HRPP leader questions recent suspension of MCIL officials


Leader of the Human Rights Protection party Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi has questioned the suspension of Ministry of Commerce Industry and Labor’s CEO and ACEO last month. 

In a letter to the Editor, Tuilaepa said there were no reasons given for the suspension; however there are reports that it has to do with the Governments suspension of workers from the RSE Scheme.

The Cabinet last month approved the suspension of the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Commerce Industry and Labour – Pulotu Lyndon Chu Ling, and the Acting Assistant CEO of the Labour Employment Export Programme (LEEP) Division – Tofilau Matthew Alesana.

This was confirmed in a statement issued by the government.

This decision has been made to allow the Public Service Commission to
conduct an investigation into the Division of the MCIL that leads and coordinates Samoa’s Labour Employment Export Programme.

Requirements of the Public Service Act 2004 and relevant government policies, the Public Service Commission will conduct the investigation and report to Cabinet urgently for its final consideration.

The Acting Prime Minister, Tuala Iosefo Ponifasio confirmed to Talamua that Cabinet reviewed the Report that was to shape policy guidelines not only to monitor the progress of the RSE program in New Zealand and Australia, but also to ensure that all countries involved in the program get a fair deal out of it and that the Samoan workers under the program are well taken care of.

Tuilaepa questioned whether government follow the proper process for a Commission of Enquiry to examine the charge and submit a recommendation for Cabinet decision. He said this suspension policy resulted also in the termination by one major employer in New Zealand of workers from Samoa.

That company is now sourcing replacement workers from Tonga, Fiji and other Pacific islands.

The damage to the economy and the harshness to families that benefitted from these work schemes initiated during the HRPP administrations, is enormous.

He goes on to accuse the government of not considering the consequences of their decisions during these difficult times we are in.

 Adding that the utter disregard of the human rights of the public servants by the government of 1971 to 1981 led to the formation of the first political party in Samoa – the Human Rights Protection Party – and its name.

He said the current government is repeating exactly the same excesses of almost 40 years ago and cited that Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa is facing a court case from one of the CEOs sacked unfairly. 

He is referring to former Attorney General Savalenoa Mareva Betham Annandale.