Letters to the Editor – Thursday, March 23, 2023

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Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Agni Deo Singh with the workers after the three days training. Picture: ATU RASEA

Labour migration crisis

THIS crisis has exacerbated given that more people are leaving under the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme or via other agencies to either Australia or New Zealand.

There are more and better opportunities and demands are higher in these countries.

Therefore, competency-based labour markets are either depleting or draining out, thus calls for shorter to medium working plans for the labour markets.

This will be only possible if support is provided to institutions undertaking short and medium-term trainings.

But more challenging will be how to inculcate competencies to such graduates.

It is a great uphill battle, battling Australia and New Zealand in the labour markets is not only impossible, but inevitable.

The Coalition Government’s efforts to implement combined strategy to address the labour migration crisis is most welcome and commendable.

INDAR DEO BISUN, Sakoca Heights, Tamavua

Are we ceding to WHO

IT has been reported that 194 countries belonging to the World Health Organization (WHO) are in the final process of legally and unilaterally ceding any autonomy they have in the event of a pandemic.

Where does the Fiji Ministry of Health stand on this?

Furthermore, what has happened to the data that was amassed by the CareFiji pandemic tracking at the height of the pandemic?

Can someone from the Ministry of Health please advise the public via this same column?

MAREKO VULI, Nakasi, Nausori

A possible solution

I REFER to the article published on March 18 in regards to the wives of those who left our shores under the Pacific Labour Scheme and what was supposedly a blessing in disguise at the beginning for these women is now turning into a nightmare as they scramble to look for means of survival and are now turning to another department of the government (Social Welfare) for support as they are simply being ignored and completely left in the dark by their husbands.

With this problem in mind, I think it’s time for NEC to come up with possible solutions to tackle this situation once and for all before it gets out of hand.

If it was up to me, I would have come up with the idea to have a certain percentage of their wages directly deducted from their pay and transferred back home to their wives whom I think very much have the right to access that money as much as them because that was the only reason they went abroad in the first place.


Skilled labour

PLEASE don’t make a big deal or make noises on those Fijians who had left our shores for overseas employment.

I believe if business owners and previous governments would have paid more attention to the socio-economic and the minimum wages, there wouldn’t have been an issue of skilled labour shortage today.


No fear WAF woes

WE hear reports that Water Authority of Fiji needs up to $800 million over five years to repair its infrastructure and provide essential water services to Fijians (sorry the people of Fiji).

I suggest that in this climate of love, happiness, exuberance, and ecstasy that those who are working in Australia and New Zealand under the Pacific Labour Scheme should voluntarily donate their money earned overseas to the Government.

Just like they turned up to volunteer their services to fix CWMH, this level of love for this Government should be extended to WAF.

My estimate is that this amount of money can be donated by these workers in less than one year —there is no need to wait for five years.

Next year, they can donate the same amount to the health sector or FSC.

They should do this without any fear, I believe, in this environment of no more fear.

JAN NISSAR, NSW, Australia

Bula boys lose at home

I WAS disappointed when I found out that both the Digicel Junior and Digicel Bula Boys lost at home to the Solomons and Vanuatu 4-1 and 2-1, respectively.

The Fiji Times sports headline, which I always look forward to, had the words, “Bula Boys lose at home”.

For the Digicel Junior Bula Boys, Abdulla Aiyaz’s 40-yard free-kick gave the hosts a 1-0 lead, but goals to Adrian Mara, William Komasi, Mohammed Mekawir and Bobby Leslie gave the visitors the win.

On the other hand, the Digicel Bula Boys failed to live up to expectations as they also went down.

Johnathan Sesejack scored the opener for Vanuatu while Patrick Joseph equalised for the Marika Rodu-coached Fijian side from the penalty spot.

Former Ba rep Claude Aru sent Vanuatu fans into frenzy as he got the winning goal from a free-kick.

It’s sad to see the state of affairs of football in Fiji.

