There can be no doubt you have done much that is good Frank, but if it is put on the scales with the evil, which will truly be remembered, the good or the evil?
You have said much in your campaigning about the good you have done and nothing about the corruption, cronyism, lack of transparency, lack of honesty and abuse of justice that has been prevalent for over six years .
Clearly you are now beginning to realise that you have been misled by your advisors, who obviously only told you what you wanted to hear. You now know that you do not have the support of 80% of the electorate.
You accuse your opposition of lying and manipulating the truth and indeed they are, but you have been doing this for almost eight years Frank, so as the old saying goes “What is good for the Goose is good for the Gander” seems to apply.
What will happen if you are no longer at the helm Frank ? ( We acknowledge you are at the helm Frank, even if someone else has been steering the ship for the past five years) There will certainly be a high level of Muck Raking and vindictiveness. immunity from prosecution will not protect you from that Frank.
One wonders if your crew have plans to strengthen your ships rigging to weather the September storm .
In the event you survive the September storm and find yourself at the helm (as you well may) please give careful consideration to Your Legacy. It could be to your advantage to swab the decks. clear out the lockers, get a new crew and play it clean for the future.
IN 2010, the FNPF announced a review of pension provisions which when implemented in 2012 led to pensions being reduced by up to 51.13 per cent causing severe financial hardship and distress to pensioners. In fact, a number were pushed below the poverty level.
What happened to these pensioners was a cruel and bitter experience.
Many believe that in proceeding with its changes, the FNPF:
* did not recognise the binding obligations that existed between pensioners and FNPF for payment of pensions. This had been recognised by FNPF when pensions were first reduced in 1995;
* claimed without any proven financial justification that the level of pensions being paid in 2012 by FNPF was unsustainable;
* did not implement the provisions of the FNPF Act Cap 219, Section 10 that if the FNPF is short of funds to pay pensions the government would provide these and government should be paid back as soon as practicable;
* would not enter into any discussion concerning the FNPF pension buffer reserve and why this had not been credited with interest since 1975 that would have provided some $860m for the payment of pensions;
* did not understand that the FNPF financial model was designed to provide for a steady and reasonable reduction in pension rates to ensure the long term stability of the fund. The reduction in maximum pensions from 25 per cent to 15 per cent in 1995 was the first step in this process;
* failed to either respond, or have the courtesy to acknowledge, the many emails, faxes and letters forwarded by aggrieved pensioners to FNPF protesting at the changes;
* ignored their consultant’s advice (promontory) to honour existing pension contracts by allocating sufficient assets to provide for the continued payment of pensions at the then existing levels;
* would not engage in any meaningful dialogue either publicly or in private to enable pensioners to have a fair hearing and question the merit of FNPF claims; and
* may not have understood that the changes when implemented would create financial hardship and distress for many elderly pensioners that has sadly proven correct.
Pensioners were also denied natural justice and the right to seek redress regarding the changes through the courts by Decree No 51 of 2011 that provided that there could be no court challenge to the changes and which has stalled a case brought by aggrieved pensioner David Burness .
Readers should refer to fijipensioners.com for further financial details and comment.
Click here: SubmissionAug2014FinalAtt
It is reasonable to suggest that affected pensioners will expect the new incoming democratically elected government to have a commission of enquiry into the FNPF, with terms of reference and power to enquire into the FNPF and to restore pensions to previous levels, and investigate the utilisation of the Pension Buffer Reserve.
RG McDonald, Pensioner, Suva
Mr Aiyaz Khaiyum advises NGOs like Citizens Constitutional Forum to not play “Mickey Mouse games” before the elections (Fiji Sun, 5 August 2014). The public should consider that:
(a) The Bainimarama Government has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayers money encouraging the voter registration of Fiji citizens living overseas so that they can have a say in electing some candidate for the parliament, even if they have Permanent Residency of and presumably some commitment to other countries.
(b) Civil servants, even if they have been out of the country for the last two years “on government business”, may still be eligible as candidates for the elections, and may even belong to political parties, according to the Permanent Secretary of the PSC.
