A father of six from the village of Leusoali’i has weighed into the debate about the influence of Chinese businesses in Samoa.
Speaking to the Village Voice yesterday, Palasala Aumoafa’afetai, said there is definitely a need for the leaders to be cautious about the influx of new Chinese.
The 58-year-old said while new businesses offer cheaper products, the risk is greater for Samoa as it opens the door to our people and natural resources being exploited.
“To be honest all is well in Samoa,” he said.
“My only concern is the Chinese people who come and fool us with their cheap goods.
“I’ve read and heard a lot of people support the Chinese people coming to Samoa for development. I can’t control what people think because we are all entitled to our own opinions.
“We also have different views and opinions but to me personally, the Chinese offer us goods that are worth $10 but our land they are using and the privileges they get in Samoa are worth much, much more.
“I mean think about it? We can always get any goods anywhere but once we sell our lands we won’t get it back.
“The way I see it, they offer us a cheap thrill and they are taking away what belongs to us. This worries me.”
Palasala said he is happy to see that some villages are rising up against what is happening.
“I’m so grateful for those villages like Siumu and Salelologa for opening their eyes about what’s happening.
“They are well aware that their lands are worth thousands and it is something very precious that they cant let other people take away.”
Palasala said Samoans need to be alert.
“I know a lot people prefer the cheap goods from Chinese shops but please do think outside the box.”
He added that he understands that changes are good but there needs to be a balance.
“Yes we need changes but people must be aware about the circumstances we have in our societies nowadays.
“Wake up everyone, our lands are our heritage, we’re lucky to have it unlike some people in other countries.”