A Chinese businessman, James Sun, has refuted claims by a Samoan woman that his company works on Sundays.
“We don’t work on Sundays,” Mr. Sun told the Samoa Observer yesterday.
“We came last Sunday to remove timber, after receiving calls that someone was stealing our timber.
“We did some work by removing the nails on the timber in order for us to take our timber, but that was it.”
The Chinese businessman made the comments in response to a complaint by a nearby resident, Tuilaepa Soiamoa Grey. She was unhappy that the company was working on Sunday.
“As a Christian country, our day of worship is on Sunday,” she said.
The woman also questioned the legality of the recent amendment to the Constitution to allow Samoa to be declared a Christian state.
“I have nothing against the government’s decision to make Samoa a Christian state. I fully support it.
“But what I find contradictory and hypocritical, is when the government changes the Constitution, yet allows foreigners to disrespect our day of worship by continuing to do hard labour on Sundays.”
Tuilaepa lives next to a construction site at Vaitele. The workers are Chinese and they have been working on the Pesega Fou School.
According to Mr. Sun, although they are not Samoans, they have a lot of respect for traditions and the culture of Samoan people.
“I am married to a Samoan woman, we have four children and one on the way and we are active members of the E.F.K.S. We are God fearing people,” said Mr. Sun.
“We may be Chinese but we are not notorious people, we are in Samoa and we do what Samoans do and most of all, we have the utmost respect for Samoa’s traditions.
“Please rest assured that we don’t work on Sundays. We came last Sunday to remove our timber, but it was not even a whole day.”
Project Manager, Faumuina Patrick Leiataualesa supports the comments by Mr. Sun.
He said there is no construction work on Sundays.
He then referred to the Pesega Fou School Principal; Rebecca Toleafoa Toala who put in place conditions of the project which strictly disallows any construction of the school project on Sundays.
“We have signed the contract of the project with the Construction Company and this was one of the conditions is that there is no work on Sundays,” he said.
“This school belongs to the Latter Day Saints Church and under no circumstances that hard labour work is allowed on Sundays for this project, especially this project,” said the Principal.
Va’a Alofipo who was in charge of leveling the site and putting up the fence said their workers have not worked on Sundays since the project started.