Letters to the Editor – January 14, 2019

A letter writer has commended The Fiji Times. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

Real life issues matter

When it comes to real life issues The Fiji Times must be commended for having guts to publish them. The saying, ‘A good newspaper is a nation talking to itself’, comes to the forefront when I read The Fiji Times, which has just continued its excellent reporting from 2019. From the bus industry to agriculture, health, education, dialogue, politics and sports The Fiji Times has them covered impartially. While I praise our most read newspaper, I am saddened that real life issues escape some prominent media stations. Isa, I pity them for they are depriving the public of some real life news. Nonetheless, hats off and congratulations to The Fiji Times for standing tall. Yesterday’s news on health issues and the stories regarding back to school were worth reading. My attention in particular was drawn to page three as I spotted two school children with their gallery of awards. The story of the Koroipita family would have melted hearts. Kartik is a role model for every son as he did well in school despite supporting smaller sister Neha in her school work. Well done Kartik! A big vinaka vakalevu The Fiji Times for the wonderful real life stories from around Fiji. I told one of my close friends, The Fiji Times does it best. He smiled! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Hospital issues

That issues with an airconditioning unit at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva that forced the temporary closure of six out of the eight operating theatres last week is not a hiccup. One does not need medical attention when one gets a hiccup, it goes away by itself. Try telling the parents of a one-month-old baby scheduled for surgery after the infant was forced to go without food or water for hours on two occasions that an airconditioning unit was not working and it was a small problem That’s not a hiccup, that’s a major problem. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Lautoka

Soldier assistance

It is great and only proper that we have provided military personnel to support Australia who is facing a national disaster as bushfires sweep across the continent. On the home front, we have hospitals, schools, state-owned properties, roads, bridges and shorefronts, that are in dire need of maintenance and repairs. The question I have is what would it take for our soldiers to be utilised to maintain our own infrastructure on a consistent basis? Resources can be redirected to keep them busy, responsible and productive. Let’s drop the guns for some real work! Simon Hazelman Rava Estate, Savusavu

Resigning expat

While an expatriate resigning is none of our business, I believe concerns on wastage, experience, capability and ability of those making the final decision to recruit, sets in. Dan Urai Lautoka

Umaria’s big picture

Many thanks to Suva’s past mayor or chief administrator, Chandu Umaria. You had undertaken several projects for the city of Suva and helped many residents. Some did not approve of your projects but that did not dampen your spirits. You were always proactive and looked at the bigger picture. Your most memorable project was “My Suva Picnic Park”, which was a success story until the powers that be decided to put in place a 4-lane ‘highway’ alongside it. Until they put up that ugly fence cutting off half of the area of “My Suva Picnic Park”, the park was a hive of activity daily. In the weekends and public holidays it was a meeting place for people of all races, ages and walks of life. Laughter filled the air as children played on the swings or slides. Youths played touch rugby nearby. Families would take out their mats and sit on the ground. Others would enjoy their meals under the little huts, while the fitness gurus pounded the paths with their brisk walking. Driving past was always enjoyable as one took in the scene of a peaceful Fiji, which is fast becoming a melting pot of different cultures. It is unfortunate that someone decided that a 4-lane ‘highway’ was more important than “My Suva Picnic Park”. They certainly did not see the bigger picture that Chandu Umaria saw not only for the city of Suva but for Fiji. Thank you Mr Umaria for daring to dream. I salute you for your tireless and timeless efforts. Korina Waibuta Knollys St, Suva

Price setting

THE good minister for Agriculture told the farmers in Rakiraki that Government can’t interfere in the price setting mechanism (FT 10/1). And the farmers are increasing the price of goat, sheep, crabs and vegetables and not the Government. The real reason why farmers are increasing the price is to meet the escalating cost of living. Therefore the price of local goods and produce are going up because of the rising cost of basic consumer goods. I believe it has got nothing to do with the grass and the sea. But more to do with their livelihood. SELWA NANDAN Lautoka

