Letters to the Editor – March 14, 2019

Vilimoni Botitu on attack against Australia during the last pool match at the HSBC USA 7s in Las Vegas. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

Rugby 7s confidence

Come hell or high water, confidence and positivity, at all cost, must be instilled in every single member of our Fiji Airways Fiji 7s team chosen to don our national 7s team’s jersey in Soh Kon Poh Stadium, Hong Kong come April 5 to 7, 2019. To be the true champions, we must beat the very best, be they Australia, Kenya, New Zealand, England or South Africa. Do not be too complacent, though. Minnows caused some major upsets in the just concluded Canada 7s. Remember, Spain creating 7s history by defeating our Kiwi giants, NZ? Any talk of “Pool of Death grouping” instills negativity and will not help our cause as defending champs. May the best 12 experienced seasoned players chosen to represent Fiji play good, clean, disciplined, open, hard explosive running 7s rugby every special moment of every match until each final whistle. Prepare as best as you possibly can. Go forth. Play as one good solid unit. Enjoy. Deliver. Come home victorious. Almost every single Fijian, at home and abroad will be behind you praying for your success, again. Toso Viti toso! Ronnie Chang Nadi

New permanent secretary

Allow me to comment on an article on The Fiji Times 12/03 titled “New permanent secretary for Local Government”. The new permanent secretary is Dimity Fifer who is a former chief executive officer of the Victorian Council of Social Services in Australia. Reading through her background, as mentioned, her work experiences in Australia revolved around social services and in a statement, Mr Mohan said the appointment was made in agreement with the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. The questions I would like to raise are these: 1. Don’t we have qualified people locally to be first given the opportunity? 2. Does her social services background qualify her to be permanent secretary for local governments? and 3. Are appointments of permanent secretaries following the open merit recruitment and Selection (OMRS) or are they only made in agreement with the PM? I hope that the above appointment does follow the OMRS, otherwise, Fiji will be spending substantial amount of money to pay people for important responsibilities like permanent secretaries. Kositatino Tikomaibolatagane Vuninokonoko Rd, Navua

Rush hour

Despite the best efforts of police officers during the rush hour from 7am onwards, drivers travelling east through Lami face a traffic crawling nightmare. I believe the problem is caused by the pedestrian crossing next to the Seventh-day Adventist headquarters — it could be easily fixed. The crossing needs a “pedestrian overpass” — a bridge across the road, steps at each end. A good survey of the area will prove there is plenty of room for such a walkway-bridge, which would obviate the need for police on point duty and make the crossing safer. Best of all, I am sure that those Lami residents heading to Suva to work would be forever grateful! Sue Cauty Pacific Harbour

Road woes

The road leading to FNU Natabua campus is in a pathetic state. I can’t understand why the road authority can’t fix this road. It is full of potholes and bumps. There is a big population that uses this road. Fiji Roads Authority has to look into this with urgency. The junction is so bad that it becomes impossible for vehicles coming from the Natabua side to go to town after 4pm. Sometimes we have to wait for hours before a kind driver gives a chance. Why can’t we have points-men in the morning and afternoon. Paras Naidu Lautoka

Workers’ skills

Not so long ago, I had read that the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism has created a skilled professionals evaluation committee (SPEC). This committee would process applications from organisations which want to recruit foreign workers. One of the key requirements include a training plan for a local during the foreigner’s stay. According to the minister, there is a shortage of skilled workers in Fiji. With all due respect, it is unbelievable and hard to digest that not a single local citizen met the MQR to become the permanent secretary for local government. Is this how the government plans to reduce the unemployment rate of Fiji? Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Value of pension

I felt for the members of the Fiji Ex-Servicemen’s Association who raised their concern with the Minister for Home Affairs, on the dwindling value of their pension in the face of drastic increases in the general cost of living. I believe FNPF members also face the same dilemma and must bring this to the attention of the fund that the value of the dollar that they received when they began receiving pension has decreased considerably in value say 10 years down the line. I believe some have joined the population living below the poverty level as a result. I believe part of the attractive interest earned from invested FNPF funds
should be used to alleviate the hardship faced by pensioners caused by the ever increasing cost of living. EMOSI BALEI

Good news

IT IS indeed good news that “one of Fiji’s own, Fiji soccer president Rajesh Patel, has been elected as a member of the FIFA Council” (Allen Lockington FT 13/3). But it’s premature and overly optimistic for Lockington to hope that as a result
“Fiji soccer to be lifted to international standard”. One of Fiji’s own former president was also part of the FIFA establishment.
Fiji soccer saw no lift in its international standard. RAJEND NAIDU, Sydney, Australia
(Former Suva rep and Fiji southern division selection team rep)

