Your Fiji Your Voice

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR – letters@fijitimes.com.fj

Wonderful promotion

WHAT a wonderful tourism promotion for Fiji the Natadola tournament was, beamed by Fox TV around the world.

Professional golf in Fiji had its origins in 1970 with the inaugural Fiji Open sponsored by Air New Zealand for a purse of $2000.

Since then the Fiji Open has been played each year, 44 times, with professional golfers from New Zealand, Australia and other countries competing.

Some previous Fiji Open winners were in the field for last week’s Natadola event. Along with their partners, friends and supporters, professional golfers have brought thousands of tourists to Fiji during the past 44 years.

Their contribution to the tourism sector has been significant.

Let’s hope that Vijay Singh will make good on his interest to establish an academy at Natadola to encourage young Fiji golfers.

Can I say that he owes golf in Fiji this support. The five-year contract with government to continue the event at Natadola will be welcomed by professional golfers.

JOHN COOPER
Denarau guest

Incompetent kings

THE other night two little children were seen giggling at the very incompetent and very poor climate change answers by king contestants on live TV.

These children, below 12, seemed to have simpler and to-the-point answers in contrast to the kings who would listen to Mervin, pause for long, then request Mervin to repeat, some even requested to re-phrase, the question then pretend to think deep, and then beat around the bush for some time before delivering a non-answer.

Donald Singh
Suva

Different sugar

I was relieved when I saw clean white sugar back on our breakfast table at last on Friday morning after months of putting up with that dirty looking dark brown sugar at times contaminated with foreign black burnt particles.

Just wandering from which sugar mill in Fiji or outside Fiji that batch had been sourced from and just hope the health authorities are more vigilant against such poor quality sugar to be sold for local consumption.

I am sure Fiji consumers deserve something better than that please.

Matthew Robinson
Ovalau

Well done

Congratulations to my Alma Mater Nukuloa College on winning the Vodafone Secondary Schools Soccer under-17 title.

It’s a great testament to the determination, tenacity and commitment of all involved, especially being a rural school with little or no major resources at its disposal.

I am sure other current/former students of this school are equally proud of their Alma Mater’s achievement.

In my days, the school reached Form 5 only, however it has since grown to be a champion school in more ways than one.

Well done.

Praneet Singh
Sacramento CA

Real estate

REFERENCE is made to Titus Narayan’s letter Real Estate in The Fiji Times, August, 16, 2014.

I find Mr Narayan’s response to the council’s press release (August 7, 2014, The Fiji Times) to be unprofessional.

The council’s advice to consumers was on real estate issues where they are being alerted on their rights and responsibilities when dealing with realtors and lawyers.

We are also calling on the realtors and lawyers to treat consumers fairly.

The main purpose of the press release was to highlight the issue of non-disclosure on costs charged for the services, pressure selling and inflated price in the real estate sector.

This information will help consumers to make an informed decision.

His claim that I was not bold enough to name the agents in our press release is ironical as he himself fails to name the agents in his very own public notice titled Unprofessional Conduct by Agents on Page 7 of the Property Guide which appeared in The Fiji Times of the same day.

In this public notice he stated “It has been brought to our attention by the owners of the above properties that some real estate agents, their salesmen and illegal operators are directly contacting owners to offer them inflated prices for the properties listed with us. We have already received the names of three real estate agents, four salesmen and three illegal operators who are interfering with the owners for the properties advertised by us either by signage, website or newspaper advertisements. We are awaiting statements from the complainants and as soon as it is in hand, we will have no option, but to seriously report them to the relevant authority for immediate action and if found guilty may result in the cancellation of their practicing licenses…”

We fail to understand why Mr Narayan is calling the council’s press release baseless when he wants his public notice to be taken seriously where he is warning the real estate agents who are undermining his business.

When the council warns consumers of such practices, he seemed to be very disturbed.

He failed to name the agents in his public notice but expects the council to name the agent while the case is still being investigated.

If real estate agents and their salesmen can undermine other real estate agents, then one can only imagine what vulnerable consumers must be going through.

I must inform Mr Narayan that by virtue of the Consumer Council Act (Cap.235). the council is legally mandated to inform consumers and make them aware of actions of unscrupulous service providers/traders who act contrary to the relevant consumer protection laws.

We give the same importance to all consumers related issued as the council’s duty is not only to deal with issues relating to goods but also services.

It is unfortunate that whenever the council raises concern on any sector, they become jumpy and start calling us to leave them alone and concentrate on other issues.

The council has a job to do and it will not be deterred by such pointless reactions by Mr Narayan.

While we appreciate the offer made to the council for free advice on real estate manners, it must be understood that the council cannot use one real estate to discuss matters relating to another real estate agents.

The council is aware of the limitation of the Real Estate Agent Act 2006 when it comes to consumer protection.

This is well reflected in the review of the various laws/decrees that was reviewed in consultation with the Ministry of Industry and Trade. The council has neither encroached on nor undermined the responsibilities of REALB.

REALB has in fact alluded to what the council has been advising the consumers within its legal mandate.