Plastic bags

Whenever the term “plastic bags” is used, somehow “climate change” is also mentioned as the effect of its misuse and careless discharge. It certainly causes pollution and there is no real argument with that. This is when we as humans –– since the plastic cannot do it itself –– carelessly intentionally or otherwise, discard it as waste in our land, marine or air environment, to become a pollutant, unsightly nuisance and a danger to human, animal and marine life and ecosystems, because of its non-biodegradable qualities. So then what does that have to do with our global climate and climate change? In my humble opinion, it has no direct effect on our climate, locally or globally. If we overstretch our imagination, one could conclude, albeit with some difficulty, that perhaps plastic wastes gathered in very, very large quantities and burning in our landfills, may block sunlight, but that is really overstretching it. Health problems from the smoke pollution is more the issue here. Even the famous floating plastic mass in the east Pacific Ocean does not affect the climate, but is more a danger to marine life and hazardous to shipping. It seems these days that we tend to link many things to climate change whether rightly or wrongly. I believe we should always be very clear as to how we relate the “causes and effects” of events happening around us. Attributing an “effect” to the “wrong cause” and vice versa, can be problematic, costly and time wasting. The bottom line in all this is that, carelessly discarded plastic waste is an environmental pollution problem period. Edward Blakelock Admiral Circle Pacific Harbour

Recruiting expatriates

Opposition Leader Sitiveni Rabuka is absolutely correct in stating that recruiting expatriates is a lose-lose proposition for Fiji and a disloyalty to our citizens (FT 11/01). This issue of concern is nothing new and all past and present governments have failed to recognise the ability and enthusiasm of locals to take up middle and senior management positions. While certain expatriate positions are required, it is policy that these positions have a training program where a local understudies the expatriate to take over after the expatriate’s term expires. For a company to recruit an expatriate, it is policy to justify the need to hire the expatriate. It is also policy that the company advertise the position and an analysis of local applications received be produced at the Immigration Department with the reasons why the applicants are not suited for the position. The questions I have are: How definite is Fiji Immigration that these requirements are adhered to? What’s stopping a company from not giving a detailed analysis of local applications? What if the company chucks a very suitable local applicant’s application into the bin so as to give way to an expatriate? I also wish to ask how definite and sure is Fiji Immigration that understudies are in place and that the training program provided is adhered to? Are regular checks being made that each and every expatriate position literally has an understudy and that the local is advancing towards filling the position at the end of the expatriate’s two to three years contract? There is a tendency and assumption with many foreign investors that locals are not as suitable as they would like them to be, or in many cases they judge on pure assumption. The fact of the matter is, locals are very hands-on people and when provided with an opportunity to engage in direct practical experience with the money to match, they strive. In support of the local workforce our Immigration Department needs to up its game and be more vigilant an thorough with its work ethics, for I believe the paperwork provided by these companies is nothing else but paperwork without any undertaking. As Fijians, we need a win-win proposition in this regard! SIMON HAZELMAN
Rava Estate, Savusavu

DST ends

Sunday, January 12 brought great news to many Fijians. It signalled the end of daylight saving. Now that DST has ended, can we get a feedback of its pros and cons and whether it really serves its purpose! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Promises and all

Promises, it has been said, are made to be broken. Another quote is promises are a dime a dozen. “We will complete the pool in November (2019),” said someone. “The teachers will get a pay rise,” said another. Do you want me to go on? No, that’s enough thinking out loud. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Lautoka

Blame game

There is too much blaming of each other going on in Parliament. Some of those people forget they were in Parliament in the past and on both sides of the house, they should know better. Just work together, it’s the beginning of a new decade for goodness sake. Mere Lagilagi Raviravi, Ba

Cyclone threat

The threat of another tropical disturbance is here again. The last one was a Category 2 cyclone that did some damage and power was off for some time. I hope the staff members of the power company know where there are weak structures or powerlines and have them fixed. We have been hit by so many cyclones – I just hope we are learning as we go along so that power is restored quickly. Sunil Kumar Lautoka

One hour

How does it feel when you knock off from work one hour late compared with last week? Sukha Singh Labasa

Labasa roads

I would like to thank Fiji Roads Authority for the marvellous work in maintaining the roads in Labasa Town. Despite the rain and the emerging potholes, they are promptly attending to fixing the same with minimum inconvenience to the public. I must say that I have never seen such wonderful roadworks in the past 35 years. Keep it up. Ami Kohli Labasa

Plane shooting

We are told the Ukrainian civilian plane was “unintentionally” shot down by the Iranian military. So is that supposed to make a difference to the 176 civilians killed and their heartbroken families and friends? What nonsense is this “unintentional” shooting down of a civilian plane on account of military miscalculations? The perpetrators of the military miscalculation have civilian blood on their hands and must face justice. Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

Normal life

When it comes to timing, as daylight saving time has ended, it does feel like that life has become normal again. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

More Stories