Ethiopia link

CAN the taxpayers of Fiji be told of the benefits of having an embassy in Ethiopia which may be unknown to us? Since agriculture is still Fiji’s underutilised strength, I am sure that our nation can learn a lot of beneficial ideas from the Philippines which is closer to us, whose climate is similar to ours but has advanced greatly in agrobased industries and invention of small farming mechanical implements. Just check them out — there’s more to gain than to lose especially for us, the struggling people with little plots of idle land. SULIASI TAMANALEVU, Naimasimasi, Tailevu

Focus on Hong Kong

The Las Vegas and Vancouver leg is now under the bridge and the focus should now be on Hong Kong my favourite and the mecca of sevens where it all begun. If there is one tournament where Fiji sevens can bounce back, it’s the Hong Kong 7s, now dubbed the second home of Fiji sevens. Let’s get together, to strengthen our management team, review the selection and leave the door open for some Hong Kong mana magic experts like Eyes Katonibau and Mr Zigzag Nasilasila if they qualify and also have an assistant captain, a consistent player in the team, who can take the reigns once the captain stops playing. Most notably we lack experience and a couple of old hands like NZ has Mikkelson over the past six years, SA has Synman. Lastly a humble plea to have a referee expert in the management team who can interpret the sevens rules in the best language the boys understand. Hong Kong is three weeks away and it’s only a wink before it’s here. Most of us were born watching the HK sevens and it will be great to see a Fiji resurgence to hit five in a row to shut the gates. Go Viti rawa rawa. Joka na Hong Kong 7s. Joka na cauravou kece. Toso Viti kei na vuravura. Shalwyn Prasad Mukta Ben Place, Nabua, Suva

Huge fan support

The Fiji Times (FT 13/03) and our sports photographer Jovesa Naisua captured some beautiful pictures from Las Vegas. It was a delight seeing the colourful pictures via The Fiji Times social pages. The pictures were evident that Fijians are passionate about rugby and are camera friendly. Sevens is such a beauty that it brings everyone together and for a moment we leave aside our differences and cheer our hearts out for our boys. When the team wins we praise them and when the boys lose somehow we become armchair critics. It’s all for the love of 7s and the fact that a dot on the world map has produced exceptional 7s stars, won two Melrose Cup titles, won three overall WRSS titles and is the reigning Olympics gold medallist. Commentators have always heaped praises on Fijian fans who add extra flavour, delight and excitement to the global game. Hence, our national 7s side has a huge following all across the globe and boasts a lot of support in HK, Hamilton, Vancouver, Sydney and Las Vegas. In Vancouver and Las Vegas despite not winning the cup, fans cheered our boys on until the final whistle and waved them goodbye with a lot of emotions. At this juncture, I pay tribute to all those who have been with the 7s team away from home and to those at home who have been praying for the team. I’m a proud Fiji 7s team fan and win or lose I’d continue writing about our 7s team. Thank you Baber and the boys for the effort! To Jerry, I saw the enormous effort that you put in despite carrying some niggling injuries. Vinaka vakalevu, Little Master! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Gossip and news

Over the radio, local and overseas current affairs, death news, community messages and weather news are reported in a speedy and shortcut manner. However, Bollywood and Hollywood gossips are discussed at length. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Flight crew

Fiji Airways has assured the country their flight crew have been fully trained beyond the requirements by Boeing to handle any situation (FT 13/03) regarding the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. What if there is a flaw in the technical aspect of the aircraft? It appears prudent to take precautionary measures in such instances especially when other bigger and more developed countries have considered it appropriate to ground this class of aircraft pending investigation into the cause of recent plane crashes. Emosi Balei Suva

MAX 8 aircraft

Grounding the Fiji Airways 737 Max 8 aircraft in no way reflects on the capabilities of its engineers and crew. It’s caution based on common sense. Two new planes have crashed on take off and the manufacturer has not determined the cause. Dan Urai Lautoka

‘Old’ structures

From TV footage showing other dormitories at ACS, one wonders how such ancient structures have not collapsed, let alone caught fire. I just wonder who certified these structures as being fit for purpose. Allan Loosley Tavua

Environment woes

It is understood the environment plays a very important role in our lives and a big thank you to the Adventist Development and Relief Agency’s (ADRA) Yadrayadravi Project for organising programs which better equips our people about the changing environment. Also thanks on the same note to the Ministry of Environment for going organic from next year whereby farmers would be freely supplied with organic fertiliser. But there are some individuals who do not care about our environment as we can still see rubbish lying along roadsides and broken beer bottles at the bus shelters. Come on people rise up and take the challenge to protect and safeguard our environment. Shymal Prasad Saweni, Lautoka

One hand try

We all saw the last try that Alasio Naduva scored during the quarter-final against New Zealand at the Canada 7s. It was fortunate he did ground the ball with one hand. Imagine if he had dropped the ball. Heart attack? Turn off the TV? Not happy? And bad start for the day? I would rather stay calm. My simple suggestion is use both hands when scoring a try (if the other hand is free). That is the simplest and safest way. Go Fiji, go! Vili Yaranamua Nadi

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