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Fiji Time: 4:57 AM on Wednesday 3 September

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Your Fiji Your Say

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Update: 8:04AM Letters to the Editor:

BOG winners

Everyone predicted that the final showdown will be between Suva and Ba. But two underdogs proved everyone wrong by making them play in the 3rd/4th place play-off. Yes these two teams were Lautoka and eventual winners Rewa.

It was indeed a proud moment winning the final with the majority of youth players on the field. As quoted by Sir Marika Rodu we proved critics wrong.

After winning the youth competition last year with wins over Ba, Nadi and Labasa, I said to my friends that this youth team could beat any of the Super Premier teams.

And with majority of the youth players in the BOG squad such as Garish Prasad, Akash Singh, Savenaca Nakalevu, Tevita Waranivalu, Setareki Hughes, Prashant Sharma, Asif Ali and Manasa Benito (pani pani), they did wonders and made the Rewa fans proud.

Congratulations to the Rewa players, officials, families, supporters and all those who have helped the team reach greater heights.

Delta Tigers reds! We bleed red

Pratik lal


FNPF response

We refer to the letter by Ross McDonald titled FNPF Reforms that appeared in your newspaper dated August 30, 2014, in relation to the demands he made to the newly elected government for a Commission of Inquiry on the reform.

The Fiji National Provident Fund firmly believes that the reform was necessary and the commission would find:

* The level of pensions prior to the reforms was unsustainable. We refer, for example to the International Labour Office report of 2002 which stated the sustainable rate was no more than 10 per cent pa under the then current levels of mortality and on the basis of the fund earning 7 per cent pa for the lifetime of the pensions. It also noted that earning rates of 7 per cent pa themselves did not look sustainable, and we note new investment currently can earn little better than 5 per cent pa;

* The offer to pensioners to receive their money back or reinvest it at age-related sustainable rates was fair and reasonable. There was no requirement, for example, for any repayment of amounts they had received in excess of the original amount put towards a pension; for many pensioners this was not a negligible amount. At a 25 per cent conversion rate, subsidy from working members would have commenced after four to five years.

* The Pension Buffer Fund (contributions to which ceased in 1999) acted, in the words of the World Bank, as a subsidy from young and poor to the old and rich. It effectively taxed working members who were not in a position themselves to take up a pension. Had a high proportion of retirees elected pension, the impact on investment return to members and the need for action would have been obvious much earlier, but low take-up masked the real position.

* The granting of top up pensions provided adequate protection for those on lower pensions. Some 1404 pensioners had their pensions increased to a $100 per month minimum. Some 2919 pensioners had no reduction.

* Although some 1828 pensioners did incur a reduction, and may well have needed to make adjustments to their standard of living, it is difficult to argue they were forced into poverty, since the higher reductions acted on higher pensions. The table below shows the average monthly payment before and after the reforms sorted by the amount of reduction.

The final thought we would like to leave your readers with is the reforms were for the sole purpose of ensuring the 300,000 members for whom balances are being accumulated for retirement will receive the full return on their savings, and not have any diverted to supporting pensions granted at what reputable actuarial advice stated were unsustainable rates.

Any group who proposes reversing the reforms needs to explain where the money to pay for this will come from it can only be raised by diverting funds from working members and hence lower retirement balances, or through taxation (which comes to much the same thing).

The reform was done for the benefit of all Fijians who are members of the FNPF now and in the years to come.

Tevita Nagataleka
Assistant GM Prime Services

Disgruntled drivers

IT is indeed very disturbing to hear about the lorry drivers waiting at the Labasa mill for long periods of time (FT 01/09).

Without proper accommodation or food it becomes difficult for them to wait for long periods of time especially when waiting overnight or until the following days.

It has been mentioned that more of the problems were arising due to lack of communication with the mill management.

Now what is the problem that the mill management has in communicating with the drivers? Do they feel proud letting them wait for no reason? Is this the equal rights of our citizens where they have to wait for really long hours not knowing what the reasons are thus waiting without proper facilities?

I think the authorities should pay some special attention to this matter and help resolve it.

I also suggest some actions be taken against the mill management should they be on fault as it seems very selfish and an inappropriate way of dealing with the lorry drivers who are simply there to deliver their output.

I hope something is done about this matter so that the drivers dont have to leave their families and other works to wait for unexpected times.

I hope the mill management realises the effect of their negligence.

It is indeed worrying that the drivers were given wrong times which kept shifting. How inconsiderate of the mill management to behave like this.

Kirti Patel


True freedom

In the lead-up to the 2014 election media freedom has been restored to the fullest. One particular media house is not just covering the elections but actually taking part in it. Now that is true media freedom.

