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Funaki decision reflects badly on leaders of Tonga

San Mateo, California, USA


After reading your report of the penalty dealt by the Prime Minister to the Minister of Tourism for breaking the law; it seems the good ol’ boy fraternity-network is alive and well in our humble kingdom. At least the perception is so. If the current leaders in Tonga cannot recognize nor acknowledge the face of corruption when confronted by it, can we expect accountability or transparency from them? After observing the handling of the investigation from the start to the concluding announcement by the PM, it makes an outside observer wonder if the leaders of Tonga have the ability to reflect on their actions of justice. Or is political perception even a consideration.

In this whole mess I don’t know who’s more wrong; is it Mr. Funaki for making such a bungling legal mistake of co-mingling funds, but instead of admitting his wrong, he’s acted adamantly defiant of the allegations. Then comes the consultation of the PM and cabinet members. And I wonder if they can see beyond their seats in office, or even pretend to comprehend and consider the opinion and voice of the people they serve. We all know how this little drama would have played out in any western society. Public apology, and Mr. Funaki regrettably resigns his post and everybody goes home better prepared for Easter Sunday. This is yet another chance for Tonga’s leadership to get it right, but they just can’t seem to help themselves. Political perception is a bitch.

We’ve all wondered why the leadership of the free-western world doesn’t pay more attention to our humble kingdom. Now I’m thinking they do. I believe the law of reciprocity is actively engaged. Until the very moment Tonga shows the world their commitment to a just governing system that oversees a just commerce, then its fair to say that we’re all as happy as pigs that fly. The truth is, we all know better than that.

Happy Easter to all,

Alipate Sanft

asanft [at] mangofinancial [dot] com