Although my candidacy for this year’s election for parliament was prematurely terminated due to a sudden attack of common sense, deep down in my heart, I still feel I am the best candidate to represent the people of Ha’apai. It is unfortunate Ha’apai must wait until my candidacy in the next election of two thousand and whenever I have a chance to regain my citizenship. I am still agonizing whether to spent my money on coming to Tonga and reclaim my citizenship or sent that money to relatives as remittance to help the economy. If you were in my feet (shoes), I am walking bare feet now since I sent my shoes to Tonga so my nephew can have shoes for school. Choosing between citizenship and remittance is not an easy task for an idiot. It is worse if you are from Foa.
As I look back at our so-called, short democratic political history, the light finally came on in my mind that we are wasting our time in our attempts to change our political system. What year was it, 1862? The Great One, King George Tupou I and the high chiefs of the land met in Pouono and gave Tonga to the Almighty God. With that in mind, shouldn’t we petition God for the change we want instead of trying to burn down what little we have left? Are we wasting our time pointing fingers at the Royal Family and the Government for their mishandling of our affairs? Shouldn’t we pay attention to the old adage, “The Good Lord helps those who help themselves?”
For my candidacy, my platform will be: Ha’apai First. My service in Parliament will be driven by the need of my constituents, the people of Ha’apai. All debates in Parliament that are irrelevant to Ha’apai will be missed. All attempts and protests to change the political system will be avoided. I will spend that time making myself available to visit with my constituents who have better ideas than I do. Better living conditions; better access to healthcare; improved water sources, resource preservation and marketing, reliable transportation, and economic stimulus schemes will be on top of my list.
In addition, the generous pay for my part time effort in Parliament will be shared with my constituents through hiring additional teachers or community nurses. As much as I love the kingdom and its people, the hard cold truth is, my responsibility in Parliament will be for my constituents, the honorable hardworking people of Ha’apai whom I will represent.
In this coming election, I hope the people of Ha’apai will look to find a candidate who has Ha’apai’s concern as his or her primary issues, so Ha’apai can have decent representation in Parliament. They were left in a limbo during the past few years. It seems their elected representatives were caught up with the political reform fever. Until I become a citizen again, the people of Ha’apai should continue to ask their candidates, “What are you going to do for us, in Ha’apai? What have you done for us since the last election?”
But, for the kingdom’s political reform, isn’t that God’s problem? To make a small contribution toward our kingdom’s political reform, I volunteer to start correctly. Tau lotu! “ ‘Otua Mafimafi, toe fakafoki mai pe mu’a homau ki’i fonua ke mau fai ha liliu fakapolitikale kae toki ‘oatu? Emeni!
Tevita [dot] Langi [at] AMEDD [dot] ARMY [dot] MIL