Letters to the Editor | Thursday, September 14, 2023

Fiji's Eroni Mawi dives over to score only to be denied by the TMO against Wales at Bordeaux Metropole Stadium, France. Picture: Martin Seras Lima

Rugby World Cup and soccer

Is the picture in yesterday’s edition (FT 12/09) the try which was disallowed by the TMO for lack of downward pressure? If yes, then all officiating officials including the TMO should be lined up and each mota “tackled” by Eroni Mawi. Vinaka Wise, you captured our mass sentiments at that moment in time….priceless! Toso Viti. Daniel Fatiaki Suva

On a separate note

I commend the editor-in-chief Fred Wesley for yet another thought-provoking, apt, and meaningful editorial titled ‘On a separate note’ (FT: 13/09). Indeed Fred, the FIJI Water Flying Fijians have come of age, and we are competitive, playing to the level of the tier one nations. I agree with Fred that we are no longer the easy beats we once were, and there is newfound confidence across the team. This to the extent, that fans can smell an upset on Monday morning when Fiji faces the Wallabies. However, the same success is not enjoyed by our football teams. The recent hammering 9-0 of the Digicel Junior Bula Boys by the Junior All Whites speaks volumes of the standard of soccer in Fiji. Comparing Deans rugby to soccer at secondary school level, there is a gap in terms of publicity, performance, coverage, and crowd attendance. Fred hit it hard calling for a concerted effort to re-invent the wheels when it comes to local club soccer competitions which is dying in districts. Fiji FA must encourage club soccer and raise the profile of age group soccer, or a time will come when soccer dies a natural death. Accountability and transparency are a must. Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Are we ready?

Are we ready for a heart breaker or heart burst? After the mighty performance against Wales, as a nation, we have reached a do or die situation where nothing short of a win is required if we are to progress to the quarter finals of the 2023 Rugby World Cup. To our Flying Fijians, the sky is your limit and if there was ever a time to fly it, it’s now or never against the Wallabies. Let’s stand united with our coach, trainers, the Flying Fijians and family members who have sacrificed so much for a loved one to make it to the 2023 Rugby World Cup. I am confident of another courageous effort by our men but we must ensure that a reliable kicker is on the field throughout the match and our defence is tightened as the Wallabies are fully aware that Fiji prevents them from progressing to the quarter finals. Looking forward to another solid match this weekend from our Flying Fijians. Floyd Robinson Micronesia

Teacher resignations

The rate at which teachers are resigning must be a matter of great concern for the Coalition Government. This trend is not created under the Coalition Government but it was previously as well. Every year a hefty number of teachers resign, other than retirements, death, disciplinary cases, and those who resign and opt for the other jobs locally or regionally. In 2023 within six months a total of 441 teachers resigned. Probably by the end of the year, the number can escalate to over 1000. Plans B and C are the other options which must be in place. If 441 teachers have exited within six months in 2023, it is a bad signal to the Ministry of Education. Fiji has a very small population to contain. To replace these teachers wouldn’t be easy since teachers don’t get trained over night and become experienced. It is the role of the MoE to ensure that the quality of teaching is not compromised. The MoE must have contingency plans. About 80 per cent of these teachers are migrating for greener pastures while the other 20 per cent are finding job opportunities in the region and in other institutions in Fiji. Our students in the schools deserve better and quality teaching with qualified and quality teachers. This is a call to the Minister for Education. Indar Deo Bisun Sakoca Heights, Tamavua, Suva

Prime Minister’s residence

The FijiFirst government reportedly spent $6.7M to renovate and refurbish the house allocated to the PM and the current government forked out another $3.5m in repairs after it was vacated. An expenditure of $10m on a single house is mind-boggling. This amount would have purchased or built two completely new and better homes on Naisoso Island or elsewhere. We are limited only by our imaginations what else could have been done with this huge amount of money. How about two or three-bedroom houses for 100 families or paying for improving hospitals and health facilities. Nevertheless, do the taxpayers just lie down and absorb all this extravagant nonsense? Will anyone be held accountable? How and what did the previous government spend the $6m on and who damaged the previous property and what happened to the furniture? What was the recent $3.5m spent on? Please provide details to the people or drown yourselves in people’s speculations. Ajai Kumar Nadi

Dual system

WHILE the e-ticketing is apparently safer and more secure for bus drivers and the bus companies (FT 13/09), the cash payment system is also very convenient for the travelling public, especially for those in remote areas and during emergencies. However, this seems to be a hard ask for the decision- makers. So why not just have a dual system to cater for both situations and formalise the system currently being used by the bus companies, whereby the drivers have with them, a pre- topped up bus card which they can use to record any cash fares received, while the passenger receives a ticket for the cash fare like other card holders? A win-win situation, se cava? Edward Blakelock Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour

