Leap of faith

NOW that Prime Minister Rear Admiral (Ret) Voreqe Bainimarama has extended a hand of friendship to his political opponents, to put aside their differences and work constructively to improve our lives, the ball in a sense is in their court.

He reckons this should be the way to go when the new Parliament convenes on October 6.

It was part of his message when he addressed world leaders at the 69th session of the UN General Assembly in New York yesterday.

Mr Bainimarama said Fiji was enjoying the most sustained period of economic growth in its history.

He said the “possibility to create more jobs and raise the living standards of our people has never been greater”.

That was when he laid down the challenge.

“Let us join hands to put our nation first,” he said.

The statement could be interpreted in many ways by different people, including our new politicians.

But somewhere deep in there is a very strong suggestion that there is room for a cordial relationship based on the need to move Fiji forward.

Obviously the key word here is probably unity.

Perhaps this is best summed up in his next line where he states, “Fiji has struggled to be unified and cohesive, our development retarded by our inability to think and work as one nation, one people. But with this election, we have put that era firmly behind us”.

The PM said Fiji has had a long and traumatic journey in the 44 years since independence with four coups, a rebellion, four constitutions and 56 days of what he has termed “shame” in 2000 when members of Parliament were held hostage.

Fiji’s new direction, he says, puts aside ethnicity and religious leanings.

“In our new democracy, we are all Fijians, not members of separate ethnic and religious groups,” he said.

One thing is certain. The statement by the PM will be welcomed greatly by many people.

It obviously will be seen as a leap of faith by the PM in the democratic process.

The next step now would be to wait and see how the various political parties and members of Parliament respond to this challenge.

Ultimately, it is good for the nation. The statement, that is. For what it is worth, we should acknowledge it.

This is the next step we should take on our path towards truly realising our potential.

Understandably, though there is a critical aspect entwined somewhere in there about working together for the greater good of the people irrespective of who they are. That is the best part about the PM’s statement.

And that is encouraging.

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