Farmers dare Prime Minister to put himself in their shoes

Farmers who are braving the boiling sun and torrential rain at Fugalei to sell their produce have a message for Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi.“Put yourself in our shoes,” Malu Fa’alavai, of Saleaumua said. “You should come and spend a day in the hot sun and then we’ll see if you continue to make such ridiculous comments.”The “ridiculous comment” in question was the response from the Prime Minister during an interview with the Samoa Observer to criticisms from the Opposition Party about the delay in the construction of the new market.“I have said it many, many times that that is the way that some people like it,” said the Prime Minister, referring to farmers selling produce in the sun. “Even when we had the old market, people were still selling in the sun.” He also pointed out that being in the sun was not such a bad thing.“Do you know what you get from the sun?” he asked. “Vitamin D3, the miracle vitamin, without D3 you can never transform calcium from the food into strong bones. It is the people who choose to brave harsh weather conditions.”Asked for his thoughts, Mr. Fa’alavai said the Prime Minister was talking nonsense.“Rain is like adding fuel to the fire,” he said, “and the Prime Minister doesn't understand that. “Not only do we get sick, the conditions here are very unhealthy. For a country that’s graduating from the least developing country status, I think we are going backwards.”As for Tuilaepa’s suggestion for vitamin D3, Mr, Fa’alavai said “I don't know what that means but I don't want to hear it when I’m suffering in the rain.”Vitamin D3, according to one website, can assist in building and maintaining healthy bones. It promotes the absorption of calcium and can help to improve muscle strength.Told about this, Mr. Fa’alavai suggested that perhaps Prime Minister Tuilaepa needs Vitamin D3 more than anyone.

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