After five years living, working and playing in Samoa, I think I’ve got it pretty much worked out! It’s a nation with endemic self-interest, greed, lies and a unique way of dealing with power. In the West we call it corruption. In Samoa it’s called “just the way things are”. Today I announce the launch of a new website Corruption in SAMOA.com with a description of what I am doing and why. Pigeons might be a little wary of the cat from here-on-in.
I’m a truthseeker, fearless to ask questions and speak it as I see it.
Samoa though is a land of ‘make-believe’ with a population a little over 180,000 who pretty much all live for show. “Sunday Christians” one long-term ex-pat resident described this country to me once when talking about matters of ethics. Many others have echoed those sentiments going back a century of more too!
I’m also a [non-denominational] Christian who believes that the Lord called me to Samoa. I’m coming to see more and more the incredible sense of humour the Creator had in plonking me smack in the middle of this little island Paradise. I’ve quipped previously that I’ve attempted many times to get hold of Scotty to “beam me up” to no avail, and try as I might my prayers to escape my ‘sentence’ just seem to fall on deaf ears!
I’m an inch wiser than Jonah, so I did what He wanted quite gladly but it was probably just as well that I didn’t know what was really in store for me until after the event. I might have gone West instead of East myself. In some ways I feel that the road I have chosen in life is probably named “P*ss-off-the-most-number-of-people-as-you-can-before-they-finally-get-you Street” but I’m still here and they’ll probably bury me here too the way things are going, maybe sooner rather than later!
All joking aside though, it’s been a pretty rough ride – half a million words of blogging in those five years has reported a lot of it. Much hasn’t been said . . . until now.
The gloves are now off and at midday on the 1st June 2015, the website Corruption in Samoa goes live with the eBook. It’s my blog. I own it. It’s my words so the world can know my identity and location so they can sue me or shoot me anytime they want and quite easily too! That’s either genius or insanity, and that’s the fine line that I walk daily. [UPDATE: Upon my banning from Samoa, I have redeveloped my marketing around the name www.palemia.com – Palemia being Samoan for Prime Minister]
The Website & Book
My website is in a blog format with static pages, similar in concept to my personal website but different in design. You see the logo above. The purple iron fist may be construed as resistance against the establishment – it’s not – it’s against evil. If the cap fits, the establishment can wear it, although I’ve noted for many years that evil does tend to congregate at the top of any society.
I will be blogging about what I know and think. Yes, I will be naming names and calling people to account. Yes, this will include highly placed people in society (right to the top) whom I believe are not acting in accordance with their promises, claims of faith or moral conduct.
I’m not into politics – I love watching it but I don’t play it. I always shoot straight and my blog will be direct, VERY direct. If the Prime Minister is playing with words and deceiving the people, I’ll call him on that one. If some junior bureaucrat is pushing his/her weight around and the little guy is hurting as a result then I will hammer ’em the same way.
I can’t be bought. I informed the PM of this when I first met him explaining that I would let nothing on this planet interfere with my right to speak the truth openly. That’s not the sort of thing that goes down well with a politician, but too bad, that’s just the way it is.
In this regards to all of this I’m prepared to pay the price.
Samoa tends towards physical violence much more readily than the Palagi world. I’ve ended up in hospital and only just escaped fools with fists, forks and worse. They’ve tried to have my immigration status ‘reviewed’, I’ve been falsely arrested ” and more. As an investigative blogger daring to expose the conduct some pretty unsavoury people I have to constantly assess whether or not I will be prepared to pay the price, even the ultimate price.
You may be asking, “But why on earth would anyone risk the ire of so many people by doing this?”
You’d be right in guessing that a lot of very powerful people will not take kindly to being exposed, and by a Palagi at that!
You wouldn’t be far off the mark thinking that it’s not your regular done thing or the wisest move out and that I’ll have a whole bunch of people who will likely hate me as a result. Probably a few more than I already have!
The reason I’m doing this website now is threefold:
- I am the right person TO do it;
- The TIME is right; and
- It IS the right thing to do.
1. Somebody has to do it.
The local tabloid does a bit but their owner is crooked and their bleating is pretty constant along the lines of “Oh deary me! Samoa is going to the dogs . . . the government is terribly corrupt . . . this is no good!” I guess it sells newspapers and in a small country like Samoa it will be hard to find news. At the end of the day though they’re all about money and haven’t the ethics to do anything real.
