Fiji Time: 6:19 PM on Monday 24 November

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Your Fiji Your Say

Monday, November 24, 2014

Letters to the Editor:

The missing man

MY friend Anish Chand wrote in this column (FT 22/11) about our President missing from welcoming the Indian PM.

I would like to inform him that he is The Man.

He doesn't want to be boasting or standing shoulder high.

Wherever he goes is traffic free, no roadblocks, no security, plus no bumper-to-bumper escort.

I think all leaders should follow this.

Why use bodyguards and high-level security if you are serving the public.

Best thing about our President is that we were together in a line to use an ATM and a guy ahead of us gave him his place.

But those of us who bump into the streets know the President's line, who just said "don't worry, just follow the line. We are just common people and don't have to give special treatment".

Those were his words. I urge our leaders to follow the steps of our President.

We wish him a long and healthy life.


Greed will destroy

POPE Francis has warned "man's greed will destroy the world" (Yahoo!7News 21/11).

He says earth will not forgive abuse of its resources for profit and urges world leaders to help the hungry. The pontiff's warning is of course loud and clear. But will we heed it?

Will the giant corporations that are responsible for ravaging the earth and all the life forms it sustains heed the Pope's warning? Will humanity mend its greedy ways?

I, for one, do not think so.

The same warning was given by the Club of Rome in the famous book it had published in 1972. It challenged one of the core assumptions of economic theory - that the earth was infinite and would always provide the resources needed for human prosperity. The title of the book said it all - Limits to Growth.

That warning remains as valid today as when it was originally issued.

RAJEND NAIDU, Sydney, Australia

Love and affection

EVERY so often we get interesting taxation issues.

One was about paying your tax with a smile but the tax office didn't want smiles, they wanted money.

Now tax has been exempted on Capital Gains Tax, CGT on transfers on love and affection.

CGT will be exempt on love and affection transfers: parents to children and vice versa within siblings and; between spouses; between grandchildren and grandparents and vice versa.

So does this mean if families have to go to court out of hatred and a transfer is done, will it be taxed?

If that happens, let's call it a hatred tax. Just saying.


Modi welcome

ON behalf of all Fijians from Canada, we truthfully and wholeheartedly thank everyone for giving Mr Modi a very warm and gracious welcome upon his arrival on our shores.

We respect and salute you all my dear brothers and sisters. Mr Modi could have bypassed our country and gone back to India to deal with priorities but considered Fiji as a brotherly nation and we all respect him for that.

Imagine the time zone change and a hectic schedule, but he still has a place in his heart for Fiji. Thank you PM Bainimarama and all his hardworking MPs and all Fijians who made it happen. Fiji is moving forward at a very fast pace and believe me, one day, it will be one of the best places on earth to live and invest in.

This is truly a historical moment and thank you all school kids who showed support and love towards a great leader. This will be cherished forever and to all those who opposed his visit, please leave the past behind, move forward.

Fiji is a beautiful country with so many smiling people. God bless our nation.

A SINGH, Vancouver, Canada

Teacher postings

SINCE the National Budget for 2015 was announced, it is a ray of hope for all those new teachers who are still waiting for their first posting.

It is a sigh of relief for many teachers waiting in line to know that there will be 142 new primary school teachers and 206 secondary school teachers who will be recruited come next year.

I applaud the efforts of the Government in promoting quality and innovative education for all students by decreasing the teacher-student ratio.

This will allow for more student attention from teachers thus enhancing the quality of education in Fiji.

Now that the new teacher appointees will be recruited from next year, the onus is on all teachers, particularly the new ones, to uphold and uplift the education standards.


Junior ministers

I LAUGHED when I read Tukai Lagonilakeba's letter mentioning he would not be surprised if the world's most powerful president, Mr Obama, would visit our shores for the first time in the not-too-distant future.

I just want to remind him of what Mr Kotobalavu said the bigger countries were only sending their junior ministers here.

Although we teamed with them in the two world war campaigns, the Solomon and Malayan campaigns, they still did not recognise us. They do not even have it in any of their archives to show us that we assisted them in that campaign.


Jobs abroad

IF you live in Suva, you must have heard or are aware of a suitcase recruitment drive for people to work in the laying of railway lines in the United States.

Now we hear that the same work requires people in Russia, Korea, Germany, Malaysia and other countries with those who have been picked doing physical training in Suva and Nausori.

One batch should be leaving on Tuesday and having paid $30 each, they still have their passports with them and no visa applications have been filled out.

It saddens me that here we have a government that wants us Fijians to be smart but it seems some of us just can't add one plus one, that it is just a con.

This so called recruitment drive reminds me of the movie, Around the World in 80 Days.


Free medicine

READING through the 2015 National Budget, it is interesting to note Fijians whose income will be below $20,000 a year will have the opportunity to get free medicine upon doctors' prescriptions.

While it is a good idea to assist the lower income earners, one wonders why it is designed for Fijians with only the threshold income of $20,000 below.

