27 Jun 2007

Samoa police minister says fa'afafine welcome in police force

3:38 pm on 27 June 2007

Samoa's minister of police, Tole'afoa Apulu Fa'afisi, has assured MPs that fa'afafine are welcome to become police officers.

The minister's comments in parliament were in response to government MP, Tuilo'a Anetele'a, who asked if his fa'afafine son could become a police officer.

Tuilo'a told parliament he had not in his life seen a fa'afafine in the police force.

Tole'afoa says the ministry has selection criteria for new recruits but it would not discriminate, as long as candidates have the right qualifications.

The raising of the issue in parliament sparked some debate among members of the governing Human Rights Protection Party who support the charitable works done by the Fa'afafine Association.

This work includes a home for the aged.

The Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, who is the patron of the Fa'afafine Association, says they have done good works for the people and they are very talented in doing both men and women's domestic duties.