Letter to the Editor: Samoa was Never a Banana Republic Before

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The three hours delay in the departure of the Ferry from Savaii on Friday last week 2nd June 2023, to await the late arrival of Hon Laauli’s Chinese Tourists and the belated hollow apology from the Minister of Shipping provide much food for thought.

We all need to actively promote our visitor industry to build up our foreign exchange earnings and create more businesses and employment in our hotels, transportation, restaurants and other visitors support services but, never ever at the cost of compromising services to our people.

The Samoa Shipping Corporation has a number of boats berthing at the time and one could have been sent over within the three hours of delay to bring over the Chinese Visitors.

For the visitors to have more time in Savaii is well understood. The more scenic sites visited, the greater the publicity we get by word of mouth, which in turn should generate more interest and visitors from China.

The greatest challenge Samoa will continue to face relates to the open and proactive approach of Ministers in the current Government, to take by force away from others opportunities for themselves and their family businesses especially, when good governance matters no more.

The Rule of Law has been dismantled and tossed out to the rubbish heap. Top qualified and more experienced public servants have been sacked without regard to their human rights.

And last week, $2million tālā of public funds have been wasted on the reopening of the Fagalii Airport. Both the PM and Minister of Works know the reason for the closure was Security. Engineering reports are in Cabinet File to support Cabinet’s closure decision.

And yet the PM and Minister Olo are silent on the engineering reports and the fact that there is no approval from the Authorities that the airport is safe.

What is most disconcerting is the Ministers openness with no care attitude in engaging in these illegal activities, as if they were immune to any legal action! We urge Cabinet to observe the importance of Time. Tide and Time wait for no one!

When it is time to kick off an event, abide by the time as publicized as we did during our HRPP Government, and Fiame knows this policy.

When it is time to start a service, and PM or Reverend Pastor is late, another Minister should deliver the speech following a prayer conducted by another attendee.

This way our people are never kept waiting. In Samoa, there are no Kings, and there are no commoners in waiting.

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi

Leader of HRPP