Member of Parliament for Urban Apia West, Faumuinā Leatinu’u Wayne Fong.
By Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA – 18 MAY 2020: Members of Parliament are being criticized for not clarifying the 3 controversial Bills now before Parliament to their electoral constituencies. However, an outspoken HRPP member said even the MPs are trying to understand the Bills.
Faumuinā Leatinu’u Wayne Fong has posted on his facebook page that it is not hard to explain to their constituents and voters if they are asked about the Bills.
“The answer is, we did not know about the Bills because they were only explained to the MPs by the Law Reform Commission, the Attorney General and the Ministry of Justice on Monday and they were tabled and had the first and second readings the next day.
“So we are just as in the dark,” he said “But there was a huge YES.” (when the Bills were passed).
PM tells MP to resign
The MP for Urban West holds the chiefly Faumuinā title of Gagaifo, Lefaga. The MP attended the village council meeting during last weeks’ Mothers’ Day holiday, along with a member of the Samoa Law Society who is also a title holder of the village.
The Village Council meeting discussed the bills to prepare their views to be submitted to the Parliamentary Committee now hearing public views and submissions on the bills.
Faumuinā expressed the view that there are some parts of the Bills he does not support.
These comments were reported to the Prime Minister and the MP was called in to the PMs office last Tuesday where he said “For the record I was told by the Prime Minister to resign. But the question is why??”
The MP emphasized that the village council meetings cannot be influenced by the Prime Minister or the Government as it is their right to express their views and what to bring to the Special Parliamentary Committee.
HRPP Member since 1980
According to the MP, he started serving the HRPP party when it was just starting up in their village of Vaiusu in 1980 through his uncle Tuaopepe Tuigamala Anetipa Lam Sam who was an executive party member.
“I served the vaifafano – (water to wash hands) and collected the funds from the companies who supported the party at the time.”
The 61 years old Faumuinā ran as an HRPP candidate and won in the 2016 general elections.
“HRPP did not come and carry me into the party. The Party leader called me to come into the party after the 2016 general elections,” he explained.
“HRPP did not give me a talā to help contest the elections. It was my decision and my effort and it is a party of 48 members and not just one person.” – Faumuina Leatinuu Wayne Fong, MP
“Many new members have come into the party over time and things have changed.”
The 61 year old insists, “the freedom to think and express must not be suppressed. I know what’s good for the country and what that is not and that I should not support what is not proper.”
Faumuinā is the second HRPP MP the Prime Minister has told to resign in the last three weeks following the tense exchange he had with the Deputy Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mataafa in Parliament.
The HRPP Leader and Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi first entered parliament in 1982 through a by-election where he ran as an independent candidate.