Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi and the government have been cautioned once more. Member of Parliament, Olo Fiti Vaai, has called upon Tuilaepa to rethink the changes his government is making in the Citizenship Amendment Act 2014.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer yesterday, the Salega West M.P. said Prime Minister Tuilaepa should not become so caught up in his efforts to settle Samoa’s debt to China that he forget what really matters.
He said if Tuilaepa truly cares for the country, he would reconsider the bill.
“My advice to Tuilaepa and his government is to discuss things that will make the country happy,” he said.
“He needs to rethink this and not get caught up in finding money from the Chinese businesses just to pay back our debt, while forgetting about the next generation.
“It seems like he’s begging the Chinese in order to pay for the debt or even pardon it. The legislation is clear that it is to satisfy the needs of the Asians to get citizenships.”
The changes in the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 before Parliament involves section 7 of the Act to cover second generation Samoans born outside Samoa whose parent was or grandparent is or was a Samoan citizen at the date of birth.
Tuilaepa had accused the M.P. of being confused with the Investment Citizenship Act 2015.
But Olo denies this. He said he understands the different legislations but there is more to the changes.
He explained that if the P.M. really does mean that the changes are for Samoan rugby players overseas, he suggested that the word "Samoan" should be inserted in the bill to allow only those with Samoan blood.
Olo also pointed out in the past there was no need for legislation change to allow Samoans overseas to get Samoan citizens as it is their birth right.
“So I don’t understand why we would need to change the law now if that is the case to allow our Samoan children overseas to play for Samoa,” said Olo.
“This is just a diversion for Asians to get into our country. I’m not racist against them but it now appears that we are relying on them for our economy and Samoa continues to loan from them.”
Olo continued to say that Samoa hardly gets aid from other countries because its system is no longer democratic but a one state party.
Lastly, Olo said the difference between him and the P.M. is he speaks from his heart.
“Tuilaepa talks about his understanding of things,” he said.
“I speak from my heart where the spirit of God whispers to me. So if he calls me stupid it means that he’s making fun of God’s message that he whispered to me…before I make a speech in parliament I pray to God to help me and for him I fear that very soon he’ll start walking the streets.”
Asked for a comment on Thursday about Olo’s claim, Tuilaepa said the M.P. was stupid.
“So that is totally wrong (what Olo claims). The change is not because of foreign investors. It’s for Samoans who were born overseas but cannot obtain Samoan citizenship.”