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Tonga – Faka‘ofa

Nuku'alofa, Tonga

To Editor,

While we languish in debt as a nation owing several hundred million dollars with a dead economy and extremely high unemployment especially with our youth, we volunteer to spend $100,000,000 TOP to host the South Pacific games.

The leaders that made this decision should be fired!  The Pacific Games will bring no economic growth to Tonga and will only provide some jobs for a couple of weeks. Even if we could borrow the money, how could we ever pay it back?  Can you imagine the corruption that would occur if we were to get the money?  The people still do not have an honest accounting of what happened to all of the money that the Chinese and others gave and lent to us. Has anyone paid any of it back?

It is estimated that it will cost over $2,000,000 Pa’anga a year to maintain the facilities after they are built. Where is that money going to come from? We cannot even afford to pay the electrical bills for the rugby team let alone these new facilities.

Look at our government now. When was the last time our rulers ever created a real job? What industry has government really developed? Tourism is supposed to be a major source of income and employment for Pacific Island nations. Tourism is virtually non-existent in Tonga. They try to get us all excited that two new cruise ships will be stopping by this year for a few hours or that there will be three new flights coming into Tonga. So what!

Akilisi Pohiva was supposed to be our great saviour- he would end the fraud and corruption that has plagued Tonga for decades. He would return the voice to the people and develop a government and economy of the people, by the people and for the people. Instead, the current government has to rank as one of the worst in the history of our nation. Meanwhile we move forward (if you can call it that) one failure after another. The only area that government has helped cause an increase in, is crime.

So why not go ahead with the South Pacific Games? What is another $100,000,000 Pa’anga in debt?  We have lost all credibility and respect as a nation. Our leaders have turned us into a beggar nation, so deeply in debt that our grandchildren and great grandchildren’s future has been sold.

Sione Masa