Letters to the Editor – Saturday, November 26, 2022

Potential voters during the FEO registration drive in Suva. Picture: FT FILE

Postal votes

THE Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem seems now to be bemoaning the low number of postal votes received.

I do not disagree with his concern especially when the FEO did several expensive trips to Australia and NZ trying to register voters, opened and ended registrations on many occasions and did some targeted blitzes to try and reach out to voters.

Against the moneys spent by FEO, it does seem a waste.

Let me also advise him of the other major reasons which have affected the low number of postal votes.

People waited for a long time before the election date was announced and of course this happens to be during exams and when people have booked to go on holidays for the major annual break.

For postal votes, the notice given by the SOE I believe was short and for many of us based abroad, the requirements were quite expensive.

Getting a public notary to witness one’s voter application will cost you around AUD$50.

Why isn’t a voter’s registration number and an online applications sufficient?

As always, the process is being made so complex and unwieldly that this is now a major burden.

And frankly, why do these need to close three to four weeks before final election date?

If the Government and FEO wants to encourage voters to vote, they should make the process more streamlined.


2000 coup

PRIME Minister Voreqe Bainimarama is reported as saying that “there is too much of people who think they know it all, they do not actually know what happened in 1987 and 2000” (FT 25/11).

Yes, we know that guns were removed from the armoury to carry out the 2000 coup.

But we don’t know who ordered the removal and if anybody was ever taken to task.

Perhaps he can enlighten us.


Government borrowing

I FIND the comments from financially illiterate politicians who talk about the national debt embarrassing.

To me they are proud to publicly announce that they are so stupid.

But the tragic part is they believe what they say – that their children will be paying these debts.

If the government did not borrow, these same people would be starving on the streets now.

JAN NISSAR, NSW, Australia

General election

A TOTAL of no less than nine political parties are contesting the 2022 General Election.

This is a clear indication of how divided we have come as a younger, civil and democratic society.

I recall, as a teenager at least 52 long years ago, there were only two political parties contesting our earliest elections, post-independence.

Fiji has come a long way in a few short earthly years.

What a divided change!

Civility in recent campaigning appears to be on the wane.

This is worrying.

It is a concern.

I pray there are no bad losers.

This cannot be the legacy Fiji deserves.

Our educated youths and younger generations are watching, listening intently and observing the paths immediately ahead of us all.

Fiji deserves peace at all cost.

Harsh words are not necessary, in my humble view, and national respect.

RONNIE CHANG, Martintar, Nadi

Fiji roads

I AGREE with Mr Rabuka who said some roads build during his time is still around in good condition.

My dad reminded me yesterday that some roads in Simla were actually build during some thirty-five to forty years ago and was only patched up some 10 years ago.

What I can’t understand is why the new roads build not even six months ago require patching work.

Is it the workmanship or materials used to build roads?

Maybe some former PWD road supervisor can actually tell the secret behind those roads.


Political campaign

I CANNOT fathom the hate speeches among political campaigners and leaders.

All we hear and watch are some vandalism activities to a certain party and defaming people by trying to outdo each other.

I saw a few who don’t take the heat and lose the plot of their speech, hence a bizarre ending.

Then I seat back and wonder, yeah it’s 21 days, few minutes and few seconds before December 14.

I find this quote fits this perfectly, “Every time you work on a political campaign, half the people hate you. That’s how it is”. Brittany Kaiser.

JIOJI O TORONIBAU, Navetau, Tunuloa

Timely reminder for journalists

PACIFC journalists were reminded by Alan Clark, who is the US Embassy in Australia’s regional public diplomacy officer, for the Pacific to keep adding to and sharpening the tools in their toolkit that help them recognise and expose dis and misinformation.

Clark reminded the journalists that their roles were important in countering misinformation in this day and age.

He urged them to continue to strengthen their shields.

Clark added that a network of global, likeminded partners in government, the private sector, civil society and the media all working together was needed to effectively expose, counter, and build societal resilience to dis and misinformation, and protect the integrity of democratic institutions.


World first

SELAI Adimaitoga’s comment that “Bainimarama is a leader who cares for us now and in the afterlife” (FT 25/11) must make Bainimarama the first leader in the world to do that.

I now understand why Bainimarama has been regarded as a “saviour” by some.

RAJEND NAIDU, Sydney, Australia

Proud hypocrites

CAN the Opposition politicians who called for the Fiji Airways planes to be returned and the airline to be closed explain why they now travel to Australia, NZ and the US in these same planes.

They should be taking another airline or better still they should be catching Air Drua.

Proud hypocrites they are, but the tragic part is that they do not even know they are proud hypocrites!

And these people want to run the country.

JAN NISSAR, NSW, Australia

16 years in power

AFTER sixteen years in power, this Government and our roads have developed something in common, they managed to churn out a monumental mess.


