Letters to the Editor – Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Suva Grammar School’s Philip Baselala on the attack against Natabua High School in their under-18 semi-final match of the Vodafone Fiji Secondary Schools Rugby Union Super Deans Championship at Prince Charles Park in Nadi. The Lions edged Natabua 30-26 to book themselves into the U18 final against Marist Brothers High School. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Road safety concern

The LTA chief executive, Flagon Bekker’s release of traffic infringements (FT 2/10) is a clear indication that many drivers are not concerned with safe driving to prevent accidents. To ensure everyone’s safety, the LTA has mounted awareness programs with training in schools. We can save many lives by following the rules, cooperating with police and land transport authorities. Let’s enjoy driving within our limits for everyone’s safety. Your destination is a reward for safe driving. Tahir Ali Hamilton, New Zealand

Schools rugby

Imagine the economic benefits the town and its people derive from mass gatherings brought about by big sporting events like the one we just had last Saturday at Prince Charles Park. It was the Deans Rugby Championship semi-finals which as expected had a huge crowd in the arena. This kind of response gives a clear indication that secondary schools rugby is moving in the right direction. Such overwhelming support is the culmination of years of hard work, dedication and sacrifice of a lot of people. Their team effort is commendable. The finalists for all categories competed in has been decided and I believe the tournament will now move to the Sugar City of Lautoka. Now the city gets the opportunity to earn some additional income when the finals are played there. Unlike Nadi’s Prince Charles Park, Churchill Park is miles ahead in beauty and upkeep. If our town fathers can look beyond their shoulders to know what I mean. We cannot expect people to hire a facility which is not up to the standard required. I can write more but I leave that for another day. May I take the opportunity to wish all the affiliates and contestants all the very best. Thank you Suresh Chand Nadi

A piece of land

The Vanuatu National Provident Fund (VNPF) CEO, Parmod Achary during an interview had said that “… the Fijian Government had given a piece of land to the Vanuatu Government for the construction of its high commission” (FT 1/10). With all due respect to our Wantoks, please Mr Achary elaborate further. The word ‘give’ in the Oxford Dictionary means carry out an action, it says nothing about monetary exchange. I believe that in this day of transparency, more information should be given to the general public, as this is the Fijian Government of the people, and for the people of Fiji. Where is this piece of land? What is the value of this land? Do the neighbours know? From my recollection, the last piece of land given for the building of a high commission was at the Museum grounds. All will remember the uproar that resulted from that giving. Korina M Waibuta Knollys St, Suva

EFL poles

Sukha Singh of Labasa has the right idea to make EFL poles fire proof. One idea would be to make precast 10 feet moulded concrete slabs and meld them to the bottom of the wooden poles. The slabs could come in three pieces, bolted together and the edges sealed with plaster. Thus you have wooden poles that can withstand cyclones and concrete shields that are fire proof. Something to think about EFL? Norman Yee Martintar, Nadi

Hospital trouble

In light of very recent print media reports, will some foreign donor country please step forward to finance, design and build a brand new modern state-of-the-art hospital for Fiji’s Capital City, Suva? CWMH is definitely tired and worn out. She must be retired. She has done well over the years. Her time is definitely up. This is “no bull”. The truth is unpleasantly uncomfortable and unpalatable. Can a brand-spanking new replacement hospital be built in progressive stages over a 10 year period commencing in 2025, after giving 2023 and 2024 for planning and designing?
Scoring brownie points and finger-pointing is not a acceptable solution. Besides, how many of our ministers in Government, including Members of Parliament ever care to use this grand maternal matriarch of World War One fame? Could we have a show of hands, please? Or is the Suva private hospital always the preferred medical option? Or, luckier for the privileged few, private air medical evacuation to preferred hospitals overseas. The first Colonial Hospital was re-located from the Old Capital, Levuka to Walu Bay, Suva in 1894. The then new Colonial War Memorial Hospital was built and completed in 1923 at a cost of £319,500. (Just to refresh a piece of early medical history in Fiji). The rest is all history now. Your friendly caring kai Nadi also cares for our own Capital City, Suva, too. I need to jolt some caring and facilitating brainstrust, going forward. RONNIE CHANG Martintar, Nadi