Flying Fijians uprising

The rise of the Flying Fijians on their journey to the finals of the Rugby World Cup 2023 is on. We could not upset the status quo in the first game. For 81 full minutes and some, we were in the game until the final whistle. In pursuing greatness, things will become difficult. The objects before you are greater but surmountable. The focus now is on the Wallabies. The Flying Fijians have the men, the fitness, the temerity, the size and talent to get that win. They continue to dare and push their supposed boundaries. In today’s rugby world for the Flying Fijians, there are no boundaries. The Flying Fijian players are ready. The coaching panel will need to manage our substitutes wisely. Put them in early in the second half as they are all world class players. In this way, the team never falters as you will just be substituting upwards in terms of continuity of speed, stamina, talent and experience. We dare, we win. Vuka Viti vuka! Epeli Rabua Ragg Avenue, Tamavua, Suva

We stand by you

Reference is made to The Fiji Times, Wednesday, September 13. Vinaka vakalevu Ben Ryan for always having the guts, will and courage to speak up when our national team is seen to be hard done by, by officials on the international stage. I salute you, 100 per cent. The Flying Fijians were subjected to sub-standard levels of officiating by English referee Matthew Carley during our first pool match in the 2023 RWC against a determined Wales side (ably assisted by the 16th player, Carley, the man with the whistle). Wales cynically infringed on many occasions when Fiji were camped on their tryline in the final 20 minutes. Not one yellow card flashed. He gave Wales numerous cautions. Yet, when Fiji “supposedly infringed” justice was so swift. The yellow card was spontaneous flashed. FRU must address this swiftness of justice. It is demoralising. It kills our game. “Keep rugby clean” is not only for the 30 players on the field. They include the ref; the assistant refs and TMO, in my sincere view. World Rugby needs to practice what they preach. FRU’s stand in their “softly softly” approach; not rocking the boat is not acceptable, in my view. Be a man. Be strong, like Ben Ryan. He calls a spade; a spade, when he sees one. Once again, my sincere thanks Ben Ryan for proudly standing up for the Flying Fijians. At this juncture, I proudly join you. The Wallabies are “beatable”. I wish our brave, fit and gutsy Fiji Water Flying Fijians every success in all their remaining matches in the 2023 Rugby World Cup. You have the total package to deliver admirably and make Fiji even prouder. We stand by you. Vina va levu du leqwa, Peni Raini. Toso leqwa Viti, toso va kaikai. Ronnie Chang Martintar, Nadi

Which one?

Which electoral system will be used in the upcoming elections? Dan Urai Lautoka

Former PM’s home

$3.5 million for the former prime minister’s residence just baffles me. Did they gold plate the insides? Sukha Singh Labasa


The headlines screamed “Fiji must beat Australia!” We could but would the referees allow it? Norman Yee Martintar, Nadi

Be alert

As a good sportsman the loss is nothing but alertness for the next time. It’s our Fijian pride with do or die performance as you prepare to beat Australia in due course to bring the glory home. God bless the Flying Fijians and Fiji. Fly higher to be on top of the world. Go Fiji go! Kaun roki? Kocei sa cagi laba? Tahir Ali Hamilton, New Zealand

Severo moment

Oilei! Another Koroduadua deja vu moment, a la 1987 RWC against France in Auckland. So close, yet so yawa. You’re still the man, Semi Radradra! Edward Blakelock Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour

Hard question

On July this year at 6.10am, I tried asking (e-mail) a hard question via this column. Did it get published? The question — “What is this eBay shop app phenomenon? I guess you get the rest. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Missed lunch!

$3.5M to renovate the Muanikau residence of former PM while many of us missed lunch or dinner? Something doesn’t seem right. The previous government should be renamed million dollar government. GeOffery Chand Lautoka

What is wrong?

Is there a law that prohibits a PM from renovating his official residence with a certain budget? That’s $3.5 million worth of luxury that a prime minister is entitled to and is now passed on from Bainimarama to Rabuka for his enjoyment and it is a government property for that matter. Mahendra Chaudhry renovated his private residence in 1999 and nothing wrong with that. During the Qarase era a brand new luxury building worth millions of dollars at Tamavua was built for the then Governor of the Reserve Bank but what is wrong with that, absolutely nothing as times have changed. I suggest if our Coalition Government Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka does not like living in the official residence then he can move back to his old residence and take a few million dollars of taxpayers monies to renovate it as his entitlement. Tukai Lagonilakeba Nadi

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