BOOK REVIEW: Palemia: Tuila’epa Memoirs

Palemia – [Prime Minister] Tuila’epa’s Memoirs – out June 2017

Samoa’s Prime Minister has finally done it; published his memoirs. Due out in June 2017, I preview the book, knowing the man somewhat (having crossed swords with him when I lived in Samoa) as well as knowing the people and culture of Samoa. I also share what will NOT be in it, basically the contents of my book, Corruption in Samoa!

Talamua lets us in on the ‘secret’ leaked out by Apia’s Victoria University Press today. Palemia is the Samoan Palemia’s Memoirs.

Pālemia tells the story of how a boy from an isolated village grew up to become Prime Minister of Samoa. It follows his journey from Lepā to Apia, Wellington, Brussels, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, London, New York and many other international destinations, always returning to Lepā and the Fa‘asamoa that shaped him.

I know the PM’s village Lepa well having been there many times with guests and trying to run a village stay at the top of the hill. I also know the PM’s history pretty well too. He’s told me a bit over the time we spent together.

Fa’a Samoa is the “Samaon way”.

There is only one way to really understand the Prime Minister of Samoa, Tuila’epa, and you can do this without reading more than this question and thinking a little . . . “what does he do?”

Tuila’epa is a politician. Politicians play politics the world over exactly the same. In Samoa he is at the top of the political tree and Samoa is well recognised as a country with endemic corruption, many claiming that it has gotten worse. Tuila’epa has been in power coming up two decades. ‘Nuff said. Work it out.

Tuila’epa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi is Samoa’s longest-serving Prime Minister. His premiership has been marked by political and economic crises, natural disasters, regional tensions and local challenges.

His local command over politics is strong and he has strengthened it substantially to the point that opposition in Samoa has virtually ceased. Even the supposed voice of the Fourth Estate, Samoa Observer’s Sano Malifa has buckled to the politics of top man with all the power. The only real challenges Palemia faces are internal . . . oh and one rogue anonymous blogger “O le Palamia” who they are trying to find, but unsuccessfully!

Tuila’epa’s political career started during turbulent times but has resulted in an unprecedented period of political stability and economic development through his leadership in modernising the economy, improving education and health and reducing poverty in Samoa.

There are many people that make things happen in a country. The Prime Minister sits at the top of the tree and takes the credit when he wants. The truth is that under his watch many good things have happened, BUT the hidden sides are ugly. Corruption is one quite visible but the huge debt that he has saddled his country with must go down as his personal responsibility. When I lived there the debt was over a billion dollars and growing. It can never and will never be paid off.

By my best estimates Samoa lost its real sovereignty around 2000 when the man at the helm took over. Political stability is presented ad nauseum by those with vested interests. Samoan politics is a cesspit of corruption and intrigue. Stability comes from control – NOT because Samoa is any different to the rest of the world. In many ways it’s actually worse, because they present things pretty on and to the outside! That’s just the Samoan culture coming through, though.

Pālemia captures the voice, documents the life, and places in context a record of the most significant Samoan political leader of this generation, and contains many useful insights into the social, cultural and economic development of Samoa and the wider Pacific region.

To my eyes, Samoa is pretty much an outcast in the Pacific. Fiji pretty much ignores it. Tonga does as well. A few tiny islands rely on it. It’s comparatively expensive to stay there and even guests who do go there rarely return. There’s a reason for that. The people and the culture are the lure. They are also the reason that many won’t return. New Zealand and Australia tolerate Samoa and give it rats and mice, making a big deal about what they do give and help with, but really Samoa is a non-starter – certainly when it relates to things in Samoa. Ex-pats however are the exception – as I often say, “anyone who has some get-up-and-go has got up and gone!”

