Dear Grey Power Editor,
A Selina Fotu of Nasinu wrote a letter to the Editor which was published in the Fiji Times today (25/8/11) on the changes proposed by the FNPF Board and Government to our pensions.
What we found surprising was that a letter about the FNPF was actually published by the Fiji Times when pensioners’ letters have not been published at all on any FNPF subject. Moreover, a paid advertisement from fijipensioners Grey Power advertising our website was refused last week by the Fiji Times on the ground that its lawyers had advised not to publish it.
When queried, the Fiji Times pleaded the subjudice rule, that is, that the issue is before the court. Yet Ms Fotu’s letter supporting the proposed changes by the FNPF is published. We wonder- just where is Fiji Times coming from? Self-censorship? As we used to say in the good old days, ‘(Fiji Times), you’ve come a long way, baby!’.
Let us now deal with Ms Fotu’s letter to the Fiji Times editor.
First, the letter does not say whether she is a pensioner. I am sure if she was a pensioner she would not be singing this song of.,.’ I say go for it FNPF, make those changes..’
Secondly, it is curious that of all the public statements by the FNPF made in recent weeks, Ms Fotu chooses to refer to section 63 of the FNPF Act as justification for the reduction to pensions, the same one that Aisake Taito rather unconfidently cited on TV 1 when the Burness case first went to trial. Section 63 of the Act says nothing about reducing peoples’ pensions. This particular point makes us wonder whether Ms Fotu is actually someone at the top of FNPF in disguise. Of course our letter in response to Ms Fotu would never get published in the Fiji Times otherwise we could have a real debate about the FNPF Act and how it is interpreted by pensioners themselves- the duty to supply information to the beneficiaries for one- sadly neglected by FNPF.
The other point Ms Fotu makes is that ‘only 11 per cent of pensioners will be affected by the changes’. Right madam- that 11 per cent don’t matter do they? Perhaps not to you if you are being heartless and ruthless. But it matters to everyone else- we are not pensioners but we support the right of pensioners to stand up for themselves and defend and protect what is theirs- a product of their hard work and savings. But unless Ms Fotu is a pensioner, she will not understand that. She must be one of a handful of people not standing up to support the pensioners in their fight for justice. Shame on you Ms Fotu.
Grey Power supporter.