Letters to the Editor – Thursday, December 2, 2023

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Steven Ratuva. Picture: University of Canterbury.

Stay strong, last long!

Renowned Fijian academic Professor Steven Ratuva had a timely message for the coalition Government, “Stay strong, last long”.

He added that it was imperative the coalition Government stayed “strong, resilient and lasted” because it had great implications for the future of Fiji’s democracy.

I read his message and then pondered about the thanksgiving church service in the Sugar City.

After the success of the thanksgiving church service at the Vodafone Arena, the coalition Government received massive support during the thanksgiving church service at the Girmit Centre in Lautoka.

While addressing the congregation, Deputy PM Honourable Manoa Kamikamica paid tribute to the leadership qualities of honourable PM, and that he was revealing a new kind of leadership in the country – humble, respectful, loving and caring, and these qualities will pave the way forward for Fiji.

May God bless Fiji!

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

National heroes

Last week I farewelled two national heroes in their respective fields, even though I was not physically present to see them off.

They are both great players in the two fields I enjoy the most — writing opinions and 7s rugby.

I haven’t personally met both of them, but the way they thrived in their respective fields made me feel as if we were close friends.

One has passed on from this life and the other has basically resigned from the field he loves.

One is the true epitome of the saying, to quote “The pen is mightier than the sword” while the other is the epitome of humility above everything.

Our very own Prime Minister sums it all in the funeral of one of the gentlemen by saying that he is a legend.

Goodbye legends.

Bon voyage to Allen Lockington and well wishes to Willy Ambaka.

You will be missed.

Sowani Vito, Nailuva, Saivou, Ra

Holiday destination

Parents with children packed in Labasa Town for back-to-school shopping (The Fiji Times picture 31/1) indicates how urgently needed financial assistance is as it is timely released by the Government.

This is a relief for the poor and needy who struggle with difficulties in these trying times of rising cost of living.

As Vanua Levu is blessed with natural fascinating scenery, let’s promote tourism to the world, to the beauty of our friendly North to our civic pride.

Natural hot water springs, rivers, floating island and Taveuni — the garden of Fiji where the new day begins, are special places of interest for visitors.

We will have more people in the job market as we update our facilities with an international airport, and building Fiji’s economy.

Enjoy your holiday in Fiji’s friendly North and feel at home away from home in the Paradise of the South Pacific.

Mai, dua na bilo!

Tahir Ali, Hamilton, New Zealand

Financial mess

ACCORDING to The Fiji Times of Thursday (26/01) I believe the financial situation of our beloved Fiji is critical.

I deeply sympathise with our Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance Professor Biman Prasad and his team for the financial mess they are facing now.

To tackle and solve this critical situation may not be possible overnight.

A lot of thorough planning by the authorities and public patience is called for.

Just imagine Fiji kept on borrowing under the previous dictatorship rule but look at our infrastructure sections.

Look at our hospitals, mainly the major ones, CWM, Lautoka, Nadi and Labasa, our roads (workmanship), water situation, power cuts on a weekly basis, cost of living, et cetera.

The debt level under the previous government increased from $2.7 billion to about $10 billion.

I sincerely hope and humbly request our Fiji citizens to have patience and cooperate with the Government in power for better results and a bright future ahead.

So far there are positive signs, let’s not spoil these.

VIJAY MAHARAJ, Sydney, Australia

Lower rate of DV

I can’t understand why some Fijians still following the FFP when it has been proven that their exit from government leadership resulted in the lowest number of domestic violence ever recorded by the FWCC team according to its national co-ordinator, Shamima Ali in your F/T 25/01/23 (Front page).

We don’t need you FFP nor your persistent tricks to return to power.

I believe the majority of Fijians are happy with the coalition Government, and leave us alone to get on with our lives.

Enough is enough.

Jioji M Cakacaka, Tadra, Votualevu, Nadi

Economic summit

Do you think the former minister for economy will be invited to the National Economic Summit in April?

If he does get invited, I conclude I will be the first one to faint.

Mohammed Imraz Janif, Natabua, Lautoka

Quarters offer

If the offer of quarters is not accepted (FT 1/2) then the Leader of the Opposition should move out and save everyone the problem he unnecessarily created.

