Letter to the Editor by Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Leader of HRPP.
Mein Kampf and the Art of Telling lies
Over 40 years ago a young man came to interview me at my office in the Treasury Department, for an article he was preparing for the Newspaper he was writing for viz- “The Samoa Times”.
I commended him for his write-ups and suggested to start up his own newspaper.
The name of this young man was Sano Malifa, founder and owner of the Samoa Observer newspaper.
Last week the same newspaper published a report on an interview broadcast by EFKSTV2 with the Minister of Agriculture, La’aulialemalietoa Leuatea Schmidt, who alleged the Lepā District Development Committee misused the whole $200,000 tālā for Lepā.
Our Lepā deputy Chairman, Auelua Samuelu Enari, former CEO of Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour and former Commissioner of the Public Service has already publicly issued a detailed rebuttal a day later, but the damage to the district’s Committee members was done.
The payments for office equipment, office furniture, stationaries, salaries of 3 employees and lease payment for the Districts’ Committee Office fall under the Governments guidelines and the Lepā Committee has funds remaining for further outgoings for the remainder of the year.
The financial statements have also been prepared by the accountant for audit.
The people of the district must always have a sense of ownership of the premises and of projects approved for implementation.
What exactly are these 51 District Committees’ Terms of Reference?
The Committees were set up by the previous Human Rights Protection Party Administration to formally identify projects and submit them in writing to the Ministry for onward transmission to donors for funding.
All district committees were formally registered with the Ministry of Women before the last Parliament was dissolved in preparation for the General Elections 2021.
Faatuatua I le Atua Samoa ua Tasi Party made so many pre-election promises.
The FAST Government continued with the District Committees policy initiated by the previous HRPP Government as a way to distribute the promised $1million tālā per district annually for the 5 years of the Parliamentary term.
Spokesman Laauli vowed that FAST would give $1million tālā per district annually to distribute and spend as they wish and never again ask government for direction.
Prime Minister Hon Fiame Naomi Mata’afa on the other hand told Parliament that there is no million tālā to distribute.
The voters have become more confused who the real PM is to listen to.
The speech by Laauli on the $1million tālā per district has been played repeatedly by the Social Media, as a reminder that up to now only $200,000 tālā has been disbursed.
In Parliament in response to the follow up question by HRPP about the promised $1million tālā, Laauli stated he had never made such promise.
“It must have been made by a member of the Tautua Samoa Party!”.
Reports of over spending by FAST MPs of their allocations building houses on MPs lands and loans made to complete their offices with the FAST MPs collecting the rentals have been made by the Social Media.
Even the budgeting provisions of $500,000 tālā for Samoa Victim Support Group for charity have been used to distribute by SVSG as agent on solar lights, grass cutters, etc. (4/8/22) to Ministers’ Districts.
These misuse of budgeting support from Partners can never go un-noticed.
Samoa is a very small Country.
It will be interesting to see audited reports of District Committees’ spending when submitted to the Public Accounts Committee.
The Lepā Committee requested that these reports of Districts Committee spending be audited by Governments Auditors.
Up to now there is complete silence.
Political observers must have certainly enjoyed the spectacle of a mickey-mouse like performances of modern-day politics in Samoa.
The art of lying prescribed in “Mein Kampf” by Dictator Adolf Hitler, is to tell the biggest lie and keep on repeating it.
Eventually people and even the creator of the lie will come to believe it was the truth.
Telling lies is also stressful.
And stress is a silent killer.
With so many lies told, the liar is eventually ignored and scorned at by friends and families alike – a great lesson to all potential liars.
Hitler’s end was indeed very ugly.
Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi
Leader of HRPP