Secondly, it will be interesting to see what criteria and system will come into effect to justify that a person requesting medicine at a pharmacy after doctors' prescription will receive his/ her medicine free.

Thirdly, will there be special identity cards issued to these lower income earners or will some other sort of method be implemented?.

For instance, if ID cards for free medicine will be issued to a person whose income during the time of application might be below $20,000, what will happen if this same person after receiving his/ her ID card and in a short period of time gets a better employment and income rises beyond $20,000. Who will be monitoring the incomes of people?

Unless there will be some guidelines, criteria and system, it will be hard to justify as people with income above the $20,000 could also with the doctors' prescription flock into the pharmacies to collect free medication.

As the budget announced is for year 2015, we have only 38 days left in 2014.

The people of Fiji, including myself, will support the incentive towards lower income earners.

However, we will highly appreciate if the Ministry of Health or any other relevant authority that will be assigned to enforce this system could briefly inform the public about the system in a very near future.

INDAR JIT, Sydney, Australia

Big brothers

WITH India and China presenting Fiji the visa on arrival gift they really are putting our next door "big brothers" Australia and New Zealand not only on the spot but to shame as well.

They must be scratching their heads and see how little Fiji's inclusion in the seasonal workers' program looks like now.

Simply, they still don't trust us.



NOW who will be to blame, the guardians or the boys who drowned. Did they go alone or with somebody else to supervise them.

The family will suffer the loss. Police have warned people time and again for children not to swim unsupervised but it seems that warning continues to be taken lightly.


The President

ANISH Chand (FT 22/11) posed a good question regarding the President's whereabouts on the day of Prime Minister Modi's visit.

I, myself, am in the dark about it but, I can reveal where His Excellency was the day after the visit. He was with me in Lami at the funeral of my uncle Akuila Savu, the first local CEO of Air Pacific.


Opposition's role

ERWIN Skiba (FT 22/11) should enlighten the public on the role of the Opposition and provide its link to his ridiculous call that their emoluments is a total waste of public fund. It appears that some in Fiji are suffering from the Stockholm syndrome after years of captivity under dictatorial rule.


Visa on arrival

I MIGHT have heard it wrong, but did Narendra Modi say visa on arrival or visa for arrivals for people wishing to go to India. Thanks Modi for reopening the border, you will be forever remembered.


A-G's reports

TO all the people implicated in the Auditor-General's reports for 2007 to 2013, if amnesty does not work, you can always plead insanity.

JON KAITU, Lautoka

Good budget

THE budget announcement was as expected, thanks to the Bainimarama Government.

You have entered into the history books. God bless your Cabinet and look forward to getting positive news after meeting the Chinese President.


Sevens payment

HOW sickening it is to read and hear the bickering going on by Vodafone regarding Digicel's one-off payment to our 7s gladiators for bringing glory to Fiji.

Ben Ryan has enough on his plate to worry about with the continuous draining of our players to Sri Lanka and abroad and doesn't need any other distraction to keep our players focused on the job at hand.

Vodafone, if you really support Fiji and have the players' interest at heart, why don't you have a meeting with Digicel behind closed doors and nut it out like professional people.

Quite honestly, the public, Ben Ryan and his squad don't need your agendas hindering their preparation for Dubai and South Africa.

Let's all support our players and Ben Ryan and hope we have more to celebrate come Chrsitmas.


Don't complain

THE bitter row which suddenly erupted between cellphone giants is apparently far from over.

Hey Vodafone why cry over spilt milk, how about slashing your rates to a ridiculous amount to get back at your fiercest and only rival?

But hurry, Digicel might just beat you to it.


Rugby bonus

A LOT of noise is coming out from Rugby House and Vodafone with regards to Digicel's good gesture payment of Gold Coast Sevens players.

If Vodaphone and their consortium together with Rugby House do really care about the welfare of players and rugby for that matter, then the players ought to have been paid their bonuses for the Gold Coast Sevens win within two weeks after winning.

It is over one month now, no payment but arguments from the two organisations concerned.

Now they are arguing about paper contracts and what have you.

Both Rugby House and Vodaphone should put their money where their mouth is.


Ben's pick

THE quality of the players selected show that they are the pick of Ben Ryan, the Englishman coach, who can still be relied upon to fend off any desperate comeback by the Kiwis.

They are ready for battle and do us proud it seems.

The Fiji TV news is so heartening at the moment that they are going to Dubai with a lot of positives to defend the title. That is what we want to hear, the feel-good bit before the game.

Even the veteran Nasoni Roko, once a regular impact player, has improved so much with every training session and has been permitted by Ben Ryan to prove himself to the nation once again

It is unfortunate that it would not be possible to absorb more young men into the travelling squad.

But this one can do the job.

Go Fiji, go!


Great incentive

THANKS so much Digicel for giving pocket money to the seven-a-side national team.

I really appreciate that great incentive.

Would also appreciate if big firms around the country do the same thing.

Is it necessary for Rugby House to know who is giving out pocket money in the street to ruggers?


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