Status of hospital

I read with disgust and madua about someone from overseas who has been coming to Fiji for the past 21 years, bringing a team of medical professions twice a year to do volunteering work. They have been delivering lifesaving pacemakers to Fijians who need it, and now to say that our two main hospitals are in a run-down situation F/T 3/10/22. No use to defend or rebut Dr Fiona Riddell’s statement, Dr Fong? It seems the Minister of Health might want to continue his tour to the Northern Division to avoid the ammunition firing at him? According to Dr Riddell both CWMH and Aspen Lautoka Hospital are in run down conditions. What about the Medical Tourism idea? Jioji M Cakacaka Tadra-Votualevu, Nadi

Thank you

A very big thank you to Pacific Island Pacemaker Services chairwoman Dr Fiona Riddle for making it known that the CWM Hospital in Fiji’s Capital City was “run down” (FT 3/10). There has been a tendency on the part of “the government of the day” (to borrow A-G and multiple minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum’s expression) not to pay heed when this is pointed out by Opposition political leaders and members of the public. Hopefully Dr Riddell’s call “on Government to listen to the experts” will be heeded. Dr Riddell’s assessment of the state of the hospital cannot be discounted because she “has been visiting the country since 2001” and she tells us she “has not seen any improvement to infrastructure in the past two decades despite writing to authorities about her concerns”. Why is that? Who has the government of the day been listening to? Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

Happy Teachers’ Day

A tribute to the unsung heroes including teachers, tutors and lecturers who were working tirelessly during COVID-19. World’s Teachers’ Day falls on October 5 to celebrate their contribution toward learning and teaching. Also know as international Teacher’s Day celebrates the role teachers play in providing quality education at all levels. As trainer in learning and development our focus is all around students. As classrooms have shifted from the schools to the computer screens, mobile or tablets it is no secret that teaching this year is harder than ever and teachers are not only trying to prepare students academically, but they are also learning and getting used to this entirely new way of imparting education. They are trying to reach out to students to make them feel connected and have a sense of normalcy. So, since the ways of teaching and learning have changed. For teachers, it’s a bit like hosting a 3 to 6-hour Zoom, TeamViewer, Google hangout or online Moodle with nobody on mute and your camera always switched on. That’s a comparison that wouldn’t have made sense a year ago, but the pandemic has ushered in a whole new reality that we’re all struggling to deal with. Now students are in class on face-to-face mode but we are still hang-on. This enables children and adults of all ages to learn to take part in and contribute to their local community and global society. A good teacher has greater influence in shaping the life of an individual even more than his/her parents. In our country’s culture, a teacher has been given a respected place. Under teacher’s proper guidance, support is very important in achieving one’s goal in life. Every successful individual always remembers the constructive role played by his/her teacher in their school-college days. It would be better if Teachers’ Day remains as a day of teacher-student bonding of learning and respect as it has always been. I leave you with a quote: “Education is the key to success in life, and teachers make a lasting impact in the lives of their students.” – Solomon Ortiz. Hats off to all teachers’ and wishing them Happy Teacher’s Day for their
hard work. NEELZ SINGH Nelson, New Zealand

Fiji Day medals

As we are approaching our 53rd year of Independence on October 10, 2022, it is only proper that we recognise certain individuals who stand for justice, and women’s human rights in our country but more so at the regional and international level. And such an individual is none other than Shamima Ali of FWCC. If the Vanuatu Government recognised Ms Ali’s contribution at the regional level a few weeks ago, then why can’t our very own Government do the same? Jioji M. Cakacaka Tadra-Votualevu, Nadi

Ruling party

Could Jan Nissar’s capacity to notice only “members of Opposition parties spreading lies, fear-mongering and misinformation at unprecedented levels” (FT 3/10) stem from the fact that he is a well-known sycophantic supporter of the ruling party? Has the ruling FijiFirst party been a “champion of democracy” during its decade and a half reign in power? What would an independent observer’s assessment be of that? Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

Our culture

I BELIEVE Emele Watisusu (FT 1/10) said it all when she stated – “We must keep our culture, our yau (traditional resources and art), because it is what defines us as indigenous Fijians. What will we become if we do not know who we are? There is one’s land, qoliqoli, animal, fish etc. Korina M. Waibuta Knollys St, Suva

Carbon emissions

On one hand, we are trying to reduce our carbon emissions. On the other, we are burning more fossil fuels to generate enough energy to charge electric vehicles to actualise the former. We humans are funny. Wise Muavono Balawa, Lautoka

Election fever

We all are excited about the election date to be announced. It’s just like preparing for the exam but the exam date is not known. Elections belong to people. Tahir Ali Hamilton, New Zealand

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