Politics

‘Expose the rot’ – Narube

EXPOSE the rot. This was the urgent plea from Unity Fiji party leader Savenaca Narube to the people’s coalition Government in relation to the recent exposure of CEO salaries under the FijiFirst government’s watch. “The...

Police focus on Qiliho : Suspended compol quizzed on abuse of office claims

SUSPENDED police commissioner Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho was questioned for several hours by the Fiji Police Force Criminal Investigation Department yesterday. Police chief of intelligence and investigations Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police Sakeo Raikaci said he was quizzed over claims of abuse of office. Mr Raikaci said the police task force involved in the investigation...

7th February

President says good money tools vital

Government cannot manage its finances without good measuring tools and personnel committed to long-term objectives, says President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere. Speaking in Parliament during the opening of the 2023-2024 session, Ratu Wiliame said the re-establishment of the Ministry of Strategic Planning, National Development and Statistics would be given priority to ensure better co-ordination and formulation...

‘Pie must grow’

Diversifying our resource-based sectors is key to growing the economy, says President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere. He said this while opening the 2023-2024 Parliament session last Friday. “To grow the economy, we must increase the size of the pie by diversifying our resource-based sectors that give us the greatest potential and opportunities,” the President said. “We...

‘FBC a public entity’

The people of Fiji own the Fijian Broadcasting Corporation (FBC), says FBC chairman Ajay Bhai Amrit. He said this in relation to a question from the media on whether former FBC chief executive officer Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum’s pay was confidential information. Mr Amrit said the bottom line was that FBC was a public entity. “The people...

Saneem lodges complaint against Turaga

Former Supervisor of Elections, Mohammed Saneem has lodged a complaint with the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC)  against the Attorney-General, Siromi Turaga. He revealed in a statement that he has lodged a complaint in relation to a statement made on Friday, February 3 by Mr Turaga. Mr Saneem, in his statement claimed Mr Turaga...

Amrit to Riyaz: I’ve got receipts

I’ve got receipts. Fiji Broadcasting Corporation board chairman Ajay Bhai Amrit said this in reply to claims by former FBC CEO Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum that he was not paid the monthly salary of $32,000 announced by Mr Amrit in an earlier news conference. Speaking to the media yesterday, Mr Amrit said the information had been double...

‘FBC could not continue without State funding’

The Fijian Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) cannot continue without government funding. FBC chairman Ajay Bhai Amrit said this in a news conference yesterday, while responding to a question from the media on claims made by former FBC chief executive officer Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum that Government left FBC short changed. Mr Amrit said since Mr Sayed-Khaiyum took on...

‘I was investigated by FICAC, had my home and offices searched’

“I was investigated by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC), interviewed numerous times and had my home and offices searched unannounced.” Former Fiji Sugar Corporation executive chairman and CEO Abdul Khan said this in response to comments by Sugar Minister Charan Jeath Singh earlier this month that he was resubmitting for another probe by...

Investigation is ongoing – police

Chief of Intelligence and Investigations Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police Sakeo Raikaci says investigations into FijiFirst party general secretary Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum are continuing. “After taking over the office of Chief of Intelligence and Investigations, I have reviewed the investigation files with ​necessary​ guidance provided to the ​​task force,” Mr Raikaci said. “They are now working...

Singh’s claim ‘grossly overstated’

Former Fiji Sugar Corporation executive chairman and CEO Abdul Khan says Sugar Minister Charan Jeath Singh’s claim that he was paid a salary of $802,800 per annum was “grossly overstated”. He said Mr Singh “should verify the correct annual salary and donate the balance to worthy charities in Fiji”. Mr Singh, while speaking to the...

Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum’s pay package – Amrit: We have proof

Fijian Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) board chairman Ajay Bhai Amrit says he has receipts to prove former FBC chief executive officer Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum received an annual package of $387,790.08 inclusive of benefits and entitlements. He said this worked out to $32,315.84 per month Mr Amrit also said they had evidence in the form of payslips and...

Australia PM pushes for bipartisan support on Indigenous referendum

SYDNEY (Reuters) -Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will push for bipartisan support on a referendum that aims to set up an Indigenous consultative committee in parliament, when it meets on Monday for the first time this year. The landmark referendum, to be held later this year, will establish an Indigenous “Voice”, that can make representations...

U.S. military says it is searching for remnants of Chinese spy balloon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military said on Sunday it is searching for remnants of the suspected Chinese surveillance balloon it shot down the previous day, in a dramatic spy saga that has further strained American-Chinese relations. The U.S. Navy is working to recover the balloon and its payload and the Coast Guard is providing...

6th February

Pakistan’s former President Musharraf, key U.S. ally against al Qaeda, is dead

ISLAMABAD/DUBAI (Reuters) – Pakistan’s former President Pervez Musharraf, a key U.S. ally in the campaign against al Qaeda following the militant group’s Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, died in Dubai on Sunday after a prolonged illness. He was 79. Musharraf, a former four-star general who seized power after a 1999 military coup, died in hospital in...

