Tonga's first Demo to Act as Prime Minister
Friday, April 22, 2005 - 16:50
The sudden rise of Dr Feleti Sevele to a prominent position in Cabinet, as Acting Prime Minister, this week is food for thought, taking into consideration that he is a full-blooded Demo who has been pushing for political changes in Tonga for years. Editor's Comment by Pesi Fonua.
- Read more about Tonga's first Demo to Act as Prime Minister
- Log in or register to post comments
Advice from afar
Advice from afar
Last weekend, I sat down and did an honest-to-God self evaluation, assessing what I have done with my life. I realized I have not done a whole lot constructive or anything meaningful to help myself as well as my “tupu’anga.” That was the last advice from my brother before I left Tonga. He said, “Go on, get educated and live a successful life. Pea ke manatu’i ke ‘oua pe na’a ngalo ho tupu’anga.” I was what was commonly called in our village as “ivi si’i” or “vale fakapikopiko.” I still am. I do not like hard physical manual work as well as any other work. I am working because my wife told me so. I do believe work is for those who can’t fish.
Something caught my attention last week. It was reported by the Internal Revenue Service that President George Bush paid over a quarter of million dollars in taxes to the government. What a novel concept? Leaders pay taxes too?
This gave me the idea of pitching for my ideal job, to be His Majesty’s advisor, at large. All right! Stop laughing! I may not be as bright as most of you, but I am sure there is a little wisdom in me to share with His Majesty. I am not all that screwed-up.
If I have the job, my first advice to the King will be: fire all your advisors, they are feeding you with what you want to hear not what you need to know. … In addition to firing your advisors, let’s assume your kingdom is a big ship and you are the Captain. One bad news, Your Majesty! Your ship is sinking! There is good news though. The deckhands (your people) are baling incessantly to keep it afloat, unfortunately, the Crown Prince and the Princess are salvaging the cargo for their own self-interest.
2. My second advice will be: have a Come-To-Jesus one-on-one talk with the Crown Prince and the Princess. If rumors are true, you got to have them decide and make a choice whether they want to be Royalty or Business folks. Either one will be fine, but they can’t have both. In my humble opinion, they are suffering from what is called the GID Syndrome. GID is the acronym for Greedy, Incapable and Disloyal. When they use their influence to siphon revenue from your Treasury, and endorse favoritism for their benefit, your subjects suffer more than your advisors are telling you. Your subjects are stressing over their behavior. When these two throw around their clouts and monopolize or privatize businesses in their behalf, that is not only greedy but being incapable of maintaining their honored status as Royalty. Their loyalty is to the Mighty Dollar, not to their obligations as the Royalties. They should be the Goodwill Ambassadors for the Friendly Islands. They should be out there recruiting tourists, businesses and anyone with money to spend to come to the kingdom. They should convince other developed countries that we are worth helping. Instead, those developed countries are laughing at us for we have Royalties looting and pillaging their own treasury.
If they want to be business folks, level the playing field level and have them play the rule like everyone else. The Treasury can’t be subsidizing them while riding the common folks to the ground. I am sure they will argue there is a lot of jealousy or misinformation from my part. Your Majesty, it is bad enough when someone wets down my back. It is insulting when they claim it is raining.
3. Finally, call a luncheon or dinner meeting with all your key religious leaders as well as political leaders. Call it whatever you want but have one as soon as possible. The Temos are stoking the public’s emotions. Hold this gathering as a town hall meeting. Let everyone voice their opinions. Assess the situation, have a return engagement with the same audience, to share your solution to their concerns. Meanwhile, plan a nationally televised speech to your people thru the radio or television. Address them and let them know you are working the issue. Thank them for their patience. Your Majesty, little things like this will calm them down. Stonewalling the public will change their perception of their leader and the form of leadership they want.
William Shakespeare wrote, “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” In my lowly opinion, the exact situation is brewing in your kingdom. Keeping you informed is not an easy task. It is a tough job but someone has to do it. Please do not harm the messenger, Matangi Tonga. I am only applying for a job that I am willing to do as a free service for the kingdom. - TamaFoa