PREMILA KUMAR
Consumer Council of Fiji CEO

Stamp duty

WE acknowledge Pramesh Dayal’s letter titled Stamp Duty (FT 18/8) and appreciate the comments made.

The current stamp duty rate on residential tenancy agreement is legislated in the Stamp Duty Act.

We wish to reassure members of the public that FRCA is currently reviewing this with a view to making proposals to government for changes in the current stamp duty rate.

Timaima T Rayawa
For CEO Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority

QUICK VIEWS

What next

MINISTRY of Religion? Trues up, what else is next!

WISE MUAVONO
Lautoka

Lamb party

Nominations has closed otherwise I would have formed The Lamb Chop Party. Get real Ajay Singh of Lautoka, there are many other important things to address than lamb chop prices.

Vinod Kumar
Sigatoka

Health issue

FT 18/8 the lead article on page 3 announced Health under scrutiny. This survey was done by USP using a sample of 102. No other details about the composition of the population or methodology was disclosed. Both USP and the media should exercise caution when making blaring statements as such especially if the findings are based on a population of 102.

Shailesh Sharma
Suva

That name

SODELPA! Sounds like a disease. Prevention is better than cure!

Dave Kumar
Lautoka

Road test

WHEN can we expect tarseal graders on our roads? I reckon the best place to have it tested is on Kuku Rd. If it works, wow it will create history, first of its kind.

Shamal Chand
Kuku Bau Rd Nausori

Candidates

SO many candidates for next month’s general election. Why would a candidate who has no hope of winning also want to contest ? Allen, do you know why ? I hope it is because of political conviction and nothing else.

Wise Muavono
Lautoka

Hard talk

Public judging night at the Hibiscus Festival just gets better. The questions were thought provoking, but the king and queen contestants just shot away from the hip. There were moments of effort and premeditation though, but the answers came all right, enough to give Bill Cosby’s “Kids say the darnedest things”, the blushes.

Samu Railoa
Nadi

Contestants

ComparinG past Hibiscus contestants to today’s contestants show huge difference in speech and knowledge. Most of the contestants are university level and still they cannot answer simple questions during public judging. I urge contestants to get tips from previous contestants. Last and not the least I do applaud our indigenous contestants who stick to our traditional hairstyle and dress code and keep our identity intact.

Joe Saileka
Nasinu

Election promises

WHILE some will promise to build bridges where there are no rivers, the others will create rivers to build bridges.

Clever ones will promise free education or free medical or reinstate FNPF pensions.

Let’s vote for the ones with proven abilities.

Tahir Ali
Hamilton NZ

GCC issue

Whatever the merits of the GCC the crux of the matter appears lost in the ongoing debate.

The abolition was done unilaterally, if not illegally, when it should be decided by the people or a representative parliament.

J Nakarawa
Hamilton NZ

Equal citizenry

THE concept of equal citizenry so much desired to become reality by Mr Bainimarama and his party is a dream that I believe will never come true here in Fiji, although I share his dream.

The reality is that people in our country treat people of different races differently.

I am a gora and I get called that and treated like a gora when I walk into a small shop in Suva or anywhere in Fiji to buy something.

And I get automatically offered double the price for the item I wish to buy, than what an iTaukei or Fijian of Indian descent would pay for the same item.

So where is the equal citizenry? To achieve that, our people have to change their mind-set and that could only be achieved if most of our citizens have brain surgery to implant the thought of equal citizenry into their heads.

Erwin Karl Skiba
Suva

Election time

I WAS with a friend and the conversation got around to the general election.

He remembers when our polling station was at the Namaka Public School some years back. We were picked up by car and taken to the school.

One shed had grog and food and cigarettes was being given out free. And we went in and sat down.

The next shed was pretty empty and the people manning it looked forlorn.

After the elections the candidate from the shed that was empty won.

Yesterday he reminisced and said, Allen nanuma na gauana ya, gunu yaqona i ke, tick sana kadua.”

Allen Lockington
Mulomulo

Church celebrates

Attending a gathering of 4000 people who converged on the Vodafone Arena last Sunday to mark the start of Methodist golden jubilee celebration was a breath of fresh air.

With all decreed public restrictions lifted there was an air of new-found freedom of assembly and expression.

In celebrating the faith thousands sang words of the hymn, “and are we yet alive, and see each other’s face?” It’s the question of the moment for the nation.

Clearly there’s wind of change in the air and a sense of purpose due to new visionary church leadership.

Political parties might take a lead and learn from the past and denounce race and hate politics and reconsider moderating election campaign messages dished out in towns and villages.

After eight years next month’s election marks the new start of a journey beyond into people’s space after eight years of freedom denied.

Tolerance calls for sensitivity and the realisation that religion is important to individuals practising it including those who do not belong to theirs. Fear of others can cause intolerance and acts of disrespect.

Let those who are on the campaign trail in the next few weeks be aware that they should lead us into a better future for all and not just for themselves.

Reverend Akuila Yabaki
Suva

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