The ‘millennial mayor’

Minister for Employment, Productivity, Industrial Relations, Youth and Sports Parveen Bala (left) and Opposition MP Pio Tikoduadua during a Parliament break yesterday. Picture: RAMA

NATIONAL Federation Party leader Professor Biman Prasad labelled the Minister for Employment Parveen Kumar the “millennial mayor” in Parliament yesterday.

Prof Prasad, during his maiden speech said Mr Kumar was made a mayor of Ba Town through National Federation Party votes.

He said that on the eve of the new millennium, Mr Kumar invited a chief guest to the unveiling of a special millennial plaque.

“This is what the plaque says, Madam Speaker: ‘This plaque was unveiled by Major General Sitiveni Ligamamada Rabuka (honours listed), chairman of Great Council of Chiefs and former Prime Minister of Fiji, to commemorate the new millennium on 31st December 1999. The foundation of this symbolic millennium structure was laid by His Worship the mayor of Ba, Cr Parveen Bala on 8th December 1999’.

“Madam Speaker on 6 October 2006, our millennial mayor was chief guest at the Fiji Day celebrations held in Ba.

“And what did he say about the 1997 Constitution and the multi-party government of the day? This is what he said, Madam Speaker, and I quote: ‘For the last five months, a multi-party Cabinet representing all races of Fiji has been governing the country. This concept of government must not be allowed to fail. It allows us all to embrace our shared future.

“Madam Speaker he went on: ‘Unfortunately, irresponsible elements who now see their personal and political ambitions derailed by the multi-party government are hell-bent on destroying this concept that is the way forward for this country. Such elements must not be allowed to succeed. They must be told in no uncertain terms that they are living in the past’.

“So, what did our millennial mayor say 12 years ago about the 1997 Constitution, Madam Speaker? ‘A concept which must not be allowed to fail. A concept which allows us all to embrace our shared future’.

“And now, Madam Speaker, our millennial mayor is happy to serve and sing praises of his leader — the very person who led the overthrow of that constitution and that multi-party Cabinet!”

In response to his statement, Mr Kumar did not deny the statement made against him and said that Prof Prasad needed to move on.

“I do not deny because at that point in time I have compared 1997 Constitution with 1990. The whole world knows that 1997 Constitution was better than 1990, but we have moved on.

“Now we have the 2013 Constitution which is better than the 1997 Constitution. The thing is he is stuck there and he needs to move on.”

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