Letters to the Editor – March 7, 2019

Sevuloni Mocenacagi and Jerry Tuwai rush in to support fallen Vilimoni Botitu during Fiji's 5th place final match against England at the HSBC Las Vegas 7s. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

Focus on Vancouver 7s

The Las Vegas 7s is water under the bridge and Fiji must shift its focus and attention to defending our cup title in Vancouver. Interestingly, the Vancouver 7s has produced a new winner since its inception. The inaugural tournament was won by New Zealand. England won in 2017 and Fiji did it last year. So will a new winner be crowned this year, only time will tell! Fiji is pooled with Las Vegas runner-up Samoa, hosts Canada and the darlings of the WRSS Kenya. A likely battle against Australia in the cup quarters is on the card if we top our pool and a semi-final showdown against England or South Africa. However, if Fiji finishes second in our pool then our boys are likely to battle NZ in the second cup quarterfinal and USA in the semis. Tabadamu 7s team manager Leo Naikasau Sr (F/T 06/03) had an important message — our boys need to speed up the pace of attack in order to create chaos in the opposition. Thus, Baber must work on motivating the boys and the tactical aspects of the game — urgency, tackling, decision making, taking conversions, winning restarts and communication. We need 100 per cent commitment and dedication from the players. The Vancouver 7s could decide our fate as far as winning the overall WRSS title is concerned and it’s now or never! Botitu and Nasoko are chasing Molia and Connor Braid for the DHL Impact Player Award and Jerry was the single Fijian player to make the Las Vegas Dream Team. We need more Fijian boys in the Vancouver 7s Dream Team. Hence, our boys need to rise and play their hearts out! Toso Viti! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

GDP secret please

The Economy Minister has made it crystal clear. Fiji is not buried in debt. It’s economy has been the strongest ever. It’s GDP is at an all time high. Fiji has achieved nine straight years of economic growth. It has positive projections over the years ahead. Can the honourable minister reveal the secret to this phenomenal success which no previous government can boast about? Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Women’s Day

March 8 is all about women — it’s International Women’s Day. The campaign for International Women’s Day is: “Balance for Better” Let’s build a gender-balanced world. International Women’s Day is observed every year in March and celebrates the social, cultural, economic and political achievements of women around the world. International Women’s Day is aimed at emphasising on unity, equality and advocacy — in a global environment where the differences and injustices between women and men are as great as ever. From grassroots activism to worldwide action, we are entering an exciting period of history where the world expects balance. We notice its absence and celebrate its presence. Balance drives for empowering girls and women of today that anything is possible. Also time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities. In more than 20 countries, International Women’s Day is an official holiday, in three countries (Nepal, China and Madagascar) women are given the day off. Hats off and wishing our women well for their contribution and perseverance and hard work. Neelz Singh Lami

Consultation focus

In his first live Facebook budget consultation for the 2019/2020 National Budget with students from around the country, the Minister for Economy, Sayed-Khaiyum, was posed a question by Ms Kocau on why the Government was handing out freebies if “Fiji was buried in debt”. In his response Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said that Fiji is not buried in debt and he justified his stance by saying that “Our gross domestic product sits at an all-time high. We have achieved nine straight years of economic growth and have positive projections over the years ahead.” The response given by the Minister of Economy reminds me of a book that I was reading by Rob van Drimmelen titled Faith in a Global Economy where he said, after many studies, that obviously, economic growth in itself is not an adequate medicine against the many issues affecting a nation and unemployment as just an example let alone debt. Rob highlighted a few examples to back his argument where he wrote, “In Ghana between 1986 and 1991, GDP grew by 4.8 per cent while unemployment dropped by more than 13 per cent. In the European Union, I believe unemployment has been rising since 1974, reaching about 11 per cent in 1996, despite continued growth. In Fiji I believe statistics have it that unemployment rate increased to 6.31 per cent in 2017 from 6.24 in 2016 despite the fact that our GDP is growing. I do sincerely believe, therefore, that the good state of a government or nation cannot be measured by GDP growth alone, but also must be taken into consideration issues such as poverty, unemployment and debt as well, to name a few. Kositatino Tikomaibolatagane Vuninokonoko Rd, Navua

Win some, lose some

I just don’t get it. Our fans expect the boys to win all. Please don’t forget there are 15 more teams taking part. Pre-tournament hype is like we are the only ones there. No other. Just go and grab the title. It doesn’t happen that way. You win some and you lose some. Every team reaches its peak one time or another. Consistency is very hard to maintain in high contact games. I hope they understand that our body and mind are not machines. Even machines break down often. I just hope with the number of fans criticising 7s, after all rugby has achieved, if they queue up and write in this column about soccer, the ranking might improve. Or am I asking too much? They might just waste their valuable time. A SHARIFF SHAH Savusavu

