Letters to the Editor – January 25, 2020

The Fiji 7s team sing Tracy Blake’s birthday song after their training at Elliott Park. Picture: RAMA

Winning hearts and minds

You ask any 7s follower around the globe and they’ll tell you about the friendliness and hospitality of the Fijians. Our 7s boys have been winning hearts and minds on the international arena and the Kenyan 7s team was one of the first 7s teams to share the friendliness and oneness of the national team after winning the 2016 Singapore 7s tournament. The ‘shuja’ (a Swahili word meaning courage, confidence, bravery or heroism) broke out the story of how our boys shared their training space, hotel facilities and training resources when all other teams ignored them. Our boys make their presence felt in any part of the world which hosts the WRSS tournament and the Hamilton 7s boasts Fiji’s best crowd attendance. The Fiji Times published colourful pictures from Hamilton where our boys have been mobbed by their fans. Maikeli Seru ran a story in yesterday’s paper titled Boys win grandma over and I was moved by our players attitude and caring nature as they sang a birthday song for Tracey Blake who could not control her emotions. According to Blake it was the best birthday song she had ever heard and she said that she was going to follow her grandchildren and cheer for Fiji. So sweet! Those Indo-Fijian supporters with Fiji’s flag and the words, Tum Dekho Hum Kari, meaning “I do it, you watch” caught the attention of many. The hype of this year’s Hamilton 7s is driving excitement and I wish to thank all our wonderful supporters in Hamilton for they have been behind our two epic wins there. Despite living in NZ their hearts bleed for Fiji and this will be evident with the huge reception that our boys will get in Hamilton! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Road congestion

Fiji Roads Authority chief executive officer, Jonathan Moore, says that road congestion continues to be a problem in Fiji (FT:24/01). Not only is it an understatement but the problem is worsening. No one would have ever thought that our two towns up North would be facing this problem but we do and its become a real nuisance for vehicle owners, pedestrians, LTA officers, and the police. Too many cars and not enough roads and parking spaces is the problem! Mr Moore said the solution to our problem lies in a wide range of initiatives and that a long-term plan was needed to complement our growing economy and increasing car ownership. He stated that they were working with other stakeholders to build the foundations for this longer term thinking (FT:24/01). Let’s hope these longer term thinking doesn’t take as long to think about and actioned? My thought on the matter is simple in that why is government allowing more cars into the country when we don’t have the proper infrastructure to cater for the increase? We are putting the cart before the horse! Simon Hazelman Rava Estate, Savusavu

Mobile charging app

WHEN power went out during TC Sarai, my laptop died within two hours. My phone stayed alive for eight hours, it’s one of those old phones and the best feature is the radio and its one ear-piece. Anyway, people started complaining about the power outage because they depend on the internet and gadgets that need charging. Then my kai sends me a message asking where she could get an InstaCharge thingy. My mind raced and I went to aunty Google and there was the news bright and clear just like yesterday. In November, 2016 a report says, “At a glamorous function at a Suva hotel on Friday night, Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama announced the launch of a revolutionary new mobile application, hailed by the Government as a “multi-bilion dollar venture”. The Fiji Times on November 30, 2016 simply reported, “Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama launched a new mobile charging app called InstaCharge at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva last week.” Guests were treated to an evening of soothing music from Talei Draunibaka and group while they enjoyed their dinner. Present at the launch were guests from the telecommunication sector and other stakeholders. Whatever happened to that thing? ALLEN LOCKINGTON Kava Place, Lautoka.

Daylight saving

DAYLIGHT saving time (DST) again draws to a close, and the case for having it again pops into my head. Any argument for DST would at the very least need to be economically beneficial rather than anecdotal. I stand to be corrected but I have not seen nor read any compelling factual report that DST neither earns nor saves the economy any more money. Opening and closing hours of business are based on time as opposed to amount of daylight so it would be hard to fathom more earnings simply because you have more light in the day. You could say that tourists spend more money on daylight activities or at the pool bar, but this needs to be quantified and compared with the rest of our economy. Dinner at most hotels and resorts would be at a set time, rather than at sunset for instance — and I would expect that most tourists like us are creatures of habit, and prefer to have dinner at around the same time every day. Much of our economy is agriculturally based. Are farmers reporting more productivity and or production for the eight weeks or so that we have DST? I was in Sigatoka Valley recently and I did notice some farmers tilling their land in the early evening, but that is what farmers do, i.e work duing the cooler times of day during these summer months. There is the school of thought for getting out after work and doing some physically beneficial activity. Personally, I do like the fact that I can set out for a walk at 6pm and be back at home around 7pm, not too concerned about how visible I am to drivers on the road as there is still ample daylight. However, the flip side of DST on physical activity is some prefer morning exercise routines but have an hour less daylight and therefore move their activity to the evening which may not suit most as it cuts into their family time, homework etc. We know that a healthy populace is good for any economy, but again, and I stand to be corrected, has there been a study to quantify the economic benefit of DST on exercise routines of the population? Perhaps one of the easiest places to quantify any benefit of DST would be Energy Fiji Ltd. Is there a notable decrease in the amount of electricity consumed during DST, as opposed to if there were no DST? Latitudinally, Fiji is located at 17 degrees South. We share this geographical belt with 13 other countries on Earth. Australia and Brazil are large enough that they extend further than 17 degrees South. However, in exception to the 13 other sovereign nations, and all states and regions of Australia and Brazil that fall within 17 degrees South, we are the only country which observes DST. Truly a case of “only in Fiji” BERNARD HONG TIY Suva

