Ignore church at your peril, PM told
“We don’t need casinos to help with the revenue of the country. We have the agriculture sector and we need to develop our exports” – Palusalue Fa’apo II
Ignore the warning from the church at your peril. That’s the message from the leader of the Opposition, Palusalue Fa’apo II to Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi.
He believes Prime Minister Tuilaepa has made a “grave error” to dismiss the warning from the National Council of Churches (NCC) about the perils of casinos and gambling.
“Tuilaepa should listen to the church,” Palusalue said. “The church is one of the pillars of this country. The government should listen. When the church speaks, we should take time to hear what it’s saying.”
On Sunday, Prime Minister Tuilaepa brushed off a warning from the NCC that casinos and gambling will drive Samoa into “further poverty.”
Expressed by the Chairman of NCC, Reverend Deacon Kasiano Le’aupepe, Tuilaepa said Rev Le’aupepe must have been “joking.”
“The strange thing about it is that all of them (churches) are playing bingo. That’s gambling so it is no different from a casino,” Tuilaepa said.
“There is some kind of funny excitement in the way people think. So the way I look at the warning from the Chairman of the NCC, I think the spokesman was not really serious. He was probably joking.”
Palusalue said casinos are not matters to joke about.
He promised that if the Tautua Samoa Party wins the next election, they would remove casinos from Samoa.
He pointed out there are other means of earning revenue for the country.
“There are other methods that we can look into to get money,” he said.
“We don’t need casinos to help with the revenue of the country. We have the agriculture sector and we need to develop our exports. That’s a better way to earn money.”
Palusalue said casinos contradict Samoa’s cultural and religious beliefs.
“Our culture and Christian beliefs have been breached because the government has ruled to allow the casinos.”