Letters to the Editor – October 27

Children wave the British and Fiji flag during the arrival of the Royal couple Duke and Duchess of Sussex Prince Harry and Megan Markel yesterday. Picture: RAMA

Memories of the royal trip

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex left our shores but their memories linger. Through The Fiji Times, we saw the joy on the faces of Fijians as they welcomed the royal couple with bula smiles and the Fijian hospitality. In a show of national unity, we waited patiently and waved flags despite the rain. Age was forgotten as people crowded to catch a glimpse of the couple. The story of Wati Savea, who weaved the British flag mat, the curious looks on the faces of the pupils of Bright Little Ones Children’s Service at USP, the expression of delight on women vendors at the Suva Municipal Market and those present at Colo-i-Suva Forest Park, and the picture of joy as Litia Kaloucava danced and waved the British and Fijian flags have gone in history books. Then came Talei Tuitoga with a painting of the royal couple, whose visit not only strengthened and united Fijians, but brought alive our traditions and culture. Finally, the unveiling of Sergeant Talaiasi Labalaba’s statue closed the historical and memorable visit. God bless Fiji! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Unity in diversity

One of the obvious observations during the recent royal couple visit was the huge number of Fijians that turned out to welcome the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. It was a great feeling of unity and purpose as we cheered on and waved our noble banner blue especially during the climax of the event. This very same approach of “unity in diversity” should prevail and it should not only be unleashed during significant events. Mahatma Gandhi once reminded us to “be the change that you wish to see in the world.” Have an awesome and safe weekend. SPENCER ROBINSON Suva

Current flaws

The FT 25/10 opinion piece about “A fairer voting process” by Prof Wadan Narsey picks out nicely the current flaws by design to make the current voting process at least questionable. Also of importance is to understand that by having created only one constituency for the current election process, instead of the 71 Fiji had under the 1997 Constitution, representation is rather general and that is not in the best interest of the electorate. Democracy is not only about voting members for a parliament which in turn then constitutes a government and opposition side of the house. Democracy is also about having “local representation” in Parliament so each constituency has a voice of their electorate on its own. Besides that I find that the minimum of 5 per cent of all valid votes for one party to make it into Parliament is way too high. It has been mentioned that Holland also has only one constituency but what has not been mentioned is that the overall votes for a party to enter parliament is way below 5 per cent. Hans B Boernke Savusavu

Political start

It may be unfair on other political parties the headstart given (or taken) to the ruling FijiFirst government. They can boast about economic growth, increased GDP per capita and other key economic indicators because they had eight years to work on it before the 2014 election. Eight years in leadership is a long time to be in power, enough time to right the wrongs, enough time to identify what works and what doesn’t, enough time to infiltrate people’s hearts and minds. You will also notice how much development work and assistance that takes place two years away from election year. If it were a level playing field, a new political party that forms government should also be given eight years before the next election. As it is other parties will not have that privilege, four years to make an impact is a huge difference to eight. Sailosi Naewe Naduru Rd, Nausori

Wage as a weapon

Most political parties have the minimum wage as a weapon. I believe Government doesn’t care. But, if the Government says it won’t champion minimum wage, could all of them just live on $2.80 for one year. After that they can tell us if it was sufficient. Oh and by the way, all the political parties and their sponsors champion the minimum wage, how many of you are already paying your staff $5 an hour? If you are, then your cry to raise everybody’s wage to $5 will be justified. If you are not then rethink, because one should practise what one preaches. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Respect for parents

I wish to draw the attention of all the children to the following: “Treat your parents with love and care. For you will only know their value, when you see their empty chair.” Arun Prasad Dilkusha, Nausori

Minimum wage

How would $5 minimum wage and the PM’s daily travelling allowance compare? The A-G said if NFP was to implement $5 an hour it would be an economic disaster. It’s already a disaster the way people’s lives are now. At least people like me will be able to take home a bit more and companies could absorb just a bit. May I suggest that the minimum wage guideline not be implemented across the board but according to the businessman’s company financial status. Mere Lagilagi Lovu, Lautoka

Deliberate decision

I believe Ratu Tevita Momoedonu’s decision for omitting three confederacies in the traditional welcome to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex was deliberate and is a very worrying fact particularly when this decision was made by a paramount chief of Vuda holding the title of Taukei Sawaieke. To prove that his decision was deliberate he defended himself by deviating with a reply that the ceremony was done to perfection and fit for a king. Then he further defended his action by saying that no other confederacies have matched Vuda in its ability to install their chiefs the very next day from the death of the predecessors. Then he went further by saying that if they can beat the vanua o Vuda in this regard then they would consider their criticism. If not they should be quiet and do something useful to uphold and embrace their traditional practices. He added that because the Kubuna confederacy has yet to install its paramount chief and for that it was only right to omit the three confederacies altogether. Lastly, he said that three confederacies were Fijian political divisions which was a concept set up by the late statesman Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna and its purpose was to allocate boundaries to parts of Fiji and have it headed by a paramount chief. With that in mind he is of the view provinces in Fiji should not be subservient to a paramount chief of a confederacy because it was unChristian and not an iTaukei practice. With the absence of the Great Council of Chiefs, the iTaukei community will begin to experience differences popping up from confederacies challenging the vanua protocols and justifying their actions. This is not good for the iTaukei as the hierarchy of our confederacies are clearly linked to our history. Every vanua protocol exists for a reason and any changes should follow the process of identifying why it came into existence in the first place. With the absence of the Council of Chiefs, the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs should be vigilant and monitor that vanua protocols are followed and to ensure there is no repetition of a confederacy changing the vanua protocols as they see fit, particularly in a national ceremony such as this. There are procedures to be followed should a confederacy propose a change in the vanua protocols and the ministry concerned should provide awareness on this. Isireli Tawake Davis Rd, Davuilevu Housing, Nausori

Rugby outing

I salute you Mere Lagilagi for your letter titled “Rugby outing” (FT 25/10). I realise the sacrifice that you make to accompany your sons to Churchill Park to be the voice for our Drua. The Drua is blessed to have such a passionate and patriotic fan. As a single mother, you ensure that your sons wish of watching our boys play is fulfilled. This reminds me of my own parents who made sacrifices and made sure we did not miss any soccer games or rugby matches on TV. That’s the joy of being a parent and a mum! Cheers sis! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Retirement age

Life begins at retirement but not for all of us. Thanks to Narayan Reddy (FT 26/10) for highlighting this issue when he observed a former police officer being obliged to take another job. Tahir Ali Hamilton, New Zealand

What a setup

Elections are primarily for those who will be elected to positions of power and fame and all the benefits and privileges accorded to them as a result. As for the voters, there is hardly any gain as they have to fork out all the expenses of administration. This is the nature of democracy as it is practised today. What a setup! Hassan Ali Vitogo Pde, Lautoka

Begin to serve

To all candidates, you must not wait to be elected into office, before you begin to serve. Begin to serve every- where you are; in the home, community, school, university, work, hospital, church, market, society, nation and among many other places. Wise Muavono Balawa, Lautoka

Share certificate

I received my Energy Fiji Ltd (EFL) share certificate yesterday and so did a few other people who use my post box. I would just like to thank Hasmukh Patel the EFL chief executive officer, the Prime Minister Bainimarama and Mr Sayed-Khaiyum the brain of the FijiFirst party for this very generous gesture. At least now I am somebody. Sukha Singh Labasa

Traditional welcome

Never judge your own decision or action. Take time to listen and yes, an apology does help. Dan Urai Lautoka

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