Real challenge

This year’s Hamilton 7s tournament provides a real challenge for our national 7s team. Currently, sitting at sixth position is something that is very unusual for us. We used to be the trend setters in the past and I believe this hurts fans just as much as it hurts the players. What makes things even more interesting is the new sevens format. We cannot let things slip this time around as poor outing this weekend would drag us further behind and also making the chances of winning the overall series very slim. There will be no short of support for our boys as Hamilton provides a large fan base which could be the X factor in winning the tournament. There are no easy teams in the series and each game is just like final. I believe the management team has rectified the mistakes made in the last two tournaments. Teams are leveraging from our weaknesses and players have to step up to nullify this. The ever evolving sevens game demands huge mental strength and getting little things right. Games could just be decided by the bounce of the ball. The fans are excited and eagerly waiting for the games and anticipating for a good outing. Let the games begin. Go Fiji go! Pranil Ram Votualevu, Nadi

Sevens format

Approximately this time around, the Hamilton 7s was played on New Zealand turf and our mighty gladiators stole the cup in style in front of home fans and the much-hyped Fijian fans that dominated the show. It was a sublime finish by the boys and considering the format this year, it will definitely be a very difficult task to even qualify from pool stages. Any cards, missed tackles and in discipline will really be painful. I wonder how we have been performing previously and the performance at present! There seems to be some inconsistency and this must be taken care of as the tournament unfolds with another twenty points up for grabs. Laxity by our players will be a costly affair and everyone is fully aware of our opponents, so things may not look that easy and the idea of assumption must not be there at all. Let’s hope that our boys will deliver when it matters most and hopefully there will be something to cherish as the Hamilton 7s ends in the weekend. Best of luck boys … toso. Naveen Dutt Wainibokasi

Running scared

How’s this for a laugh. On Wednesday (22/1) after midday, I had just finished packing some of my late wife’s clothes to be given away. Laid down and was doing a bit of reading. When all of a sudden the bed jolted. Shocked and startled, I ran for the door. So fast I almost made a new door. Standing outside and looking in I wondered what the hell was that. First thought it was my late wife because I had packed her clothes to give away. Little did I know it was that bloody 5.5 magnitude earthquake. Hahahaha. Wise Muavono Balawa, Lautoka

What happened

That themeI believe everything is going up except the minimum wage while “indecent working” hours for majority of industry thrives. What happened to “the no one is to be left behind” theme? Dan Urai Lautoka

Toso Fijiana

While our national men’s 7s team is the talk around the tanoa, it’s important that we reserve our energy and prayers for Saiasi Fuli and our Fijiana as our women’s side gets ready to take on series leaders NZ, England and China. The Fijiana side made back to back quarters in Dubai and Cape Town and our girls have amassed 20 points and are in the top eight. Therefore, my best wishes to the Fijiana! Toso Fijiana, toso! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Health and 7s

Is there a relationship between health and 7s rugby? Well, depending upon results in Hamilton, there may be people too happy or very angry souls who may need some assistance with their pressure and mental status. Floyd Robinson Toorak, Suva

Interesting note

It was interesting to take note of US ambassador to the Ukraine William B Taylor Jr’s comment during the Trump Impeachment hearing when he stressed the point that the new president of Ukraine had wanted to change their government system to do away with the immunity protection of officials which supported corruption in the corridors of power. Emosi Balei Suva

New account

My friend’s son wanted to open a bank account. He was asked for his pay slip. He informed the bank officer that he was still in school, the bank officer then asked my friend for his pay slip, he mentioned that the new account was for his son, not him, no joy. Needless to say, no new account was opened. Watchful much. I may ask scribe for his. Nigel Fiu Owls Perch, Lautoka

Bus fare

The Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission has announced a bus fare increase starting on February 1. Adults will pay 7 cents more per stage while students will be the same from May 4. May God help us all. M S Kaleca Nakasi

Silence culture

I believe for any government it’s not what people say that is damaging to their bid for re-election, it’s what people don’t say. Dan Urai Lautoka

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