failing are spent instead to encourage the replanting of coconut trees? Think of what could happen if every village in Samoa received say $50,000 per village to get the aumaga (untitled men) to go out and plant at least 100,000 new coconuts per month?

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Time of mixed messages and confusion

Let’s talk a little bit about some public statements made recently. Coming from some of our country’s leaders, a couple of them demand scrutiny since they leave us with more questions. Some completely boggles the mind, I tell you.

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Vile crimes, shocking deaths and sadness in Samoa today

For such a small country, the amount of deaths reported by the Police on a weekly basis – including crime-related deaths - is quite high. It’s disturbing. So much so you cannot help but ask the question; what is happening in Samoa today? You see gone are the days where these incidents were a rarity.

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Corruption is also the misuse of generosity and sweat of others

All this talk about another grand project by the Government in the form of a new airport at Tiavea – should they proceed – brings back memories. Not only does it remind us of a similar failed project out that way where millions of taxpayers’ tala were wasted, it also brings to mind a point made by a former Cabinet Minister which we should never forget.

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The battle to save our coconut plantations and getting the best out of the Pacific’s famous palm

It is conferences like the one happening this morning at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel that gives relevance to regional organisations such as the Pacific Community (SPC) and the impact that donors such as the European Union are having on the lives of the people.

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Fairness, $2.6 million of unpaid water bills and the sacking of coach Fuimaono

Let’s talk about fairness. The principle implies that everyone is treated equally and that all members of the community, regardless of who they are, get the same treatment. Imagine the day that happens on the planet, wouldn’t it be a wonderful world to live in? Unfortunately, that is not the case and probably never will be, not in Samoa or anywhere else for that matter.

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Manu Samoa vs Samoa A? Let’s campaign to make it happen

Let’s make it happen. Seriously. While the calls for Samoa A to play the Manu Samoa perhaps started out as a joke, it could actually be one of the best things to happen in Samoan rugby by a long stretch. And not just because of the negativity surrounding the latest selection of the country’s national team, Manu Samoa.

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Time for P.M. to introduce law to deal with Ministers’ private business interests

Two weeks ago, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi issued an impassioned plea to Members of Parliament, particularly Cabinet Ministers and Associate Ministers. In light of recent controversies involving Cabinet Ministers and their business interests, Tuilaepa’s call was quite simple. He wants them to stay far away from their family businesses, telling them to focus on their public duties instead.

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“We have to apply common sense. This was my decision although it is not in line with the law” – Minister Tialavea

On the front page of the Sunday Samoan of 14 October 2018, the headline read: “Govt. can assist cash-strapped firms.” The story referred to a Government policy that allows certain companies to pay their import duty after 30 days – but only if they pay 50 per cent of the tax upfront.

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Well done, Samoa A! Now why has not one of them made the Manu Samoa?

At long last there is some positive news on the rugby front. We are talking about Samoa A’s well deserved victory at the Americas Pacific Rugby Challenge at the Estadio Charrua in Montevideo. The win is great for rugby in Samoa, especially for the controversy-prone Samoa Rugby Union (S.R.U.) which desperately needed some positive news to break their way after what’s been unfolding publically lately.

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Taking a breather on China’s Belt and Road Initiative

China’s Belt and Road Initiative has got the leadership of some Pacific Island nations excited since it was first proposed by China under President Xi Jinping in 2013. The Belt and Road Initiative is an ambitious plan by China to link Asia, Europe and Africa with a network of ports, highways and railways and it is giving tens of billions of dollars in loans to countries, in a bid to build major infrastructure development projects in the various participating nations in central Asia, Europe and the Indo-Pacific region.

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Bullying tactics, church, desperation and hypocrites

And so it continues. The war between Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi’s Government and the church, especially the biggest denomination on the land, the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (C.C.C.S.) over taxes has taken another ugly turn.

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Alcohol-related death and Tala Vou the unsung hero

It’s been a sad week for a number of reasons. While the countdown to tomorrow’s nationwide White Sunday celebration is no doubt keeping most of us preoccupied, the loss of precious lives through vile acts of crime and the unforgiving nature of the ocean hurts deeply, especially if you are related to a couple of men whose journey have been ended unexpectedly this week.

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Letters to the Editor

Give priority to local businesses

Dear Editor, I read the recent articles about the Samoa Business Network mission to Samoa supported by the Government of Samoa. I managed to get along to the business day and hear from the speaker and companies from NZ, Australia and American Samoa.

Street Talk

Faauli Faoa, 58

Public push for team changes

“ Manu Samoa recently suffered another loss in their Northern Hemisphere Tour, this time at the hands of Georgia. A week earlier Samoa’s national rugby team lost to America. The two losses have triggered public debate. Our reporter Soli Wilson recently went out and got the views of the public, on what the Manu Samoa Coach should do, to get the team back to winning their games.

Think a Minute

“Finish Well”

Think a minute...Watching the Olympics can be both inspiring and heartbreaking. It’s easy to get caught up with “the thrill of victory” as well as “the agony of defeat.” This is especially true when the world’s greatest athletes, who have worked so hard their entire lives, lose by only a fraction of a second!

Columns

It’s about kinship, love, remorse and forgiveness

I want to share a reflection on suicide by quoting from a speech I made in 2002 because it is relevant and topical. Rituals also express meaning, nuance and metaphor. During (former) Prime Minister’s Helen Clark’s wreathe presentation at Tamasese’s grave, 4 June 2002, Lufi Falefa and Salani could have chanted the funeral chants, the birth chants, the war chants, the victory chants.

Between the Lines

BETWEEN THE LINES

P.M. on Church leaders It seems Prime Minister Tuilaepa can’t leave members of clergy alone. During a radio programme last week, he had plenty to say about Church Ministers. For instance, he reminded them that Church Ministers were only taught on spiritual matters, not on Economics.

Sunday Reading

Myths and Legends of the Ancient World

The spears flew towards the youth on the hill, whistling as they cut through the air. Grinning, Queen Medb’s general drew his sword, eager to take back to his Queen the head of this warrior whom they called the Hound of Ulster. He had no doubt his spears would find their mark.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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