Letters to the Editor – Tuesday, June 02, 2020
2 June, 2020, 7:03 pm
Another Fijian in the NRL took fans by storm.
New Zealand Warriors rugby league rep King Vuniyayawa was in impressive form as he helped his brigade demolish the Dragons 18-0 in the third round.
Just like Fiji Bati wing Maika Sivo, who scored a try to help his Eels side beat Brisbane Broncos at an empty Lang Park, King showed he has a blooming rugby league career and if chosen for the Bati he will raise eyebrows.
On the other hand, I was delighted with the Raiders’ 22-6 win against Melbourne Storm. League followers are excited they have some exciting matches lined up and although the fake fan noise created some controversy I was thrilled by this prospect.
Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu
Thank you PM
I wish to commend the honourable Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama for locking down Lautoka and Suva when people living there were diagnosed with the coronavirus.
It is so deadly that one cannot take any chances with it.
It has infected millions of people and killed so many that it has almost brought the whole world to a standstill.
I am comforted that I am one of many citizens of Fiji made safe by the prime minister’s strict stand with the lockdown and restrictions of gatherings and movement.
We shut down our borders and kept the deadly virus at bay.
Thank your Mr Prime Minister for our safety.
Samita Shania Singh, Lautoka
I refer to the article in The Fiji Times (01/06) about Etuate Balekana.
Although it is disappointing to learn about his situation, I’d suggest that he scrutinises his electricity bill and usage.
For a family of four (gathered from the article), $60-$120 monthly bill is too much.
A sudden increase to $414 is just unbelievable.
Something is not in its place.
Mohammed Imraz Janif, Natabua, Lautoka
Bit of advice
I am not an economist but I do my regular reading of favourite The Fiji Times and also follow the news on radio and television.
By now most of us can see and feel the effect of COVID-19 and cyclone Harold on our economy.
Even before the COVID-19 I believe our economy was on a slippery path.
Today we read so many views given by our concerned citizens.
I read two letters by Selwa Nandan of Lautoka.
Both these letters appear good to me and make sense.
First he supports the views expressed by the former governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji, Savenaca Narube (FT 31/05).
It’s not only me but quite a few people I talked to lately have similar views.
Mr Narube handled money matters throughout his working career and appears to be very solid with his ideas.
Last weekend I met two close friends and both of them are successful businessmen.
Though both of them support different political parties both voted for Savenaca Narube in the last election.
When asked for a reason I was told that they were guided by their conscience and gone for merit.
The second view given by Selwa Nandan is on pay cut (FT 01/06).
Again I am in total agreement.
This is the time to seriously think about the size of our Cabinet.
After all most of our ministers and assistant ministers are quiet during parliament sessions.
Most of the talking comes from the front bench.
For a small country as ours where the population is less than a million do we need the services of assistant ministers?
It does not make sense to me when with such a large team we are still discussing reports of 2013, 2014 etc., in Parliament.
This is really wasting time and resources at this critical period.
I sincerely request our prime minister to consider the size of our Cabinet and see if this makes any difference to your much needed healthy budget.
VIJAY MAHARAJ, Navua
Barter for Fiji
Marlene Dutta, “Barter for a Better Fiji” and a few South Pacific island nations, and acknowledged several times, by the BBC, without any doubt, hands-down, has helped ease the daily hardships experienced by thousands of our Fijian people, and beyond.
The COVID-19 pandemic has seen thousands in the tourism industry lose their jobs.
Fiji Airways’ unpalatable method of termination of 758 added to much daily hardships.
Hundreds of hardworking market vendors toil long hours to put food on their tables.
Marlene Dutta’s “Barter for a Better Fiji” made daily living a little more manageable.
She deservedly needs to be an awardee of a Fiji Day medal come October 10, 2020.
Will all who continue to benefit, join in a chorus of voices to ensure she is a Fiji Day medal recipient, this year, please?
Vina du va levu.
Ronnie Chang, Martintar, Nadi
Some interesting nicknames started up lately within my friends, I have unemployed, reduced hours, retired, terminated contract and one without a job by choice.
I wonder what other nicknames are a result of COVID-19?
Narayan Reddy, Lautoka
Whether COVID-19 was an act of God or created by man, it has left behind memories and hit many hard.
Job losses, reduced hours and reduced pays have hit many in the pockets.
