King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV of the great nation of Tonga has died in New Zealand, presumably of natural causes at the fine age of 88. Tupou was the last reigning Polynesian monarch. But don't worry, he'll soon be replaced by two very tustworthy heirs:
As the king battled ill health in recent years, much of the royal power passed to his eldest son, 58-year-old Crown Prince Tupouto'a and daughter Princess Pilolevu Tuita.That honestly reads like a Hollywood Movie/Trash Manga Film waiting to happen. Can't you just see it, the two siblings vying for robber-baron like control over the small Pacific island's meager resources while their people starve? The movie would of course center on a shadow society bent on wresting power from these two malevolent fools. Various henchman would be dispatched, but they would be helpless against the mystical Cargo-Cult power of the shadow society. Eventually the two rulers would be killed in a "stage boss" segment. Peace and prosperity would surely follow... But let's learn more about Topou:
But both are controversial figures due to their stranglehold on some of the country's biggest businesses and lavish lifestyles which contrast to the poverty of most Tongans.
Tupouto'a controls the island's only power company, brewery, an airline and mobile phone company. Pilolevu has made a fortune based on leasing out valuable satellite communications slots over Tonga.
Tupou became a more isolated and eccentric figure in his later years.Korean Christian Cult? Court Jester? This is too much. Oh, and Tupou also weighed 400 lbs...! Worry not, I'll keep a close eye on the Tongan crisis as it develops.
A scheme promoted by a Korean Christian cult in the 1990s -- and enthusiastically adopted by Tupou -- to convert Tongan seawater into natural gas predictably came to nothing.
The impoverished country made about 30 million US dollars through selling Tongan passports to mainly Asian buyers from the mid-1980s. But a scandal erupted in 2001 when it emerged nearly 26 million dollars had been lost in speculative investments by the king's appointed court jester and former US banker Jesse Bogdonoff.