by: Otis Aisek
I was fortunate enough to have had the chance, on separate occasions, to talk with two of our FSM congressmen. The talks were lengthy, but we touched upon four main themes:
1. The healthcare issue in Hawaii.
2. Growing emigration of citizens. Larger numbers of FSM citizens moving to the USA.
3. Poverty issues and homelessness of FSM citizens living abroad.
4. The future of FSM.
These were their responses, (paraphrased):
1. Concerning emigration and health: We are working hard to find more opportunities for our citizens. If our citizens choose to go abroad to seek better opportunities, then that is their freedom. For those who are finding hardships overseas, come back home. We have ample fishing and farming to support a comfortable life. look to our customs for solutions. Our ancestors have set up a lifestyle of little stress and will ensure good health and a long life.
2. On the healthcare issue in Hawaii: FSM citizens should have faith in their leadership to find solutions. They (the citizens) should not drum up attention elsewhere. In other words, they need to be good guests to the foreign lands they now inhabit. It is not the islander way to be publicly protesting.
3. On the future of FSM: The FSM continues to have a weak private sector, that needs to improve. We also need to strengthen foreign relations with other countries other than the USA. Chuuk State needs to be a priority. It is the State that is in need of the most help. In addition, many of our young, bright citizens are moving out of the FSM. We are looking to find better opportunities for them back home. It is also incumbent in them to think about their home country, their islands, and to consider helping their fellow countrymen and women who are less fortunate than they are.
The two congressmen will remain anonymous. It is also important to note that a third congressman refused to hear my questions and abruptly left.
I apologize If these statements will stir bad emotions. They are for the sake of discussion and I thought it was important for FSM citizens living abroad to read about some thoughts that their leaders have on the current issues we are facing.
I conclude with three questions:
1. Do you agree with any of the statements? Disagree?
2. Are you satisfied with how FSM leaders have been addressing these particular issues?
3. What do you think our leaders should do?