Letters to the Editor – June 2

Fiji 7s captain Jerry Tuwai with other team captains ready for the London 7s. Picture: SUPPLIED

Taxi permits

AS per the crowd turnout to apply for taxi permit, it could be anticipated that in coming years the travelling public will only receive service from taxi operators. Taxi operators should realise the fact that because of their failure in providing services, a large chunk of their share is now in the pockets of the illegal operators. I believe those operating their vehicles illegally should be given a chance so that they can be part of the taxi industry and not against. Hundreds of illegal operators are doing business and giving them first chance will mean that this Government is making an attempt to make illegal into legal. Let’s give these drivers priority after all they have been there in need. I understand that many legal owners will curse me for being blunt.

Gulsher Ali, Lautoka

Poverty issue

There’s lots of talk in the media about alleviating escalating poverty and unemployment levels. There’s also been lots of talk about how the different political parties are going to go about solving something that’s been around for decades which no political party so far has been able to completely solve. Firstly, to have any chance of solving something that’s been around for a very long time will require a decisive, honest, transparent and concerted effort by Government, captains of industry, leaders of the various union movement, representatives of Parliament and the various welfare agencies who are at the coalface of assisting people in need. A bipartisan approach having the best minds coming together would be a good start rather than politicising a deeply sensitive and emotionally contentious issue as a lead-up to the elections. No one person or party has all the answers. However, I’m sure that there are many schools of thought and ideas on how to begin pegging back the problems when the “pollies” lay aside their differences and begin focusing on solutions rather than the negative hype that emanates from certain quarters about who can do it better. Imagine, if people who are unemployed were given an acre of land away from the main city and town centres to plant cassava, dalo and veggies, there’s a massive home-grown market not to mention the overseas export markets that are crying for our crops. And it might even help in halting urban migration. And imagine, if serious consideration was given to creating infrastructure projects like a massive aqueduct through central Viti Levu and Vanua Levu it could provide much needed water and power for so many satellite towns and industry along its length and breadth. Think big! And even bigger still. Then there’s a very good chance you will create the solutions to solve what looked like insurmountable problems. “Again and again, the impossible decision is solved when we see that the problem is only a tough decision waiting to be made.” Dr Robert Schuller.

Colin Deoki, Australia

Traffic jams

Having arrived back into Suva on Thursday after being away for several days, I was rather alarmed at the traffic jam building up from the Nakasi area all the way back to the Capital City starting from as early 3pm. It certainly makes one wonder what would happen if there is a sudden emergency announcement for members of the public to flee to higher ground as soon as possible, especially during working hours. Are we prepared for this in light of the ever increasing traffic jam? Whatever one’s views, this is certainly a topic for further discussion as if not managed well, it can lead to more chaos during times of emergencies.

Floyd Robinson, Nasinu

Bring it on

Expect fireworks when the 9th tournament on the circuit kicks off tonight in the penultimate round of the HSBC WRSS in London in what promises to be an exhilarating two days of 7s rugby action. This year’s series has proved to be the most competitive ever with 37 points separating the top four teams in the standings and five different winners in the first five rounds. It is all to play for this weekend as the race for the series title heats up ahead of the grand finale in Paris next week. Following successive victories in Vancouver, HK and Singapore the Flying Fijians entered London with high confidence and a four point lead over South Africa, who are closely followed by New Zealand in third and Australia in fourth. The 18th London 7s will no doubt celebrate the English capital’s diversity. Meanwhile, Fiji’s pool opponent Scotland travelled to Twickenham looking to add the London tournament for the third successive year. Coach Dalziel has named a powerful squad which has experience, power and speed and boasts the likes of Riddell, Darcy, Mclennan, Nayacavou, Farndale, Lowe and McFarland. Despite thrashing Argentina in our previous meetings the Los Pumas backed with big names in Luna, Alvares, Juan Pablo, Moroni, Revol, Imhoff, Sabato and Bruzzone will come out firing. NZ will be hard nuts to crack and the Commonwealth 7s Games gold medal win will boost the Clark Laidlaw-coached side. NZ has depth, speed and skills in the likes of Molia, Curry, Mikkelson, Ng Shiu, Ravouvou, Collier, Koroi, Regan Ware, Te Tamaki, Webber and Nareki. Fiji’s past clashes against NZ has been very close except for the big win in HK against their second string outfit. Reflecting on our success, the past few tournaments have been amazing and fans have fond memories from our wins. Every game so far has been an absolute battle but we managed to end on the right side of it. Fiji is in a tough group and every game will be tough. Hence, the coaching staff must look at ways to impose our game on the opposition. The raucous crowd at Twickenham, probably the biggest crowd on the circuit, should boost our performance and help capture the title. Fiji won in 2006 and then in 2012, six years later. It has been six years since we last won in London. Can our boys repeat the heroics from the past three tournaments and maintain our trend of winning after six years in London? Only time will tell! I wish our 7s stars all the best for the London 7s. Please fly the Fijian flag with humility. Toso Viti, toso!