Only in Fiji

I believe we waste so many hours in banks in Fiji. Has anyone ever thought or raised an issue on this matter? Why is it so difficult to manage the queues in banks? Despite having so many tellers, I believe we still have to wait for hours in some banks. Did these banks ever thought about their customers, what they face or even decided to improve on their services? I don’t think so, as this has been the trend in some Fiji banks and this has been an issue for many years. If we go overseas to countries such as Australia and New Zealand it is so easy. No one is in a queue. You just enter, get your banking done within minutes and you are free. The population is less in Fiji yet I believe the queues are not manageable. It is an everyday story, and we are starting to get used to it. I believe some things like time management are important for everyone. Imagine a company’s accountant to accounts clerk is waiting in the queue and especially on Fridays, it sometimes takes more than an hour to get out of the queue and then when the employee gets back to work she or he will be questioned by their heads, why so late, what was the problem? So can I make a humble request to our banks to please try and address the issue of queues. Zaynab Nisha Wainadoi

Huge plans

The Local Government Minister has outlined some huge plans for municipal councils including reviews of three Acts. The municipal council, in their daily operations, are much closer to the people. Will there be a national consultation? I think people will have truckloads to share and submit. The removal of special administrators will see a selection of a team of SAs to look after the municipalities across the country. The minister said that they were looking for professionals to be part of the team. Where is the vacancy advertisement placed? Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Targeting litterbugs

Fiji needs to heed the way in which Singapore deals with litterbugs. Considered one of the cleanest countries in the world, Singapore and its people are like that mainly because of the hefty fines they get from breaking littering laws and everything else deemed illegal. Some of these simple illegal laws are, chewing of gum, spitting and urinating in public, drinking liquor in public places, smoking in public and underage smoking, littering of cigarette butts, littering in general, jaywalking and vandalism, to name a few! Fines range from $300 to $1000 for first-time offenders and up to $5000 for second and third time offenders with the possibility of facing jail time. While these laws may seem daunting, the security and cleanliness in Singapore is second to none. It is by far one of the safest and cleanest countries in the world. The solution to our littering problems is to deal with it where it hurts the most! Nothing else is working! Simon Hazelman Rava Estate, Savusavu

Breaking barriers

After Tuesday’s heart-touching story on Buyabuya Kindergarten schoolteacher Selina Sulita, The Fiji Times captured the story of 23-year-old Iosefo Rakesa, who is part of the Fiji Paralympic family and is trying his best to be part of team Fiji to next year’s World Games in Tokyo. Despite his disability and physical built, Rakesa has high hopes of representing Fiji in javelin and shot put and is training hard to meet the qualifying standards. I believe it’s time that more funding is set aside for our paralympics team to give these athletes exposure. Vinaka vakalevu Eroni Tuinuku and The Fiji Times for making my day with such an inspirational story which I shared with my children and they loved it! All the best Iosefo! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Fiji warrior

Congratulations yaca and to your U20 teammates for making it into the Fiji Warriors’ side. Your hard work and sacrifices have not gone in vain. Prove your worth on the field and keep making us proud boy. Remember the sky is the limit. Simi Kuruvoli Cunningham, Suva

Oil prosperity

We learn from a The Fiji Times report ( FT 2/3 ) that a substance believed to be oil was discovered by villagers of Nawaqabena in Naitasiri and it is now being analysed by the USP Institute of Applied Science. I hope people don’t get too excited about the prospects for prosperity with the find. Venezuela has the largest oil reserve on the planet and 87 per cent of the population live in grinding poverty. There are of course other examples like Nigeria but I believe the point is made. Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

Those trees

So trees that grew naturally aren’t a threat? What about when roads were built, trees had to be cut? And what about development, trees and mangrove had to be cut? Madam minister, would you like to make a statement? Allen Lockington Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Lazy individuals

Littering is caused by lazy, negligent, arrogant, reckless and selfish individuals among us. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Fruit is healthy

The other day, while in the check-out queue at a supermarket near Churchill Park, a local man, well dressed like a tax agent, stood ahead of me with a guava in his hand, the price on the plastic packaging reading $5.02, which made me think. The Sigatoka Valley guavas in the market (and outside after hours), sell for a dollar or two for a heap of about 15 guavas. Maybe the $5.02 guava was imported, but who cares! I don’t know saraga! Donald Singh Lautoka



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