Samoa PM: Opposition ‘Cowards’ For Opposing Investment Bill

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Tuilaepa says Citizenship through investment will boost economy

By Lanuola Tupufia

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Jan. 10, 2015) – The Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi is having another go at the Opposition for continuing to voice concerns about the ramifications of the ramifications of the Citizenship Investment Bill 2014.

If the bill becomes law it allows a citizen from any country who is willing to invest four million tala [US$1.7 million] in Samoa to become citizen.

During his weekly programme on Thursday, Tuilaepa said the country does not need leaders who are cowards and gutless.

He also believes that the Citizenship bill is a way forward for Samoa to create more employment for the locals and attract foreign investors.

"A leader of a country should have a big heart and a big brain," said Tuilaepa.

"We don’t need cowards and gutless leaders. There is no use of having big guts but no brain.

"If all they do is based on being afraid the Opposition (members) should all resign."

The Prime Minister also reminded Palusalue that Samoa was founded by "brave men, not cowards."

He said, being afraid is a sign that indicates how "foolish they are.

"It shows that they do not want to develop the country but to remain poor."

Tuilaepa also brushed off concerns that lands will be taken by those that will become Samoan citizens under the proposed bill.

"Our rights or lands are protected under the Constitution," the Prime Minister reiterated.

"To say that they are afraid that our rights will be taken away is wrong. It just shows that even they don’t even understand the law."

The Leader of Opposition Palusalue Fa’apo II has been publicly criticising the government for the proposed bill.

The bill was created by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour.

Palusalue said the bill is an indication that the government is broke and the Prime Minister is desperate. "Why else will they be so desperate to sell our identity?" he said referring to Samoan passports.

"Have they run out of ways to generate revenue for the country that they are turning to sell our birthrights?"

Palusalue is not the first Member of Parliament to criticise the bill.

A number of Members of the Human Rights Protection Party have voiced their concerns about what the bill could do.

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