Fiji has made huge gains since Tuila’epa’s pet hate nemesis Frank took over. Samoa’s sporting prowess and capacity to export its people aside, Samoa stands in turn to get reducing handouts from Australia and New Zealand. Development for the elite, as always, has remained strong and the infrastructure too has been building well but extract the government and its payroll and the country would cease to register in many areas. Debt; debt and more debt.

‘In collaboration with Peter Swain, a superb conveyer of information, Tuila’epa narrates his entry into politics and his rise to power. The book is a fascinating biography and provides a stimulating, thoughtful, original and authoritative perspective on Samoan political life – from the inside.’ Professor Stephen Levine.

OMG . . . Tui on Tui! I look forward to the “authoritative” aspects of it. I strongly suspect that there are large and important sectors of Samoan life omitted!

I spent many hours with Tuila’epa when I first moved to Samoa. I was the new Palagi kid on the block and it suited us both to engage meaningfully. He wanted to spend time with me and to suck my ideas as well as to suss me out. Samoans do that. I too found it an honour [at first] to be welcomed by the Palemia of Samoa, but the gloss didn’t take more than a couple of years to wear off. Summarised, I spoke of the future; Tui only spoke of the past, mainly about himself and his exploits.

In the early days I suggested many things to which he agreed to quite a lot. I even suggested that I write his memoirs. He agreed and gave me authority to use a photo that his personal photographer had taken. I suggested that he develop a personal website. He agreed and we modeled it on John Key’s. Like with much of the big man’s talk though, neither happened – until now anyway with this book and Peter Swain’s involvement!

Peter Swain has spent much of the last 25 years managing development programmes throughout the island nations of the Pacific, and was International Programme Manager for Volunteer Service Abroad New Zealand. Dr Swain has written extensively on the Pacific and is an Honorary Research Associate in Development Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. He is married to Luamanuvao Winnie Laban.

. . . and a Samoan, which makes him rather biased and probably unable to provide any critical commentary, so I’ll fulfill that role. . .

Palemia is a good title. It captures the essence of the subject, but there is a lot more to the ‘Big Man’ than he will ever let on. Samoan’s are divided over Tuila’epa. Those that live by principle or who live offshore generally can’t stand him but those that are on the gravy-train may loathe him (mainly for his arrogance) but in a small island country they have no choice. Cross him, and like me, you’re a goner.

I wrote the book Corruption in Samoa. Only two people on the planet have read it thus far – Tuila’epa and my 88 year old father – both because they asked to read it. Dad said it read well and was “your [my] story”, fair enough!. The Palemia though saw red, insulted me and threatened legal action if I published. “You’ve got a lot to learn about Samoa!” the big man said patronisingly.

“Oh no, no, no Tui. I know all about Samoa now (having lived and survived there for half a decade) and it’s you who has a lot to learn about me!” was my caustic reply. “And I will be publishing too!” I warned.

Fast forward and Palemia got me booted out of the country once and for all – prohibited immigrant. He had to lie, break the law, resort to trickery and get his lap-dogs to do the dirty work for him but in the end, I did get booted out of Samoa – blogger got banned! There’s a whole big story relating to this which goes right up to the top. It will all come out in due course but the real point of this story for now is that the Prime Minister had not a worry in the world about the corruption that I identified in half a dozen government departments . . . he handles that sort of thing all day and every day with aplomb. Ignore, obfuscate, postpone, commence a report or an investigation, blah, blah, blah.

What he couldn’t handle though was the chapter that included his ‘inappropriate’ relationship with one of his CEO’s. That really got him REALLY peeved, and clearly worried . . . hence my unplanned and permanent departure from Samoa in September 2016! You see, while most in Samoa know about this ‘naughtiness’, they also know that if they talk about it; they’re toast, so they can’t, and don’t.

You won’t find those details in this book, I can assure you. Fortunately Corruption in Samoa has it all!

Samoa needs some international positive press . . . after John Campbell’s expose of the missing Tsunami relief funds and Australia media’s write up of the danger to tourists from a repeat prison escapee who raped and robbed a young couple in a premium treehouse resort, Tuila’epa’s book Palemia should do some good in the PR stakes for the little islands. It needs it.

