Letters to the Editor – August 8

Gaganjeet Bhullar after winning at the Fiji International at Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

‘Bula’ Bhullar the golfer
EIGHT-TIMES Asian Tour champion and Indian golfer Gaganjeet Bhullar said Bula in a perfect way at the Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course as he smiled his way home with the spoils from the championship. After the win on his debut tour to Fiji, Mr Bhullar paid tribute to golfer Vijay Singh and his caddy Taitusi Tuivuci. He loved the Fijian hospitality and the way fans had been calling him “Bhullar, Bhullar” (bula, bula). The Fiji International golf tournament has been making head-lines and the international media coverage would have boosted our tourism sector. Finally, I thank the international golfers for visiting our shores and I am adamant that they will return with sweet memories. I express my gratitude to the organisers for another successful tournament! On the same token, my heartfelt appreciation to The Fiji Times for all the daily coverage and stories!

Serevi’s new role

I SALUTE the maestro for offering his valuable service to coach the Fiji Deaf 7s team for the next Oceania Pacific Deaf Championship. The team won bronze medal in the last championship in Australia. The best player in the 7s code has shown that when the call to serve his country is made he has always been available. Through this column, I have requested FRU to consider using the talent that Serevi has in promoting Fiji 7s.
Serevi has given Fiji a lot of victories. Apart from those at So Kon Po in Hong Kong, Serevi is the only player alongside Vunibaka to win two Melrose Cups and sadly, Serevi and Vunibaka were the last lot to bring the prestigious title home. Serevi brought home our first World Rugby Sevens Series title and played a leading role in our 7s victories including the inaugural Wellington and Brisbane 7s in 2000. I wish the maestro well and I thank him for his generosity. Vinaka vakalevu Sir-Revi! RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM, Nadawa, Nasinu

Nabou accident

IT is a tragedy beyond comprehension for those who lost loved ones in Nabou. What’s more tragic is the social media voyeurism prevalent these days.
There seems to be a need to publish everything on the web and being first about it. With various platforms available, every individual with a social media account has become a publisher. However, the ethical standards and restraints that are demanded of the journalistic fraternity doesn’t apply to these “publishers”. There is a very fine line between people’s right to know, and peddling in what someone here calls “grief porn”. We as individuals must decide how to conduct ourselves in situations such as these. Are we going to be decent human beings and maintain a sense of morality and decency that separates us from animals? The flip side of this equation is total censorship, which isn’t where we would want to end.
Several countries have enacted laws to punish those who post such pictures on the web. Our condolences to the families involved in this tragedy.

Taxi permit lottery

LTA board chairman Vijay Maharaj has been quoted (FT 07/08) as saying that “the taxi permit barrel draw was the most transparent process”. OK sure, but I believe people still managed to cheat the system and even the JPs and other people who have the authority who may have signed the declarations. I believe cheating happened with the HOMES and FARMS-CARE assistance and now the taxi lottery. Can someone stand up and take responsibility and say it was my fault? What other thing that the Government will soon be giving it that will be subject to thieving by the people? May I ask are these things being rushed and thus not theftproof? How much is wasted on investigations into the issues? ALLEN LOCKINGTON,
Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Road accident

SO irresponsible of those posting up on Facebook of the accident at Nabou which claimed seven lives! Some people have no consideration whatsoever of what they do. Maybe it just was the spur of the moment or they were still in a state of shock, or just trying to be smart to let the people they know about what went down. Well, this should be a lesson for these people to wake up to other people’s privacy and hurt. Our prayers go out to all those families that have lost their loved ones in such an unexpected accident. May the good Lord shower his grace upon you all and may the souls of your loved ones be with our Lord, Amen. There are so many things that one can say about how things turned out on the day. The fact remains that our roads or some parts of our roads need to be fixed and speed limits need to be changed in so many places too. Our drivers need to understand that life is too precious. So much road safety rules and all of a sudden, some drivers forget and a life is lost. Come now people, you still have a limb on you, be glad for that and the most important part is you have your life, enjoy it! Take heed, reduce your speed. There is only one place we’re all heading and that is the land down under, if you catch the drift. God bless Fiji and the people. RICHARD M. ABEL, Suva

