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Fiji Time: 12:32 AM on Friday 25 April

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Your Fiji
Thursday, April 24, 2014

Letters to the Editor:

Scientific whale hunting

"SCIENTIFIC whale hunting" has been rife, a reason the Japanese are using to kill whales around the world, now even in our waters.

They have been getting away pretty easily as there can't be much opposition to anything scientific.

Whether it's correct or not it will be talked about on another fine day.

Canines terrorising people and being an ever-present nuisance has been a much-talked issue, some even suggesting something like "2 dogs a week" which did make some sense.

A call for EOI's must be made to carry out the ridding exercise in the name of "scientific dog hunting".

No one will dispute that. We will all sleep well then.


Road maintenance

IT is not our general policy to respond to letters in your column.

However, in this instance we are compelled to as the content in recent letters (e.g Suresh Lal, April 19, 2014) referring to road maintenance costs is simply wrong.

We would like to assure the people of Fiji that the road reform process and FRA lead road maintenance program is an outstanding success and the FRA are very much holding the contractors to account.

Fulton Hogan Hiways, FRA and MWH were not satisfied with some recent CBD surfacing because of a number of factors.

These faults have been recorded within the normal contract review process and preparatory work to remediate these sites is nearing completion.

Please be assured that these remedial works are not at the expense of the taxpayer, the government or FRA.

The remediation costs sit very firmly with us the contractor.

We would like to assure the public that when technical faults are identified and corrected, the scope of the remedial works are being agreed with the FRA and MWH as their engineers, and the contractors warrantees on such remedial works are being honoured.

The public of Fiji can be certain that what they pay for is up to standard and is being constructed to stand the test of time.

We do thank the patience of the Fijian travellers as we progressively improve your networks.

Your help in keeping our staff safe by slowing down in construction areas is very important.

We are also very grateful to the many folk who stop and thank our hardworking staff for improving their roads.

It is very much appreciated and motivating for us all.

Peter Watts, General manager, Fulton Hogan Hiways JV

A different view

Romitesh Kant, on behalf of the Be the Change Campaign (and presumably Roshika Deo, their declared independent candidate) complains (FT, 19 April 2014) that I am "compromising voter integrity and one's political freedom by making statements targeting aspiring independent candidates".

I suggest to him that candidates are totally free to stand as independents, and voters are totally free to vote for them.

I am merely the messenger pointing out the likely consequences of so doing.

Will Kant and Deo honestly point out to their supporters that unlike previous elections when independents and small parties had pretty much the same chances of winning as party candidates, under the new system devised by the Bainimarama Government, the 5 per cent threshold completely stacks the odds against them (see my article on 19 April 2014 for details)?

* for their votes to elect an independent like her to parliament, they will need 27,000 votes at least, whereas for a party candidate they would need on average only 9000, and in practice, far less? (we will see in a few months, how few votes get some people elected);

* that if they do manage to elect an Independent, they will still only elect 1 person, whereas if they had all voted for a party, they would probably have elected three MPs who could work for them in parliament?;

* that if she does not manage to obtain 27,000 votes, all their votes would be wasted; and

* whereas if she had stood for a large party, not only would she have a reasonable probability indeed of being elected (if Facebook and Twitter "likes" translate into actual votes), but even if she is not elected, their votes would still count towards the party and help elect someone else.

Mr Kant's letter also stated that the Be The Change Campaign would like to "caution Mr Narsey from making statements based on just statistics and probabilities".

Yes indeed, my opinion piece is based on "statistics and probability", which strangely seems to be a vice according to Mr Kant, but that is probably also why The Fiji Times, publishes my articles, despite the constraints they work under.

The public should be more worried that "cautioning" citizens for exercising their right to free speech is even afflicting otherwise principled young persons such as Romitesh Kant, fresh on the political scene.

Professor Wadan Narsey, Suva

Online version

AS a daily reader of The Fiji Times online, I applaud the way it saves paper.

It doesn't save electricity, like newspapers and magazines do, but I guess there's a cost-benefit analysis lying in wait for us all with the great accountant in the sky one of these days.

So, without further ado - hat does "ado" mean, then?

It's always bugged me, it has, and while we're at it, what does "bugged" mean as well?

So, without further ado, I would like to thank The Fiji Times for being accessible online.

Wise Muavono, Lautoka

Pay for fish wardens

PARDON me fish wardens but your demand for wages in protecting and guarding your qoliqoli is totally absurd.

Overseeing that illegal poachers are restricted and forbidden from fishing within qoliqoli is a duty, though a community joint effort is obliging where outboard motor spirit is bought and kept aside when duty calls for our fish wardens.

The State's spoon is not enough to feed every mouth.


