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Can Parliament deliver?

Mangere,Auckland, New Zealand

Editor

I remember seeing the Taimi ‘o Tonga that Professor Futa Helu denoted the importance of constructive criticism to open up more in my opinion the enhancement of “Transparency and Freedom” and most of all, the Decision Makers to always allow second and third opinions in terms of criticisms to substantiate the viability of any development policies and programs for the overall benefit of the Nation.

The United Nations in this regards always campaign with the importance to always put people as the centerpiece of development, and this general concept associates with the needs for the Government to assure the productivity of their decision makes for the betterment of the society. In this light I believe, your Parliament is always there with primary roles to discuss some of these key development programs and precise strategies for the recovery of Nuku’alofa. The call is simple for the Government to brief constantly the Public on the proposed programs and strategies for the recovery of Tonga full stop. This will avoid fraud conceptualize and wrongly allegations of the recovery plan that the Government develop for Tonga.

Dr. ‘Okusi Mahina on his article in Net stated the importance for His Majesty and Nobles to reconsider their social leadership roles if Tonga needed to restore her traditional social system by respecting one another and this comment in my opinion is rooted from the Golden Command in the Bible to love your neighbors as yourself. As Tonga climbs the era of business and economic development, the challenges of capitalism, individualism and business ethics are there already for the Tongans to integrate properly to the traditional social system without breaking the Golden Command. Since money has been warned the “Root of All Evil”, it is very imperative for all Leaders in whatever political systems to be fair and unselfishness on their decisions. This is inline with looking ahead for the people to benefit primarily as the UN proposed for “development”: In any curios allegations from the Public to her decisions, I believe, it is very important for the Prime Minister and the Government to clarify these allegations and make sure that their clarifications must be understood by the lowest quartile of the Public. This is not the proper time in my opinion for the Members of Parliament (PM) to argue whether the 112 million pa…’anga loan was the right decision or not. Tonga needs financial assistance straightaway for her recovery but the main issue now is to discuss very thoroughly how to use up this loaned money for the recovery of Nuku’alofa and how to sustain these recovery investments to create more foreign earnings, employments and prosperity for the Nation.

I learnt from the Net that your Parliament opened this week and I believe the Members of Parliament are being vested with the heavy tasks of constructively criticizing the Government recovery strategies and programs that aligning the loaned 112 million pa’anga from People Republic of China. The measurements of the economic performances of the Government are always spelled out on the Budget Statement of the Minister of Finance but to reform the code of authority of the Parliament could be heighten to participate also in close monitoring the progress of implementing the strategic programs that they agreed for the recovery of Nuku’alofa. The Parliament is the most appropriate body to discuss policy development and recovery programs to create employments and prosperity to the country - belittle with the discussions of power distribution unless if the MP have no much comments and improvements on the proposed Government recovery policies and development programs, then the country I believe should accept whatever outcomes of these programs, viewing that the Members of Parliament have accessed enough and discuss the viability of these policies and programs and the Parliament should also accountable for anything that would go wrong with these Government proposed development - would this be fair for all main bodies of your Government?

I admire the concerns that raised by Mele Lynch for the Government to take responsible for updating the public and report through the Parliament the status of their economic recovery programs. Every decision that the Parliament made must be well justified with the appropriate economic, financial, social and environmental benchmarks to ensure their sustainability and profitability to the country. Again, I thanks Mele for raising these concerns for the Government to justify - if the development of the waterfront for example will invite multimillion investors to Tonga and at the end of the day, this development program will generate reasonable profits to the Estate Holder (King) and the country, I do not see why should not Tonga approve the program to proceed - based on the above development benchmarks. If the Chinese Government cancelled this 112 million pa’anga loan say after 10 years like what they did to Western Samoa and other countries as part of strengthening diplomatic relations, then I believe Tonga should be thankful for the efforts that the Government did in loan negotiations. The bottom line is, good policy analysis and development and I mean here that good policy development refers to the adaptability, productivity and effectiveness of policies implementation. Meanwhile, the country is waiting for the early opening sessions of the Parliament for the MP to analyze the proposed programs for the recovery of Nuku’alofa and following Mele Lynche’s concerns, let us hope that the MP will come up with more profitable development programs justifying with the above benchmarks verses the Government proposals to improve the worthwhile of what they would discuss and approve in Parliament, including the Government Estimates for 2008/09 financial year. This is the thrust of Political Reform in my opinion to reflect positively the performances of the Parliament in creating conducive environment to enhance immediate economic recovery, economic growth, economic stabilization and prosperity for the Nation. Otherwise, your political reform becomes a fake and Tonga will face more crisis as many developing countries - please be more alerted on this matter.

Is this for real that the Government would buy off the Shoreline with that 112 million loaned pa’anga? If this is a proposition, the Government must clearly justify this matter on their parliamentary discussions, including the recovery plan that I mentioned above. I believe that every policy decisions in Parliament must be well analyzed to facilitate the good decisions of the MP, including the political reform - if the MP do not have the expertise to analyze these policies proposition, then I believe, your parliamentary reform should address this very important aspect of political change. Meanwhile, the Parliament can always use the Executives or an independent body to undertake such policy analysis. Your prosperity relies on how well the Parliament digests and analyzes the appropriate policies, bills etc. to guide your socio-economic and political development.

‘Ofa atu,

David Tapiaka

dtapiaka [at] yahoo [dot] co [dot] nz