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Tinned fish

The other day, I went to one of the renowned supermarkets in town and to my surprise, I saw the price of one of my favourite tinned fish which I normally bought for $2.20 had the price tag of $2.85. I turned to one of the customers and joked “this is the price we have to pay for relying on freebies”. I believe a 54 per cent price rise in less than a year.

Pita Soroaqali, Nadarivatu

Sevens approach

So interesting to note that two of our big guns may be playing for Fiji at the London 7s, now that would give us the edge over the likes of South Africa and other top teams vying for a win there. With Tuisova and Radradra, we have shaken other teams to take notice and be wary of our gladiators which is surely a blessing for our lads. We’re really there to mean business. Toso Viti, toso.

Richard M. Abel, Suva

Exciting times

Who else is excited and looking forward to watching our sevens warriors this weekend with the inclusion of Tuisova and Radradra ? I know, I am! Unfortunately, Allen wasn’t picked because of an old injury. Areh … go Fiji, go.

Wise Muavono, Balawa, Lautoka

Resting place

No Wise Muavono, I believe all life will not come to a halt in either heaven or hell (FT 31/5). There is a final destination closer to home. One of the greatest American playwright Arthur Miller (Pulitzer Prize Winner of Death of a Salesman (1949) said he was happy with that other final resting place, where he is resting in peace now.

Rajend Naidu, Sydney, Australia

Taxi numbers

On the bright side, at least in Lautoka there will be no shortage of taxi after 6pm and no more private cars offering taxi service.

Dan Urai, Lautoka

Our workforce

I believe the only difference between our workforce versus foreigners is that we have to tell ours to work every day and work very hard. For the foreigners, it’s please don’t work that hard… you are overworking, take a rest.

A. SHARIFF SHAH, Savusavu

Soccer players

I refer to the letter FT1/6 by Usaia Tagi regarding soccer players. Mate, I believe Fiji FA’s main priority is to boost their coffers rather than investing on our players with contracts to overseas clubs. At the moment hosting tournaments such as the Fiji FACT and Battle of the Giants will take centre stage as the benefits for our soccer players is minimal. I believe the hard yards done by our players is only recognised while they are still playing the game. Fiji soccer will remain stagnant as I have previously stated and can never be compared with rugby union and rugby league. On a positive note, the FFA hierarchy can keep congratulating our successful Fiji 7s and 15s teams for putting the sport in the world of rugby with positive results. Yes, Rajnesh Lingam, I am looking forward to some explosive, mouth-watering, measuring and breathtaking news about our 7s team in London. Let the games begin and I know all the diehard fans will enjoy top class rugby action while the Fiji FACT soccer will be hosted at Lautoka’s Churchill Park this weekend.

Raymond Singh, Lautoka

Combined functions

If one combined the functions of Communications Fiji Ltd and Fiji TV, would that (more or less) be the equivalent of Fiji Broadcasting Corporation? And if CFL and Fiji TV profits were combined would that almost be equivalent to that of FBC? Together, would CFL and Fiji TV be as successful as FBC? It might make an interesting case study.

Rick Eyre, Lautoka

Go Fiji, go

We want our boys to win the London 7s and move ahead on points, out of South Africa’s reach. South Africa being four points behind our boys in the overall points standing will want to win all its games and take the London 7s title, which would either push them to the front or equal first with our Fiji Airways Fiji 7s team. With the inclusion of “The Bus” and the Semi “The Trailer” in the Fiji 7s team, South Africa will try and avoid meeting Fiji in the quarter-final stage, because if they lose, then Fiji will run away to be the 2017/18 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series winner. It is going to be fun if our boys lose out to New Zealand in their Pool A game to meet South Africa, who is most likely to top Pool D in the quarter-final. Will South Africa throw their Pool game too, to avoid meeting Fiji? We do not know what coach Baber has in mind in terms of the Fiji Airways Fiji 7s team game plan but we all want our boys to do well and to win the current series. Go Fiji, go!

