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:
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Talk about the ugly and the bizarre! Here in Samoa today we’ve got a classic case on our hands. Yes all the ingredients that would make other fake news from anywhere else in the world insignificant. We’ve got a main character in Liua Va’asili Savai’inaea, now infamously known as “superman.”
Here we are again. The world leaders have this week been reminded once more about what we’ve always known living in this part of the world, where the impacts of climate change are severe, scary and deadly. The latest reminder that inaction is not an option has come from the much anticipated report on the impact of global warming of 1.5°C, by the international body for the assessment of climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (I.P.C.C.).
Amendments to the role of Head of State and functions of the Office have become so commonplace in Samoa that nothing surprises us anymore. Depending on what suits the mood of the Government on any given day, the countless amendments to the Constitution passed by Parliament over the years are shameful.
This much is undeniable. When it comes to excessive spending on fa’alavelave, whether its church, family or village obligations, we are all guilty. Yes we know we should be spending a lot less, especially since its money many of us don’t have, but we continue to go out of our way to find money, whatever it takes, to keep up appearances.
It is perhaps not a coincidence that a non-government organisation recently held a workshop on child protection, as Samoa begins the countdown to White Sunday celebrations this weekend. The Wellbeing and Community Solutions (WCS) ran a workshop to introduce “child protection case management” systems.
Samoa needs to hold free sex education programmes on safe sex and make condoms available for free so people can protect themselves. We can’t stop people from doing what they are doing but we can educate people on making the right choices so they can protect themselves.
Attempts by two unidentified men, who tried to attack Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi in Brisbane, Australia on Wednesday night has shocked the nation and triggered condemnation from various fronts. Our reporter Yolanda Lavata’i speaks to the public to get their views on the issue.
Think a minute…Today’s world, from its large companies to entire countries, runs on the speed and power of computers. But when the computer breaks down, it causes serious loss, damage, even destruction.
Talofa! It is with great pleasure that I come with my colleagues to attend the Closing Ceremony of Training Course on Creative Handicrafts and Sewing skills for Samoa sponsored by the Chinese government.
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.
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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