External exams

I HOPE that all my peers are looking forward to our yearly 2022 external exams from next week starting with Year 13.

May I send my best well wishes to all the students around Fiji?

This will be my last letter for this final term since I’m returning back home to Nadi, two weeks from now, to meet my family and house pets two dogs and two cats.


No jokes

NOW that we know that it is illegal to make jokes about the mistakes of judges in Fiji, I want to know whether there are any consequences for the judge who made the error.

KIRAN KHATRI, Samabula, Suva

Highest number

TO answer my brother Sukha Singh (FT 24/11) from my knowledge, the highest number of ministerial portfolios is held by Mr Omniscient, our minister for everything.


Party leaders

ALL the party advertisements tell voters to vote for the party leaders.

So the rest of the candidates have to go house to house and beg for votes themselves.

I think this is very unfair.


Strong mix for tourneys

I’M glad that our pace-man Alasio Naduva, who has established himself as one of the fastest players on the circuit hitting a top speed of 36km per hour, has made the cut for the second leg.

Head coach Ben Gollings was consistent with his selection, retaining bulk of the players who made their appearance in the national colours at So Kon Po Stadium in the 20-17 loss to Australia.

Josevani Soro and Iowane Teba will miss the trip, while Iowane Raturaciri made the cut.

Naduva is renowned for his speed and pace and his experience will be an asset as the flamboyant Fijians face Argentina, the All Blacks 7s and Uruguay.

On the other hand, the Fijiana, which is pooled with Ireland, Spain and Japan in a very tough pool, has a good mix ahead of the Dubai 7s.

Members of the Rooster Chicken Fijiana 15s Talei Wilson, Younis Bese and Ilisapeci Delaiwau made the cut for the Dubai and Cape Town 7s tournaments.

Rusila Nagasau will be missed, as Rejieli Daveua will captain the side which has names such as Vani Buleki, Ivamere Nabura, Verenaisi Bari, Sesenieli Donu, Lavena Cavuru, Viniana Riwai, Reapi Uluinasau, Ana Maria Naimasi and Aloesi Nakoci.

Just a week to go before our men’s and women’s 7s teams hit the Dubai heat!

Toso Viti!


Remuneration relativity

AN incoming government should reinstate an independent emoluments committee, certainly not with sitting MPs as members, which shall deliberate on the level of remuneration for Parliament, the Higher Salaries Commission to review the employment packages for executives of the State and government-owned entities and the re-establishment of the Tripartite Forum (employer, employee and government) to provide a consultative platform for employment in Fiji.

There appears to be an ugent need for these three entities among others, to provide some semblance of relativity and comparability in the employment market.

Just saying.


Unbearable heat

THE humidity is getting beyond our ability to tolerate.

Heat from the sun is like firewood burning next to you.

No wonder you see so many people buying fans and air conditioners to find some relief.

While the relief is there so is there the side effects.

Under this prevailing humid weather conditions, we must all take as much water as possible to avoid dehydration.

Children must be taken special care of at all times.

It was good to see many of our people carrying water bottles these days.

This is good, keep it going.

If you can encourage others to do the same.

Stay safe.

Thank you.



SO used to forgetting

Can’t remember what’s happening

But the mind is wandering

Hoping to remember something

Trying to understand this feeling

But it is very disconcerting

Disturbing and depressing

As many issues are pressing

And much action is pending

Wondering if I am living

But life has so much in offering

Hoping for an awakening

Perhaps expectations exceeding

But still having challenges facing

Mind still questioning

Wondering what is lacking

The reason for forgetting

And why it is so difficult retaining

At least there should be something remaining

Forgetting causing so much suffering

Fear now surrounding

Upsetting and threatening

Remembering challenging

So difficult and demanding

But forgetting so damaging

Sometimes punishing and confusing

With the potential to cause conflicts

Hardly anyone forgiving

The outcome so shocking, but not surprising

The situation now discouraging and distressing

As forgetting leading to failing

The consequences so overwhelming

Hoping memory could be everlasting

But attitude unwilling

This is so bewildering

But memory gradually decreasing/dwindling

Forgetting things so embarrassing

Everything was looking so promising

But now the result is frustrating

As this forgetting is really unending

BHAGWANJI BHINDI, Laucala Beach Estate, Nasinu

Stop rape

OUR Fijian society is full of sick perpetrators.

Can you imagine how sick our society is given our 53 years of independence.

Imagine what it would be like in the next 47 years from today?

Thank you Shamima Ali and your hardworking FWCC team for keep highlighting this issue.

Stop raping your family members.

Rape is not my Fijian culture!


JIOJI MASIVESI, Tadra, Votualevu, Nadi

Awards galore

THIS week’s Kaila! newspaper contained inspirational stories and colourful pictures from the awards day.