Savenaca Vakaliwaliwa, Suva

Tough decision

The hard decision by the Fiji Football Association to shift the Fiji FACT semi-finals to Lautoka has not been taken very positively by some ardent fans throughout the country. In my view, this is not the right decision taken by authorities as the explanation given to clear the air does not seem to be that soothing or acceptable. I don’t really feel that it rained cats and dogs from Wednesday. In fact there have only been occasional showers. And the ground looks absolutely playable. The council seems to have made the decision in haste! The trend of shifting crucial games far away from the original venue may kill the interest fans have for football. Rewa is the host and venue must have been within close range. I really feel sorry for all the diehard fans from the North and the Rewa delta and the visitors who must have travelled from other parts of the continent to be part of this. They must be very dejected and helpless. All hopes have now been dashed. In future, such decisions must be given a human heart so that football and the love for football continue to ignite passion and growth in the society. Football isn’t about money but it’s about the unity and joy it triggers in society. Go Labasa, go.

Naveen Dutt, Wainibokasi

FACT clash

Lautoka will now have the home advantage for the semi-final match today, Nadi cannot be underestimated and has the strength to pull out a surprise while Labasa has proven to be a lucky team in Lautoka. Rewa will have to come with a different approach. All four teams have proven their worth. Players have been working tirelessly and fans should be proud of their achievement. While I place my bet on the Blues, I wish all the other three teams the very best. Cheers Blues, tell the FACT.

Gulsher Ali, Lautoka

Change in venue

While the semi-final of the Vodafone Fiji FACT is heading to Churchill Park, the venue for the final is yet to be confirmed. According to FFA, the semis had to be shifted to the West because of the poor ground conditions at Ratu Cakobau Park, which was closed because of the heavy downpour in the Southern Division. Ironically, this was the same venue for the last round of games. While I hold my reservations on this decision, I am baffled at the ticket price. I feel $15 for two games is a little too much on the plate of soccer lovers. Meanwhile, Labasa is scheduled to play in the scorching sun at 1pm. It would have been a win-win situation to start the first semi at 3pm and the second semi at 5pm! I rest my case but I plead with the Lions to roar on Sunday to paint Churchill Park red! Jag lal lal!

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Making a profit

I often read about corporations making a profit. It’s good to make a profit. However, private companies will not advertise that they made a profit. It’s a private thing. But we see their little shops become bigger ones, and then they open outlets in other divisions and we say, “Mmm, it seems they are doing well.” Then I see people complaining about wages being too low and the price of goods are too high. Are aliens doing their shopping in these private companies.

Allen Lockington, Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Respecting the elderly

I have heard, seen and read of many people not respecting the elderly especially the younger generations nowadays. And that is not all, even family members sometimes fail to spend time with them. I strongly feel that respect towards the elderly, their fortitude, wisdom, knowledge and grace should be imbibed by us. I also don’t believe that growing old is a sign of becoming wiser, but we should not show disrespect to seniors in any case. It is sad to see that things are changing nowadays and elders or grandparents don’t have much role in the family any longer. Most of the time no one is there to listen to them nor their own children live near them. Respect towards the elderly is fast declining in society and it’s sad but true that in many families they are treated as old furniture or extra burden than part of the family. Quite a number of elderly are placed in old age homes or nursing homes where they spend the rest of their life lonely and forgotten. It is a different case if some elders are placed in nursing homes for medical treatment. However, it shall not be right to push the elderly out from homes and place them in old age homes. Remember, many of the elderly in our society in past and during their time of employment and commitment sacrificed and did their utmost best for us and the country. Through their hard work and dedication the country has achieved a lot of progress. They deserve full respect and should not be neglected. One time or another, everyone of us will age. We must not forget that life is too short and humanity takes it for granted. Likewise, the elderly people also like to live their life to the fullest. They also deserve to laugh and enjoy. They need to be respected, loved, cared, encouraged, assisted, associated and accepted as members of the family. For many of us, our way of thinking, our attitude and behaviour towards the elderly and seniors need to change.

Indar Jit, Tokotoko, Navua

Drivers’ attitude

The attitude of our drivers is the worst in this era of good education and technology. It seems to me that most of the drivers are always in a hurry. A slight delay could threaten their lives it seems through their attitude and speed. They don’t realise that with one slight mistake they will cease to remain a living thing in this world. Some taxidrivers think that they own the roads in Fiji. They can stop anywhere, overtake anywhere, make a U-turn anywhere, park anywhere and drive too fast or too slow anywhere on our roads. There are some fierce-looking ones who show their anger on the roads by a show of aggressive behaviour through speeding and dangerous driving. They would be very harsh through their words and gestures to the other drivers. To add to this, they would act as better than LTA officers once caught in an accident. They would try their level best to implicate the other driver at any cost with the furthest of the lies in existence. Attitude not only in drivers but everywhere is becoming a challenge. Unfortunately, most of these “attitude” people belong to some faith with due diligence. Can we have a Drivers’ Day in Fiji whereby all the drivers get certified that they have understood the use of our roads genuinely? I leave the other logistics to the relevant authorities for consideration. I can assist if required. But please work out a solution to first change the attitude of our people, especially on our roads to begin with.

