Letters to the Editor – TUESDAY, APRIL 6, 2021

Members of the Police Special Response Unit talk and interview witnesses along Sukanaivalu Rd in Nabua during the long Easter weekend. Picture: ATU RASEA/FILE

Gang fighting in Nabua
THE recent gang fighting in Nabua, Suva spoiled the holy Easter weekend. I believe it spread fear and restlessness in the community.

Chief operations officer Assistant Commissioner of Police Abdul Khan is making overtures to the factions to bring about calm and peace in the area. The effort is laudable. However, the past experiences have shown that no community policing has ever succeeded.

I believe the cause of criminal activities in Nabua is far deeper than meets the eye. I believe there are hundreds of youths who are jobless and high on drugs.

Assault on taxidrivers, snatching of bags and other forms of petty crime occur in Nabua on a daily basis.

It will be a herculean task to round them all for a sensible discussion and bring an end to this perpetual feud. The COVID-19 pandemic has not helped the situation.

I believe the Nabua crime situation will continue until the economy bounces back to absorb the unemployed youths.
DEWAN CHAND Namadi Heights, Suva

Gravel the tarsealed roads
“GRAVEL the tarsealed roads instead” that used to be funny, when it was said, but it is serious and not so funny now, and it just may be the answer somehow, to the deteriorating and sad condition, of the state of the roads in our beloved nation, the potholes and the damaged shoulders, and the gravel used, some the size of boulders, we need to adopt the right strategic approach, that is effective and without reproach, by proper management and regular oversight, and a bitumen formula and mix that’s just right, otherwise we will continue down the potholed road, when we should just gravel the tarsealed roads.

Apologise or resign
I FIND it rather absurd that National Federation Party leader Professor Biman Prasad is calling for Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete to “do the right thing” in retracting his statement of the use of metformin, to apologise or resign (FT:05/04). Several days ago Dr Waqainabete was happy to be corrected over the statement he made in Parliament.

So why is the leader of NFP continuing on about it? Why are we wasting time and effort on something that has been dealt with?

Can NFP members of Parliament and all other MPs for that matter focus their time and effort on what matters to the Fijian public, like growth, jobs, rising costs, etc.

This case has been dealt with so let’s move on. There are so many important and urgent issues to be dealt with. Some just can’t help but carry on nagging.

It’s natural for people to make mistakes, as long as they accept their failures and continue on, knowing that failure is a natural consequence of trying.

We only fail when we can’t accept failure. Dr Waqainabete has responded, clarified his statement, and that’s more than good enough.

Case close! Stop dwelling too long on issues and stop the political games!
SIMON HAZELMAN Rava Estate, Savusavu

Hybrid vehicles
ONE morning recently, I witnessed three vehicle accidents and with each, the accident caused traffic congestion at the site. Each accident involved a hybrid vehicle; one involved two.

It occurred to me then what will happen and I developed a theory based on my thoughts and observations.

An educated guess here but there are more hybrid vehicles than other private/ PS vehicles on our roads. It costs roughly twice as much to insure a hybrid vehicle than a vehicle of similar engine capacity.

Many first-time drivers own or are paying-off hybrid vehicles than any other type of vehicle because they are affordable because of the tax exemption applied to them. Here’s the scenario: hybrid vehicles will become extinct.

They will wipe each other out in accidents where their owners will not be able to afford a tow let alone the cost of repairs.

The same will apply if they breakdown. The majority won’t be able to afford their vehicle repairs and they won’t be comprehensively insured.

They will be dumped and left to litter the environment and be a public and environmental eyesore and hazard.

This is my prediction; not my wish. My hope would be that every hybrid vehicle on our roads including taxis never have a breakdown or are involved in accidents.

Unfortunately, however, I would be dreaming to hope for such things. I would love it, though, if I’m proved wrong.

Highway traffic
AFTER travelling to and from Suva to the West for quite some time, this year’s Easter weekend was really a chock-a-block.

On Friday (2/4/21) the traffic line (ie six vehicles max) commenced from Lami through to Pacific Harbour, continued until Namatakula Village in Nadroga and only after we managed to overtake just before the village, then all normal thereon to Sigatoka Town.

Most vehicles were travelling well below the national highway speed limit between 40-60km/hr because of the road conditions on the Queens highway.

It took us about two hours 15 minutes from Suva to Sigatoka. The trip that usually takes us almost two hours.

