Government to create register of overseas Samoans
Cabinet has approved a plan to create a register of all Samoans living abroad with the Office of the Prime Minister to have oversight over the project.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi said the database will assist the Government in its future plans.
“Our people residing overseas are world renown for their natural talents and flair in their respective career and field of expertise,” he said in an excerpt from his weekly programme released on Monday.
The register would be implemented by the Ministry of Prime Minister and Cabinet as an "informational database for Government to refer to in its deliberations on future national issues that will benefit Samoa" according to a statement from the department.
It will also acknowledge Samoans based overseas for their accomplishments and contributions to the welfare of the country.
The Prime Minister touched on the issue of notable Samoans while reflecting on the recent tribute to Samoan culture paid by Seiuli Dwayne Johnson in his latest movie Fast and Furious Present: Hobbs and Shaw.
The Prime Minister was highly impressed with the inclusion of the Siva Tau and his call for war in the Samoan language in the movie.
“I take my hat off to Seiuli,” he said.
And he singled out internet critics for criticising the former World Wrestling Champion for not speaking Samoan with fluency and promised to convey gratitude to the actor on behalf of the Samoan people.
“For a few seconds, Seiuli immortalised our country, our people and our Samoan identity on the silver screen," the Prime Minister said.
"And for that Seiuli and all of the Samoan actors and actresses in the movie have more than earned the Government and People of Samoa’s approval and highest commendation.”
The statement from the Prime Minister's department said that Seiuli compared favourably to "certain Samoans who had benefited from local taxpayers hard earned money which funded their scholarships and have returned home to rip the people off with their financial and political scams".
By contrast, the statement praised Seiuli for the pride shown in his heritage.
The Prime Minister also reflected on the contributions made by the Samoan diaspora to a variety of fields, including sports and culture:
“In sports, Samoans are world champions in professional boxing for instance. David Tua for one is the first Samoa to reach the world stage and his achievements will be recorded officially in the registrar as one of our rare breed of Samoan achievers,” he said.
“I was also moved with the emotional reactions by Samoan World discuss Champion, Beatrice Faumuina while here as a supporter and spectator for the recent Pacific Games.
“In tears during the opening Games ceremonies, Faumuina there and then to me reaffirmed her pride and for me she represents the patriotism of hundreds of our sons and daughters overseas who would give all to represent their country of birth and heritage.
“We have comedians who have highlighted our Samoan way of life, our struggle as a people and our journey of survival to capture our genuine Samoan way of life for the world to appreciate and respect.
“And Samoa’s footprints in Hollywood is the latest historical chapter".
Seiuli’s grandfather is the late Godfather of Samoan professional wrestler, Fanene Leifi Pita Maiava while his mother Feagaimaleata Fitisemanu Ata Johnson hails from Lalomanu Aleipata.