Dhirendra Prasad, Lautoka

Aviation safety

I wrote in this column sometime ago about aviation safety in this country after the terrible accident that claimed two young lives in the Delaikoro mountain range in Macuata. Now, a certain company has had an accident with a Cessna 182 aircraft. Will the outcome of the investigation be made public? I believe someone should regulate aviation safety and navigation in this country for the sake of preserving our tourism industry, and commercial passengers depend on air travel a lot.

Amenatave Yaconisau, Palm Drive, Delainavesi

Buying vegetables

I was at the Lautoka Municipal Market buying vegetables. The husband and wife vendors that I bought from had a variety of foodstuff so I decided to buy from them. The couple I decided to buy all my vegies from then invited me to sit for a while and have a yarn and have a bowl of kava with them. He had these lessons for me… 1. When you buy from anywhere, always look at the fruits such as apples, mangoes, mandarins, avocado pear, bananas, etc — don’t press them, it will damage them. 2. Vendors lose money when the item is damaged. Some people really press the fruit hard. 3. You will see the struggling vendor, he or she will have just a few items on sale, if you can afford it — buy from them and support them and look at the genuine smiles on their faces. 4. If you are shopping for a party — shop around. He had many wonderful lessons, but best of all was, “Always check your change when you receive it even when you are in a hurry. Don’t leave the shop and check, or you will regret it when you see you have been short-changed. Go and give back the extras if you have been given more. Then his table got busy and he said, “All I want to say, brother, is for people to be honest.” The chap would lower the price or add two or three more eggplants to a pile when he saw someone who looked like he or she needed a bit of help. I bade them goodbye and bet where I will be buying my vegetables again from?

Allen Lockington, Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Branding Fiji

I believe as Fijians we should also sing our national anthem in the iTaukei language rather than in English. This will add true meaning to our motherland, bringing about a sense of pride and patriotism. While other nations sing their respective national anthem in their own languages, I strongly believe that as Fijians we will greatly assist in branding our beloved nation to even greater heights if we proudly sing our national anthem in our language. We are Fijians and we should proudly promote our language, culture, tradition with great humility. Now that’s what we will all be proud of when our Fijian brothers and sisters sing our anthem in our language before the whole world. That’s branding Fiji.

Gulsher Ali, Lautoka

Halfway mark

June has arrived again, reaching the halfway mark of 2018. It seems like New Year’s wishes were only days ago. Like they say “time flies”. This is a critical part of the year as the next six months will fly by on a faster note. The demands of commitments at the work place won’t get any better as we approach the busiest part of the year. On a personal level, personal and family bills are also known to increase. The next things we know, the end of 2018 will be fast approaching as many get into the celebration and holiday mode. Meanwhile, those born in June are known to be very active babies and full of energy. Enjoy June while it’s around but take some time to reflect on personal commitments and goals.

Floyd Robinson, Nasinu

Fiji Museum

The Fiji Museum in Suva is looking very tired and monotonous. It is now in need of a major revamp! As the main centre of our history, much needs to be done to make it more attractive and much more educational than what it currently is! To make it a more interesting visit, it should include exhibitions of contemporary art and other attractions. It needs to be attractive enough for both old and new audiences. The refurbishment was due a decade ago!

Simon Hazelman, Savusavu

Handout mentality

Last week a three tonne closed van parked on the main road near my house. The lady driver and her assistant got out and opened the back door of her van. I could see a huge pile of clothes on the floor of her van. Within minutes about 20 people gathered from all directions and started touching the clothes. Since I was bit far away I could not hear what they were talking about but the lady (owner) shouted that they were not free. She was selling them since she had a licence. (May be she had a hawker’s licence). Then again within minutes the crowd dispersed and she took off without any sale. Now I believe this could be the effect of “freebies” under the HOMES-CARE scheme. I also believe that our people are getting lazy and spoilt. The intention of this scheme may be good but the system applied will not give the required result.

Vijay Maharaj, Navua

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