THIS week, The Fiji Times caught up with certified fraud examiner Balmindar Singh and discussed his political aspirations in Fijian politics. Below is a question and answer session with Mr Singh:
Q: Your background and qualifications?
A: I come from a family of dairy farmers; we have been in the dairy industry for the past four decades. I am from Nausori and my family has dairy farms in Tailevu. I completed my studies at USP and at Central Queensland University. I am a certified fraud examiner. I started my career with the National Bank of Fiji. I have worked for Multi-Ethnic Affairs as a scholarship officer, I have worked for FEA as a credit controller and customer service, business development manager with WAF then I was given the opportunity to join FICAC where I resigned a month back. I have been in the public and private sector for quite some time — 20 years.
Q: Why do you want to enter politics?
A: I have an interest; I have seen that our nation is suffering. We need to have policies in place which can foster socioeconomic growth. That has made me enter politics and also I am a people-oriented person and that is where my interest is built around.
Q: What do you mean when you say the country is suffering?
A: In socioeconomics, poverty is increasing, but because of recent policies that the current government has implemented, we could see the changes.
Q: What do you want to do as a politician?
A: I want to assist the poorest of the country because I have been a scholarship officer and I have seen how people have suffered or are suffering. They even begged us for scholarships; I saw the inner feelings of people that changed me and inspired me to be a politician.
Q: Is your decision to enter politics a wise one?
A: Yes. Being a public servant there was limitations to assistance. Being a politician, I could be an asset and implement systems and procedures that can enhance development.
Q: Which political party would you like to join?
A: I have interest in FijiFirst because I have seen the policies. The policies are more people-orientated — that has given me confidence and passion to join the party.
Q: Have you applied to FijiFirst?
A: I have applied; I am just waiting for the PM to come back into the country.
Q: Are you hopeful that you would be considered a candidate?
A: I should with my background. I think I should be given the opportunity.
Q: Do you think you will get the support of the Fijian people?
A: Well, I have worked in four provinces and then not limiting myself; I have worked in Rakiraki, Ba and Macuata. I was told by the people that they will support me.
Q: What if your application to FijiFirst party is unsuccessful?
A: I will just step down because of the FijiFirst polices. The policies are in line with my thinking so better join a party which is more service orientated, try and excel in service and see that our people are given the opportunity.
Q: Your message to the Fijian people?
A: Your votes are very important; please cast your votes so it reflects your future policies and systems. Don't waste your votes.