Letters to the Editor | Sunday, January 14, 2024

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aniela Nasinanituba and a family member at his graduation ceremony in Suva. Picture: ZIFIRAH VUNILEBA

Taniela’s road to redemption

READING the story (FT 11/01) of the challenges Taniela Nasinanituba overcame to graduate from FNU, spells dedication, sacrifice, and hard work are important ingredients to be successful in life. Taniela, who hails from Yasawa, was over the moon on his graduation day because his pursuit for higher education was a struggle. He shared the struggles that he went through, as he found work at a local restaurant in Nadi in hopes to save money and pay for tuition fees. Through his ordeal, he shared that he chose to be resourceful and look for ways and means to work for his school tuition fees, and he began as a student registered under the food and beverage certificate program, but his life took a twist when he was faced with financial constraints to support his schooling. However, instead of dropping out of school, Taniela was determined to complete the program on his own, and he did so, making endless sacrifices. He also spoke on the hardships during the pandemic. He had a timely advice for readers, “My advice to others out there is to believe in yourself. Times are tough nowadays. Whatever problems you face, you must always believe yourself and remind yourselves that you are capable of achieving great things.” This an apt message from someone who struggled to graduate. RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM, Nadawa, Nasinu

New York tunnels

WE are barely a month into the new year and there are shocks and surprises across the world already. Just last week New York was at the centre of global news as a 60-foot long tunnel was found under two buildings, which were built illegally. Videos from New York are going viral as it shows Jewish people escaping from the tunnel with their belongings, which included creepy and abnormal materials such as a kid’s size stained mattress and tools of workers living downstairs. How unbelievable is it that a country as big as the United States of America and a city as advanced as New York could not find out such a massive tunnel being constructed under their own noses. We are safer here in Fiji to be honest. RAYNAV CHAND Nakasi, Nausori

Minimum wage

It is really promising to hear the Minister for Labour stating the restoring of the workers’ rights Employment Relations Act 2007. This was removed by the FijiFirst administration and in my view, it dismantled the scope of workers’ rights that was taken advantage of by the employers. After this is legally enforced into the ministry’s labour laws, the minimum wage, in my view, should then be monetarily meaningful, for a “take home” wage. Keep up the great effort! Samu Silatolu Nakasi, Nausori

National training levy

IT’S really good to know that at least 60 per cent of the funds from the national training levy currently administered by the NTPC, is being proposed to be reverted back to its original intention (funding the training of employees of those businesses including Government, who are paying the annual 1 per cent levy.) Drastic changes were made in 2019 via an order in the budget, to redirect 90 per cent of the levy funds to fund non-training areas such as the General Practitioners Scheme as well as accident compensation under the ACCF. Hopefully, the remaining 40 per cent — which was redirected to ACCF — will one day be also reverted to enable the full funding of employee training as it should be. I am sure the ACCF can be sourced from other areas outside of this levy. Edward Blakelock Pacific Harbour

Food security

We are living in uncertain times when the threat and potential for wars to spread is real. One only has to read world news updates to realise how volatile situations are and how this may impact on regional security. For now, we might be spared but should the impacts of wars spread closer to the Pacific, how prepared are we in terms of food security? Say for example, if shipping routes are blocked because of insecurity, how long can the food supplies in stores and from our farms or plantations across the country sustain us? How long can we survive on local foods should there be a halt to imported food supplies? What if a new disease or virus brings about another pandemic which results in borders closing down for five months? All in all, it is good to have some statistics on the amount of food supplies we currently have and more importantly, how long it could sustain us, should our borders close for some reason. Planning for food security increases our resilience in changing circumstances. FLOYD ROBINSON Micronesia

Year 8 versus Year 13

How can Year 13 have a 90 per cent pass rate while Year 8 has a 67 per cent pass rate? Does the syllabus get harder or easier as one progresses to the next class? That didn’t make sense. So I did my research and found the culprit. Automatic promotion to Year 9 whether you pass or fail in Year 8. It’s like you have given the carrot even before the exams and there is no stick to begin with. Even game makers don’t allow you to go to the next level until you clear the preceding levels. And here
we are promoting students without even passing exams. That fear of not going to the next class is necessary to make students more serious about their studies. Plus, this is Year 8 we are talking about. These are the very basic concepts that students should be able to grasp. If they are not able to, then there is something wrong and they should be taught the same thing again next year. Let’s not molly-coddle our kids. Let them face reality from the start. KIRAN KHATRI Samabula, Suva

Code of Conduct

Upon reading Anish Chand’s article on code of conduct (FT 13/1), it becomes evident why the Government is in no hurry to introduce the Code of Conduct Bill in Parliament. Who would want to be governed by such strict accountability and transparency anyway? SANJEET PRASAD Labasa

Let’s go beyond the talking

Anish Chand is right in saying the code of conduct legislation needs to be enacted with “urgency” (FT 13/1). If my memory serves me correctly, this ministerial code of conduct and freedom of information legislations have been talked about from later 1990s. It’s time to go beyond the talking. Why the inordinate delay? Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

Rauluni at the helm

I congratulate former Flying Fijians captain and half back Mosese Rauluni, for being appointed the new head coach for the Rooster Chicken Fijiana Drua Women and Vodafone Fijiana 15s teams. Rauluni, who made his Test debut for Fiji on November 1, 1996 in a match against the NZ Maori, was included in Fiji’s 1999, 2003 and 2007 RWC squads, and played in all four pool matches. He was the key to helping Fiji reach the quarter-final at the 2007 RWC, and rugby pundits regarded him as the half back of the tournament. Rauluni has 43 International Test Caps under his belt. The 48-year-old’s valuable experience and expertise will be handy to the Drua Women’s set-up. I’m grateful that he got the nod, as he had a sterling record as part of the Super W competition and national squad coaching set ups. He was the Queensland Reds assistant coach for the 2023 Super W season as well as the assistant coach of the Fijiana 15s during the last RWC in NZ. At this juncture, I thank his predecessor, Inoke Male, who led the Fijiana Drua women to their second Super W title last year. I also salute Selita Koroi and Akanisi Drasuna who join the set-up. The trio have a mammoth task, as they aim for a three-peat. RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Nadawa, Nasinu

Respect decision

I refer to the statements reportedly made by the Minister for Home Affairs Pio Tikoduadua. Firstly, he says that the non-conviction sentence of Chief Registrar Tomasi Bainivalu is a decision by the court and it must be respected (FT 11/1). He further states, “We have to accept what comes out of the court at the end of the day because the court is the court. “It’s the judiciary, it’s justice. But there are proper ways for people to file their disagreement if they feel that their voices are not being heard.” In my opinion, respecting a decision is one thing and accepting it is another. One needs to understand that there are avenues available under the Constitution to challenge a decision made by the court if one feels that justice has not been done. There have been many cases in the past where judgments have been overturned or convictions have been set aside by the courts. Just as appeals have been filed against an acquittal. That shows that sometimes courts could also err in their judgments. That is why we have the appeals provision within our judicial system to seek redress. The authority and discretion to appeal rests with the DPP and not with the people. However, if in the eyes of the people the decision is seen as not being just and fair then all they can do is voice their concerns in the media. That is their right which must be respected. SELWA NANDAN Lautoka

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