Letters to the Editor – June 16

Semi Radradra (middle) runs through the defence during the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians training session at the ANZ Stadium in Suva. Picture: FILE

Welcome home

AFTER globetrotting with league, 15s and 7s, now we will be able to see one of our very own in our home turf. Whatever the results maybe, people will just flock in to see Semi Radradra for the first time. During his years with the Parramatta Eels, he was a top try scorer and we never wanted to miss watching him on TV. And recently, teaming up with Tuisova, they dominated the social media and were seen together at the London 7s. Now, he will play in front of his home crowd and this is the opportunity we have been waiting for. So come down and let’s cheer him on. Welcome home Semi.

Tomasi Boginiso Boa, Nepani, Nasinu

Humble plea

I REQUEST all of you readers to please separate yourself from your smartphones after a hard day tonight and admire the beautiful nature around us. Look up to the sky and those stars shining above us and then you will realise that you are so much attracted to the lights of your phone that you have forgotten to appreciate the nature around you. To be frank, I just realised today when I was searching for the age-old traditional Eid moon. I know the feeling will not last long but I got the chance to thank mother nature after a long, long time. Eid Mubarak to all.

Ashis Kumar, Ba

Faithful servant

THE Fijian Government should be thanked for purchasing a plot of land in Kitale, Kenya, where the bodies of the late Pastor Sakaraia Mataka and his son Paula will be laid to rest (FT 13/6). Someone made a friend request to me on social media just to send me a video clip about the work done by Mr Mataka in the remote area where he ministered as a missionary. The clip shows Mr Mataka reporting to the Christian Mission Fellowship International brethren in Fiji on the work God is doing through his ministry and that even though the Kenyan Government has forgotten their own people, God can use His people from the tiny island of Fiji to be a blessing to them. Lives were changed by the power of the Gospel and Mr Mataka used his church connections to get clean drinking water out to the people. The highlight of the clip was the story of an elderly lady who was also disabled. When she drank clean water for the first time in her life, she tried standing up, just to tell Mr Mataka that this was the first clean water she has drunk for a very long time and she thanked him also for bringing her Jesus Christ, the living water! This lady died not long after that and no one planned for Mr Mataka and his son to be called so early in life. I believe that our heavenly Father is calling us Christian pastors and lay people; if you have the opportunity, go out into the world with the Gospel of Christ and be a blessing to others. The first Bible verse that came to mind after watching Mr Mataka’s clip was; “Well done, good and faithful servant: enter into the joy of your Lord” (Matt 25:23).

Savenaca Vakaliwaliwa, Suva

Best on show

YOUR front page (FT 14/06) captured well the hype surrounding the beginning of the 2018 FIFA World Cup soccer in Russia. The price of jerseys is expensive and fans will have to dig deep to buy their team’s souvenir piece. We are miles away from Russia and will rely on Fiji One and FBC TV for live results. Fans in Fiji will be supporting Brazil, England, Argentina, Spain, Germany, France and Oceania top bets Australia. The World Cup kicked-started yesterday morning with hosts Russia versus Saudi Arabia. The last World Cup in Brazil brought sorrow and pain to the hosts as the giants of soccer were taught a lesson by Germany in the semis (7-1) and Netherlands for third place finish. To date I feel that embarrassing moment. However, I am hopeful that Brazil will bounce and redeem the lost opportunity at home four years ago. I wish all soccer fans the very best for the 2018 FIFA World Cup soccer especially waking up early to watch the games. I hope to see our “Bula Boys” playing in the World Cup soon. Finally, I have been enjoying articles from Russia penned by The Fiji Times. My full support is for Brazil!

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Tax issue

ARE retirement packages really taxed? Shouldn’t this be tax free because it assists the retiree off on a life with zero future earnings. Vinaka.

Nigel Fiu, Lautoka

7s rugby

THANK you Pita Baleilomaloma (FT 14/06) for your thoughts about our players. I totally agree with you.

