Alan Ah Mu
APIA: THURSDAY 20 FEBRUARY 2014: There are two Government MPs still angry that Faumuina Tiatia Liuga is still Minister of Finance months after they’d attempted to oust him. Otherwise the ruling Human Rights Protection Party has no problems, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi said yesterday.
All attended a caucus party held last week “Except those two who are still angry,” Tuilaepa said.
Because he forgives, no action will be taken against the two, said Tuilaepa, who did not name the pair.
All minds however believed the Angry Two to be Tu’u’u Anasi’i Leota and Papali’i Niko Lee Hang.
After all since May last year they were openly of the view that Faumuina should go.
Their grounds: incompetence and abuse of power by the Minister of Finance.
Last month Tu’u’u and Papali’i again called for Faumuina to step down – or be fired – after a parliamentary committee confirmed corrupt acts in Samoa Land Corporation (SLC) during the years Faumuina was the Minister in charge.
Parliament has yet to debate the findings – something expected to occur in the next session starting on 18 March.
But Tu’u’u said he was at the caucus party referred to by the Prime Minister so it makes it uncertain if he is one of the Angry Two referred to.
“I didn’t go to it,” Papali’i said.
In any case Tu’u’u’s count of those who were present revealed perhaps only half of the 37-member caucus, if that, had turned up – not the full 37 minus the Angry Two, Tuilaepa said.
Today the two again confirmed with Talamua that they have taken a more serious decision, namely that if Faumuina is kept on as Finance Minister they will quit HRPP.
Earlier in the month Tu’u’u said he won’t be part of a Government that doesn’t act against such corruption.
As one of the seven members of the parliamentary investigating committee, Papali’i said the sums lost to the corruption at SLC they uncovered amounted to millions and millions.
Such sums which are ordinary revenues, can pay for current expenditures without resorting to loans for national budgets.
Also the job of the Public Accounts Committee which he chairs is to recommend ways for Government to increase ordinary revenues, something which has continued to drop in recent years, Papali’i said.
The investigating committee was appointed to consider findings of irregularities and wrongdoings in Government ministries and public bodies by the Audit Office.
SLC is the only state entity audited and subsequently probed by the committee where instances of discrepancies and corruption were so serious, legal action was recommended.