In some ways it’s a pity that my book Corruption in Samoa is being published around the same time but things happen that way sometimes eh?

A bit of Yin.

Now some Yang.

 

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Comments

  1. Interesting reading and hope OLP will publish his version too. It’s the only way to fairly expose corruption and naughty leaders in offices.

    • I think that OLP has raised awareness and has some good points. If he is located in Samoa he will have problems because they will get to him. The Palemia did me a favour by exporting me as I can now speak freely and frankly outside of his direct sphere of influence. Thank you for commenting.

  2. Dennis,sounds like you don’t like the fa’asamoa way. Samoa has legal system just like any other country in the world. If you are not happy about something affecting you, your family or your property you can always use the legal system in Samoa to win back what you might have lost. Do you understand the Matai system of doing things in Samoa? It has its up and down but in the end it all work out well for the benefit of all Samoans now and forever. Politics and politician is a worldwide annoyance for citizens of countries and nation of the world. It agitates some who seems cannot figure out still that the world is round not flat. Or let me put it this way if you are not use to live in a different environment or climate than you use to for the most part of your life it is very vey hard from your point of view to make a fair judgment against or towards your intended target whether it be a person, an object, a group or a system.

    • Malo lava Kava

      > Dennis,sounds like you don’t like the fa’asamoa way.

      You are wrong. I lived in rural Samoa for seven years and absolutely love Fa’asamoa in its purest form. It is one of the [if not THE] closest cultures to the biblical directions for healthy, godly living. What is wrong and ungodly however is not Fa’asamoa per se, it is the greed and self-interest that drives people within the system.

      > Samoa has legal system just like any other country in the world.

      No, sorry, Kava, you misrepresent reality here by over-simplifying matters. Samoa has THREE legal systems – the Palgi/Westminster-styled legal system of central government upon which independence in 1962 was based; the religious legal system headed by the faifeaus and the Matai legal system which is the traditional form of local government. All three intertwine and make up the fabric of justice in Samoa.

      > If you are not happy about something affecting you, your family or your property you can always use the legal system in Samoa to win back what you might have lost.

      You clearly do not understand reality Kava. First, it is a happy day in any culture if justice & the legal system coincide! Secondly Samoa has different rules for different people. You are clearly not a Palagi so you would find this hard to understand. I have also not shared my circumstances with the world yet, suffice to say that I am very familiar with Samoan legal processes!

      > Do you understand the Matai system of doing things in Samoa?

      Yes

      > It has its up and down but in the end it all work out well for the benefit of all Samoans now and forever.

      I’m not a Samoan

      > Politics and politician is a worldwide annoyance for citizens of countries and nation of the world. It agitates some who seems cannot figure out still that the world is round not flat.

      If this comment is directed at me then you cause offence. I know and understand politics VERY well having closely followed and enjoyed its rough and tumble in both NZ and Samoa for more than four decades. Note that it was a political leader who put Christ to death. Christ though stood his ground and spoke truth to the end, though it cost Him His life. He did it for us. It was also a political leader who broke his own laws and banished me from Samoa. I’m not the Saviour but I too will stand my ground and speak the truth. I do it, like Christ did it, ‘for the little people’. The people who really know me are petrified of what I say and do (if they are crooked), and they love me (if they are straight) because I represent things that they desperately cry out for – like truth, and justice, and hope.

      > Or let me put it this way if you are not use to live in a different environment or climate than you use to for the most part of your life it is very vey hard from your point of view to make a fair judgment against or towards your intended target whether it be a person, an object, a group or a system.

