Ole Palemia (OLP) has been taking it to Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuila’epa now for long enough that he’s become a cult figure. “Corrupt Tuila’epa” as OLP constantly calls him is worried, and for good reason too. The people know OLP’s on the nail. Clearly well connected in the police, this anonymous Samoan blogger has been spilling the beans in one corrupt country. He is now the target of a serious manhunt by the Samoan Powers That Be, and the catalyst for threatened draconian law changes, back to the days of criminalising defamation. That means the threat of jail if you say the ‘wrong’ thing. Here’s my take on the situation developing in Paradise (not).
Prime Minister Tuila’epa is King Kong in Samoa. He appoints, oversees and manages all positions of power. The churches are a little out to one side; the High Chiefs too, but while they jockey among themselves for the scraps, they all know who it means when the nod comes “from the top”. Samoans know how to secure and use power instinctively. At all levels of society from children to the top, they know all about power.
Tui is the top dog, politically astute and has spent the almost two decades as top dog cementing his power. My take on him is that he is quiet, ruthlessness and totally focussed on money. He has no real vision for the future personally, but he is a consummate politician, saying “yes” to everyone and totally two-faced when he so chooses. I’ve pinged him personally as a coward, and a crook at www.palemia.com, because he was, to me. He’s also a hypocrite and a fraud when it comes to morality, with his long-term mistress one of his close and powerful CEOs of many years standing. Whether that moral cognitive dissonance should be attributed to his pride, power, chosen career of politics or his Catholicism would be an interesting question to ask.
Personally, if I was him, I’d be a lot more concerned about an identifiable fearless Palagi that he ripped off, than an anonymous Samoan blogger that he can have roughed up, or slapped in the slammer (or worse) anytime he so chooses, but this is all minor stuff in the history of Samoa.
Ostensibly Samoa is a democracy, and he represents a political party (the HRPP) however when there is no effective opposition and when in Samoan’s hands, democracy is in name only. What you have in Samoa is essentially what OLP calls a dictatorship. I concur with this take, for cultural and political reasons. Samoans also know this to be fact, but they are not allowed to speak of it. The systems of Samoa use social pressure rather than the systems of North Korea’s dictatorship. A delegation will arrive in a culturally appropriate manner and ‘suggest’ that the socially embarrassing dissent is ‘toned down’ to ‘keep the peace’ sort of thing – nudge, nudge, wink, wink. The result though as all Samoans know all too well is the exact same – all the usual, consolidation of power and wealth . . . oppression . . . you get the picture.
The scrap between OLP and the PM has escalated in the last month with the PM citing serious concerns as to Samoa’s stability and the potential for violence. He is dead right to be concerned. A march planned for December 2017 has the potential to turn ugly, with increasing numbers of the little people now recognising that corruption from their leaders is not only endemic, but that they can and should say and do something about it. They are getting angry now. TPTB are unlikely to let it get out of control and will likely play the game the same way as they have to get there – bribery, politics and force. They may not be able to hold it back for much longer.
In the 1920’s this kind of resistance was against foreign (NZ) injustice with the Mau movement. In the 20-teens it is now turning against their own corrupt Samoan leadership. There is no difference though – it is the same cycle known to man for millennia playing out – greed & self-interest of a few in power, injustice to the little people, increased awareness of this injustice, resistance to it and so on.
I am all in favour of speaking out about this injustice. I think that there is great value in what OLP says, although how he says it I think is a little arrogant – for example I don’t think I’d want to gloat or bait these guys, like he does, but that’s his style. The other thing is that while it is necessary to be (or to try to be) anonymous when you live in Samoa and do these investigations/revelations, it is far more powerful to be identifiable. Secrecy (as the PM has noted) can be seen as an escape. Telling it like it is though, and inviting charges of defamation (like I do) has the potential to bring the claims into a court environment.
So before I dive into the impending law changes, let’s look at some of these specific claims from OLP. I link to some sample posts on his Facebook page and give commentary one by one on the most recent claims:
Corruption within Samoa Rugby = true, 100%. You don’t need inside information to see this. First, Tuila’epa is the head of Manu Samoa and has been for years. Secondly there has been a string of problems & adversity with the sport, going back decades. End of case. Even without inside information this is prime facie evidence of corruption. With good honest management one problem can be sorted. If it is bankrupt, it is because of a corrupt Tuila’epa. Logic has OLP dead right and this explains why International Rugby has countered the PM publicly. Simple – they know the real score and are protecting their reputation!