His excuse is laughable.

Dan Urai, Lautoka

Good thing

The good thing about everything that’s gone wrong, which the coalition Government inherited is that they don’t have to look far.

Just talk to the former minister of everything and they will get the answers.

Sailosi Naewe, Naduru Rd, Nausori

Rubbish collection

Collect rubbish from the evening so we all wake up to a cleaner Fiji.

Please listen.

Asish Vinay Prasad, Park Rd, Raiwasa, Suva

Two scores

It’s so disheartening to know that Fiji dropped two scores in the Corruptions Perceptions Index.

Media freedom must be exercised, and not ostracised.

A true government can grow from honest criticism and not one that takes offence to anything but their praise.

Isa!

Ashneel J Prasad, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Toilet condition

Men’s toilets at the Lautoka bus terminal have been in the worst condition for many months.

It’s embarrassing that tourists also visit these facilities.

The walls and ceiling have deteriorated.

I request the Lautoka City Council and Ministry of Health to consider urgent maintenance to the facilities.

DAVID SUSHIL LAL, Lautoka

Cattle on the highway

Travelling from Lautoka to Nadi, I happen to see stray cattle along the highway.

These animals are a threat to transport and also can be dangerous to the public.

Please can the authorities look into it?

Navneet Ram (TD), Lautoka

Monthly salary

Can the FBC board chairman show a copy of the last pay slip for former FBC executive to verify his claims that he was receiving $32,000 per month?

BHARAT MORRIS, Rifle Range, Vatuwaqa, Suva

Official residence offer

IT is very depressing to learn how hard-hearted the Leader of the Opposition Voreqe Bainimarama is in his response to the offer given to him by the Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka with regards to government quarters to be given to him to reside in rent free.

In his response, Bainimarama said that the Prime Minister does not have any legal authority to give any such approval or instruction because it is unconstitutional and wrong in law.

When did Bainimarama start caring about doing things constitutionally, after his unconstitutional conduct in taking over a legal government in 2006 and abolishing the legal 1997 Constitution and endorsing the illegal 2013 Constitution?

If he does not accept such an offer, can he vacate the prime minister’s residence so the Prime Minister may settle in and concentrate on his task as the leader of this nation?

Every Fijian, especially your FijiFirst party members and supporters, should be ashamed of your attitude Mr Bainimarama — very unFijian, very unChristian, and very unhuman.

Kositatino Tikomaibolatagane, Navua

Municipal council elections

It is confirmed that the Cabinet has approved the process to be adopted to facilitate the election of town and city councillors.

A working committee chaired by the PS of Local Government and its membership comprising of heads of central agencies and the chief executive officers of municipal councils and Fijian Elections Office will be established to get things ready before the election takes place.

As a ratepayer, I welcome the news wholeheartedly.

I am sure many others would be happy as the news breaks.

Unfortunately these elections were sidelined by the previous government to suit its agenda.

This should not have been allowed to happen unfortunately no one tried to challenge the power of the old regime.

As such there was no municipal election held from the day they had come into power.

Thankfully under the present government things are changing positively.

We all want to see our country moving forward as per our constitutional guidelines and rules of the land.

Do not leave your people in the dark ever?

I take this opportunity to wish the new Government a successful term in office.

Thank you.

Suresh Chand, Nadi

Expression of opinion

Kirti Patel can be rest assured that the coalition Government will absolutely uphold and advocate freedom of speech in autonomous Fiji, unlike the previous regime (FT 31/01/23).

Yes, I was one of those employees who was blatantly instructed by a former employer twice (via the preferential HR Department) not to actively express my opinions in the FT Letters to the Editor column, specifically if the themes were related to the former FijiFirst government and its affiliates.

My prior bosses, who were devoted FijiFirst supporters and huge financial contributors (referring to the donor list in my hand), attempted in vain to apply a firm restraint on me from exercising my democratic right, but unfortunately failed.

I still continue to be part of The Fiji Times Letters to the Editor family a year later.

Perhaps such hypocritical employers, who portray a positive depiction of their organisation in public, yet trample on the fundamental privileges of their vulnerable employees behind closed doors, ought to be exhaustively investigated and exposed!

Employment minister?

Nishant Singh, Lautoka

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