      So, for the record Kava, I sold everything I owed and emmigrated to Samoa and lived off my capital the entire time. I lived there and gave sacrificially for seven years. I married a Samoan with three children, established and continue to run a charitable trust, the SWAP Foundation; I developed and ran the Samoa Village Stay programme for seven years taking hundreds of Palagi guests into the remotest parts of rural Samoa and lived and taught Fa’asamoa on a five acre plantation in Aleisa that I developed from scratch with my bare hands. In many ways I am more Samoan at heart than many Samoans, especially those who have taken on the Palagi ways. Being intelligent and fearless, and having done this Kava, I am particularly experienced, capable, justified and well-resourced to speak of the things I do.

      Thank you for commenting here however it is clear that you have taken a stance that I am a Palagi unjustified in criticising something precious to you. I’ve written this here to inform, not to condemn, in the hope that others who read may realise the reality. I have well over 1 million words of blogging, much to do with the Samoan culture seen from a Christian world-view. Perhaps you should read a little of it?

      You will note that my book reviews here relate to Jesus. the Palemia and the 9-11 events, with another on Media Journalism in NZ. I am an investigative blogger. I have no “intended target” other than to speak the truth as I find it. None of this does not preclude me from speaking ill of your leader a man whom I know and understand VERY, VERY well. My skin colour or country of birth are irrelevant.

      Thank you for understanding.

    • Asipau Pamela Tafua says:

      Blah! Blah! Blah! This excuse for corruption in Samoa has gotten very old and lame. Call aduck a duck & please refrain from rolling out our Samoan Culture to sugarcoat sin. Tuilaepa and the likes of him have used, abused & defecated on our sacred SSamoan Cultural Traditions taadvance their personal agendas for over 30 years. Those are the decades of the Samoa, the damaged Samoa, witnessed here.

      • “Sugarcoating sin” I like that!

        I have reservations about viewing the traditional Samoan culture as sacred per se. There are certainly many aspects of Samoan culture that dovetail into the biblical model beautifully, and indeed much of what I have taught over the years is that the Matai and semi-communal living arrangements are indeed godly, but there are huge holes that invite ungodliness – the balance of communal vs personal responsibility for example is totally skewed off Jesus’ teaching and example in Samoan culture. I think you are dead right to talk about Tuila’epa’s agendas and abuses but while I see him as a coward and a crook there are many aspects to his leadership that were and are well-meaning. Understand this . . . he’s a politician isn’t he? He’s an economist isn’t he? He’s a Catholic too? What does that all mean? Integrity? Creativity? Godliness? I doubt it! I think people expect a little too much of their political leaders. Sure they abuse their power but the people gave it to them!

        What is critical in my opinion is that the little people, you, me, do the right thing day by day according to the Lord. If we do THAT then He promises that he’ll do the honourable thing and deal with the sinners who rule us.

        Thank you so much for commenting here Asipau.

  3. Hi Dennis,I wish to purchase a copy of your book Corruption in Samoa.

    • Hi Ms T
      It will be available free online late May 2017.

      • Maua Faleauto says:

        Dennis looking forward to reading your book as an essential alternative historical record of a nation in crisis.

        • Faafetai Maua. I appreciate your bothering to comment here.

          I will be publishing Corruption in Samoa online, free in May. It will initially run as a series of blog posts and then be available as a downloadable PDF.

          Yes, Samoa is a nation in crisis but it is not only the Palemia who enables that crisis – nor is it just the politicians and civil servants around him who perpetuate the corruption – it is the people too. I know this is hard to hear and offensive to the Samoan pride and sensibilities to say this, but in my seven years living, loving, teaching and giving in Samoa I found only one person that I could truly trust. The bible says that “the people get the leadership they deserve”. The day the people’s abhorrence of the greed, self-interest & corruption that pervades Samoa exceeds their own desire to control others for self, corruption will disappear. One thing you can be certain of is that it won’t be happening on Tuila’epa’s watch. The situation will get worse – much worse before there is any chance that things will improve. I suspect that this will take a generation or maybe even two for the crisis to fully unfold.