Thousands of Danes protest cancelling of public holiday

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Thousands of people gathered in Copenhagen on Sunday to protest a bill put forward by the government to scrap a public holiday to help finance increased defence spending. The demonstration was organised by the country’s biggest labour unions which oppose abolishing the Great Prayer Day, a Christian holiday that falls on the...

Republicans criticize Biden for waiting to shoot down Chinese balloon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Republican U.S. lawmakers on Sunday criticized President Joe Biden for waiting days to shoot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon as it floated over the United States, accusing him of showing weakness toward China and initially trying to keep the breach of U.S. airspace undisclosed. A U.S. Air Force fighter jet on Saturday...

Japan government has sounded out Amamiya about becoming BOJ governor -Nikkei

TOKYO (Reuters) -Japan’s government has sounded out Bank of Japan (BOJ) Deputy Governor Masayoshi Amamiya to succeed incumbent Haruhiko Kuroda as central bank governor, the Nikkei newspaper reported early on Monday, citing anonymous government and ruling party sources. The next BOJ chief will face the delicate task of normalising ultra-loose monetary policy, which is drawing...

No one is exempt from the law – Tikoduadua

Home Affairs Minister Pio Tikoduadua has reiterated that no one is exempt from the law. He made this comment while speaking on the crucial importance of the separation of powers by law enforcement agencies under his ministry. “Even though I am the minister responsible, I have a mandate of government. The police should only respond...

Debt ‘limits’ State’s capacity

Fiji’s $10 billion national debt and a further $1.8b in contingent liabilities will severely limit the Coalition Government’s capacity to borrow further for critical capital expenditure on infrastructure such as roads, ports, hospitals, water and sewerage. “Our national debt also restricts the Government’s ability to direct spending into key areas such as education, health and...

‘No one above the law’

No matter how high one’s public status is, no one is exempt from the law. This was reiterated by Minister for Home Affairs Pio Tikoduadua as he spoke about the crucial importance of the separation of powers by law enforcement agencies under his ministry. “Even though I am the minister responsible, I have a mandate...

5th February

Saneem: A-G acted contrary to the law

Former supervisor of elections Mohammed Saneem says while resigning from his position, he had highlighted critical issues with the Constitutional Offices Commission (COC). In a statement released on Friday evening, he said he resigned from his position because he found the process followed by the Constitutional Offices Commission lacked natural justice, good governance and certain...

Saneem questions legality of immigration watch list

Former supervisor of elections Mohammed Saneem has questioned the legality of his name being placed on the immigration watch list in the absence of an official Stop Departure Order. He was prevented from travelling to Australia while attempting to board a flight at the Nadi International Airport on Friday morning. In a statement, Mr Saneem...

4th February

PM Rabuka: Aiyaz a ‘person of interest’

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka says the former attorney-general, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, may have his “movement out of Fiji” restricted if he was subjected to any prosecutorial processes. He made the comments in an interview this week with New Zealand-based Tagata Pasifika. Mr Rabuka said Mr Sayed-Khaiyum was allowed to leave the country initially because “there was...

FICAC stops Saneem; FEO refers him to FICAC

Former supervisor of elections Mohammed Saneem was stopped from leaving the country yesterday at the Nadi International Airport. He was stopped after he was referred to the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) for alleged abuse of office and for corrupting benefits given to, or received by, a public official offences. Mr Saneem’s stop order...

Prasad: There will be no mini-budget

“We’re not about that kind of inconsistency and haphazard policy making.” This was the statement made by Minister of Finance Professor Biman Prasad when responding to queries on why there wouldn’t be a mini-budget. He said different people would have a different take on the subject. “The people have to understand that we’ve just come...

Fiji Coalition Government plan to revamp services

The people’s coalition Government’s plans to revamp medical and hospital services, improving education and strengthening sports programs were highlighted by President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere when he opened the 2023-2024 Session of Parliament yesterday. He said on the health front, there were plans for the revival of medical and hospital services and functional divisional command centres...

President’s plea for healing of divisions in the nation

Unity, resilience and togetherness. These were the themes reflected in President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere’s speech to members of Parliament as he opened proceedings for the 2023-2024 Session of Parliament yesterday. He addressed both sides of the House, making an urgent plea for the healing of divisions in the nation, and also in Parliament. Ratu Wiliame...

Big salaries were wasteful – Minister Singh

Wasting taxpayers’ funds on people who were not worthy. This was how Sugar Minister Charan Jeath Singh described how the FijiFirst government ran the sugar industry. He said he was shocked to see the hefty salaries and allowances former Fiji Sugar Corporation CEOs were paid. While revealing the salary packages of former FSC CEOs on...

Great Council of Chiefs scheduled for May

The first meeting of the re-established Great Council of Chiefs (GCC) will be held in May. However, by recognising indigenous rights, the Government does not seek to place indigenous rights above the rights of members of minority ethnic communities. President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere emphasised this while opening the 2023-2024 Session of Parliament yesterday. He said...

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