22 Jan 2005

Samoa PM accused of racism over anti-Chinese remark

6:08 am on 22 January 2005

The Samoa MP, Aeau Peniamina, has been quick to moderate comments he's made in parliament that there are too many Chinese in the country.

Aeau says he wasn't referring to Samoans of Chinese descent.

He says he was referring to Chinese from overseas, adding the country was too small for Chinese.

The Prime Minister has called Aeau a racist for his remarks.

Tuilaepa suggested the Opposition was worried about rich foreigners buying land and businesses.

The minister for tourism, Joe Keil, an MP for Individual Voters, and himself part-Chinese, says he's disappointed by Aeau's remarks.

Two of the 49 seats in Parliament are allocated to Individual Voters, a group

of Samoan citizens descended from non-Samoans.