2 Jun 2011

Samoa dateline switch bill passes second reading

2:36 pm on 2 June 2011

Samoa's planned dateline change is a step closer with the legislation to move the country to the west of the international dateline having its second reading in parliament.

The bill was tabled by the new minister of trade and deputy prime minister, Fonotoe Nuafesili Pierre Lauofo, sparking a heated debate with the opposition.

The opposition's Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi says the government should stop the change because it won't drop the cost of living or increase exports.

But the Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sailele Malielegaoi, called the MP very stupid, saying only an idiot couldn't understand the reasons the government has already given for the change.

The deputy prime minister has told the house the change is well supported by the chamber of commerce and the public.

The legislation is still to go to a parliamentary committee before its final reading.

But Fonotoe Nuafesili Pierre Lauofo says the expectation is the dateline change will become effective at midnight on December the 29th.