As schools awarded students during their annual awards day, Naitasiri Secondary School celebrated 50 years of existence.

Congratulations to the staff members, students and management!

Furthermore, heading to the Year 12 and 13 external examinations, the success stories of Tanisha Singh and Isireli Mataitoga of Saint Thomas High School should inspire our beautiful students to aim for the skies and work hard to achieve the desired results.

The USP journalism students awards was also covered via the Kaila! newspaper and it was fitting that the editor-in-chief of Fiji’s oldest newspaper was part of the awards function!

Vinaka vakalevu Fred for being a brave editor-in-chief!

Awards galore as we hit the end of the academic year!

Thumbs up to the Kaila! newspaper team for never failing to impress with rock-solid stories and features!


Life is for living

“I THANK God every day for giving me a long life so I could support my children during their young days until today.

I am still around to provide that motherly love and support.”

Raijeli Diogo had this to say as she shared her story with Serafina Silaitoga via The Fiji Times (25/11) People column.

For Raijeli, singing Hindi songs is another way of promoting unity and love irrespective of religion, colour or gender.

She believes that we must make use of our God given talents and gift.

Raijeli shared that with no financial support and employment, she struggled through life to support her children and her priority was to educate them.

Working as a cane labourer helped her a lot and during the six non-harvesting months, she went out fishing, planted crops, rice and vegetables and sold them at the Dreketi market.

I salute her for the vision and for being a strong, but kind, loving and caring mother whose children were her utmost priority.

Thank you for such a heart-warming and inspirational piece Serafina and The Fiji Times!


Next government

PLEASE, whoever comes into power in the next election, can they focus on the three Ps.


Can they be fixed, always reappearing despite new sections of road built or holes filed.

Hope these do no surface on our new proposed highways.

Power outages.

Every second day we are resetting our digital clocks because of power outages – planned or unplanned failures.

Not to mention the damage to home appliances with these continued failures or fluctuations in electrical supply.


The many election false gifts that some parties are offering that will see a repeat of previous governments, which will see the Fijian economy bankrupt with every Tom, Dick and Harry given loans or debt write offs and offers of returning your purchased freehold property.

We could all soon be able to get loans of up to a quarter million dollars to purchase a guitar.

Maybe a potential prime minister can hold his Cabinet meetings in the corridors of the golf club which he is familiar with, which can save money.


Political campaigns

AS we are gradually approaching December 14, almost all confirmed candidates are seen in the battlefield trying to capture every single vote.

After observing closely for the past two weeks, I believe the political parties have also increased their campaign momentum.

Looking at the turnout of voters and observers at their rallies and also the feedback we get from grassroots people, it appears no political party may strike an absolute majority to form a government on its own.

But it is also getting clear now that the real tussle appear to be between two heavyweights Voreqe Bainimarama of FijiFirst and former prime minister Sitiveni Rabuka.

Professor Biman Prasad of NFP – which is in partnership with Sitiveni Rabuka’s People’sAlliance – will definitely increase his numbers in the next Parliament.

According to few close observers, the Prime Minister takes Mr Rabuka as his real threat.

Maybe true too since it can be seen in FijiFirst rallies the Prime Minister taking more time only attacking Mr Rabuka and Prof Prasad of NFP.

I am also told that in some corners of Fiji even friendly betting started as if they are getting into Melbourne Cup mood again.

According to some observers, social media, main media stream, letters to the editor in The Fiji Times and articles in Fiji Village, a new government is almost certain after this year’s elections.

VIJAY MAHARAJ, Sydney, Australia

Brilliant Brazil

THE five times world champions did not disappoint their diehard fans when they took up Serbia in their first group match.

In the first 45 minutes, the Serbians did enough to keep the scores 0-0.

They deserve praise for their effort.

However, after some hard talk from the Brazilian coach at half-time, the Brazilians shifted into another gear.

They cut through the Serbian defence like a knife in the butter.

The lung power of the fans, together with the fluidity of the Brazilian midfield, finally melted the solid Serbians.

Richarlison, who had touched the ball the least number of times in the field until then, pounced on deflected ball to score and Brazil to lead 1-0.

The lead boosted the confidence of the number one ranked team and they mounted attack after attack.

Richarlison showed his class.

The No 9 proved worthy of wearing the number nine jersey.

He controlled the ball with ease and in one motion scored his second with a tailor made bicycle kick.

I think this goal will be remembered for a long time to come.

ARUN PRASAD, Dilkusha, Nausori

Beautiful win for Brazil

RICHARLISON scored two goals, the second with a spectacular acrobatic kick to help Brazil beat Serbia 2-0 in its opening match.

Brazil struggled to get past the Serbian defence until Richarlison scored from close range in the 62nd minute in a buildup that started with Neymar and in the 73rd minute, the striker used one touch to get the ball up in the air and then spun around and got off the ground before knocking the ball into the net with his right foot.

