A week prior to the scheduled publication of this book and website, I delivered an electronic copy to the Prime Minister for his perusal.
29 May 2015
Dennis A. Smith
Thanks for copying me with your draft. There are numerous inaccurate and defamatory statements in your draft based on your very superficial and/or lack of understanding on the workings of the Government and the customs of Samoa. As it stands, your baseless allegations will open you to defamatory actions in Court. Indeed small knowledge is dangerous knowledge. I will elaborate more next Tuesday – Enjoy the Independent celebrations – Cheers!
It should be noted that I had sought a response from him prior to the publication date (1st June 2015), and that his promise to respond later was a professional response – not a delaying tactic as it might appear on the surface.
His detailed reply was:
9 June 2015
Dennis A. Smith
I promised to come back on your draft story of Paradise
You will recall way back my suggestion that you meet with an American Hotelier in XXX and I activated an invitation for you to attend and talk to the American who has been in Samoa for a long time who learned and understood the culture.
In suggesting this my attention was for you to learn from another European how he coped and understood. You have a lot to learn
After I saw what you wanted to do at Satapuala, I felt that you had something good to offer to Samoans. That was why I tried to help you and I went out of my way to come and settle your differences with the first Landlord who informed me that you were an accomplished liar. And the reason that he disliked you was that you did not pay your rent as you both agreed.
I began to believe that Satapuala chief when SLC copied me with your rent arrears reminders.
Several of the overseas people you brought to Samoa in yoru program also ended up in my office complaining.
You, like many overseas people who came for help do not understand how Governments operate. Ministers are only involved on policies. Public Servants implement policies – they are the technicians, graduates with degrees. When I direct my CEOs to give help, the unspoken understanding is whatever help that is given must follow Government processes and policies of accountability and transparency. CEOs have the right to use their common sense and judgement. You, like many others think wrongly that once I agree to direct my CEO to help – that help is given regardless, No! If after CEOs examine a proposal she/he thinks it was not necessary, they advise me of their decisions.
Your story is full of defamatory allegations which will expose you to court actions. It is up to you to decide – but I am telling you that your draft is full of bull….
I replied to the Prime Minister thus:
Thank you for responding to the draft of Corruption In Samoa.
1. The book went live online at the scheduled time and date that was broadcast months in advance being midday 1 June 2015. I did not receive any reply from you, although I understand now from your staff that you did but they failed to forward it to me. I have suspended the website temporarily as an act of goodwill.
2. I consider your references to past events to be irrelevant. I’ve ignored those comments.
3. I counsel you that your faith in the words of a self-confessed proven liar with an obvious agenda to deceive, over a man of God with little reason to misrepresent such a minor matter should be a warning sign to you that you have or are starting to ‘lose the plot’. You also do not know the story behind SLC and neither does SLC either because they simply will not engage in a constructive manner with goodwill. They really want to take me to court and I will wait to state my case in court. In regards to making assessments on financial matters without the full information, I considered using the word foolish but my intent here is to inform you and teach you, not to aggravate you.
4. Your hint/threat of litigation is totally meaningless – even with your formal detailed response yesterday you STILL didn’t detail WHAT you have a problem with. I invite you to respond in detail and/or sue me – it will also help my book sales enormously. Better still, you could put my whistle-blower credibility through the roof if you had my immigration status ‘reviewed’. Be careful for I am an intelligent man and the contents of the book and the website are way more than just me mouthing off. I believe that in an atmosphere of goodwill it is my responsibility to get things right but that it is your responsibility to be specific on what you have a problem with.
5. Your formal written response is, in my opinion, inappropriate for a Prime Minister. Your words, attitude and quality of thought give me the impression of paternal, even condescending arrogance and are offensive.
6. You have a lot to learn about me and have totally misjudged my character, motives and intent. I am a capable, intelligent, committed and passionate man who has spent more than five years of his life committed to learning the intricacies of your culture. If there’s one thing about me Tui, it is that I ALWAYS ‘get it’ – always. It might take me some time but I always get there. After attending the American’s relaunch and birthday celebration I understood very well – thank you VERY much. Your error in judgement though is to assume today that because I am still a square peg in a round hole that I don’t know how to play the game. The reality, I venture to suggest, is because I am a square peg and will never become a round peg in this lifetime, that either the Lord has made a big mistake bringing me here or that He WANTS me to be a square peg in the land of round holes. You wouldn’t be the first to make this mistake but if you never ask me any questions and you lean on gossip from people with vested interests then you’ll never understand. I don’t blame you for I have hardly shared anything with you since the time that you shrugged your shoulders and palmed me off but things are different now three years on – very different.
7. The book and website represent a potentially very serious threat to the status quo and for people who have something to hide. It is a deliberate, well-planned, well-thought through, calculated online resource that will grow in time to have major influence in primarily the Samoan diaspora online (my constituency) but which will in due course affect the local political environment (your constituency) which is partly online but growing daily. Despite my pleading and teaching over five years you still have no idea of the power of the Internet when used intelligently. You will learn this though from the influence of [updated] www.Palemia.com – that I promise.
8. Strategically I am highly skilled in this area Tui and you will eventually learn the power that I have because I work hard and smart; I am fearless, have nothing to lose and understand how to use the Internet for a given purpose. The way I see it is that you have political power; are at the peak of your career and fear what man thinks. You thus have a lot to lose with a book and website like this. I on the other hand have nothing to lose, and have every opportunity ahead of me to build a career as an Internet strategist extraordinaire in Samoa. If there is a need in Samoan society for people to share their frustrations and someone comes along with an escape value [valve] then it doesn’t matter who that person is, the Samoan people will use that technology. It is my assessment that the topic of corruption (with primarily but not exclusively your people) has become red-hot and that Internet Samoan people-power is ready to flex its muscles. I believe (and it iss one of the reasons I have done this) that there is a market ready and waiting to vent, to let off steam and to do things differently. I have scheduled the interactive aspects of thewww.CorruptionInSamoa.com website for 2016, however I can bring them forward OR push them out to the end of 2016 depending on outside events. I can also respond ultra-quickly, literally, within an hour.
9. I respectfully suggest that it is in your best interest to engage with me meaningfully in which case I can help you, specifically with advance notice of politically sensitive material, an outlet for your side of stories and in other political and personal ways. I know that this may not appeal to you, so I accept that you may simply choose to ignore me or enter into a conflict situation – as you said to me, but too late to have any meaning, “it is up to you to decide”. It’s not too late for you though.
I confirmed with the Prime Minister’s secretary that he did received this message of reply and copied him a revised draft of this book (Ver 1.06), and apart from the addition of this chapter, have gone to press with it virtually unchanged. [UPDATE 1 June 2017, now Ver 2.01 containing contact detail changes & minor spelling & grammar corrections]
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!):