KO E PULE’ANGA ‘OKU MAKATU’UNGA HE FIE HĀ

Posted: 20-Oct-2020 11:38 AM

Editorials

Kuo lava mai ‘eni ha ta’u ‘e taha ‘a e Pule’anga lolotonga. Ko e ha leva ha ngaahi me’a kuo tau ‘ilo ki ai? ‘I he tu’unga ‘e taha ‘oku tau vakai ki ai ‘oku teke ‘e he Pule’anga ha ‘asenita fakafo’ituitui mo e fie manakoa. Talu mei he ‘aho na’e fakanofo ai ‘a e Palemia na’a ne feinga lahi ke fakahaha ki he kakai ‘o e fonua ‘oku laka ange ia ‘i he ‘ene pule’anga motu’a. Na’a ne mavahe mei he ‘ene paati faka-politikale (Paati Temokalati ‘Otu Motu Anga ‘Ofa) ‘o fokotu’u ha‘ane paati ‘o ‘iloa ko e Paati ‘a e Kakai. Ko ia na ‘a ne nga’unu atu leva ke ne tukuhifo ‘ene paati motu’a mo e pule’anga motu’a mo fakatanga’i ‘a kinautolu ‘oku ‘i he fa’ahi fakaanga. Ka ko e fekumi ki he manakoa kae ‘ikai ko e pule lelei ko ha fakafotunga ia ha pule’anga ‘oku ne kumi ‘ene lelei fakafo’ituitui.

Ko e ngaahi naunau ‘o ha pule’anga fie manakoa ‘oku ne kumi langilangi mo e mafai kae ta’etoka’i pe ‘a e ngaahi nunu’a ‘e hoko ki he fonua hange ko e faihala, hikihiki e mahu’inga ‘o e koloa, pea mo e to e lahi ange ngaahi mo’ua ‘a e fonua. Ko ‘ene fa’unga fakapolitikale ‘oku taukave ki he fakafo’ituitui ‘o ‘ikai ko e fakalukufua pea ne fakatefito ki he ngaahi ngaue ‘e haa manakoa kae ‘ikai ke tolonga mo tu’uloa. ‘Oku molia leva ‘a e ngaahi fa’ahi fakapolitikale pea mo e ngaahi tu’utu’uni ngaue kae fai ‘aki pe mafai ‘a e kau taki ‘o ‘ikai to e tanaki atu ha ngaahi fakakaukau kehe mei he kakai. Ka ko hono fotunga ‘oku fakatu’utamaki taha ‘a ‘ene feinga ke ohi ha konga ‘o e kakai e fonua ke nau fakakaukau ‘oku mu’omu’a kianautolu he toenga e kakai ‘o e fonua.

Ko e taimi ne vakai atu ai e kau Lusia ki he ngaahi fonua temokalati ‘o e uesite na’a nau kata he nau sio ki he too nounou ‘enau ngaahi fa’unga faka-temokalati he taimi ne nga’unu mai ai ‘a e kau feinga manakoa ki he pule’anga. Mahalo ne fakamatala lelei ange ‘e he Palesiteni lolotonga ko ia ‘o Lusia ‘o ne pehe ko e politiki ko ia ‘o e fie manakoa ‘oku fakatu’utamaki he ‘oku ne veuki ‘a e kakai, fa’u ha ngaahi me’a ‘oku fakatupu ‘amanaki ki he kakai, pea ne fakamu’omu’a ‘a e ngaahi ngaue ‘oku ‘ikai tonu ke fakamu’omu’a pea pehe foki ki he ngaahi ngaue ‘oku ta’emalava.

