“WHEN WILL REAL CHANGE OCCUR?”
First of all, I want to thank Samoa News’ April issues for enlightening us about the Senate & House Expense Reports. Kudos also to members of our community who have voiced their concerns, disbelief and disgust about the reality of the workings of our local government and lawmakers. The reports raise many questions about the mindset and spending practices of our leaders. What are their priorities? Why did we elect them in the first place?
We elected them with full confidence that they will fulfill the basic needs of our people & community. We placed our trust in them but we are reading about the waste, corruption & illegal practices that are going on. I am confused, overwhelmed and I feel so abused.
Why do I feel this way? It’s because there’s so much hypocrisy and double standards demonstrated by our leaders. On Flag Day, we had to tolerate all the speeches about Honesty, Transparency, Accountability, blah, blah, blah & then Monday comes around and it’s business as usual. Politicians serving themselves instead of serving the public. They spend public funds like it’s their own personal petty cash.
Seriously, our leaders must think we’re all a bunch of imbeciles & uneducated individuals.
Truthfully, our culture gets in the way of resolving any wrongdoings and politics make it even more impossible to right any wrongs. Since the government employs the majority of the population & voters, many individuals are reluctant to voice their disagreements or grievances for fear of losing their jobs so this raises the question: Are we living in a democratic or communistic society? Individuals who speak out or voice their concerns about improprieties in our government and Fono are labeled “crazy” or “loud mouths”. This is an evil tactic to silence the masses so their deeds go unpunished.
Like Tisa said, “we have become a passive community”. Mr. Sanchez pointed out 9 reasons why our people don’t speak up or complain about abuse and corruption, lack of enthusiasm, the list goes on & on. If the wrongdoers are high ranking chiefs, the public (because of our culture) are even more reluctant to speak out. So the abuse & corruption continue because of our silence.
If we’re silent, then we are part of the problem and not the solution.
Our Youth learn by Example. Not by double standards, empty promises & hypocrisy.
What are the priorities of our lawmakers? Is it travel, Per Diems, Rental Cars, Hotel Accommodations & “food for human consumption?” Our Tafuna Medical Center is without a doctor after 12 noon, our one & only medical facility is in need of necessary & proper equipment, medications and services our people need. Our teachers & students lack clean drinking water, and school restrooms are in a deplorable state.
I challenge every politician to visit the schools, cafeterias & the medical facilities & see the needs. Very few attend PTA meetings, but we hear a lot about how important education is during campaigns. We did not elect our leaders so we can be intimidated or be afraid of them.
They are first and foremost PUBLIC SERVANTS WHOSE FIRST PRIORITY IS TO SERVE THE PUBLIC TO THE BEST OF THEIR ABILITY.
MY FINAL QUESTION IS: When will real change occur? When does the greed, corruption & hypocrisy end? Our youth learn by example. They are not impressed by high titles, fancy clothes, and empty words. We deserve and demand honesty, accountability & transparency from our elected leaders. Please lead by Example. The world is watching & reading everything that transpires here on the net.
Ia manuia lo’u atunuu pele.