Catalytic converter

An issue I’d like to raise is in regards to the importance of catalytic converter in vehicles. Catalytic converter plays a very crucial element in the smooth running of vehicles and also on the environment as it helps to convert carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. Good air quality is very important for an individual’s overall health and in order to reduce air pollution, latest and modern vehicles are equipped with a device called catalytic converter that reduces harmful emissions found in vehicles. Being an automotive technician, I have noticed and experienced that vehicle owners are taking out catalytic converters from vehicles. Catalytic converter is located near the engine’s exhaust manifold. Some of the reasons owners and mechanics advise and take out catalytic converter is that, it’s expensive to repair or replace, most mechanics and owners are not aware of the work that catalytic converter does and the metal that catalytic converter contains is very precious and good price is paid if one scraps a catalytic converter. Catalytic converter contains metals such as copper, nickel, cerium, iron and manganese. Small amounts of rhodium are also found within a catalytic converter. Rhodium, like platinum and palladium are very rare and valuable. These metals can be used for jewellery, electronics and industrial purposes. Here are few signs that something maybe wrong with your catalytic converter:
• Your vehicles fuel efficiency suddenly drops;
• Your vehicle doesn’t accelerate when you step on the gas (accelerator pedal);
• Your vehicle may refuse to start;
• Your engine fails an emission test; and
• The MIL or Check Engine lights come on.
So in order to bypass the expensive repairs and maintenance, mechanics and motorists remove catalytic converter to solve the issues the “dodgy” way — not aware of the aftermath consequences that it will have on vehicles’ exhaust system and on the environment. I reckon all our vehicle testing stations should be equipped with state-of-the-art emission analysers and testing equipment to get the emission levels of vehicles, either being diesel, petrol, LPG or hybrids. Those vehicles that fail emission tests, especially the latest makes and models, I believe chances are that the catalytic converter has already been removed and owners should be taken to task. This should be a wake-up call for dodgy mechanics and vehicle owners and relevant authorities. Who knows there may already be a existing black market for catalytic converters in our own country.
It would be much appreciated if relevant authorities take heed of the abovementioned situation and appropriate rules and regulations are put in place in regards to the importance of catalytic converter. Shamal Chand, Kuku Bau Rd, Nausori.

Politicising wage rates

When the PM’s travel allowance was increased to $3000 a day, no politics was involved. When workers’ cry for increase of the minimum wage, it immediately becomes political! DAN URAI, Lautoka.

Media awards

Congratulations to the old aged newspaper The Fiji Times for being nominated in two categories in the 2018 News Media Awards along with our counterparts from Australia. All the best! Still going Aeh … no wonder we say old is gold. Ashis Kumar, Ba.

Dam construction

The good thing about the construction of the Monasavu dam was that no one knew much about environment damage at that time. With all the hue and cry over the dying vegetation because of raising the weir height, I don’t think EFL would construct another dam anywhere in Fiji. I think logging has done more damage to the Fijian environment than this Wanisavulevu weir. The good thing is people are waking up. We can build bigger steam plants but then we have to deal with smoke pollution. Sometimes you just can’t win. Sukha Singh, Labasa.

Minimum wage

I agreed with Mr Tikoduadua (FT 07/08) on the above, when he asked, “Why can he not increase the minimum wages to a decent level?” I believe if you walk down the street today, you’re likely to pass a half dozen construction sites advertising future luxury apartments, houses for rent starting at the low price of $1000 per month. With the current minimum wages, who will afford such a thing? Expect an increase in squatters in Fiji. Panapasa Nayabakoro, Bryce St, Raiwaqa, Suva.

Professional support

With some serious tragedies such as the plane crash on Vanua Levu earlier this year and recent accident at Nabou, one wonders how well equipped are our emergency workers to manage stress when they are suddenly confronted with horrific scenes at accident sites. No amount of training can prepare even the best of our emergency workers. Many would go home but are not able to completely forget what they have observed while at work. Whatever one’s views, one hopes that our police officers, doctors, nurses, military and other staff receive professional counselling and support in a timely manner. Floyd Robinson, Toorak, Suva.

Sugar sale

Despite looking around in four prominent supermarkets during the past four weeks, I could not believe that I am able to buy 1kg bag of sugar but forced to buy only 2kg bags. Is this for real FSC? ISIMELI CERELALA, Tailevu North.

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