Letters to the Editor: Friday October 18, 2019

Proud mother Eva Leitch next to her son Michael's statue during her trip to Japan to watch the Rugby World Cup. Picture: SUPPLIED.

Japan’s Leitch-pin

I WAS so proud to read that Michael Leitch, who has maternal links in Nasukamai Village in Ra, has a life-size statue that was built in his honour.

Leitch, who played for the Chiefs, has indeed been at the heart and soul of the Brave Blossoms whose fairytale run in the Land of the Rising Sun has shocked the world.

I remember watching the determination, guts and courage on Leitch’s face as he made the decision to go for a scrum against the Springboks in pool play in 2007, and as a result the Brave Blossoms went on to record a historic victory against the eventual champs (34-32).

I also read via The Fiji Times that the captain’s presence is on crisp packets, soft drinks and poster after poster on the metro lines. I believe mum Eva would have received a belated Mother’s Day gift in the form of her son’s statue.

To Michael Leitch, I wish we had 15 players like you with a lion’s heart. Trust me, these 15 players would have rocked the world with a sensational finish.

All the best Mike to you and the Brave Blossoms as you prepare to play in your first RWC quarter-final.

Some consolation for us Fijians as one of our own will fly Japan’s hopes at the eliminations.

By the way, dearest Simon your letter titled ‘One team unity’ should raise eyebrows as far as unity in a national team is concerned!



Stay on McKee

FLYING Fijians coach John McKee should stay on for another term despite results of the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

I personally feel he has done a marvellous job. Where was Eddie Jones all this time and if he had the interest of Fijian rugby at heart he would have applied a long time back, McKee had registered his interest to coach Fiji and with all fairness we need to be consistent and have faith in his ability and professional approach to how modern day professional rugby is played. Congratulations to all that played hard but we should all look forward to the next world cup in France.



What an honour

WHAT an honour it must be for Michael Letich and his proud mum Eva.

A statue has been erected for him, in fact, the Brave Blossoms captain’s presence is everywhere — on crisp packets, soft drinks or poster after poster on the metro lines.

Watching Michael I gathered that he must be an inspirational person and captain.

His rugby history is such that he broke an arm and a leg during matches and yet recovered and rose to what he is now.

The Japanese have made a statue of him and when I told a friend about it, he said: “They should wait until the end of the competition and do that.”

I said that the team’s achievement deserves to be recognised, and I bet even if they don’t go past South Africa, they are the darlings of world rugby right now.

Heck, people have been posting on Facebook asking where they can buy a Japanese rugby jersey.

So, to the Japanese rugby team and management, go make history and win the world cup. I salute you, you are an inspiration.

ALLEN LOCKINGTON, Kava Place, Lautoka


Styrofoam ban

THE ban on styrofoam is expected to come into effect on January 1 next year (FT 17/10).

This move is part of the provisions in the new Climate Change Bill, which is scheduled to be tabled, passed and enacted in the next Parliament sitting in November.

One would assume that the ban would also include the styrofoam that is used in the packaging of electronic items imported from overseas and sold here.

How will that be done? At the end of the day, regardless of its origin and its use, this type of styrofoam will, like all other plastic and non-biodegradeable items, still be disposed of after use, to end up polluting our environment. It should therefore also fall within the ambit of the Bill’s provisions. We just have to wait and see.

EDWARD BLAKELOCK Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour


Unhealthy eating

THE Fiji Times editor, Fred Wesley’s “Healthy Eating Challenge” editorial (FT 17/10) talks about NCDs, the disturbing mortality rate, and challenges we have towards consuming nutritious wholesome foods.

While we address this catastrophe over and over through every means possible, it is obvious that people really don’t care until it is too late.

It is said that the force of habit can be swift to push us to failure or to success, and boy, the last 3-4 decades, have seen Fijians introduce very bad habits and we have basically become what we repeatedly do.

It is now in motion and it’s not slowing down.

The words of American missionary George Dana Boardman, comes to mind in his quote: “Sow an act…reap a habit, Sow a habit…reap a character, Sow a character…and you reap a destiny.”

Our destiny has become early death! Instead of challenging ourselves to eat healthy, we have created for ourselves a full-blown unhealthy eating and drinking competition.

We have been conditioning and nurturing unhealthy habits over the years and we are now too far gone. If you truly believe that it is never too late, now is the time to make a change!

SIMON HAZELMAN Rava Estate, Savusavu


Past neglect

I HAVE to agree wholeheartedly that past neglect (FT 17/10) of road upgrades are now causing issues for the new road upgrade contractors.

Many letters were written about the issue where writers said it was because of poor workmanship and poor material. It’s a fact because I have seen many roads that were upgraded in the past that had to be repaired again in no time.

