Hot on the heels of publishing my 2015 book Corruption in Samoa, comes a new website and more books, this time drilling down into the life and conduct of Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuila’epa. This post announces www.palemia.com – a series of letters published online and collated into booklet format that reveal “the other side” of Tui’s reign as Samoa’s Palemia. My letters are brutally honest, fearless and will cut through the political mumbo-jumbo that pervades Samoan sensitivities. Do I opine my opinionated, opinion? Indeed! Is it PC? Certainly not!
I know the Samoan Prime Minister well . . . VERY well. He’s a coward and a crook; a hypocrite and a fraud; a disgrace and an utter embarrassment to the Samoan people.
My website www.palemia.com contains this teaching and more, spoken directly to the ‘big man’ in a way that doesn’t pull any punches. There’s a good time and place for diplomacy and respecting Samoan sensibilities. That time has now passed.
Palemia, is Samoan for Prime Minister.
Tuila’epa is an aging man at the top of the game of politics in Samoa for a decade and a half, and he’s cemented his position politically very well. Exceedingly well in fact. They call him a dictator, corrupt and worse over there, but they hide behind pseudonyms when they speak their minds, and they really do fear his power, and for good reason. He is King Kong. The reason for this fear is that Samoans with power ALL use it, of that I can assure you!
My website www.palemia.com seeks no personal gain. I’m not a politician and have been removed from Samoan society so have no reason to seek his removal from office. If I wanted something from him I would have ‘played the game’, and would never have written the book Corruption in Samoa.
I do however wish the truth to get out there.
Tuila’epa is skilled as a politician, the master of a forked tongue, and a man whom those outside of the Samoan islands simply don’t know or understand. He’s not a complex man . . . he’s simply a Samoan politician. He sits at the top of the power-system in Samoa; listens to everyone all day; reads the speeches that his people write for him at openings of buildings, churches and businesses; he meets and greets the multitudes that come to him to ask for things (generally says, “Yes, yes, yes!” and does none of it) then presents the story that he wants the people to believe on the local radio & TV. In between all of that, he covers for a steady stream of his cronies who have been caught with their pants down, or hand in the till. He’ll also cover up for those who he knows hate him too if they bow to him and ask him. Funny eh?
Occasionally though a bit of excitement will pop-up – like a Palagi blogger who swung by his way in 2009, who stuck it out for seven years up there, and now has the gossip about him and his “close” and ‘inappropriate’ relationship with his CEO of Tourism.
In recent times, Tuila’epa has brought the meme that Samoa is Founded Upon God from the country’s Constitution Preamble into the Constitution itself, thus ensuring that by law we all know that Samoa is a Christian country. Yeah right! First, they can’t even work out whether their Christianity is (Tell me . . . is it the Catholic or Protestant version?) and then they can’t work out if His name is Jehovah, Mormon LDA, SDA, EFKS, CCCC, Methodist, Assemblies or whatever; nor even can their SDAs up there (who are usually the experts in this matter) which day of the week is the Sabbath (as if that even matters) beacuse some of their SDA’s worship on a Saturday and some on a Sunday. Yup you read that right!
Fortunately some of us are not confused and can see through this sort of nonsense. The Jesus I know, love and serve is the one in the Bible who totally ignored the politicians of the day like Tuila’epa and got on with loving, helping and teaching the little people who politicians and the religious leaders bleed off. He most CERTAINLY didn’t claim to convert an entire country into the equivalent of witchdoctors and then crow about it, like the Big Man of Samoa has done! The choicest words of condemnation He kept back for society’s leaders as I have towards the man that Samoans love to hate.
On my new website I explain how in my first couple of years living in Samoa, Tui (as he asked me to call him) helped us to get established, then ripped us off, then got all “ansy” when he read my book Corruption in Samoa. It wasn’t the corruption parts he got all tichy about – he can handle that very well – he has lots of practice and covering up . . . no it was when I mentioned the thing that can never be mentioned up there, well a person actually, and his [ahem!] “close” relationship with her.
I explain in all the gory detail on the Palemia.com website how the PM was too much of a coward to front up to me when I told him I’d leave if he wanted me to . . . then (as Minister of Immigration) declared me a Prohibited Immigrant and then had his people secretly inform the airlines, then trick and lie and break their own laws to get rid of me, even though they admitted that I was in Samoa on a valid visitor’s permit! Hah! What a bunch of losers!
Sure it hurt getting ripped away from my Samoan wife and family. I would have preferred to actually say good-bye to a whole bunch of people and packed a couple of things to bring back to New Zealand but Samoans are a bit like that – they can get a little nasty when you p*ss them off.
That I certainly did, to the Palemia!
One can recover mostly from a total loss of everything I owned by starting again, but I can do that with my head up, because while I may be a prickly character at times, I value integrity and I shoot straight. Tuila’epa though doesn’t, and now the cat is out of the bag.
Still, life carries on and the sun shines in both Samoa and New Zealand so it can’t be too bad.
Tuila’epa is and has been the top-dog in Samoan politics for a long time. He presents himself as Mr Clean; a statesman; above reproach. He’s not and corruption has gotten a lot worse up there on his watch.
In Samoa he is widely disliked for his arrogance and corruption, specifically his hypocrisy. Outside of Samoa he is not well known or understood, but many ex-pat Samoans either despise him or at the least do not trust him. It’s hard for them to speak honestly though because Samoan culture requires that their leaders are honoured and respected. They are also subject to extraordinary social pressures that come down through the Samoan power structures and are thus afraid of the consequences of speaking out.
I’m not a Samoan and I have no fear.
www.palemia.com is now live.
Enjoy it, because I’m certain that he won’t.