Letters to the Editor – May 24, 2020

FNPF members seeking assistance in Suva. Picture: RAMA/FT FILE

Thank you

MY sincere thanks are respectfully registered to the honourable Minister for Finance and Economy for the real generous gesture by the FijiFirst Government for making available $220 per fortnight for five fortnights effective June 1, 2020, for all existing FNPF members who have $35 or less in their general accounts. Awesome gesture of enormous goodwill, kind sir. It will also be appreciated to try to include retirees who, through absolutely no fault of their own, were simply forced to withdraw lump sums through unfortunate circumstances from FNPF during their time of personal hardships and are today totally dependent on social security benefit of $100 per month. They also contributed to Fiji’s growth during their time and are somewhat a forgotten group today. They too are also genuinely suffering, in silence, without a voice. Any due consideration in this challenging circumstance will be most appreciated. RONNIE CHANG Martintar, Nadi

Law confusion

RICHARD Naidu has twice tried pointing to the intricacies of COVID-19 restrictions and their consequential punishments for breaches. His first article was challenged by a high office holder. His second article was much more detailed. I wonder if the confusion is related to what I remember from his second article about the COVID-19 pandemic and the law, “Why not get it right the first time”. MOHAMMED IMRAZ JANIF Natabua, Lautoka

Permanent interest

IN his opinion piece ‘Cancerous burden on Fijian leaders’ in The Fiji Times (May 23) Prof Wadan Narsey bemoans the fact that many friends of political leaders — from the corporate world, civil service, statutory bodies and the public — swiftly abandon them once they are out of power or removed from power, and shift their support to the new political power holders. I find nothing surprising in this. It is with good reason that it is said: “In politics there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies, only permanent interest.” Even international partners smartly shift their support to the new post-coup political rulers so that business as usual can recommence. That’s how it is in politics. RAJEND NAIDU Sydney, Australia

Farmers’ concerns

THE deduction of 67 cents from the last cane payment has caused a furore among the farmers who are now claiming that they will now receive less than the guaranteed price of $85 per tonne. Yet I believe there is continued silence from the Sugar Cane Growers Council. The council is mandated to represent the growers on such issues. So a farmer harvesting 300 tonnes of cane annually would pay $171 to SRIF. And what is the benefit he is getting in return? Can FSC be more transparent and disclose the total amount deducted from the farmers and remitted to SRIF for the information of the farmers. I believe the farmers have a right to know how much they are contributing towards this funding. I understand that under the Master Award, the three industry stakeholders i.e. the government, FSC and growers are required to make equal contribution. While one ministry is providing all sorts of incentives to boost sugar production, the other is encouraging the canefarmers to switch to rice and tobacco farming. A typical case of the right arm not knowing what the left arm is doing. SELWA NANDAN Lautoka

Lautoka road state

ON the state of our road, James Mastapha drew the never-ending story. I would like to add on, rehabilitate, re-rehabilitate, rewind, rehabilitate … as you can see, if there was a novel, it will be a never-ending story. SAILOSI NAEWE Naduru Rd (rehabilitated), Nausori

 

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