          You use the words “alternative historical record”. “Alternative to what?” I ponder. Deception is a tool of evil. Politicians the world over deceive for political purposes. In Tuila’epa’s case his deception over an inappropriate relationship with one of his CEOs is the central matter of my eviction and banning from Samoa. I don’t see myself as presenting an “alternative” for I don’t really listen to his rhetoric. I simply share my experiences, stating the truth as I see it and know it. I also think that most Samoans know in their heart of hearts who he really is. They just join the gravy-train because it’s the easiest thing to do to get ahead in their society.

          • Seeker of Truth says:

            Would you be able to name the only one person you trusted in Samoa?
            He/She is a precious trophy in Samoa.
            One of the things we all learn very quickly in Samoa is to know the difference between “respect” and “trust” I try my best to “respect” and “show respect” to everyone.
            But when it comes to “trust” you have to choose very wisely.
            To respect someone means to admire someone deeply because of their abilities, qualities, or achievements even all their faults and weaknesses.
            To trust someone means to believe in the reliability, truth, or ability of a person and this is very hard to find in Samoa. But there is always hope in Samoa because we all can improve ourselves.

          • Hi Keith

            > Would you be able to name the only one person you trusted in Samoa?

            No, sorry. It is not appropriate. The rest of Samoa will kill them! It is far better for people not to be seen to associate with me.

            > He/She is a precious trophy in Samoa.

            Agreed. Unusual, but even they betrayed me when the pressure came on them at the end. I knew and understand that pressure though so I didn’t take it personally.

            > One of the things we all learn very quickly in Samoa is to know the difference between “respect” and “trust” I try my best to “respect” and “show respect” to everyone. But when it comes to “trust” you have to choose very wisely.

            Yes you are totally correct Keith. All Samoans know this very well too . . . they generally demonstrate grace, honour & respect to all when they are on show, but they trust no-one, at all, in many cases including their own families – and for very good reason too. One of the keys to learning about trust in Samoa is to learn HOW to trust in the Samoan context, not to seek trustworthiness as we know it in the West. More on this next.

            > To respect someone means to admire someone deeply because of their abilities, qualities, or achievements even all their faults and weaknesses.

            Well, yes, this is a PART of it but misses the essence of Samoan respect. In Samoa, respect is an aspect of the culture; it is the ‘done thing’ . . . thus long words of diplomacy and the fudging of the truth so as not to cause offence; the deference to age or title or (as you say here). Rarely does the natural heart-based respect that we know and live with in the Western society over-ride the Samoan cultural influences in Samoa. This is not nit-picking, it is a vital aspect to understanding the cross-cultural challenges – respect is primarily a cultural thing and what you refer to here comes secondary, if at all.

            > To trust someone means to believe in the reliability, truth, or ability of a person and this is very hard to find in Samoa.

            You are again correct Keith in both your definition and your diagnosis of trust in Samoa BUT and again, sorry to be so direct here [but I know you can take it] you don’t understand the cross-cultural differences in regards to trust. Trust in the West means that we speak the truth and can be relied upon to honour our word. Samoans consider trust to be more akin to loyalty, thus they will lie to cover for their family or chief or culture. They MUST obey their superior thus WILL break their word without flinching is they have to. Sure, there is now a grey area with Westernised Samoans increasing but we Palagi can usually always say with absolute accuracy that we cannot trust a Samoan, in Samoa, because from our perspective that’s reality. Likewise a Samoan naturally does not trust a Palagi because they think that they cannot know or understand Fa’asamoa, hence the issues that I encountered across Samoa in the 7 years I was there. What the Palagi needs to do is identify what, how, when and in what circumstances and for what purpose we CAN trust someone in Samoa. THAT then gives us the wisdom to engage cross-culturally and meaningfully at that.

            > But there is always hope in Samoa because we all can improve ourselves.