Ka ‘oku hoko foki ‘eni koe ‘uhia koe taimi ‘oku kumi manakoa pe ai ‘a e pule’anga ‘oku ‘ikai ke kumi ha tu’utu’uni ngaue ke ne tataki ‘a e fonua. ‘Oku fakataumu’a pe ia ke ne tohoaki’i ‘a e tokanga ‘a e kakai mei he ngaahi palopalema totonu ‘oku tau tofanga mo ia ‘o fakatatau ki hotau ivi malava. Ko e ha hono ‘uhinga? Ko e kumi manakoa ‘a e pule’anga ko e ‘uhi pe ke toe fili kinautolu ‘e he kakai pea ke nau kei pukepuke aipe ‘a e mafai.

Hange ‘oku te angamaheni ki he ngaahi fotunga ko ‘eni? ‘Io he ‘oku hoko tonu pe ia he lolotnga ni. ‘Oku taku foki ‘e he kakai tokolahi ko e kemipeini ‘a e pule’anga ‘oku fai mo e paati ‘a e kakai. Ko e tala’a ‘a e kakai tokolahi pe ‘oku anga fefe ke fa’ufa’u ‘e he pule’anga ‘enau polokalama tanu hala ke fakamu’omu’a pe kinautolu mo ‘enau vahenga pea to e lelei pe kiate kinautolu. Ko e ngaahi vahenga kehe leva ia ‘oku fakatatali atu ia ke toki fakakaukau’i ha taimi. ‘A ia ko e vahenga pe ‘e valu mei he vahenga fakakatoa ‘e 17 ‘oku mu’omu’a ‘enau fiema’u tanu hala pea koe toenga ‘o e vahenga ‘e hiva ‘oku tuku ta’epau ia. Hange tofu pe ‘eni ia hano tautea’i ‘a e kakai ‘oku ‘ikai te nau poupou ki he pule’anga.

Ke tanaki ki ai ‘oku to e fokotu’u mai ‘e he pule’anga mo ‘enau palani ki he langa fale ‘e 20,000 ka ‘oku hange ha fo’i fakanafala ‘oku fu’u taukakapa. He kapau ko e palani ‘o e fo’i fale ‘oku tu’uaki ‘e he pule’anga ko e $75,000 pea ‘oku ofi ‘i he 1.5 Piliona ‘a e fakamole fakapa’anga ki he fale ‘e 20,000. Ngali loi nai ‘ae fo’i polokalama ko ‘eni pea mo hono mahu’inga ‘oku lahi mama’o ia he patiseti fakafonua ‘a Tonga pea hulu ange ia ‘i he ivi malava hotau ki’i fonua. Ko e me’a mo’oni pe ‘e ma’u heni ko e loi pe ko e mo’ua kae tu’umalie kau taki.

Hange tofu pe ko ia ‘oku lolotonga tofanga ai e ngaahi fonua lahi he faingata’a fakapa’anga makatu’unga ‘i he COVID-19 ‘oku kau mo Tonga ni ai. Neongo ‘oku te’eki ai ke tukuange mai ‘e he Pule’anga ha palani ngaue ki hono fakaakeake faka’ekonomika ‘a e fonua he vave taha, ka ko e fokotu’utu’u ke fakamoleki ha lau piliona ki ha langa fale ka ‘oku ‘ikai ke tau ma’u ha pa’anga lahi faufaua pehe. Ko e fo’i fakatamaki kehe ‘eni ia ‘e to e too mai ‘o tanaki mai ki he COVID-19.

