A naturalization ceremony was held in Cabinet chambers this afternoon where 18 long serving local immigrants and 4 2children took the oath of allegiance to become Samoan citizens.
Amongst the group of new citizens were the owners of the popular Madarin and Tang Chen Restaurants in Apia.
Jianfeng Zhu is the owner Mandarin Restaurant in Apia and he was naturalised together with his wife Xiaofen Huang and their two children Hana and Kenny.
Owner of Tang Chen Reataurant in Savalalo, Mr Zhiming Ji was joined by his wife Kaili and two children Jason and Kevin.
Head of Credit Division and Acting General Manager for the National Bank of Samoa, Mr Russell Poppleton was amongst the new citzens as were long serving owners of Selprize Ltd, Khosrow and Ruth Moghbelpour.
The group also included Transam’s Agency Manager and former restaurant owner Colin Chan, who is also well known amongst the business community and married to a Samoan.
From the agricultural sector was Joan Macfarlane, Owner of the Ifieleele Plantation at Fasitoo-uta.
Speaking at the ceremony Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi congratulated the group and acknowledged their service to Samoa.
“This is a testament of your determination and commitment to take Samoa as your country and home. Congratulations!”.
“Today’s occasion is not solely about the fulfillment of legal requirements of the citizenship Act, but it is your declaration before God Almighty, whom this country is founded upon, that you would solemnly declare that you would be truthful in pledging your allegiance to Samoa and her people, and you had undertaken to respect her traditions and laws in fulfilling your obligations and duties as citizens of this country”, said the Prime Minister.
Tuilaepa acknowledged the high powered group as business owners and leaders within their organisations.
“I note with sincere appreciation your contributions to the economy and service to our people through your various professions;
“Samoa needs devoted citizens who are determined to serve the people with humility, care, and professionalism, and are committed to work collaboratively for the betterment of the country’.
The Prime Minister also warned Samoa’s new citizens to continue to live as law abiding citizens.
“Any act that would bring disrepute and proven to have undermined the integrity of Samoa, peace, and harmony among her people, is intolerable under the law, and the consequences would likely result in immediate revocation of one’s citizenship”, said Tuilaepa.
“It has taken you years to qualify for Samoan citizenship. It was a long wait; however the process for revocation of citizenship due to non-compliance with requirements of the law is swift”.
“The message for you today, is to serve your country with humility, honesty and above all, love. We have a collective responsibility as citizens of Samoa; and that is to serve our people and protect the interests of our country”
“We should neither lose sight of our duties as Samoans, nor forfeit the confidence of our fellow citizens to do everything within our means to enhance our economic development, create job opportunities, raise the level of health and education, promote tourism and agriculture, strengthen information technology and to protect our sovereignty.”
LIST OF NEW CITIZENS
1 Colin Wilfred Chan, Papua New Guinea, Agency Manager, TRANSAM
2 Faisal Nazar, New Zealand, Managing Director-Pacifika Motors
3 Jianfeng Zhu, China, Owner Mandarin Restaurant in Apia. 4 Xiaofen Huang – dependent. 5 Hana Zhu – dependent. 6 Kenny Zhu – dependent.
7 Jingyan Li, China, Self Employed Baker
8 Joan Elizabeth Macfarlane, Australia, Owner of the Ifieleele Plantation Fasitoo-uta.
9 Jun Li, China, Owner of the Pacific Traders Wholesale.
10 Khosrow Moghbelpour, Australia, Owner of the Selprize Ltd.
11 Ruth Moghbelpour, Australia, Owner of the Selprize Ltd.
12 Natasha Alice Humphries-Bernard, New Zealand, Manager – Online
13 Pamela Keil, New Zealand, Teacher Early Childhood – Senese / Loto Taumafai.
14 Peter Ross Humrich, New Zealand, Manager Ah Liki Construction Company
15 Russell Keith Poppleton, Australia, Head of Credit Division –National Bank of Samoa.
16 Shijia Hu, China, Technician for Green Power.
17 Tevita Siuimoana Fahina, Tonga, Senior Sonographer Ministry of Health
18 Umesh Narayan, Fiji, Owner of the Samoan Information Technologies Association
19 Zhiming Ji, China, Owner of Tang Chen Reataurant, Apia.
20 Jason Bai – Dependent. 21 Kevin Ji – Dependent.
22 Kaili Ji – Dependent.