Rahul SharmaVaradoliBa

Precious life

Savenaca Vakaliwaliwa stated in The Fiji Times  (25/08/14) letters column that life is precious and no one on this planet has the right to take away someone elses right to live, is a biblical truth, but the added exceptional bit of unless by a court of law authorised to do so portrays another face.

Semi Tinivata


Poll countdown

As we move towards election and as the new Constitution and policy on land and general matters become clearer to citizens, the movement away from a certain political party has started. The end result will be shocking for some.

Dan Urai



We do not know all of the facts about the recent captivity of our troops in Golan Heights, but it seems the peacekeepers had been seized because the UN ignored the daily shedding of the Muslims blood in Syria. If the UN mission cannot support stability, it seems the only reason to keep it there is for political posturing. It would look bad to withdraw UN troops, even if they cannot effectively influence the situation.

Pat Vuli


Have faith

I wish to live among people of faith.


Suva Point

Rewa victory

Congratulations to the Delta Tigers for claiming the 2014 BOG title. The youthful side has a long way to go, provided the young stars remain focused and have their feet on the ground. We would love to see the youngsters of Rewa, and those in other teams, prosper in leaps and bounds. I feel so happy for veterans Lorima, Simi, Tadu and Rodu.Vinaka and enjoy the moment.

Arun PrasadDilkusha, Nausori

Next sitting

I had the opportunity of sitting with the Bilolevu western members as they gathered to soli for a dear friend Mika Turaga who passed away last week. It was an evening which I enjoyed and highlighted the togetherness of its members which is mainly made up of Marist old boys. Great night especially with the side comments from Wise Muavono and Howard Ah Sam. Cant wait for the next sitting.



Bonus payments

All of a sudden bonus payouts have become the order of the day at some government owned entities under the control of Attorney-General and minister responsible for the relevant authorities concerned and which is pleasing to see and just hope this trend continues after the election.

Incidentally another notable gesture from the same ministry is that the honourable minister concerned will be issuing out free rubbish bins to all the ratepayers of Nasinu as circulated in a notification received by us from the Nasinu Town Council dated August 21, 2014, and a first time ever in my 27 years as a resident owner at Laucala Beach Estate under the Nasinu Town Council umbrella.

This has really surprised me and left me guessing.

Matthew RobinsonOvalau

Peace please

Listen to me good and listen to me hard.

Now Ive been listening to numerous individuals going on and on and on about equal citizenry and racism in Fiji.

Now I grew up in Fiji.

My teachers were indigenous Fijians, my friends were indigenous Fijians and my school was run by the fundamentals of an Indian organisation (Lautoka Arya Samaj).

Every morning we used to have morning prayer (in Hindi, saying all the mantra in Hindi), and all of us regardless of our race and religion used to sing it.

My neighbours, when we used to live in Fiji, were indigenous Fijians. Every Diwali, we used to celebrate it together, every Christmas we used to celebrate it together.

My point here is this, we the citizens of Fiji up until now never had the problem of racism.

We followed our religion but we also knew how to respect someone elses religion and ethnicity.

Im proud that I was born in Fiji.

Now if some political leaders are trying to create a rift between the people of Fiji, then shame on them.

Theres one thing thats above all this race, religion, ethnicity, views and everything and that something is called humanity.

We first of all are humans, and if we cant live together in harmony then we arent fit to called citizens of Fiji!

Ashneel PrasadAuckland, NZ

Campaign trail

People are fickle. During this election candidates will have this fact drilled into them unceremoniously. Some candidates who will be shocked by their results and miss out are in good company.

Even the son of God Jesus, was welcomed, praised, and lifted up one weekend while riding a donkey into Jerusalem. The very next week He was dumped, trampled upon, whipped, stripped, chained, and dragged through those same streets to be crucified on Mount Calvary.

Men look at the outward appearance but God sees the heart.

Korina Waibuta


Election guide

THANK you The Fiji Times for the guide to the 2014 election.

It certainly is an enlightening reading material for every Fijian, making us aware of positions of various political parties to issues such as land, education, poverty, crime, economy, sugar, unemployment, health and the Great Council of Chiefs, that affect us all.

I notice that some parties have yet to comment.

One of the advice we need is to never take anything for granted.

Read about all political parties first, research their manifestos, and decide for yourself, which party is the most practical, and best suited to guide Fiji to the future.

An informed public is always a better prepared public to intelligently pick capable leaders who will do the job.

Finau Naigulevu Turaga

Nadi Airport

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