Letters to the Editor | Saturday, November 2, 2023

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Land Transport Authority Acting CEO Irimaia Rokowasa during an interview on The Fiji Times online news portal The Lens@177 . Picture: JONA KONATACI

No more carrot!

Hats off to whoever coined the front page of The Fiji Times on Wednesday (29/11). The words, “No more carrot”, stood out and drove fear within the spines of drivers. As we approach the festive season and with the spike in road accidents, such a warning was necessary. Thank you LTA and acting CEO Irimaia Rokosawa for the commitment shown in coming hard on drivers who are behaving badly on our roads. I hope the CEO will stick to his words of moving away from offering the carrot and instead, taking up the stick. Good on you CEO for looking at increasing the fines and reintroducing the demerit points system as a deterrent measure, while taking the initiative for proper training. It must start from somewhere, or our roads will become a death hole for drivers and pedestrians. It is important that we exercise safety and caution while driving. We have lost more than enough lives on our roads this year. Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Carrot, stick approach

The revelation by the acting CEO of LTA that he will now shift from a “carrot” approach to a “stick” approach is laughable. What carrots (incentives) were given to the vehicle owners and drivers by the LTA towards compliance with road safety rules? He is confused whether he is managing his staff or external clients. He is best advised to stick to the law and enforce it and use modern methods of enforcement. Full stop. Leave the carrots to the cooks and chefs. Ajai Kumar Nadi

Different view

I have contradicting views regarding the LTA acting CEO’s statement titled “No more carrot” (FT 29/11). Firstly, I support the statement as there is genuine intention to take down the drivers bad attitudes. Increasing fines and reintroducing demerit points systems will generally lead to a decline in road accidents due to carelessness of drivers. However, on the contrary, I am curious as to what steps will be taken if road conditions are the cause of an accident. Someone has to do the calculation on the number of accidents caused due to poor road conditions because I am sure the numbers would be staggering! Some major towns and cities in Fiji have road conditions worse than farm roads with potholes as big as Lovo pits. If drivers are to be held accountable for their bad driving, then authorities should be held accountable for the poor road conditions they provide. Keep it fair! Raynav Chand Nakasi, Nausori

More gyms

Looking at the vast rise in the number of NCDs in Fiji, I believe there is a genuine need to increase the number of gyms especially in populous areas. If carefully analysed, there are not many options for the people of Fiji, especially in the central division. Two major gyms that are reasonably affordable to an ordinary person are the USP and FNU gyms, which does not justify the population ratio. There are other gyms like the Metro Gym and there are smaller gyms here and there, however, it is not sufficient. People living along the Suva-Nausori corridor do not have gyms in their locality and this is something that needs to be addressed. While opening gyms are expensive, careful consideration and government investment could help with new gyms in these areas of need. Raynav Chand Nakasi

Why slow down?

WHY oh why do the runners at the Pacific Games slow down when they reach the tape. Methinks, that’s exactly when you either run your fastest, or maintain your speed for your team’s time. Never ever slow down. I guess runners are coached differently these days! Another thing, the PG is now not the same, with the inclusion of Australia and NZ – even with their development teams. Obviously, there are good reasons for their inclusion – the exposure it provides for our athletes and all that! New Caledonia seem to be the exception in the level of development of all their sports. Unfortunately, the rest still have a long way to go – and that includes Fiji. We seem to have regressed in sports and events we had excelled in previously. Some reasons for this, are more obvious than others. Maybe it’s time for a realistic and holistic overhaul of all our competitive sports, so as to make participation, as cost effective as possible, with maximum output for the resources inputted. Team sports seem to cost much more and gain less medals than the sports with individual athletes, who are able to get more than one medal each! Edward Blakelock Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour

Different accents

I think we have become accustomed to different accents from around the world. Some are very easy to identify. However, we do struggle with others. But my focal struggle is with the locally “Made in Fiji” accents. And I am not referring to Fijians who have been overseas. Irrespective of the period. On the local front, what I am more accustomed to is dialects. I think you would agree with me. I have had horrible experiences when locals try to speak to me in English with an unidentifiable improvised accent. All I do is stare, try to stay connected and pretend (hopelessly) that I understand while wondering within whether they are from the Western, Eastern, Southern or Northern division. Many times I have left saying abhi ata hai. And they understood what I said. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Retention of state funds