(c) BUT an ordinary Fiji citizen, like Ms Makareta Waqavonovono, a former Legal Aid and committed senior Fiji government official, who has been overseas for more than 18 months out of the last two years, is declared legally ineligible to be a candidate by a sudden last minute change of the law on the 31st of July 2014, just a month before the elections, after Ms Waqavonovono has already been announced as a candidate by the National Federation Party.
The moribund Fiji Law Society or one of its members, might want to ask the general question if laws are being changed to suit a specific circumstance or individual.
But more specifically, the public can ask why Ms Makareta Waqavonovono, a former senior civil servant, has been overseas for the last two years.
First, she has been guilty of bringing great credit to Fiji by working for AusAID and the Australian Government, arguably the most important donor to Fiji.
Second, she has been using her valuable legal skills in the Solomon Islands, a valuable member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group which Fiji often takes pride in helping, by providing much needed skilled human resources, similar to those possessed by Ms Waqavonovono.
Third, Ms Waqavonovono apparently has had the unpatriotic desire to waste her time and money by studying overseas (in Australia) and acquiring further educational qualifications that will undoubtedly be of great benefit to Fiji.
But with this latest decree by Mr Aiyaz Khaiyum (Attorney General and, apparently without any conflict of interest, also the General Secretary of the Fiji First Party), Ms Waqavonovono has been banned from offering to voters, the use of her extensive legal experience in the Fiji Parliament, the most important public service arena there is, superior even to the Government..
Anyone with common sense knows who exactly is playing “Mickey Mouse” games in Fiji with the elections and our people’s lives.
Professor Wadan Narsey
Dear Mr Raj
I sent a Letter to you on the 3 July 2014, requesting your response to a number of matters concerning the development of the media industry but you responded to only one query- that you had requested the media to give you their general editorial policy. You have refused to respond to the other queries directed to you as Chairman of the Media Development Industry (MIDA).
Nor have you asked the media why they did not print my previous letter on the salaries for Bainimarama and Khaiyum for the years 2010 to 2013. This question has been publicly raised by not just taxpayers and voters, but no less than Mr Mahendra Chaudhry a former elected Prime Minister of Fiji, and also Bainimarama’s own former Minister of Finance who one would expect to have a clue or two, on this particular issue.
While we wait for the media to respond to what you had asked them, I wish to ask you again to respond publicly to the following questions which all media are still interested in despite your previous refusal to respond. As a “level playing field” is an essential part of the development of a free, fair, competitive and transparent media industry, could you please inform the public what is your position on the continuing biases in the media industry itself:
(1) tax-payers advertisement funds being channelled by the Bainimarama Government only to Fiji Sun with The Fiji Times being totally denied.
(2) outright subsidies given to FBC via government budget and government guarantees of loans from FDB, with no such subsidies given to either Fiji TV or the other radio broadcasters, Communications Fiji Ltd.
(3) the clearly intimidating renewal of the license for Fiji TV on a six monthly basis, while FBC TV suffers from no such restriction
(4) While Fiji TV’s accounts are available to the shareholders, FBC accounts are not available at all to the taxpayers who supposedly own FBC.
(4A) Mai TV’s “scoop” at obtaining rights to the broadcast of FIFA World Cup (a legitimate entrepreneurial transaction admired in the business world) being forcibly shared by decree amongst the other broadcasters, on financial terms dictated by the Bainimarama Government rather than negotiated amongst themselves as a market transaction.
(5) have you queried Fiji TV and the owners Fijian Holdings Limited why respected senior journalist and administrator Mr Anish Chand was sacked from Fiji TV on this year’s World Press Freedom day (as was related to you during the World Press Freedom Day panel at USP).
Given that you have personally made many public pronouncements that you want MIDA to be accountable to the Fiji public, I would be grateful if
(a) you would request the media to print this Letter to the Editor,
(b) so that the public and the media can also note that these questions have been posed to you, and can wait eagerly for your usual interesting response.
Professor Wadan Narsey