Kirti Patel, Lautoka

Town rates

I THANK the Government for its HOMES-CARE program. People got their stuff damaged and they got compensated. I hope the Government can also show compassion towards the ratepayers who have been subjected to a 37 per cent increase in town rates. Not all ratepayers are businesspeople. There are still a lot of us who were forced to retire at 55 and now have no source of income. I hope the Government can reduce the rates.

Sukha Singh, Labasa

7s refs

I BELIEVE the inconsistency of the whistle blowers and touch judges officiating Fiji’s matches at the Paris 7s was a gang up to deny Fiji the championship. Time and time again, the commentators were heard saying that clear consistent instructions must be given.

William Rosa, Tavua

Free press

YOU know you live in a free country with a free press when a citizen can write a short, succinct one sentence letter to the editor asking, “Why is Howard not being investigated for war crimes?” (Robert Martin, The Age 13/6 ) and the press has no problem in publishing it.

Rajend Naidu, Sydney, Australia

Trading cost

CAN the Land Transport Authority or the Government put a trading cost on the new taxi permits that will be issued soon. I have been told that the big sharks (rich businessmen) are willing to pay $15k just for a permit around Lautoka.

John Brown, Drasa, Vitogo, Lautoka

7s trend

1. 1999-2000 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series — Fiji just needed to reach the cup semi-final of the final tournament in Paris to claim the inaugural world title. Fiji lost in the cup-quarter-final to Argentina 35-21 to hand the title to New Zealand. 2. 2017-2018 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series — Fiji just needed to finish 3rd in the final tournament in Paris to claim the inaugural world title. Fiji lost in the cup quarter-final to England 19-17 to hand the title to South Africa. Is this a trend for our Fiji 7s team?

Jonas Bradburgh, Makoi

Solar streetlights

WHILE travelling along the Queens Rd, it is encouraging to see streetlights being installed. Fiji is at the forefront of climate fight and it is hard to fathom why we could not have installed solar streetlights. It is not too late though because this is a marathon not a sprint. Let’s stop wasting taxpayers’ money in flogging a dead horse. Renewable energy is the industry of the future and we need to take the lead or be left behind. The good news for all is that we have to seriously do something good for our planet home now or never.

Param Singh, Navua

Sporting excitement

AFTER the disappointments from Paris last weekend, the fans’ attention moved to the international June Tests. It was a feat of rugby last weekend as Georgia beat Tonga, Fiji narrowly edged Samoa, the mighty All Blacks thrashed France, Australia enjoyed success over Ireland and South Africa proved strong for the fired up England. In this week’s round of matches, local fans will be entertained to the ancient rivalry between the Ikale Tahi and Samoa and a repeat of last year’s freakish battle between the Flying Fijians and The Lelos. The Lelos dominated upfront last year and capitalised on mistakes made by the hosts, knock-ons, lost opportunities, high penalty count and taking wrong options. Although the scoreline was 14-3 in favour of Georgia, this year I am banking on Fiji to play the cards right. With the inclusion of Radradra, Vugakoto, Navuma, Nakarawa, Mawi, Kali and Nabou, I see an upset. The Lelos under the close supervision of Kiwi Milton Haig know too well how dangerous the Flying Fijians will be with ball in hand so they will rely on the strength of their forwards to win them the match. On the other hand, expect a backleash from the northern hemisphere teams England, France and Ireland when they front up South Africa, the All Blacks and Wallabies away from home. While the 2018 FIFA World Cup soccer is in progress, excitement from rugby battle will keep fans glued to their television. I wish our Flying Fijians and the super powers of rugby the All Blacks all the best for the Test matches! I also wish the Babasiga Lions all the best for their league match against Lautoka!

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Dishonest traders

I READ that four prominent traders in the Western Division have been charged by the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission. Isa, these are the kind of traders who take advantage of situations. Remember during the national budget announcements, when duty goes up, the price of old stock also goes up. When the duty goes down, it remains the same. But why can’t the four traders’ names be published so that we can see who they are. And I wonder how much will they be fined?