Vinicius Junior assisted in both goals.

Neymar, seeking his first major title with Brazil, stayed at 75 goals for the national team, two shy of Pele’s scoring record after he was substituted with an ankle issue.

After South American giants Argentina lost, many had their hopes pinned on The Selecao to record a win in its opening game and the five time winners did not disappoint.

I’m so happy that Brazil won its opening match, but I’d love the boys to lift the trophy, which we last won in 2002 in Asia.

Since that win, Brazil has not played in a final, including 2014 in its own back yard.


Fijian Drua unveils jersey

THE Swire Shipping Fijian Drua will launch next season’s Super Rugby jerseys today which will be available at Jack’s of Fiji outlets.

The jersey look attractive and should inspire and motivate the Fijian Drua to perform better than this year.

Manufactured by leading sportswear brand New Balance, the jersey has retained the design of the primary “royal blue”.

Not only the players but fans have also been wearing the Fijian Drua outfit with pride and passion and expect increase in sales and crowd numbers as the Fijian Drua will be playing quality opposition at home.

Imagine the prospect and excitement of seeing our boys take the Crusaders which is the most successful team in the history of Super Rugby, in the Sugar City!

I can feel the nerves, cheering for the Drua at a jam-packed Churchill Park on a beautiful Saturday afternoon!

I’m looking forward to the 2023 Super Rugby season and my Fijian Drua jersey!


Peaceful election

THE Fiji Times picture of FEO staff members busy at work (FT 23/11) to maintain the rule of law by NGO Collations on Human Rights (NGOCHR) seems to be well prepared for a peaceful election.

As the election date is nearing, the politicians’ assuring voices are echoed to be heard by every Fijian wherever they are.

We all have our democratic rights to choose the government of the day.

Every vote is counted for the best person to deliver to the best of his capability and popularity.

For those of us who have gone through the worst, are appealed to forgive and forget as we are in the new changed modern world to see the best and the peaceful election soon.

We all pray for the safety, progress and prosperity of our beloved Fiji.

Let’s learn from yesterday, live peacefully today and hope for the best tomorrow.

The best team wins the race on the level playing field.

God bless Fiji.

TAHIR ALI, Hamilton, New Zealand

Wairiki 7s light up Garden island 

THIS year’s Wairiki 7s tournament lit up the Garden Island.

Household 7s names Police Blue and Police White, Wardens, Raiwasa Taveuni, Combat Uluinakau and DXC Westfield graced their presence in Taveuni with exciting and sublime rugby skills.

Add to the joy of seeing star players take the field, those on the Garden Island had the opportunity to meet the 7s legend Jerry Tuwai.

Tuwai, who has been asked to rest and will miss the Dubai and Cape Town 7s tournaments, was on hand to support his Barbarians Newtown Vikings volleyball team alongside his wife Mereani.

$10k was up for grabs and more 7s players were unearthed after the completion of the pool matches.

I thank the organisers of the Wairiki 7s tournament for bringing rugby to the Garden Island!

I also acknowledge The Fiji Times for promoting the Wairiki 7s tournament via its sports page.

It’s always a pleasure to read stories from the North.


Pending for too long

IT’S been a few months now since the new sealing on the section of Andrews Rd in front of my residential dwelling was ripped off to allow for a new drain to be created to mitigate the problem of water stagnation.

I think the road was to have been dug only when work was ready to be commenced and not before that.

By ripping off the seal, you have left the residents of the area in a terrible situation in which they have to bear with dust and other associated problems like flying chips et cetera, 24/7.

This is not how professional firms deliver the service.

At this juncture, I would like to pose a question to FRA, when will the pending work get attended to?

Thank you.


High pressure, power outage

RECENTLY, I noticed cases of utilities damaging our property.

Twice now extreme high water pressure has caused broken water pipes.

Just recently, there was no water at Martintar then suddenly in the middle of the night my tenant heard a joint in water pipe feeding the water tank burst open.

The pressure was so high that the joint holding both ends of the pipe split open.

This also happened to my water tank sometime ago.

The water pressure was so high that the PVC pipe feeding the tank burst open with water gushing out everywhere.

It seems that the Water Authority of Fiji is having a hard time maintaining a normal water pressure.

Energy Fiji Ltd is no different. Just yesterday there was a brief power failure.

When power was restored, a high surge killed my WIFI modem.

I had to spend $110 for a new one and had to spend over an hour for TFL sales people to set it up.

My friend nearby also rang me to ask why is the lights in his house flickering?

He was using LED Light throughout.

Maybe the power surge had damaged his lights as well.

I had to buy surge protectors for my equipment.

Perhaps I should send my bill for the replacement modem to EFL.

What can EFL do about these power surges?

NORMAN YEE, Martintar, Nadi


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