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Ruta Mave: The silence is deafening

Monday 30 January 2023 | Written by Ruta Tangiiau Mave | Published in Editorials, Opinion


The Silence of the Lambs is a horror thriller movie from 1991 about a serial killer psychologist Hannibal Lecter helping FBI agent Clarice Starling to track down another serial killer, writes Ruta Mave.

The title is in reference to a story about how Clarice is sent to her uncle’s farm and she could not handle the screaming of the sheep in the slaughter house including lambs – a symbol of innocence. Clarice realised she couldn’t save them all so she took one and ran away with it. The silence comes from their lack of screams either because they have been saved or because they are dead.
The government especially the Prime Minister remains ‘silence of the scam’ on charging the Chinese construction company for their pitiful work installing our water pipes. They say now they won’t use them again but we told them in a petition of 4000 signatures not to use them in the first place because of the woeful job they had previously done on the Justice, Police and indoor and outdoor stadiums.

I remember Mark Brown standing up against the NZ inspector saying there was nothing wrong with the Chinese workmanship. Then the same Kiwi came back in charge of the rebuild and the replacing of the Chinese laid pipes. All this is done with Kiwi donated funds that could have been used to improve other areas of our lives in health and education instead of fixing a job they should have been given in the first place. Yes, their quote would have been higher but you get what you pay for right? It would have been cheaper than what it is now. Brown stood up saying he was taking the Chinese construction company to task to repay us for their failure to deliver on their workmanship. Sshhhh.

Not only is Brown silent on why they have rescinded their claims of taking them to court, the government haven’t answered the petitioners against the chlorination in the water system. The project was supposed to install new pipes equaling better pressure. Now we have new pipes and no pressure. But we have this overriding cost of $100,000 every year per water intake to remove store and dump sludge from all the reservoirs. Credit to those standing up to be heard fighting to save the land which is leading the government to introduce a water tax to cover the costs.

What is equally unbelievable to conceive is there is no storage capacity in those large tanks at each river uptake. So when there is no rain nothing is stored, there is no water and no pressure but plenty of chemicals draining into the lagoon. All for $100 million, thank you very much.

Like lambs to the slaughter, plenty of us were screaming to the government to unshackle us from more looming debt to China. The silence is not from us being saved but because it was a done deal regardless.

When we borrowed millions from the Chinese to build a house of straw water system, we gave them not just our debt to be repaid but in kind when and how they decide like a shackled lamb to the slaughter house. Henry Puna also gave an open visa to our country for Chinese businessmen. Is it still in existence because it has a ring of silence around it?

Brown is also playing ‘silence of the tram’ airline tax debacle, no surprises there. They over tax Air New Zealand $5.4 million then reward the tax man with a holiday.  It’s tax time people, best you check your returns carefully, make sure they haven’t over taxed you. Then I suggest to get in your claims fast before they run out of funds to pay anyone what is owed. In a bankruptcy claim those owed money get their dibs on any assets first like banks and government and as often is the case the little people like mums and dads are last in line and often miss out.

Will we see the ‘silence of the fam’ with connection to the Secretary General role of the Pacific forum? Puna wants the job again after saying months ago the Micronesians will have their turn after missing out last time. But, and there is always a but he says “I am enjoying this job so much. It’d be nice to continue in the role. It’s up to how I can perform over the next year.”

CIP government have stipulated they will vote for Micronesia but let’s wait and see if puppet boy Pinocchio can stand up to his mentor Gepetto and say no to him or at least say something – but I am not confident he can. He’s the silent type of contradiction – another silence of the lambs with the growing of a nose.