Unaccountability = true, 100%. The auditor’s reports, the family ties, the carbon credits moneys are all legitimate questions unanswered. The other thing to note in this post is the way that OLP has written it – as with most things he writes, authoritatively, very clearly. He’s logical and damning.
Asylum Seekers = highly credible. Claims that Samoa has got and is getting funding which does not get back to the people, which is not revealed are typical of the abuses of power. While I don’t know this, it makes perfect sense to me.
Bribery = true, 100%. This one is one that has been revealed for many years and many times. I have seen it myself many times. It’s worthy of a more detailed look:
This is MP Mene Sooalo and his wife’s Losa Sooalo’s mansion that was built by a prisoner and with OLP and the people’s money. The prisoner was unlawfully released and without permission from Tafaigata by Losa Sooalo and MP Sooalo (at the time he was Associate Minister of Prisons). The prisoner stayed with the Sooalo’s to build their home and carry out their family chores. Losa Sooalo as the ACEO of Prisons and under investigatin, has been corrupting the Prison Ministry for money and committed nepotism by appointing unqualified family members to work and hold top positions in the prison alongside her.
When I was in Samoa, I had people come to me and these departments and their leaders were accused. I believe this is true.
You get to see how much electricity they use to light up their residence while our people are still crying out in desperate need for water, electricity, are struggling with the high cost of living, starving for employment opportunities etc, and are still getting paid $2.30 per hour. No doubt we are contributing in a big way towards their electricity bill. We, the people of Samoa (tax payers), paid for this man’s building and also for the 2 brand new 4WDs both he and his wife misuse for their personal use every day.
The use of public vehicles for personal use was widespread. It is considered a perk, and a right by those in positions of power. As I have shared many times, this is the norm, there.
Corrupt PM Tuilaepa, his children and his MPs’ lifestyles are no different to Saddam Hussein’s, his children’s and that of his MPs’. They built themselves mansions whilst their people were living in poverty.
And the Faifeaus, the Church leaders too.
Corrupt PM Tuilaepa and his MPs are all living in double storey mansions and run around in brand, new 4WDs, live luxurious lifestyles and all these things are paid for by the people except for MPs like MP Fonotoe, MP Niko Lee Hang, MP Wayne Fong and a few others (about 6 or 7) who worked hard for their money and paid for their own buildings.
When I visited Sydney, people were telling me of the massive mansion (not just little mansions) that the Prime Minister owns in South Sydney. Not many know about that one, although they do know about the Mission Bay one in Auckland.
Opposition MP Olo Fiti on the other hand, who leases the piece of land which his simple home is built on – that is paid for with his own money he earns.
Then there are the CEOs and ACEOs of every govt dept who do exactly the same thing as these HRPP MPs and corrupt PM Tuilaepa as most of them are either children or relatives of corrupt PM Tuilaepa and his Ministers.
A couple of months ago, MP Sooalo came to Savaii. Instead of coming to visit the village, he stayed in a hotel and called the Tu’ua over to meet him at the hotel – there they had a drink and a discussion, MP Sooalo handed the Tu’ua some money then went back to Apia. 90% of people from Sooalo’s constituency have never met him nor do they know who their MP Sooalo Mene is.
This is how it works – MP Sooalo Mene and the HRPP MPs, paid the Tu’ua and Sa’o o Aiga and corrupt PM Tuilaepa paid for the pulenuu to carry out HRPP’s dirty works in the villages and to win elections. It’s like that with most HRPP constituencies and that’s how they wiped out the Opposition – by paying out briberies with tax payers money.
This needs to be understood, as OLP says here, this is the NORM, not the exception. I know this as I saw this. Samoans know this also.
And when the Opposition MPs dare challenge a HRPP member in court for bribery (which is a crime), the same 3 (Tu’ua, Sa’o and Pulenu’u) will issue an ultimatum to the Opposing MP to withdraw their cases or they’d be ousted by the village – and of course corrupt PM Tuilaepa is behind the whole operation.
Yes, and yes. Social pressure as I’ve said many times.
That’s how it works here in Samoa. If you want to run in the elections, at least you know now how corrupt PM Tuilaepa and HRPP corrupt the elections in order to win seats. And of course if corrupt PM Tuilaepa’s plan doesn’t work, he moves on to plan B which involves the Electoral Commissioner – deliberately miscount votes and transfer votes to a HRPP member to make them win.
