Fiji’s A-G maintains stance; Opposition MP dismisses claim

Opposition Whip Ro Filipe Tuisawau speaking in Parliament on Thursday, September 1, 2022. Picture: FIJIAN PARLIAMENT

A heated exchange erupted in Parliament this week when Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum claimed Opposition Whip Ro Filipe Tuisawau had said people needed to be appointed to Government and statutory positions on ethnicity.

Ro Filipe raised a point of order and said he was referring to the data released by the Fiji Bureau of Statistics Household Income and Expenditure Survey.

“He (Mr Sayed-Khaiyum) is misleading the House because what I mentioned was based on the Household Income and Expenditure survey, the percentage of iTaukei who are poor,” Ro Filipe said.

“And that Government should look at ways of uplifting because of the percentage – 75 per cent of iTaukei are in that category of poor.

“If I said it, bring it to this House and prove it.

“I did not say that a person should be appointed because they are iTaukei or any other races.

“So, stop misleading the House that, you know, portraying the Opposition as racist. Stop doing that because you, yourself are a racist, I can show it.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum, however, maintained his stance that Ro Filipe had made the comment.

“He did say it,” the A-G said.

“It’s, in the same way, he’s getting flustered like honourable Prasad, he’s getting worried about the (Liliana) Warid comment.

“We made a statement, honourable Prime Minister made a statement on it, then they woke up from the coma. This is the type of governance that’s the alternative. This is the alternative to Fiji if these people get into control, or power.”

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