The scene was like travelling from Nausori to Suva between 8.30am and 9am Monday to Friday.

My take is that if the Kings highway road condition is similar, then the Fiji Roads Authority has to expedite its rate of road maintenance to be on par with Fiji’s annual traffic volume.
SAMU SILATOLU Nakasi, Nausori

Women empowerment
“YOUR place is in the kitchen.” This phrase is so familiar to us women that it is stuck in our minds. A dreadful reminder that our lives only revolve around in the kitchen.

We feel we are incapable of doing the jobs and sports played by men. Until when will this continue?

It’s not our fault we were born as girls. It’s definitely not our fault if we wish to be highly educated as our brothers.

It’s not our fault if we don’t want to focus on marriage but on our career instead! I hope this message reaches to all the women out there, you are strong, talented, and worth more than a diamond necklace.

Go for that opportunity; don’t take heed of those who think you are incapable of achieving your goal, they wouldn’t have said that if you were a male. Women are no less than men. In fact, they are the real multi-taskers.
NUBASHA Vomo St, Lautoka

YOUR SAY: Granddaughter’s letter
A beautiful birthday gift
I TURNED 76 on Good Friday (April 2) and I received the best gift (an email) from my granddaughter: Dear Nana, I want to wish you a happy birthday (on American time).

I wish that we could be together to celebrate, whether it was there in Fiji, or here in America (preferably Fiji) together. You know how people say the older you are, the wiser you are?

Well, you are different. Because each year that passes, not only do you become wiser, you also become more funny because you learn more jokes. Usually, when people get older, they just become boring.

But you are the most fun to hang out and spend time with. Also, I have to mention that you are a trendsetter.

Recently I was watching Kill Bill (directed by Quentin Tarantino, I am sure you already knew that), and during the beginning credits the song “Bang Bang He Shot Me Down” by Nancy Sinatra was playing.

That song came out in 1966, and Kill Bill was released in 2003. I thought to myself, I probably wouldn’t even have recognised that song if it wasn’t for nana, he is such a cool dude.

If anyone calls me cool now for all the great music I listen to, I can attribute it to you. I feel so blessed to have such a hip, youthful, cool, open-minded, smart and activist grandfather.

I have learned so much from you and you have always been there for me to lift me up. I don’t think many people can use the same words about their own boring old grandpas. I am a sentimental guy and I was all teary-eyed to read it.

While I do agree with my granddaughter to a large extent (I do meet many grandparents who are too preoccupied with their aches and pains and the medications they are taking and you feel sorry for yourself because you committed the folly of asking them how they are doing), there are those who still enjoy their lives and are not shy to express their opinions and share their wisdom in the Letters to the Editor column.

Simon Hazelman, Ronnie Chang, Julie Sutherland, Edward Blakelock, Jean Hatch, Allen Lockington and Rajend Naidu come to mind.

And even though I always may not agree with them, it is very refreshing, nonetheless, to get a different perspective.

The reason I am sending this email to The Fiji Times, even though it is very personal, is that I want to pay my humble tribute to these amazing seniors.

I am sure they also have grandkids who adore them for their untiring efforts to make a difference in people’s lives. May they continue to share their views and make us think.

Zero corruption
IN regards to what has been experienced by the local tourism sector because of the pandemic, uncountable calls have been made to diversify the economy.

In that diversified economy, I think the most important “sector” (more than tourism) should be near zero corruption.

Sporting events
IS it a good thing to have separate sports tournaments during Easter for different religious organisations.

Soccer prizemoney
ONLY in Fiji it takes $8k to take a soccer team from the North, prepare them, food, accommodation and go participate in a tournament with a prizemoney of $1k. I believe that’s a no-brainer. Total nightmare.

The windmills
I BELIEVE putting people in jail because of drugs is like tearing down the windmill. The windmill is gone but the wind still blows. Just remember the windmill does not turn itself. Ask why not who.

Trump’s troubles
NEW York’s highest court has cleared the way for a former contestant on “The Apprentice” to sue Donald Trump after the former US president called her a liar for accusing him of sexual assault (Yahoo! News 31/3). Trump must feel “I see the bad moon a-rising. I see trouble on the way …”

Domestic violence
THERE are many revelations through Flotsam and Jetsam about grog, late nights and how husbands end up on the wrong side of marriage vows.

Though I comprehend the comical elements, I wonder how many of these types of incidents eventually became an addition to our horrific domestic violence statistics.

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