Allen Lockington, Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

2018 FIFA World Cup

THE 2018 FIFA World Cup began brightly in Russia on Friday. The host made a very good start as they thrashed the visitors Saudi Arabia 5-0. Their win sends a strong message to the rest of the teams that they mean business and are not to be taken lightly in this World Cup. Obviously, Russian fans would be quite happy with their side’s strong start. Russia knows very well that all opponents are not easily dealt with. As the globally-fought competition progresses, more exciting results will unfold. At the moment any prediction is hard to make because we have just seen the beginning. I was indeed fortunate to see all the action between Russia and Saudi Arabia live on TV at home and I thank the TV station for making this possible. We wait to see more action and excitement as the greatest soccer players on the planet take the centre stage in Russia in the coming days. Let’s all enjoy the World Cup which comes every four years.

Suresh Chand, Nadi

Fiji soccer

THE one and only way for Fiji to play in the FIFA World Cup — qualify as a host nation. Try to go for a joint bid with Australia and New Zealand. The host nation automatically qualifies. Or else never ever in our history we will go close to being the 50th ranked nation … forget about qualifying. What say Gamel? Let’s learn from Fiji rugby. If not call me on 9955178 and I will tell you how.

A Shariff Shah, Savusavu

Next 7s battle

WHILE the national 7s men’s team must be commended for finishing second best in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, there have been a lot of eyebrows raised for falling short by two crucial points that led to the vanishing of the title from our grips. This has happened to our team thrice. I remember it was in 2000 or 2001 where our quarter-final exit led to the loss of the title. It came to haunt them in 2008 where we lost again in the quarter-final stages. And now in 2018! A repetition is just unacceptable. Three times, quarter-final exits stripping us off the main title is just unbelievable. Fiji must have played their game as a final but wrong decisions and poor tackling ripped the title the nation was anticipating. There were tired muscles as well. We reached the pinnacle with five cup wins yet we could not grab the main one. Everyone must have prayed for a win but we didn’t perform when it mattered most. It’s now back to the drawing board and strategies must be identified as the Rugby World Cup 7s is approaching. This year we lost the Commonwealth title, the HSBC title and every effort must be made to bring World Cup glory to our shores. On a positive note, the year was splendid with Baber and his gladiators bringing so much joy and happiness to the fans. A big vinaka to all followers of 7s. Let’s focus on the next battle and prepare well. Toso boys.

Naveen Dutt, Wainibokasi, Nausori

Consistent effort

I THINK we can all learn a very important lesson from the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series champions. South Africa won only two tournaments, lost out on a medal in the Commonwealth Games, but did they give up? I think we all know the answer to that. They did not win every tournament but consistently performed to their potential. In the series, they lost all their games against Fiji though they were close encounters on every occasion. I believe the lesson we can take away from the series champion is this. There are moments in life where we produce flashes of brilliance but what wins out in the end is the slow consistent effort to achieving your goals. With any goal you set, you may not be ringing out the bells and attracting all the attention, but if you consistently perform to your fullest potential, the day will come when you will reap the rewards. Well done South Africa.

Sailosi Naewe, Naduru Rd, Nausori

Civic pride

IT was interesting to read an online article on the Chronicle Journal titled Why civic pride is important? The authors defined civic pride as “having pride in your city, bringing a community together and makes us feel good about where we live”. It goes on to talk about the examples of civic pride and how a young professional group has put leverage on civic pride to be a top priority in their community. Over the years writers to this column have stressed the importance of embracing civic pride through the reduction of littering in Fiji with a view to eliminate such a chronic problem. I have on multiple occasions observed in one of our largest municipal markets the garbage left behind at the conclusion of Saturday marketing. The majority of the garbage are composed of vegetable and crop residues. Is the problem related to having inadequate rubbish bins provided by the concerned authority or is it simply related to irresponsible vendors? Imagine if civic pride was really embraced, there would be less cleaning up at the end of a Saturday marketing. All in all, civic pride is “common sense” after all. Let us be proud of our communities, towns and cities and put a stop to littering. Have a blessed and safe week.