Spare parts inspection

ONE issue I'd like to raise with the authorities is in regards to the inspection of secondhand vehicle spare parts that are making their way on Fiji roads.

Is there any inspection done to check the quality of standards on parts of secondhand spares? So far I reckon there is none.

Secondhand vehicle spares are mainly purchased by public service vehicle operators and private vehicle owners as well.

What guarantee can be provided that secondhand mechanical spares can be of perfect working order?

For example if a steering wheel or dashboard equipped with airbags are replaced, what chances are there that it will function up to manufactures' standards?

The same also applies for other mechanical parts such as steering, suspension and brake components which nowadays work in conjunction with sensitive sensors.

It would be much appreciated if the authorities take heed of the issue as malfunction of second hand spares can also lead to unwanted road accidents and fatalities.

Shamal Chand, Kuku Bau Rd Nausori

Live shows

FIRST it was the goddess Abha from that addictive Hindi serial that captivated the Fiji audience with her mesmerising performance a few months ago. Now we hear that Karan will be performing live on our shores. I wonder who will drop by next. Perhaps Archana followed by Manav from that other serial?

Nishant Singh, Lautoka

FB attraction

Facebook has the strongest gravity pull where it has attracted all types, age and size of people to its site. Either, if you are using a laptop, tablet, smartphone or a personal computer, facebook will always be a priority site before logging in to other sites.

Juki Fong Chew, Jakarta Indonesia

Protect infants

THIS is an annual observance to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine preventable diseases and promote healthy communities. All parents want is the best for their children, and one way to do that is to make sure they get their immunisations on time. As immunisations are very safe and effective, I urge all parents to check records of their children and get immunisations up to date.

Pat Vuli, Suva

Easter week

I will vote for whoever will create an Easter Week.

Samuela Savu, Canberra Australia

Noah's story

Noah is in the news at present. Versions of his story have been told many times in print and on film. One version (by GKC) shows him with a really sensible attitude - "I don't care where the water goes if it doesn't get into the wine".

Peter Rodda, Lami

For the whales

Referring to Sara Khan's letter FT23/4. We both should chase them away. You get your sasa broom and I'll get my mop handle. They will surely run away. Our whales will be saved.

Vineel Nand, Cautata

Whose job

THIS is the second time I am putting this as a complaint on paper as to who is responsible for cleaning up the rubbish in the Caubati area? Last week someone in my area had to burn the rubbish as it had been lying by the roadside during the dengue campaign. I hope these rubbish wont be lying around come next month which is a week away.

Elimi Marawa, Nasinu

Cricket champions

I would like to congratulate the Moce cricket team for winning the prestigious Crompton Cup over the defending champion Suva Warriors.

It was evident on how the team handled itself very well during its thrilling encounter with the Suva team that Moce is the true national champion in cricket.

It was also a display of talents from young players that require serious attention of the competition organisers, the Fiji Cricket Association and the relevant government ministry in terms of further enhancement.

I have no doubt it would be a worthy investment for the sport in the country, considering our current status in the ICC World Cup 2015.

Once again malo Delaimokotu.

Tevita Sogovakarua, Hosh South Lebanon

Free power

IF the government that comes in after the elections wants to give free electricity to the people of Vanua Levu it can very easily do that.

It just has to install another steam plant at the FSC mill with a 10 MW generator. There is any amount of fuel at the mill.

It will cost less than what a hydro will cost as the hydro water level will go up and down depending on the rainfall.

I just hope any new party can push for the upgrading of all sugar mill steam generating plants and steam turbines.

Sukha Singh, Labasa

Teenage pregnancies

FORTY teenage pregnancies so far this year and the youngest is 12 years old.

Makes you wonder where were the parents. So who is to blame?

I think both parties should take a measure of the blame.

Parents should truly look out for their kids more.

They should develop closer relationships with them. Give them the love and affection they deserve.

This though isn't foolproof as teenage years are very difficult years.

This is when they try to discover themselves. Unfortunately, during these years, they are more influenced by their peers than their parents.

This makes it easier for the many social ills that the society breeds to find their way in.

Hence, there's a tendency that the parents' hard work would be nullified.

As for me, lucky I didn't get pregnant during my very wild teenage years.

Wise Muavono, Lautoka

Repellent formula

A friend of mine reports the discovery of a new mosquito repellent which is effective for keeping dengue mosquitoes at bay for at least eight hours after application.

He says the formula is a secret but generally recommends a mixture of strong waka (kava) powder with body oil applied just before one goes to sleep.

He claims that the potion keep mosquitoes at bay until one wakes up.

Perhaps my fellow writer Allen Lockington might tap into this.

Amenatave Yaconisau, Delainavesi