Lal attacks government supporters

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Government backbencher Vijendra Lal. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU/FT FILE

Virendra Lal spent the bulk of his maiden speech in Parliament on Monday attacking supporters of the Coalition Government for allegedly making “racist and discriminatory comments” and allegedly making obscene signs in front of the FijiFirst headquarters.

“The President in his address spoke about uniting the people of Fiji, however, here we have a government whose supporters are making indecent gestures in front of the FijiFirst office and taking pictures and many are now resorting to making racist and discriminatory comments on almost a daily basis on social media,” he said.

“What examples are we setting for our future generations? Is this the change people wanted?”

Mr Lal, who replaced Rosy Akbar after her resignation last month, also said suggestions that Fiji’s secular state status since 2013 was linked to social issues among children in Fiji had affected him.

“I was emotionally disturbed when it was said that Fiji is being changed to a secular state since 2013 and thus has been the cause of morale deterioration among our children over the years.

“This is a lie. In fact, a secular state allows its citizens to carry out their prayers and religious activities in their own ways without any interference from the government and I have no idea how this has caused the morale deterioration among our children.”

The new parliamentarian also said the Coalition style of government was a far cry from how the FijiFirst administration ran the nation.

“Those who seek to divide us, those who seek political gain from this discord and disagreement, those who make false promises are not leaders.

“Leaders bring us together, leaders put the interest of the nation before their own and speak the truth.

“We need decisive leadership that brings us together, that has a plan and that does not risk our future and that is the legacy of FijiFirst.”

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