Our national football team is finding it hard to beat teams which we defeated in the ’80s and ’90s.

A lot of work is required if we are to emulate the success of our football teams then.

FijiFA has a mountain to climb.

I hope the FijiFA executives are ready for the challenge!

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa

Rugby best

THE Super Rugby Pacific matches seem to be getting faster and less tighter than the ones we used to witness.

More running and less mauling.

And surprisingly, the scorelines are bigger, even at half time.

Leave alone the Six Nations international matches.

Has a few rules been relaxed or are the players just getting super fit?

Some matches were just insane.

SAMU SILATOLU, Nakasi, Nausori

Night flights

I WONDER what happened to the night flights into and out of Labasa


Fire hydrant

THE fire hydrant at Verona St in Lautoka has been spouting for many months.

I urge the Water Authority of Fiji to solve the issue.

Also, there should be a free call number at the call centre for complaints of water from damaged pipes in public places.


Lost weight

AS per recent pictures, someone has lost a lot of weight.


Traffic problem

ONLY one solution to solving the Suva-Nausori traffic jam nightmare.


The two-men government did not consider it.

Maybe this three-legged one will.

WISE MUAVONO, Balawa, Lautoka

Happy B-day

HAPPY birthday to the greatest sevens player on the planet little master Jerry Tuwai, March 23, a 7s king was born.

Our prayers, wishes and all the best to you Jerry as you are a true legend of 7s rugby.

Nine days to the mecca of sevens.

Show them to them.

Where it all began.

Joka dina na cauravou ni Viti kei na vuravura.

Kon roki.


Road repair

THE quality of materials used is the main factor.

The vehicle repairing cost is high.

This is a carrying on thing.

Hope our roads to be worthy of vehicles.

On the other hand, too many vehicles in Fiji are another factor.


Ovalau roads

I BELIEVE our Coalition Government has had ample time to sort itself out as the “100th day” is fast approaching.

Simply put, it’s just days away.

I believe Flame Tree Developments had pulled out of their roadworks contractual obligations on the Ovalau circular road because of non-payment by the FijiFirst government weeks prior to the election.

Since then, the condition of the Ovalau circular road has drastically deteriorated to an atrocious state.

The Fiji Roads Authority CEO and his senior management team need to get out of the comfort of their air-conditioned offices, enough wasting time drinking coffee and cruising around on the tarsealed roads on the mainland, to witness for themselves what is actually happening on the ground.

Possibly, they maybe receiving daily positive updates from the ground that all is going well but in actual fact it’s the total opposite.

Please Mr CEO, do not waste your time replying to this letter.

Time is of essence.


Traffic congestion

THERE is a major issue of traffic congestion in the Suva-Nausori corridor, mainly during peak hours in the morning and evening.

With the increase of vehicles on our roads, it is no surprise that people have to face queuing for hours before reaching their destination.

The same route would take less than 20 minutes during off-peak hours.

Suva being the major centre of employment for daily commuters, this jams the roads leading to the city.

It is so frustrating travelling daily and then there are drivers that take short cut routes or drive over the footpaths and off-road tracks.

Moreover, if there is an accident in that long queue, one can only pray after that because it is practically impossible to reach the destination on time.

The sad part is that nothing major is done to curb the issue.

There is no future development plan that would enhance road usage especially during peak hours.

The only help to tackle this, is the traffic controlling police officers at the various traffic lights from Nausori to Suva, which helps to only some extent.

A suggestion I would put to the Fiji Police and the Fiji Roads Authority is to temporarily open up one lane going towards Nausori during morning peak hours (7am to 9am) and open one lane going towards Suva during the evening peak hours (6pm to 8pm).

This would mean three lanes in operation hence, allowing a better flow of traffic. This could be done by placing cones and police officers at certain points.

People are already under so much stress in this generation with the high cost of living and with this daily traffic issue, it adds to the stress.

Something has to be done.

RAYNAV CHAND, Nakasi, Nausori

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