Letters to the Editor – May 16

Ram Rati, left, assists a customer at her table. Picture: LUKE RAWALAI

Selling for a living
YOUR article in yesterday’s The Fiji Times titled “Rati sells vegies, fruits for a living” by Luke Rawalai is an epitome of the hard work and passion put in by women who continue to show their dominance andmanagerial skills in business. There are many mothers out there such as Mrs Rati who commit themselves to the success of their families.

They may have missed out on the Women in Business Awards but I tell you their sacrifice is worth rewarding.

Back to Mrs Rati and the mother of five continues to brave the dusty conditions at the Volovi junction to serve her customers. And one thing that this beautiful lady does not forget according to the writer is her signatory smile.

According to Mrs Rati, money earned from the sales is used to put food on the table and pay off expenses.

She also admitted that it was not an easy life sitting by the roadside to sell and she had to be patient.

I salute Mrs Rati and her likes, who go out of their way to sacrifice their time and effort to fulfill their family’s needs and wants and adjust the budget according to the escalating cost of living!

God bless you all!
Nadawa, Nasinu.


Grown-up government
THE Speaker of Parliament is reported in yesterday’s The Fiji Times as saying that Members of Parliament “can say anything in Parliament”.

This follows Attorney- General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum’s parliamentary attack on Sitiveni Rabuka, the current leader of SODELPA, for his role in the fi rst 1987 military coup.

But with due respect to her, I disagree.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum, like the other 49 members of Parliament, is a politician.

His party happened to win the last election. The prize for winning is that they get the right to form the government and he becomes a government minister.

When you are a government minister, you inherit a number of things. I believe these include a hefty salary, shiny taxpayerfunded Landcruisers and generous allowances.

You also inherit a responsibility to run the government in everybody’s interest.

You can still be a politician, but you do that on your own time, including in general parliamentary debate and on the campaign trail.

Politically, Mr Rabuka is fair game. It is right that people question and criticise him about the events of 1987.

He will have all of the coming election campaign to answer for these.

But when Mr Sayed-Khaiyum attacked Mr Rabuka, he was making a ministerial statement in Parliament.

A ministerial statement is a special right given to ministers under Order 40 of Parliament’s Standing Orders.

A minister has a right to “make a statement on a public matter of national importance”.

So if a minister is going to use this right to the parliamentary limelight, he should stick to public matters of national importance.

He should not be using this right to attack his political opponents. Whatever Mr Sayed-Khaiyum thinks of Mr Rabuka or his actions in 1987, this is not “a public matter of national importance”.

The Speaker, meanwhile, should be enforcing the rules about ministerial statements. She should be cutting short ministers who use them to make personal attacks on other people.

Politicians should not just follow parliamentary rules. They should also understand the spirit of those rules and the reasons the rules exist. Ministers, like all parliamentarians, need to  understand that they are paid to serve the public good.

They do not rule over the people just because they won an election. A little more grown-up government would be welcome.
(Mr Naidu is a Suva-based
lawyer who does some work
for The Fiji Times)


AS Madam Speaker has correctly stated, the parliamentary privilege accords the members the freedom “to say anything and no one can do anything against them when they are
in Parliament” (FT 15/5).

However, I strongly believe such privilege should be exercised with responsibility especially when it infringes on the rights of others. Just like the restrictions imposed on the ordinary citizens under the media laws.

In my view as the supreme law-making body, our Parliament should be seen as setting the standards for other institutions. And more importantly practising those standards.



We pay the price
WITH $55 per inmate per day, that is more than an average family’s budget per day!

It’s like they do the crime, do the time and we pay the price.

Can the Standing Committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights enlighten the public on the amount of money we spent last year alone on our inmates based on that ratio?

It is like when we make additions with a negative answers. Really interesting.


$55 per
THE revelation that it cost taxpayers $55 per inmate per day ($20,000 per year) is sure interesting considering that many individuals and families don’t get the privilege of such an allowance!

It would therefore be beneficial for an individual to be in prison and it would definitely not deter an individual from committing a crime!

In retrospect, doing time ought to be a sentence of hard labour!

So with the shortage of cane-cutters, it would therefore be profitable for prisoners to go ganna kato for example!



MY heart gleamed with excitement when I read about the plans by McKee and Baber to line the Europe- based stars, Tuisova, Nakarawa and Radradra for 15s and 7s duties.

Nakarawa and Tuisova have won the Olympics gold medal and 2015-16 WRSS with Ryan.

They are assets to our national teams.

Rope them in and jell them with our locals and let them handle USA, NZ, the Blitzbokke, England and Australia.

The best part is that the players have availed themselves for 7s. When you have Nakarawa and Nasoko the kings of off-load and speed buses Radradra and Tuisova in your team and the skills of Jerry, Nasilasila, Sau and Naduva and the power of Mesu, Sevu, Josua and Paula are added, you got to say “ouch” this team’s too hot to handle, please give them way!
Nadawa, Nasinu.

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