The unemployment rate has triggered with many more expected to join the poverty line.
Many are in the dark regarding their future and possibility of more job losses.
Many are struggling to meet their daily needs while more are worried about paying water and electricity bills.
It’s all about survival as more are expected to line up FNPF for assistance.
It’s time to join hands and help each other.
It’s all about survival now!
Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu
God must be pro-bookshop.
That’s why a bookshop was saved when fire razed other business houses in a shopping mall fire.
We often hear churches and temples are destroyed in hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis and tornadoes.
I think God wants humanity to pay more attention to learning.
Rajend Naidu, Sydney, Australia
Power to people
Lyrics of the song of the same header by John Lennon.
Read or listen.
How some may ask.
That is the conundrum.
MANOJ LAL PATEL, Drasa Ave, Lautoka
I believe some writers Google a topic and think they are knowledgeable to speak on it.
Particularly on the topic of poverty.
It needs research to be able to understand the various policies and different environments that exist and the approaches to engage, assist and improve.
Dan Urai, Lautoka
If they can plant vegetables and trees in the deserts, why can’t we plant yaqona in the Western Division? (FT1/6)
Vijay P Madhavan, Borron Rd, Suva
There appears to be a lot of ill-informed people in Fiji criticising the A-G’s characterisation of the COVID-19 pandemic as an act of God.
To these people, I point out the following saying attributed to Mark Twain or Abraham Lincoln: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt”.
Jan Nissar, Carlton, NSW, Australia
Act of God
I’m with Billy Connelly on this one.
And his movie, The Man Who Sued God when he proved how daft such a claim could be, even when its insurance companies trying to dodge their responsibilities and blame God for unexpected pandemics.
But when it’s a Government — that’s a doozy.
What’s God got to do with a man-made COVID-19 virus, most probably as a result of our human excesses?
Seriously, this is a perfect example of modelling blame-shifting at a government level and dire leadership when our nation is in a crisis.
Please have the courtesy to get real about government responsibility to own its terrible fiscal management over the past six years, right now.
For example, using FNPF payments as alleged state “welfare” as income for our unemployed income less families?
How will this ever be recoverable for these folks, when they retire?
This is not fiscal management; but a shocking attempt at thin smokescreens for robbing the poor and then blaming God for all this.
So I hope God can bring back “Robin Hood and his merry men”, including Maid Marion, as we certainly need them to leave Sherwood Forest and reemerge in Fiji right about now.
Shame on you government leaders, who divert responsibility from your own reckless expenditure over these past six years in power, and your palsy freebie gift-giving, to now try and blame God.
Who are you trying to convince?
I believe no one on the streets here believes you anymore.
Bring back Robin Hood: he’s far more real than your brand of governance.
Jean Hatch, Nabua, Suva
Where in the world would our attorney-general derive his statement in Parliament that the pandemic currently destroying our nation and the world is the act of God?
I believe all arrows point to China’s neglect.
Now he is trying to educate Mr Narube on figures which is Mr Narube’s playing field.
It’s like a butcher telling a carpenter how to build a house.
Adrian John, Waila 3A, Davuilevu Housing
“Act of God” is the most debated three words in Fiji as we speak (FT 30/5, 31/5).
I am positive that the amended Employment Relations Promulgation (2007), will define these words clearly.
Nevertheless, it got me thinking.
Which God are we talking about?
Does it mean that my God Jesus/Jehovah is responsible for COVID-19?
I searched the scriptures and found Amos 3:7, Genesis 18:17, and John 15:15. Amos 3 : 7 states “Surely the Lord God will do nothing without revealing His secret to His servants the prophets”.
In September 2019 prophets in USA had foretold of this calamity upon us now.
This was on YouTube.
Food for thought.
While the jury is still out on whether COVID-19 is man-made or an act of God, I believe we all need to pray for God’s intervention.
Korina Waibuta, Knollys St, Suva
Oh My God
Like seriously I’m hearing Covid-19 is an act of God, this is somewhat like Bollywood movie name Oh My God (OMG) with Akshay Kumar and Paresh Rawal in lead role and I hear in Covid-19 case corporates are blaming it’s act of God, shameful people blaming the almighty, the truth is God is tired of you sinful people and yet blame game is going. Should produce a TV series for you guys.
Jaheed Buksh, Korolevu, Sigatoka