            No, sorry Keith, you are wrong here and you should know better. Nobody can improve themselves. With increased faith we can CHOOSE to act in obedience to the Master but as individuals we are all corrupted beyond our capacity to redeem. There is NO hope for Samoa until individuals one after the other after the other CHOOSE consciously to speak out and to pay the price for sharing the truth. It takes sacrifice to achieve something meaningful and from what I’ve seen all giving and all sacrifice is culturally based, for show or for self. In this regard, I like what the blogger O Le Palemia (http://www.palemia.com/o-le-palemia/) is doing. Unfortunately he is hiding his identity, most likely because he does not want to pay the price of losing his job or being lynched or cast out of his family/village or even Samoa. I understand this but until people like him actually start paying the price like I did and have, then the corruption will continue to rule. In some ways I regret that the Palemia didn’t have me done away with up there because it would have shown the world what is actually happening up there – my illegal eviction was a cop-out on his part. When they get to O Le Palemia, and they will eventually, watch what happens. Then if it is as bad as many fear, the dam of frustration with corruption in Samoa could burst and become unstoppable. Who knows other than the One who knows the future?

            Thanks for commenting here again. You’ve raised important issues.

      • Faafetai Dennis. Looking forward to it.

  4. Emma Maumasi says:

    Wow very interesting. Freedom of speech is indeed a good thing!!!

    • Faafetai Emma
      Freedom brings responsibility though doesn’t it? Is that not what God gave us at the outset – the freedom to choose? I am noted (by those that matter to me in Samoa) for being willing to pay the price for speaking the truth. My banning is simply one of many things that I can share! This willingness to pay the price is unusual in the Samoan context for all know full well how power works. Those with power use it, this is only natural, but it is when they defend their actions when abused that they err . . . the Palemia is the current case in point. I like the fact that he is publishing his memoirs. I think it is good for him to tell the world what is important to him. I also like the fact that I too can write about and share the parts that will be missing from his book! I think this will balance his puff-piece well. Yes, freedom of speech is a good thing, indeed.

      • Asipau Pamela Tafua says:

        Thank you Dennis.

        • I want to say, “A pleasure, Asipau!” unfortunately I can’t. Publishign this book has been a VERY costly exercise for it has cost me everything I own and then some. I have lost seven years hard labour in Samoa, my Samoan wife and three children, and the capacity to come and go from a country and people that I care for. I would have liked to have been able to say goodbye to the many people I came to know and appreciate. I would have liked to look the old Man in the eyes one last time to see him squirm like the coward he is. I wished that I at least had the opportunity to say goodbye to my dogs and eat one of my pigs (yes I know it sounds crazy, but that’s what life is like in Samoa . . . your priorities change). You thank me for doing what I did telling the world the truth about Samoa and I think this is appropriate. I appreciate those thanks, sadly attempting to rebuild my life back in New Zealand with and from nothing. Remember though that there are 180,000 Samoans who have a Coward and a crook as their leader. They too are hurting as it all comes out.

          Thank you for your post.

  5. Christopher Gordon says:

    After staying with Dennis as a backpacker in 2013 with people from all over the world and discussing all things Samoan and also living and experiencing life in Samoa I will be looking forward to this book. Dennis succeeded in bringing people together in a foreign land and giving them meaningful experiences, something few people can and ever will do. All this goodwill that he was creating was ultimately undone by jealous and petty government officials who do not actually care about the people of Samoa. Your story is a story worth telling and a story few people have the authority to tell.

    • Thank you for your comments in support Christopher which are a pleasant surprise for me.
      > After staying with Dennis as a backpacker in 2013 with people from all over the world and discussing all things Samoan and also living and experiencing life in Samoa I will be looking forward to this book.
      Great!

