The headline “Chief Justice alarmed at crime targeting Chinese” published on the front page of this newspaper earlier this month raised eyebrows.
Not only was it concerning that crime has become a major issue in Samoa, the idea that certain criminals are picking their targets based on race and ethnicity, is extremely frightening. We cannot ignore it.
This is especially worrying after another incident, which appeared on the front page of your newspaper yesterday, involving a U.N. Intern from Denmark who was also robbed. Which is what took our attention back to Chief Justice Patu’s remarks about the attack on a Chinese man.
Said His Honour Patu: “Criminal offences which involve Chinese nationals as victims have been at an alarming increase in the recent past, particularly burglary and theft.
“But there have also been other kinds of offences. This is becoming of serious concern that soon the Courts are going to impose heavy sentences if this trend does not cease.
“The Chinese are contributing in a significant and substantial way to the development of Samoa, but people like the accused with their actions are likely to undermine the good relationship that the rest of Samoa has with the Chinese.”
He emphasised that the continuing rise in the level of criminal offending against Chinese nationals in Samoa is a concern to the Court.
“Not only does this involve burglary and theft but also the use of violence in such cases.“
We couldn’t agree more with the Chief Justice. This matter should be taken very seriously by everyone in this country. What we need to remember is that whether they are Chinese, Indians, English or whatever race, these people are guests of our country.
We should feel duty bound to look after them. Think of thousands of Samoans who are also being treated as guests of many other foreign countries. What were to happen if those countries treated them badly? How would we feel?
This is why we need to think very carefully about this today.
One of the most wonderful things about life is that no matter how bad things get, there is always an opportunity to start afresh.
And so as we prepare to say goodbye to the old year, today we should think and be inspired by hope.
We need to because without hope in this day and age, where there is sorrow and suffering everywhere, there is nothing to cling to. Without hope, the body shivers, the mind stops, inspiration ceases and we become too busy worrying about things that are beyond our control.
The bottom line is that everyone has a role to play. We must all do our best to make sure that laws and systems put in place to ensure the safety and security of everyone is respected. These laws and systems are vital to peace and security of ourselves and our visitors to these shores.
With a new year on the horizon, there is reason to be thankful; there is reason to be optimistic. Yes we see a glimmer of hope. Even if it’s just a small flicker, we believe that a little light is better than no light at all.
And that comes with the arrival of a new year.
Today, let us once again remind our leaders in government, churches and in the villages that they are occupying those positions for a reason.
That reason is to deal with the issues that are confronting us today. They cannot be ignorant of what’s going on. The criminals are Samoans, we need some Samoan solutions since the foreign systems are obviously not working.
This is what we should be thinking about in these last days of 2018.
What do you think? Write and share your thoughts with us.
Have a wonderful last Sunday of the year Samoa, God bless!