New Year Resolutions for a Change

This week 23 years ago in 1999, many foreign visitors came to Samoa to celebrate the last sunset of the millennium which was about to end and also witness the first sunset of the new millennium starting January 2000.

The last place on earth to sight both occasions was a lonely beach at Falealupo. Samoa then was the last country in the World to know or sample anything new. 

And this was not funny. 

Even American Samoans’ talking Chiefs made it a habit of ridiculing our Matai’s that the Sun rises in Manu’a daily while Samoa is still in pitch darkness.

One afternoon a decade ago, I asked the CEO – of Foreign Affairs Aiono Mose to see how we can pluck out the International Dateline (fixed over 200 years ago without our say) and dump it somewhere beyond our eastern shores.

The World Authorities on Time Zones in London thought it was a damn good idea. 

Since then the worldwide 24 hours every day begins in Samoa and ends in American Samoa.

It is the reason we always celebrate our new year a day ahead of American Samoa hardly 40 miles of oceans to our east.

But the greatest advantage of this shift in time zones, is the majority of our Samoan business men and women and their business partners in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Japan, Hong Kong, China and Singapore all located to our West, do business together on the same day. 

For the same reason also, we have more time to prepare now to travel to New Zealand or Australia for our cultural events. 

 The shift therefore, did not just occur. It was for good reasons.

 What must we do as the first Country in the World to welcome the New Year? 

Chinese Fire Crackers or our own home-made bamboo cannons to make as much noise as possible. The FAST Government must take the lead, like declaration of a week of prayer for peace and for New Year resolutions, like telling no more lies, no more stealing in broad daylight, honour all promises made and no more appointments of unqualified relatives/friends to top positions in Government ignoring the recommendations of interview panels.

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi 

Leader of HRPP

Samoa Observer

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