None of the churches would or could do anything – they don’t have the credibility nor the interest. If it’s about money, power and/or looking good, sure . . . you’ll find them active. Anything else – nope!
Everyone is scared or has a vested interest. Most of Samoa can’t open their mouths for fear of someone gossiping or talking about them, or social retributions as a result of standing up. Locals pull each other down to the lowest level so it’s impossible for anyone to speak out without copping a lot of flak.
Like with anything I research, I don’t do it by halves. There’s no other Palagi who has written as much about Samoa as me – ever, and by a long shot too. Here’s the stats from WP Count today:
- 671,482 Published Words
- PUBLISHED POSTS 653,745 Words
- PUBLISHED PAGES 17,737 Words
- 1,517 Words (AVERAGE PER POST)
- 709 Words (AVERAGE PER PAGE)
Sure my chosen topic is relatively narrow niche, and I write about other things apart from Samoa but my commitment is strong. I get feedback from people who care, who know Samoa and whom I respect. They encourage me when they let it be known that I’m hitting nails on the head time after time.
2. The time is right.
I’ve given many people many chances to sort their sh*t out and fix any problems. The key players have had ample warnings. Leaving it any longer before speaking out doesn’t or won’t be likely to achieve anything.
On a personal level I’d like to marry local and engage with the Samoan culture a little deeper. It’s better for me to bring the thing out into the open now, so that any prospective wife and her family know full well what they would be getting themselves into [yes seriously, I mean it!].
My application for Permanent Residency/Citizenship may take ages to process (if at all!) and I’ve held off publication of “A little Slice of Paradise” for two years hoping to give Samoans a chance to fix the problems constructively – not to be!
3. The whole thing is also right.
It’s the best thing for Samoa in the long run to get this corruption thing all out into the open.
Every year that goes by with the continuing nonsense going totally unreported, covered up and so on is yet another year of pain. Legion are people who come here, invest into something or some relationship and find out that things are not quite what they seem. So many have lost the shirt off their backs and scurry away into the distance without talking about it.
The little people are hurting as a result. I know that I can do something meaningful to help them. I hurt when somebody else hurts.
Some Final Considerations
I’m not out to ‘get’ the government – I’m non-partisan.
Likewise with individuals. If they want to sit down and talk, and fix the problems that they’ve created, I’m always up for it.
I want to facilitate Foreign Investment into Samoa, but not through deceptive means. I want investors to know the truth – or certainly to have access to the truth prior to their investing.
What I am doing is a strategic move – speaking the truth out like I am depowers evil. It breaks the power of fear that pervades Samoan society.
What others do as a result of my writing is up to them, but I do this also because, unlike many here, I CAN!
In 2016, I will make the website available for others to tell their stories and if they want it, provide a support service to those on the tail end of Corruption.
Thanks for swinging by here today.
Corruption in Samoa - The BookBanning The Blogger
The Human Cost
Corruption in Samoa - Tuila'epa
Chapter 1. Contents
Chapter 2. Preface
Chapter 3. Introduction
Chapter 4. Prologue
Chapter 5. On the Nature of Corruption
Chapter 6. Political - Central Government
a) Samoa Tourism Authority
b) Samoa Land Corporation
c) Samoan Police
d) Ombudsman of Samoa
e) The Prime Minister
Chapter 7. Political - Local Government (Matai System)
Chapter 8. Religion
Chapter 9. NGOs
Chapter 10. Fourth Estate - Samoa Observer
Chapter 11. Individuals
Chapter 12. Exposing Samoan Corruption
Chapter 13. The Solution
Chapter 14. The Prime Minister Responds
Chapter 15. The Author
- Samoan Defamation & Corruption
- Blogger Banned from Samoa – Analysis
- The Human Cost of Samoan Pride
- Letters to Tuila’epa – Palemia.com
- Hating on Samoa
- Corruption in Samoa – What To Do
- Corruption in Samoa – PM’s Mistress
- Tuila’epa’s Assassination Complicity
- Corruption in Samoa – Investment Impact
ALL Samoa Files (back to 2009!):