TONGA’S CROWN PRINCE SLAMS SINGAPOREANS AND OWN SUBJECTS

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TONGA’S CROWN PRINCE SLAMS SINGAPOREANS AND OWN SUBJECTS

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (December 31, 1999 – Orientation Oceania)---The next king of Tonga has launched an extraordinary attack on his own subjects and Singaporeans, calling them peoples afflicted with a squatter mentality who would urinate in elevators if the government did not stop them.

The criticisms by Crown Prince Tupouto‘a came in an e-mail exchange with the Tongan bi-monthly magazine Matangi Tonga, whose latest issue was received here Thursday.

Asked if Tonga could ever follow Singapores high-tech "intelligent island" concept Tupouto‘a said no.

"The only thing Tongans have in common with Singaporeans is an inherent squatter mentality. Singapore has become a Nanny State by necessity, because if left to their own devices they would urinate in the elevators," he told Matangi Tonga.

"Left to their own devices, Tongans would do the same; as it is, they see nothing wrong with allowing their pigs to run all over their townships leaving pig droppings everywhere.

"No one has yet made the connection between this and the failure of the tourism industry to attract the required number of tourists."

Asked for a definition of squatter mentality, he said it was a lack of consideration for others.

"An insistence on exercising one’s rights even to the most ridiculous degree regardless of the overall harm it does to the rest of society," the Crown Prince said.

"Examples are vandalism, lack of respect for other people’s property (buildings, cars, anything left in the open), absence of pride when it comes to begging in the street, public drunkenness, Tongan borrowing (theft in other societies) from ones relatives and friends, litter, squatting.

"All of the above are found in abundance in Tongan society, where extraordinary troubles are taken to attend long boring church services to the exclusion, by law, of every other activity on Sunday."

The interview was prompted by the prince's plan to start a second international telecom carrier out of Tonga in competition to Cable and Wireless.

He said the agreement with the British telecom giant was an absurdity negotiated by the late Police Minister, Noble Akau‘ola.

"It is a monument to the limited knowledge and negotiation powers of the late Akau‘ola, and in that sense, when Mark Anthony says in his eulogy for Julius Caesar that the evil that men do live on after them etc., he might care to have mentioned incompetence and stupidity as well," the prince said.

"What truly worries me is, what precisely were the crowd of degreed bureaucrats who constantly accompanied the late Hangman (Akau‘ola) to London and Hong Kong (to attend the Hong Kong Sevens at the invitation of Cable and Wireless) doing when the extremely unequal terms of the Cable and Wires agreement were so readily agreed to?"

Tupouto‘a last year retired as foreign and defense minister and is tipped to take over the lifetime appointment of Prime Minister.

Current Prime Minister Baron Vaea applied to retire in 1995 and will be "on leave" from January 3 to April.

Palace reports say Tupouto‘a wants the right to appoint his own cabinet rather than leave it to his father, King Taufa‘ahau Tupou IV, who makes the lifetime appointments now.

Tupouto‘a caused a sensation recently when he fired the Harbour Authority appointed by his father and cancelled pension payments to ministers and civil servants who had retired but were still working.

He said inertia by the government had given people in positions of power "a false sense of security" that they could not be made to answer for their actions.

"Mutiny is when the lower orders rebel against higher authority," he said referring to the difference between civilian law and military law.

"However, when those in authority willfully behave in a highly irresponsible manner, it is termed a barratry. It is significant, furthermore, that both carry the death sentence.

"While I do not advocate the death sentence in this case, I do wish to point out the seriousness of harm that is caused by misconduct at high levels."

For additional reports from Orientation Oceania, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Other News Sources/Orientation Oceania.

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