Letters to the Editor: firstname.lastname@example.org
Minimum wage rates
Some months ago, the public will remember, and especially the large audience that gathered at the Fiji National University campus, that Dr Mahendra Reddy stated his determination of the $2.32 per hour minimum wages for all Fiji was backed by detailed "scientific and objective" analysis and international methodology.
I had replied that there were some industrial sectors in Fiji which could not survive even that wage rate, while there were others that could well pay more but would use that rate to refuse further increases for the workers.
I also pointed out that my analysis of the operations of the Wages Councils for 30 years clearly showed that employers had continuously placed unfair pressure on ministers, by going behind the back of the Chairmen of the Wages Councils (as with Father Kevin Barr over the past five years) and either postponing the new Wages Regulation Orders for higher sectorial wages, or simply arbitrarily giving only a proportion of that stipulated, with the result that real wages of these workers declined.
Recently, the Minister for Labour reduced the minimum wages from Dr Reddy's "scientific" judgement of $2.32 to $2 per hour.
Dr Reddy has made no public statement.
Can Dr Reddy please explain his reaction to this "interference" with his original stipulation of $2.32 per hour?
Professor Wadan Narsey
Seats on buses
One issue I'd like to raise with the relevant authorities are in regards to the seating space provision on some of the buses running on our roads.
Much appreciated by bus companies in introducing new buses on Fiji roads. This has improved the efficiency of service being provided and also fewer breakdowns has been experienced. However, some of the buses bucket seats capacity is very limited which has caused inconvenience in comfort travelling by passengers.
Some passengers are seen struggling and are often seen taking one and half seating space to travel in comfort.
New bus seats were designed in regards to seating capacity of the country where the buses are manufactured i.e China and Japan.
Their weight and height ratio are different in comparison with Pacific Islands.
It would be much appreciated if relevant authorities take a glance at bus plans locally and make seating space provision as per plans.
Kuku Bau Rd
I, admire Napolioni Lalama for his Lenten vow to stop swearing.
But I had a little giggle thinking he must really be a swearer.
I know a few who could give up swearing .... they can be found under that tree in Lautoka.
Who said "desperate times calls for desperate measures?
With the revelation in Thursday's The Fiji Times that eight people have died of dengue fever, one wonders what the government and our law enforcers have really done to come down hard on complacent citizens who do nothing to clean up their back yard and eradicate their surroundings of mosquito breeding grounds.
My neighbour was served a notice on 14 February by relevant authorities to clean up his backyard. The notice expired on 21 February and no action has been taken so far by the offender. I have been told that he will now be issued a court order.
While this snail process is being followed more and more lives are being hospitalised. My life and my family's lives are being put to risk too. I wish to ask the government of the day and the Minister for Health what desperate measures have you taken during this desperate times?
Why can't we charge the offenders after seven days of non-action?
Why can't we change the decree during these desperate times with some desperate measures to save innocent lives? More people are dying and more people are being hospitalised and yet some people are sleeping on the job and would rather watch people die.
The announcement that the dengue epidemic has resulted in eight deaths and this is likely to increase is causing concern.
I have read recently in letters about supplemental therapy using herbal medicines and kumala leaves. I would like to share an experience which occurred in my own family recently.
Three weeks ago my youngest son aged 32 came down with the serious form of dengue involving massive internal bleeding.
He was bleeding not only internally but through his gums and nose and was rushed to the acute ward of the CWM Hospital.
His blood platelet count had gone down to less than 5 per cent of normal at 5k and was given an infusion of platelets immediately.
The next day when his reading was taken, his count had actually gone down further to 4k, and there was general panic within the family.
The doctors recommended a further infusion of platelets and that a blood transfusion was necessary and word got out immediately to friends and families who turned out in numbers at the blood bank.
A member of the family had read on the internet that pawpaw leaves were known to increase platelet levels so I rushed home and blended four young pawpaw leaves with 600mls of water, strained the mixture into a litre bottle and rushed back to the hospital.
We insisted he gulp down a quarter of a glass each hour although he said it was difficult to take down.
The next day when his reading was taken, low and behold the count was up to 22k. Given the experience the previous day we thought this was miraculous. Within 72 hours of imbibing of the pawpaw leaves juice he recovered enough to be discharged by the doctors.
Now I don't profess to say that his recovery was only attributable to pawpaw leaves and that the blood and platelet infusion would have brought about his recovery in any case, but when a family member is staring death in the face, one is bound to try anything. In our case we can only thank God it all worked out.
We have heard about the curative benefits of pawpaw leaves in cancer cases, but there has not been any medical evidence to prove its efficacy. I thought however, of sharing this experience in case readers experience the worst case of dengue in their family and may wish to try this supplemental remedy.