So the permanent secretary of Finance (PS Finance) exercised his powers under the Financial Management Act 2004, and authorised the balance of funds amounting to $18.5m to be kept by Vodafone and Digicel. We know that individuals who use these wallets and have funds in them are not paid any interest; however, they pay a fee for cash withdrawals, that is pay to use their own funds. If the unused funds were retrieved by the ministry and placed in a term deposit, would it not yield a return? Or did it? What kind of stewardship is PS Finance practising? Ajai Kumar Nadi

Gift of God

Life is the greatest gift of God Love is the greatest gift of God God has gifted life and love to us The planet on which we live Is the greatest gift of God The entire universe is the gift of God Humility is the gift of God Intelligence is the gift of God Patience is the gift of God Shining humanity is the gift of God Crown yourself with proud humility Which will take you to prosperity Nature is a gift of God Which was once smiling But now crying How we slithered her of her serenity Hope is another gift of God It helps even in the darkest of times To challenge and conquer adversities Hope is essential for survival But we need to reflect on these gifts To find pathways to cherish and flourish These gifts to blossom and bloom Into fulness into our lives For humanity to progress and grow Making the world a more meaningful Place to live in Adding value to life. Whatever life offers Treat it as a gift of God And plod on valiantly We need to value the gifts of God And reflect how these gifts Can be translated into words and actions To make the world a much happier and peaceful Abode to lead a meaningful life Let’s ponder how we can reciprocate These gifts back to God. Let’s cherish these gifts of God And churn them into a necklace of love and humanity These gifts are the rainbow in our clouds Shimmering in the magical colours. Bhagwanji Bhindi Laucala Beach Estate, Nasinu

Wind turbines

The news of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) signed (now under probe) between the Ministry for Fisheries and Forestry and an American entrepreneur is a classic case of “the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing”. We all know that our own wind farm in Sigatoka was a failure so did it not occur to the Ministry of Fisheries that the venture was something too good to be true? It may well be realistic, however, doesn’t even one soul in the ministry know the process to be followed for procurements and contracts? I believe the proposal should have been presented by the relevant minister to Cabinet and channeled through the Ministry of Finance, EFL, and the agreement vetted by the Solicitor General’s office. Or was someone going to give the Fijians a surprise Christmas gift? So sad to see government administrative processes in shambles through the recruitment of incompetent staff. Ajai Kumar Nadi

Party season

It’s December and the party season has arrived. Whatever one’s views, as long as we are responsible! Floyd Robinson Micronesia

Keep fit A

cting COMPOL reminded Police Mobile officers to be fit at all times. How about the big belly (one pack) senior ranked officers sitting behind the desk? Are they excluded? Sobo! Wise Muavono Balawa, Lautoka

Reservoir project

It is indeed great news for Labasa residents that work at the abandoned reservoir project has commenced. Upon its completion, the reservoir is anticipated to help alleviate the daily water struggles of Labasa consumers. Fingers crossed that this project is completed soon and doesn’t get stuck in the pipeline. SANJEET PRASAD Mani Rd, Bulileka, Labasa

West Papua

Watching the Pacific Games 2023 in the Solomons, I wish our sisters and brothers from West Papua were also participating. Isa, I miss them with their isolation and suppression. When will they join us MSG? Jioji O. Toronibau Tunuloa

Infinite power

Could this American Infinite power company install one or two 5 Mega Watts (5,000,000 watts) in Fiji to demonstrate its goodness? Sukha Singh Labasa

Hefty investment

$122m for 27 wind turbines seems quite a hefty investment. One assumes that due diligence and the necessary approval processes were followed re: Cabinet endorsement and parliamentary approval. If not, than something is amiss here. Edward Blakelock Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour

Long queues

It seems as we get more technological advanced, the queues at our financial institutions, ministries, supermarkets etc becomes longer. Why? Wise Muavono Balawa, Lautoka

The deal

So the genius owner of Infinite Power referred to our Deputy Prime Minister as “some guy” (FT 1/12). This is highly inappropriate and disrespectful. Clearly, he must have forgotten he’s dealing with the Deputy Prime Minister and not any ordinary individual. With those eloquent words, he has undoubtedly sealed the deal on any hopes of smoothly progressing with his impressive project. SANJEET PRASAD Mani Rd, Bulileka, Labasa

How did that happen?

How can a $US55 million ($F122m) deal go through by by-passing the ministers? Sukha Singh Labasa