Two places I will draw your attention to. One is the Namotomoto and Novoci stretch in Nadi. I was living there at that time.

Just as the road tarsealing was done, there was a huge downpour and the tarseal was washed away and had to be redone.

Then there is the Nadovu Park stretch in Lautoka near the Maravu St junction, the same thing happened — heavy rain and the job had to be redone.

Now look at the many roads that have patches. Oh sure the roads are tarsealed, but when you drive over the patches it’s like driving over rumble strips.

And the many potholes around Lautoka that had to be redone over and over.

People were starting to gossip about government workers and contractors.

But I have to admire the new contractors in the speed and quality of their job.

Knock on wood.

ALLEN LOCKINGTON, Kava Place, Lautoka


Wrong paper

When a State official says “wrong paper” that can only mean the paper (in this case The Fiji Times) is on the right track in doing what it is meant to do to serve the public interest.

RAJEN NAIDU Sydney, Australia


Tighter controls

The World Bank’s economic outlook on Fiji had recommended tighter controls over recurrent spending.

As we enter the rainy season, they have started to appear. Not the frogs and earthworms, the potholes.

Besides recurrent expenditure control, continuous road repair costs have to be scrutinised as well.



Road conditions

Why is Fiji Roads Authority blaming past roadworks for present road conditions.

The CEO needs to get his facts corrected because most new roads are filled with potholes.

As a former mill worker I can recall the good old days when PWD used to repair the roads.

Passing the blame on former contractors is not the answer. If you can’t get the work done then resign.

I believe past CEOs or PWD I would say never had so much money as you have. So stop the blame game and resign if you can’t take the heat.

JOHN BROWN Drasa Vitogo, Lautoka


Stop blaming

The CEO of Fiji Roads Authority should stop blaming past negligence for today’s road conditions.

I believe the money that was used 30 years ago was less compared with what FRA spends today.

In Hindi we say ‘nach na jane angan tera’ translated, when you can’t dance, you blame the dance floor.

I hope the CEO understands what I am trying to say.



Rugby coaches

Well the Fiji rugby team had one head coach and three assistant coaches.

Two strength and conditioning coaches and one for athletic performance.

The coaches alone must have cost the Fiji Rugby Union a lot of money.

It just shows rugby is a really complicated game.

I hope the video analyst has found out why we did not make it to the next round.



Single-use plastic

Nothing wrong with banning single-use plastic bags, but there needs to be definitions on what they are.

Most people assume these are bags bought at checkouts in supermarkets.

Most supermarkets sell vegetables “loose”.

You rip off a plastic bag from a roll provided, put the required vegetable in it, and get it weighed.

This bag is plastic, is not biodegradable, and is single-use.

If you buy five different vegetables, then five more plastic bags.

Go to a bakery, what is the bread wrapped in, yup, a single-use plastic bag, not biodegradable.

Buy a precooked chicken in a supermarket, what is it packed in, yup, you guessed it.

One could go on, but my gut feeling tells me the number of these types of bags highlighted, by far outweighs the checkout supermarket type bags that are found in the environment.

The next thing is security. For instance my family takes our own non plastic bags to have our shopping put in. Most of these were purchased overseas, from countries which have banned plastic bags already.

Most supermarkets require you leave these “somewhere” before you can enter the store.

Leave bags which cost up to $20 for somebody else to pinch? If you go into a supermarket with 10 used “single-use” plastic bags, can these be used for your purchases? I bet they can.

The powers need to think all this through carefully, most plastic bags, wrappings, etc., are hazardous and non biodegradable, not just single-use shopping bags.

As for a $750,000 fine, tell that one to a corner shop owner.



Specific roles

Is it possible to develop players for specific roles such as scrums, line-out throws, passing from rucks, ball hunting and kicking right from Kaji rugby?

Is it possible to get another local team such as the Fijian Drua in a similar competition top competition? Perhaps in New Zealand.

Is it possible to have two or three Fijian rugby players to be part of the same overseas club because regular team assembly is a problematic area?



Funeral prank

Recently an Irish man pranked his family and friends at his own funeral. When his coffin was lowered and the bagpipes began playing he had an audio recording of his voice play from his coffin.

“Hello, hello,” came his voice to everyone’s astonishment.

“Let me out, it’s f#@king dark in here. Where the f@#k am I? Hello, please, please, let me out!”

Pretty quickly, the crowd’s tears turned into those of laughter as the recording mimicked him knocking on the wooden coffin while it was lowered into place.

He ended the recording by serenading a goodbye song for his loving family and friends for the last time!

It was his dying wish and it made everyone laugh when it was needed the most!

SIMON HAZELMAN Rava Estate, Savusavu



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