Spencer Robinson, Suva

HOMES-CARE scheme

THANKS to the HOMES-CARE scheme, I believe some people who did not own a fridge, washing machine, gas stove, bed, or sofa before will now have one. I believe even the ones who were spared by the cyclones and floods also managed to cash in from the opportunity. According to the figures released by the Ministry of Poverty Alleviation, so far over $63.2 million has been paid out to about 56,500 people under the scheme (FT 13/6). In my view it will not eliminate their vulnerabilities because they are likely to suffer the same peril disaster after disaster. I believe part of the money could have been better spent in their resettlement to a safer and flood-free locality as a long-term solution. But who are the real beneficiaries. Of course the flood and cyclone victims are the recipients of the assistance. I believe it’s the sellers of the goods covered under the MPAiSA card that are benefiting financially at the expenses of the taxpayers. Not only they are laughing and dancing all the way to the bank but must be also praying for more natural disasters to capitalise on the windfall from such aid. Some might argue that we are dishing out too many handouts. Critics would claim that it’s an election gimmick. However, there seems to be general consensus that its Government’s social responsibility to look after the welfare of the people. But how much should the Government provide or afford to provide? Is such aid sustainable? That is the burning question in the minds of taxpayers? I guess the saying that one should live within his means also applies to governments too.

Selwa Nandan, Lautoka

Eating habits

ARUN’S advice on control of eating habits (FT 9/6/18) to maintain good health should be well taken by those who can’t control their eating habits. At times we are tempted to spend more on unhealthy, expensive food and things go out of control. A 90-year-old man was asked about the secret of a healthy and happy life. He replied, “Exercise, diet, eat less, see what you eat, be active, no drinks and no smoking is a way forward to happy, healthy, wealthy and stress-free life”.

Tahir Ali, Hamilton, New Zealand

Happy Eid

AS Fijians, our strength has always been in the rich diversity we share. We have existed and coexisted peacefully for so long. Thus, there can be no superior or inferior race. We are all of equal worth, born equal in dignity and born free, and — for this reason — deserving of respect whatever our external circumstances. We must realise the fact that race has no scientific basis, it is only a social construct. We inextricably bound ourselves in such a way to celebrate festivals such as Eid, Diwali and Christmas that at times it is quite difficult to separate from each other. As Fijians, this is what makes us different from the rest of the world. Happy Eid to all our Muslim brothers and sisters.

Pranil Ram, Votualevu, Nadi

My name is Gossip

I CAME across a powerful description that someone wrote of one of the most serious problems that undermines the effectiveness of unity. “My name is Gossip. I have no respect for justice. I maim without killing. I break hearts and ruin lives. I am cunning and malicious and gather strength with age. The more I am quoted, the more I am believed. My victims are helpless. They cannot protect themselves against me because I have no name and face. To track me down is impossible. The harder you try, the more elusive I become. I am nobody’s friend. Once I tarnish a reputation, it is never the same. I topple governments and wreck marriages. I make headlines and headaches. I ruin careers and cause sleepless nights, heartaches and indigestion. I make innocent people cry in their pillows. Even my name hisses. I am called Gossip.” The words that we speak to and about others have enormous power, and we are going to one day answer to God for the words we have chosen to carelessly utter. “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment” (Matthew 12:36). Every person should make a deliberate and intentional effort to make sure that his speech is uplifting, edifying and, most importantly, the truth. This is equally true whether we are speaking to someone or about them. There are many things that even if true should not be spread to damage or destroy the reputation of others. Be it on Facebook, any social networking sites or in person, avoid gossips and do not engage with gossipers because I personally don’t trust someone who talks bad about someone else to me, they would probably talk behind my back too.

Dharmendra Kumar, Rewa St, Suva

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