Now I can certainly believe this last one but I cannot confirm it, personally. I’m not sure how OLP has gotten that information but if it’s anything like the rest of his materials it will be accurate. It’s certainly credible.
Complicity in Political Assassination = probable & credible.
I’ve blogged about this previously.
Authority from God = correct. OLP slams Tuila’epa for claiming to be like God – “typical con-man type talk”.
“Paul made it very clear that all authorities are from God,” Tuilaepa pointed out. “All authorities in all organisations in the world are of God. So those people who reject such authorities in these organisations are against God. Therefore pay your taxes!”
I don’t think anything shows the arrogance and foolishness of the big man as much as this repeating sentiment from the PM. His thinking is that because Paul told us to respect authority that he as PM therefore speaks for God. This is Catholic thinking in regards to the Pope too, but it’s widely recognised as a logical fallacy by the people. On the original Samoa Observer news article Wendy in Wonder nails it:
Oh Good God. Tuilaepa is unbelievable. Taxing Ministers has nothing to do with god and rejecting god if you don’t want to pay. I agree that they should pay their taxes but to say it is because of authority and god is just a lot of garbage talk.
Paul did NOT endorse the instructions of political leadership – he simply advised his followers to comply – civil obedience. Aside from the questions of authority (this section in Romans is questionable in terms of whether it was even written by Paul) the PM totally ignores historical and political context. Theologically shallow is how I see the PM. It’s a ‘hot button’ subject for me this one. God does NOT approve of democracy, centralisation of power, enforced taxation, laws, laws and more laws and much more that Tuila’epa believes in. He has given us guidelines for living that bring VOLUNTARY submission to each other and LOCALISED implementation of HIS laws. He TOLERATES fools like Tuila’epa. He doesn’t endorse them!
The PM’s Worried
OLP shows how exposure of the PM is worrying the big man. Proposed legislation to criminalise OLP’s “defamation” is a serious knee-jerk reaction. A few points about this subject.
- Samoa introduced a law to make it a criminal offence to say something bad about Samoa that would affect its tourism industry. One of the most stupid laws ever conceived, probably a result of “pillow-talk” between the PM and his mistress, it became the laughing stock on the Internet at the time. Re-criminalising defamation will do the same thing – backfire.
- You can’t expect that to criminalise speaking the truth in a modern society will ‘work’ unless you have a lot of power over the people. Vested interests have done it with the Holocaust. They have achieved it with social change movements but it takes decades and even generations to achieve. Simply passing a law and expecting to squash political criticism will not work.
- Defamation is a well-tested legal issue in most countries even Samoa. Laws already exist. It is a relatively simple matter to define defamation, and the judiciary has already done this. It is also relatively simple to prosecute in the civil jurisdiction. Attempting to do this in a criminal context would be a nightmare for the Attorney General. The AG must do what the big man says but I can’t imagine that they are overly excited about it! They’d be world leaders in returning to the dodgy past if they did!
- Decriminalising defamation was done in Samoa for a reason. Tuila’epa seems to have forgotten that reason.
In the myriad articles about the OLP phenomena there has been mention of other anonymous bloggers. There are none. OLP has nailed it – he has an audience, a following that is growing and street credibility to boot. Ex-pat Samoans are right behind him and with good reason too. The Samoan political establishment are very concerned, and again with good reason too.
Here is proof positive of the concern, seen in their response to the threat:
Earlier today (Mon 20 Nov 2017), the Chief Auditor sent an email to all staff in his department (Office of the Chief Auditor) warning them that they are not to comment, share or like any of OLP’s posts. For those who did, he interviewed them and asked them why they did. He also ordered ACEO Faamatuaniu Dennis Margraff, to monitor their staff’s Facebook activities and to immediately report to him those who are caught ‘in the act.’
This attempted censorship speaks volumes.
Others associated joined in the censorship attempts too:
To all my FB friends…pls be informed that once you share or like a post by OLP, our friendship will come to an end, because I do not support stupidity
Again, very revealing!
Why is corrupt PM Tuilaepa wasting the nations money on hackers? In his desperate search for OLP, corrupt PM Tuilaepa and MCIT Minister Afamasaga Rico have illegally employed three e (3) professional hackers – they are Indians from overseas. These 3 Indian hackers are disguised as consultants for the Tui Samoa cable.
