Letters to the Editor – November 1

A reader browing through the Kaila! newspaper in Suva. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

Putting out a colourful Kaila!

Hats off to the Kaila! team for making this week’s literature colourful. I was delighted to see the joy on the faces of the tiny tots from Kumi Kindergarten School as they paid a visit to The Fiji Times head office. Then the next few pages screened colourful shots from schools’ annual awards day and the visit by Prince Harry and his wife Meghan. Furthermore, our team did not forget to cover the primary school’s soccer tournament. This week’s Kaila! concluded with colourful stories from the schools’ newspapers. It was nice reading the stories and to note that we have among us some upcoming talented journalists. Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Wage rate

All this hype about what the wage rate should be, brings me to think about a country some time ago in Africa where people at one stage actually earned millions of dollars (the country’s currency) per day but the problem was when you wanted to buy bread, it cost like 10 million dollars, you needed a bucketful of money and even wheelbarrow loads to buy anything. I believe the problem started because of hate and jealousy, and a section of the people living there were not considered part of the country. And the idea to get rich quick by grabbing the lands owned by the white farmers. When that was at its peak, the value of the money went down, and inflation went up like millions of times. The government of that country was printing money like crazy. The value of the money was not worth the paper it was printed on. Even its own people did not want to use that country’s money. So all that extra money is relative to the cost of living, if for example you earn a million dollars a day and you make bread, obviously the bread will no longer cost $1. I pray that this country does not go through all the runaway inflation, and the hate and jealousy that was experienced by the African country. Dinesh Jamnadas Sugar Ave, Lautoka

Health Ministry

I believe that looking back over the past 10 years the Health Ministry is one ministry that definitely needs the right type of person to lead as its minister. While other ministries have progressed in terms of service upgrade and structural setup, I believe the Health Ministry still lags behind. While I believe there have been salary increases for doctors and some nurses, there still is quite a lot of other issues that must be fixed. Maybe we just need someone who comes from the medical field with immense number of years experience in a public hospital such as CWM and who currently holds a very senior position as well. It’s very simple. Let’s allow a caterpillar driver to drive the caterpillar and not a motorcycle driverplease. Let’s get it right this time, no matter which party forms the next government but the Health Ministry must be fixed over the next four years. Allan Jesoni Nausori

Political reminders

Protocol and political integrity is the gap faced by all politicians. Some learn faster than others and some take long to master how to direct people with courage, compassion and drive for truth and peace. I believe current leaders have the habit of not listening and making decrees without proper consultation. This opens windows of doubt and distrust. For instance, did leaders solve the trauma of pensioners who suddenly had to retire at 55 without a job? How about the uncontrolled expatriate situation in Fiji, that disregard local succession planning? What of schools and villages still affected by the Winston aftermath in Rakiraki, Lomaiviti and Vanua Levu? Why do normal civilians have to pay regular oil and diesel price increase, when neighbouring nations get the lowest prices? Why is cost of living high and normal base salary low? Why are expatriate skilled workers hired for road, building and the hospitality industries? If lack of skills is the reason, why weren’t schools and universities reviewed to address this need? Also, has there been proper audit done to government funds and disaster funds received from all international donors? We embrace all kinds of human rights but what of indigenous rights and protection of resources and indigenous land rights? If various racial group leaders are set up such as the Muslim League and Sangam and Sanatans, why should the Great Council of Chiefs be an issue? After all we do want to hear their opinion since they are leaders of the iTaukei community. With these reasons and more, it’s no wonder, uncertainty continues to be the topic of discussion. FINAU NAIGULEVU TURAGA, Nadi Airport

No mention of kindness

DAN Urai never mentioned kindness Naca Nabukavou! He specifically talked about the maturity and respect of our PM. Again, respect is earned and not given. As for kindness, of all people our PM obviously has the kindest heart to supplement his fierce mind and brave spirit. Never judge a book by its cover! SIMON HAZELMAN Rava Estate, Savusavu

Minimum wages

I NOTICED from the Wages Regulations Order that there are only a few classes of workers in the formal sector that are on the borderline of $2.68 per
hour. These include watchmen in some sectors, and the ticket checkers and conductors in the road transport sector. Even some unskilled workers in the other sectors have hourly rates pegged above $2.68. The issue I believe is more to do with those that are now included from the informal sector such as gardeners, domestic workers, canecutters, casual labourers and so on. Are the political parties suggesting that this should now increase to rates such as $4, $5 or as much as $10? It’s to do with affordability to pay. Some homeowners will certainly find it difficult to meet this new minimum
given the current cost of living. EDWARD BLAKELOCK, Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour

 

Sukuna Bowl excitement

As we bid farewell to October and welcome November, excitement is up for this year’s Sukuna Bowl. During the launch, RFMF Commander Viliame Naupoto did not mince his words and said that he was confident of retaining the title. I can vividly remember the hype that hit both camps after the Sukuna Bowl challenge was officially launched at the Nasova Police ground last year. During the launching last year while Commander Naupoto reminded the soldiers to empty out the tank of talent that God had given them, ACP Rusiate Tudravu preferred to be David rather than be Goliath. Army had the last laugh as the soldiers wrested the prestigious title from Police 19-12 after registering an impressive victory. Building up to the thrilling encounter, fans should expect a tough and enterprising battle, especially after the success of the Fiji Airways Drua side in the NRC. The sale of T-shirts, banners and flags is expected to take fans by storm and come November 23, expect the ANZ National Stadium to be a sea of red, green and blue. On the other hand, I must commend our forces for focusing on eliminating violence against women and children by coining this year’s theme to be “Zero Tolerance on Violence against Women and Children.” I hope that this message spreads among our citizens as we approach the festive season and 2019. My best wishes to both the camps as they prepare for their annual clash. I conclude with this quote by Audrey Hepburn, “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, ‘I’m possible!”. Cheers Fiji! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Tsunami exercise drill

We were all warned by the dailies and the media that the third Tsunami Drill Exercise will be conducted from 11.20am to 12 noon on Wednesday, October 31, 2018. We were also told of the Suva roads that will be closed during this exercise but we are told that the evacuation exercise will only involve some agencies in Suva. At Samabula, I heard the early warning siren go off at about 11.30am on Wednesday and I believe all the warning sirens from Lami to Kinoya went off, which was followed by announcements on a loud speaker. The million dollar question is, “How many people in Suva and coastal areas actually did the exercise and headed for higher ground when they heard the tsunami warning siren?” How many offices and supermarkets and businesses actually reacted to the siren and pretended to close the business and head for higher ground?” How many of them ignored the Tsunami Drill Exercise siren completely and just carried on with business as usual? It is frightening to think that when we ignore the Tsunami Drill Exercise when we have been warned beforehand; God help us, when a tsunami does strike and the siren goes off without people being warned beforehand? It is good that we are now familiar with the sound of the tsunami siren and it is better when we associate that siren sound with the message to our brains that you should leave what you are doing and immediately head for higher grounds! Savenaca Vakaliwaliwa Suva

Voting option

Is it mandatory to vote in the 2018 election? Or would one be imposed with a hefty fine should they abstain from doing so? The calibre of some candidates and their pie in the sky assurances I tell you, lose hope reh. Nishant Singh Lautoka

Why no debate

Despite continuous requests by other party leaders for a debate, I believe the honourable Prime Minister is sending his general secretary, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum for talkback shows and discussions. What is there for the PM to hide? Can’t he face the other leaders and answer their questions? Or is he is just “scared” to show up? Why not a debate sir? Raynav Chand Nakasi

Tourist price

I think we’re the only country that has a different price for tourists. Even the lady selling roti parcels on Denarau is charging extra $2 for tourists, citing tourist price. I’ve never experienced this when I’m abroad. Nigel Fiu Owls Perch, Lautoka

Wallabies coach

Michael Cheika, the Australian Wallabies 15s coach should be thankful after the defeat to Ireland, Argentina, and the series of defeats to the All Blacks that blood thirsty wolves have not opened the door yet! They got a tight RWC schedule. Amenatave Yaconisau Palm Drive, Delainavesi

Numbers only

With all the racial and religious comments being the focal point of some politicians, why don’t they just refer to each other according to their vote number. Number 688 and 596 would then just concentrate on what really matters. Mmm, as long as they don’t use number seven in their campaign. Why? well, the other numbers would be in fear as 7,8,9 (seven ate nine). I guess they would need to refer to each other in alphabet then. They could just s,s,h,h,h each other when not in agreement or OMG in disbelief. After the election, we could all just LOL! Edward Kumar Lautoka

Nadi road trial

This is a significant change although temporary. However, a road plan should be published as some motorists are not familiar with road names; these are the ones that will cause disruptions that would sabotage the trial results. Unfortunately, publicity is inadequate. Christopher Jackson Mar Qanville Estate, Nasoso, Nadi

Small business

Will the small businesses be able to survive with the $5/hr minimum wage? Wise Muavono Balawa, Lautoka

 

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