Against all odds, FAST have met fourteen constituents, and the response had been something to behold! The attendance exceeded all expectations and seeing Samoan hospitality and cultural protocols showed us all, that reciprocal love is still alive and well in our communities.
People have heard or seen FAST leader La’aulialemalietoa on TV, social media and newspapers but haven’t seen him in person. There was genuine respect for his persistence, presence and delivery. People appreciate the pressures he faced and have given their moral support to see this mission through. In turn, La’aulialemalietoa had assured the audiences of FAST’s commitment to bring positive changes needed for our nation. He also reiterated the importance of these visits as part of the democratic process, although some have criticised it.
Olo Fiti Va’ai and Leatinu’u Faumuina So’oialo have played a massive role in letting our nation know FAST. Declaring their allegiance with FAST for the general elections landed them in court, of which they returned victorious as the courts found the Speaker’s decision as both illegal and unconstitutional. Through various mediums and media, both local and international, these two have been a formidable pair facing constant attacks against them and FAST. Malo Toa.
Not to mention the tireless efforts by Fiame Naomi Mata’afa in her quest to inform our people about the threats posed by the 3 Bills recently passed in Parliament, which saw the overhaul of the court systems, the amendments to the Constitution and centralisation of our matai structures.
Many who attended found information that would have helped in their decisions; and although the bills have been enacted, Fiame pledged to continue her work.
Moving away from the RULE OF LAW would usher in a dangerous precedent for Samoa. She explained that the absence of jurisprudence at the Land and Titles Courts would leave decisions vulnerable to corruption and bias. “People need to be very concerned, very worried and be very aware of these dangerous changes.” And she encouraged people not to be silent when they know something is not right.
“ALAGA, SPEAK UP”
Generally, those who attended felt their voices had been heard. They felt part of the process where they were given an explanation and allowed to ask questions. Many Candidates felt this was also a learning experience for them as they engaged and met their constituents. There was a genuine sense of family. The hospitality was always impressive, and everyone had something to eat, thanks.
The presentations of the Samoan homage reflected the high respect our communities have for visitors of rank. Gestures of that LOVE are FAST’s principles that bind all our plans for our beloved Samoa.
A Samoan tale with a romantic line described a lady’s feelings towards a young gentleman she had heard of but haven’t met.
“UA TA'OTO LE ATAATA O TAULELEI”
“The Beauty of TAULELEI is seen in the golden reflections on the sea as the sun sets”.
Having met all these folks in person, together with the incredible support from our AIGA FAST worldwide, we couldn’t help but sense the love and seeing the beauty of TAULELEI reflected on the smiling faces of those who came for the FAST ROADSHOW / CONSULTATIONS. Our spirits have soared when we saw the expression of that love for FAST. We journey on.