PM calls criticism of canceling fautasi race, ‘Rubbish’
Criticisms of the Government’s decision to scrap the fautasi regatta from the Teuila Festival this year have been dismissed as “rubbish” by Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi.
Speaking to the media on Thursday afternoon in his office, Tuilaepa said the fautasi regatta has lost its meaning because it has been overused.
That’s why the Government has decided to cancel the race for this year.
The Prime Minister was asked to comment on criticisms from the leader of the Tautua Samoa Party, Palusalue Fa’apo II who said the decision is wrong.
“This is the pinnacle of all these important celebrations for Samoa, not only the Independence celebrations but also the Teuila festival,” said Palusalue.
“Now they are stopping it which is very sad and they are funding an overseas dancing group that will be a lot of money. So I am really sad that the STA stopped this race.”
STA is the Samoa Tourism Authority (STA), which is one of the Prime Minister’s many portfolios.
Asked for a comment, Tuilaepa rubbished Palusalue’s criticism saying it was childish.
He pointed out that canoes are still being paddled during the Teuila festival.
“Those boats (canoes) are enough,” he said. “A boat is a boat.”
Tuilaepa said one fautasi race a year is more than enough. Having another fautasi regatta merely two months after the Independence race would “diminish the value” of the competition.
“What we should do is save money and focus on doing one race during Independence,” he said.
The Prime Minister explained that doing something over and over again will cause it to lose its meaning.
“From what we’ve seen in the past years, [the Teuila race] is not as important as the race during Independence. Maybe people don’t pay much attention to it but we are aware of it.”
As for Palusalue’s comments, Tuilaepa said; “It’s an easy topic but it shouldn’t be something that will sadden the Opposition.”
As a matter of fact, the Prime Minister said “I don’t understand why it should sadden him when his village doesn’t have a fautasi boat.”
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