      > Dennis succeeded in bringing people together in a foreign land and giving them meaningful experiences, something few people can and ever will do.
      Bl**dy hard work to be quite frank! Enjoyable in many ways but not easy and having high costs. Not for the faint hearted, that’s for sure!
      While hundreds have experienced the Samoan culture as a result of my labours while I lived in Samoa and many more via this blog it wasn’t so much that I changed the world that I claim credit for [Samoans are extraordinarily resistant to change] it is more that I did what I believed was right at the time. I sold up and went; I spoke, lived and did what I believed the Lord wanted me to do, and have a clean conscience as a result. I would also note that while you enjoyed or appreciated your experiences there, not all guests did. Again, human nature being what it is, reality is not always appreciated. Too many a guest wanted to believe the marketing spin and found the “Paradise bubble” bursting a little painful.

      > All this goodwill that he was creating was ultimately undone by jealous and petty government officials who do not actually care about the people of Samoa.
      Yes true. Your analysis notes self-interest. This is greed manifested and it is ALWAYS the little people who pay the price for the excesses of their leaders. For those of us who value integrity, justice, love and truth, it rips our heart out doesn’t it?

      > Your story is a story worth telling and a story few people have the authority to tell.
      I think so Christopher too. I have to balance the desire for retribution against those who destroyed for personal reasons which I can assure you exists, with the sensitivity and wisdom needed when saying things and sharing things that are likely to embarrass and affect an entire nation and people-group across the planet. The biggie of course is the Palemia’s ‘inappropriate’ relationship with one of his CEO’s. His claim that “Samoa is Founded upon God” and that he is appointed BY God combined with his self-appointed role to lead his people morally makes a mockery of it all. His authority is political and passing in nature. He has bought his authority to speak through political maneuvers. Mine is through doing the hard yards and sacrifice. Your observation is astute. My words, I think, do have an authority simply because I’ve been there and done that! Cheers and thanks for commenting here. Much appreciated.

  6. Gukuoso says:

    It sounds like Tui has singlehandedly done a demolition job on our poor people. As I’ve learned much about Tui and his cohorts over the last few years, the missing tsunami funds, SRU fundraising funds, passports to Chinese nationals, I have now come to the conclusion that we, have a VAMPIRE as PM. He is drunk on the blood of the sufferers who, for many, still don’t have running water or electricity. I’m a quietly proud Samoan who is still recovering from shock and shame following his 60 Minutes interview about the rape of an Australian woman holidaying with her husband in Samoa. Unbelievable stupidity of the highest order. Malo lava le loto toa Dennis, e talitonu lava e le fefe le mea moni e tautala. I can only convey my sympathies to the nasty way in which you were ripped apart from your family in Samoa. This also reminded me of some cases of the indentured Chinese labourers who were forcibly removed from Samoa at the expiry of their contracts, even though they had wives and children, back to China under the British rules of the time. Just cruel! Looking forward to your instalments of Corruption in Samoa. Cheers mate!

    • Thank you for responding Gukuoso. The Palemia struggles with some things – he doesn’t understand Western sensitivities and thus brings his Samoan politics, humour and expectations into an interview such as this. I blogged about this at the time (http://www.dennis.co.nz/2016/07/more-tuilaepa-media-gaffs/) and it was embarrassing in the extreme. He should never do international interviews – period. The fact that he banned me is not widely known and the circumstances are not yet known at all except by a few on the inside. When it gets out over the next 13 days as I publish the details, right thinking people across the globe will shudder at the Palemia’s cowardice and downright evil. Make no mistake about this, Tui has broken his own laws and it can be proven that he as Minister did the dirty deed. Expect lies, deception and every trick in the book, but the truth from me, here! Your understanding of how crooked things actually are in Samoan political leadership has clearly grown as you’ve researched and it will do so even more as you read what’s in the book and my direct letters to the Palemia on my dedicated website http://www.palemia.com. Sadly racism, corruption and a leader attempting to cover for his sins when about to be exposed are the reality up there. So, so very embarrassing for the Samoan people, I believe. An utter disgrace!

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