Gang-like activities fear

By Vatapuia Maiava 05 February 2016, 12:00AM

A local businesswoman who has been preaching about the dangers of foreign businesses in Samoa has plenty to say about the alleged gang-like attack in a feud between two Chinese-owned companies.

The dispute between Country Shop and Princessa led to an alleged attack last Thursday, which is now the subject of a police investigation.  

But Moe Lei Sam, the owner of Lei Sam’s Variety Shop, said Samoa does not need this kind of behavior.

 “I was surprised because there is always Samoans saying that Chinese always support Chinese. Look what happened? They had a fight. Chinese against Chinese,” she said.

“For me at the start, I thought it was funny, because I always have a go at the Chinese. But I’m surprised that the Chinese are at that stage of jealousy between businesses.”

Ms. Lei Sam said this is extremely dangerous for Samoa.

“We don’t need Mafia kind of activities here in Samoa. This has never happened in the days of my father and all those old Chinese from history, it’s very surprising hearing and seeing what’s happening with all these new Chinese.”

Ms. Lei Sam said she is worried about the possibility that these activities could influence the rise of gangs in Samoa

“To me, what I’m afraid of is that they do their mafia type of attitude back in China and other big nations and now they’re trying to do the same to our beautiful Samoa. They should go back to where they come from and do their gang stuff back there. We don’t want any of this happening in Samoa.”

”Besides Samoa is supposed to be a Christian paradise island. One day they will have all these gang businesses and believe me Samoan guys will get involved. They said Samoans are not involved but they will. They will be influenced by the money.

“We want a tourist to come here and have a safe holiday. We don’t want them to be afraid that a Chinese would shoot them or attack them. We don’t want that to happen here. We want to live in peace.”

She is also concerned about the possibility of this incident getting bigger than it already is.

“If this continues without the government or public stepping in then it will get worse. It will damage the Samoan name, the Samoan country and everybody. What if the person who was beat up retaliates and this turns in to war?”

Ms. Lei Sam believes the government is largely responsible.

“Who are we going to blame? The Chinese do not just turn up in Samoa, they are here because the government gives them access. Especially the Prime Minister, he’s the one I blame for everything.”

Asked if the job opportunities created by foreign investors was worth all of the trouble, she said: “It’s not worth it at all. Plus I know for a fact that most of them brought their own workers to Samoa.

 “This all has to do with the greed of money. If this was a Samoan shop right next to Princessa, are they going to do this to that Samoan owner? The old Chinese have adapted to the Samoan ways, the new ones should too.”

By Vatapuia Maiava 05 February 2016, 12:00AM

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