I built my web development business in New Zealand on the back of Indian programmers. I know and understand the Indian IT industry very well. OLP, you can probably relax.
That a government should go outside the law to attempt to identify an anonymous blogger is nuts! Then to blurt about it to the world in some weird attempt to shame or threaten him is DOUBLE NUTS! The PM has not a strategic brain in his body. He simply makes himself look guilty, stupid and a loser . . . all three are now obvious. First, if he had a valid case he could go straight to the ISPs, NSA and platform providers and have OLP’s identity revealed inside 24 hours, 48 hours tops. Secondly he tried to get the police to do the dirty work and they failed, even after getting in experts from Australia! Shame! Thirdly [according to OLP] he employs Indian IT ‘professionals’ and THREE of them to boot . . . then the secret gets out . . . to OLP! Got the picture?
Mickey meet Mouse!
If you really want to get OLP, you must STFU (That means keep your mouth closed), speak to the right people and get the information secretly, quietly, behind the scenes, gather your evidence and then go public once you have the cat in the bag. You DON’T go public about how you are employing hackers, (i.e. breaking the law yourself). What a goose this PM is!
Add in the Streisand Effect and you’ve got Samoan-style politics at its best . . . thick as a brick on strategy.
I’ve poured over OLP’s materials at length and for a very long time. Maybe I’ve missed it but I have never seen a crime, nor defamation. I see an opinion shared frequently (that the Prime Minister of Samoa is corrupt) and many questions that could be and are obviously pertinent and unanswerable, but where’s the defamation?
This corrupt PM Tuilaepa is a very worried man. OLP is not attacking anyone – as a matter of fact it’s the people who support corruption and that are benefiting from this corrupt govt , are the ones attacking OLP for his stance against govt corruption.
What corrupt PM Tuilaepa continues to deny is that his corrupt politics no longer work on the people. The people are NOT interested in OLP – they are more interested in receiving answers from corrupt PM Tuilaepa to all the questions OLP asked in regards to the corruption he and his HRPP govt had committed.
This dead right. From my take, OLP is seen as a hero taking on corruption through pin-point accuracy and exposure, and it is the PM and his corrupt officials who are attacking OLP.
But it is not all one-way traffic for me. OLP makes a few mistakes and here they are in one segment:
Mugabe, the President of Zimbabwe, is a carbon copy of corrupt PM Tuilaepa and right now corrupt PM Tuilaepa and his children are scared of the people because they feel that what happened to Mugabe may happen to them.
I told the govt before not to waste the people’s money in the illegal search for OLP as OLP is a Spirit and OLP will catch all you corrupt thugs.
Nonsense. OLP is a human being with a huge ego. “All you corrupt thugs” will catch him and deal to him, eventually.
Anyone else who is involved in this illegal search of OLP, especially corrupt PM Tuilaepa, will suffer mysterious illnesses – one way or another.
No, this is an ego-driven false claim. Good does not bring evil. Evil begets evil. The inevitable consequences of corruption is that it implodes – it self destructs. Illness, mysterious or not, comes as a consequence of evil outworked, NOT the actions of whistleblowers like OLP.
This is the battle of good and evil – the battle of Armageddon. All the corrupt leaders, their families and associates will be thrown out as the people of Samoa have had enough of living under suppression and oppression from dictatorship.
Yes, the exposure of evil is a spiritual battle. Yes, the transition from “suppression and oppression from dictatorship” will eventually occur but this will be in God’s timing, not OLP’s, and according to my take of scripture it will be a lot further into the future than OLP probably thinks (and desires).
The people will rise and reclaim their power – POWER TO THE PEOPLE!
And here you have the greatest error of all – people power. This is the error that brought misery into the Garden of Eden and has ever since. It is simply PRIDE.
When OLP has the people boot out King Kong, or put him into the dustbins of history as another Mugabe, there will be another person just as bad appointed by “People Power” and another, and another until somebody, somewhere, sometime determines that the power does not and should not and will never again reside with ‘the people’. It is, has always been and will always be with their Creator.
My advice to OLP is to continue his work. Expose for all he is worth, but to humble himself and put the glory where it belongs. He can best do that by coming out of hiding, paying the price and then he will have the blessing of His Creator . . . for at the moment I predict that this “POWER TO THE PEOPLE” thing will end in tears.
Thank you for swinging by today! It’s been a pleasure to share with you again.