Kaekehe ‘oku kei hokohoko atu pe pule’anga ia mo e feinga manakoa mo e palomesi ‘o e tanu hala mo e langa fale. Ko e ha ‘a hono ‘uhinga? Mahalo na’a ko e feinga ke fakahaha ki he ‘ene pule’anga motu’a mo ‘ene paati motu’a ‘oku ne lava ha ngaue, pe mahalo na ko ‘enau fai ke tautea’i ‘a e kakai ‘oku ‘ikai te nau poupou ki he ‘ene pule’anga pea mo e paati ‘a e kakai. Ka ‘oku mahino ko e fo’i fasi’a ko ‘eni ko ‘enau tala ko honau ngaahi vahenga fili ko e le’o pe ia ‘o e kakai ‘oku nau tokanga ki ai ‘o ‘ikai ko e fakalukufua, pea ‘oku nau kumi pe ha founga ke nau kei ma’u ai ‘a e mafai, pea fakafou ‘enau ngaue ‘aki hono pa’usi’i ‘a e mafai mo e koloa ‘a e fonua ki he ‘enau ngaahi lelei fakafo’ituitui mo ‘enau ngaahi vahenga fakafo’ituitui. Ka koe taumu’a pe ia ki he fili hoko ke to e fili ai kinautolu. ‘Oku mahino mai leva ia ko e fie ha ‘a e pule’anga ke vakai mai ki ai fa’ahi fakaanga mo e PTOA, ka ko e palopalema ‘e tofanga ai ‘a e fonua ‘e to e kovi ange ia ‘o lau’i to’utangata.

 

THE GOVERNMENT HAS NO POINT TO PROVE

The current government has been in office for a year now. So what can we learn from it? To this point it seems as though the government is pushing a somewhat populist agenda. Since the day the Prime Minister was inaugurated, his approach was to convince the public that somehow he was better than his former government. He left his former political party (The Friendly Island’s Democratic Party) to create his own new party known as the People’s Party. He has then set out to discredit his former party and diminish the influence of his political opponents. The appeal towards popularity rather than good governance are the trademarks of a populist government.

The most common feature of a populist government is to boost their popularity in order to maintain power while disregarding the consequences that the country will face like corruption, inflation and debt. It is a personalised form of politics whereby government is focused on certain popular objective materials while political parties and policies lose their importance. It only reflects the authority of the leaders and not the diversity of people’s opinion on a range of issues affecting the country. But in its most dangerous form its approach is to make a set of people forget that other sets of people do exist.

When the Russians looked at the western democracies they laughed at the failure of their democratic processes when the populist movement became viral. No one other than the current Russian President describes this better indicating that political populism posed a great danger because it disorients people, creates excessive expectations or, on the contrary prioritising objectives that are clearly not priorities or are simply impossible to achieve. This occurs when the populist government seeks only popularity rather than policy. It is set to distract people from the actual dangers we face compared to our actual strength. Why? So that government can be re-elected and the leaders can maintain power.

Does this sound familiar? In deed it is happening right under our feet. Some people would often refer to it as the government’s political campaign. In this regard people are trying to figure out how can this government outline a road construction project and prioritise several roads belonging to their own constituents. Those constituencies under the political opposition are not a priority for the government. Thus eight out of the 17 constituencies will witness the road construction project while the other nine will be left to their fate. Is this a form of punishment for people whom are loyal to the opposition?

On the other hand the government’s housing project planning to build some 20,000 homes for people is rather ambitious or is it done only to draw in people’s votes for the upcoming 2021 elections. If the government’s standard proposed housing cost is $75,000 pa’anga then the cost of 20,000 homes said to be build will be around $1.5 billion pa’anga. This project seems unreal and its cost is beyond our national budget even more that our country can afford. The only real result from this is a lie or debt.

As most countries current experience with financial difficulty so as Tonga, being hurt by the impacts of COVID-19. The government still have not provided any plans for an early economic recovery other than the plan to spend billions that we do not have on the government’s ambitious housing project is an additional crisis.

Yet, the government continues to pursue this path and promise people roads and houses. Why? Perhaps to prove a point to his political opponents and his former party or to punish people who do not follow the government and the People’s Party? Nonetheless, the greatest farce in all these attributes is that the government claims that their constituencies represents the people rather than just a portion of the entire electorate, seeking to advance their political power with this temporary advantage while abusing the power and resources of government for their own constituents benefits and their campaign for re-election. It may be valid to say they are trying to prove a point to their political opponents but to do it at the expense of the nation is a harmful one for generations to come.

 

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