Letters to the Editor – June 3, 2019

Andy Ruiz Jnr connects a left jab onto Anthony Joshua's face during their heavy bout. Picture: sports.yahoo.com

A Mexican shocker

THE lion’s den has finally been conquered by a determined and ruthless Mexican underdog, Andy “The Destroyer” Ruiz Jr. The previously invincible Anthony Joshua seemed to have rounded up proceedings when Ruiz went down in the third round. What nobody expected happened. At odds 222-1, the Mexican warrior pulled off what has been labelled as one of the biggest upsets in sporting history. The astonishing and stunning turnaround has made Ruiz the first heavyweight champion of Mexican heritage with the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO titles. An incredible and unbelievable Mexican dream has come true in the land of opportunities. MOHAMMED IMRAZ JANIF Natabua, Lautoka

Unrealistic unions

HUMAN resources practitioner, Kelly Hart, I believe is absolutely correct in stating that trade unions need to be realistic when it comes to negotiating a national minimum wage (FT 01/06). We cannot be driving up pay and benefits to unsustainable levels that will make it hard for businesses to survive. Anyone who has run a company knows, the biggest cost of doing business is labour, which can account for as much as 70 per cent of total business costs, a cost which includes wages, benefits, and related taxes. I believe Fijian unions seem to want to cause more harm than good to our economy as a whole, making it much more expensive for businesses to operate, especially small businesses with narrow profit margins. When labour costs are high, it is harder for companies to stay in business and for much needed new businesses to start. That, in turn, can lead to higher unemployment. Collecting dues is the easiest and simplest thing to do in order to sustain ones wellbeing. The collection and use of dues is another story all together! I believe Fijian unions are not realistic but pessimistic! SIMON HAZELMAN SAVUSAVU

Career choice

WHAT is the correct definition of advising? Does telling and forcing fall within the definition? How do we differentiate between teachers advising students that it is best for them to pursue a career in the technical field and teachers telling or forcing students to join a technical college? Earlier this year, students were spoken to about taking science subjects so that they could become teachers to fill the shortage in the teaching profession (science subjects). Was that advising, telling or forcing? Who decided this difference and how is the line drawn in career education? For that matter, what is the precise criteria for technical college intake? MOHAMMED IMRAZ JANIF Natabua, Lautoka

Fantastic comeback

THE Chiefs fans left the stadium in full flight and made every bit of noise as the hosts outclassed the defending champions 40-27. The Crusaders led 20-0 but the Chiefs came back into the game with three solid tries and added three more thrills to finish off the Crusaders. The NZ teams showed precision and flair and Reece and Gus did not disappoint fans. Suva’s stadium was a sea of colours and race and religion was no barrier as people cheered their hearts out for their favourite teams. Elderly and young, male and female, came together and forgot the age barrier as teasing and taunting continued in the spirit of the game. A Chiefs fan from the pavilion kept screaming “No fear” and I believe this had an impact on the game as the Chiefs intensified their onslaught. I feel that the organisers and security personnel deserve a pat for the wonderful and safe organisation. Madam Loabuka and the staff of Fiji Sports Council must be commended for the part they played in hosting the Gallagher Chiefs and BNZ Crusaders. To the Chiefs fans, the Crusaders lost but we lead the Super Rugby points table and we are set to host a home playoff. I wish the Crusaders all the best for their remaining matches! Finally, a big vinaka vakalevu to the Stallions for roaring their way into the top four with the resounding win against Tailevu! Despite the slow start, all looks well and the Stallions are set to make the semis! RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Nadawa, Nasinu

Market thief

IMAGINE my surprise while grabbing a quick snack at the market kiosk to hear a shout from one end of the market place go up followed by a dashing figure then another and the market patrons suddenly move toward the area where the figures had suddenly stopped at. The word chorr translated thief quickly echoes through the crowd reaching my ears. I am hoping that no one is hurt during the mad dash as the crowd closes in on the figures. Echoes of an “apple” ripples through and people slowly turn away to return to their stalls and marketing. Some with laughter, some with smiles, others with tears and the rest with
confused or somber moods. I wonder what happened to the food thief? Perhaps, I should go watch Aladdin who was a market thief too. But look, he married a princess. JOAN MCGOON,Martintar, Nadi

EFL’s plans

THE announcement by the CEO of the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission (FCCC) that he has seen a bunch of opinions in response to Energy Fiji Ltd’s request for a tariff increase, I believe is an understatement. Is the CEO making a conclusion on the quantum of increase to be allowed by averaging the “voices” he has heard one way or another? Frankly, I am not sure what these public consultations are designed to achieve in the absence of detailed information from the company about their business plans, investments, policies, financial statements etc. I believe these have to be scrutinised in the light of the recent accolades the company seems to be giving itself, including generous bonuses to its workers. Let us not forget that the wages for the average EFL (Energy Fiji Ltd) worker and the executives is higher than that in most industries in Fiji! Would the company be held accountable for the lack of foresight and vision in their policies and investment. It is only now that Hasmukh Patel is shouting about solar investments. I believe he has been renowned in the Pacific for his lack of support for renewable for a long time. Indeed in 2014, when Fiji was consulting on the green growth framework, there is a famous picture in The Fiji Times where the then chair of FEA board was seen shaking hands with the CEO of a company with who they had concluded a long-term deal for the purchase of diesel generators and fossil fuels. The truth is that Fiji’s share of renewable is significant only because of hydro, the credit for which I believe goes back to the leadership in ’80s! In spite of the decrease in prices of renewable and storage, Fiji’s share of generation through solar, wind etc is paltry compared with that in most PICs. The few investments, for example the Sigatoka wind farm, Nabouwalu hybrid, Naboro waste to energy etc I believe have been a failure because of bad decisions. All the current plans in climate change etc talk about leadership in reducing emissions by phasing out fossil fuels etc. How is the EFL, which has the monopoly for electricity generation and distributions, doing this through its policies and business plans? I believe their only viable path is to milk the consumers, who unfortunately will have no choice if this increase is decreed, as is likely to happen! Why are we taxpayers being asked to pay for investments in these because of historically poor planning and policies by the authorities. We also hear about Fiji’s leadership in climate change. Surely this should be leveraged to get the necessary grants from donors and development partners to assist with these plans. ADB’s meeting saw huge accolades for the host nation, can this be translated into tangible dollar support for such sectors. After all we put up millions of dollars to give our guests a great time on Denarau. It has become almost a routine to hear the EFL moaning about increase in fuel prices, impacts because of droughts or excess rainfall, cyclones etc. This is likely to get worse, as our climate change knowledge and impacts, should tell us. The question which should be raised is how the EFL’s policies and actions are gearing up for this in terms of the short, medium and long-term plans. Taxing the consumer is not the answer. MALVIN CHAND Suva

My invitation

I WANT to invite Dr Partha to come and stay with me for six months so he can experience the low wage that we earn. Who brought him? Has he lived in Fiji to establish that lowest paid wage earners are not affected by food prices? Come to Kava Place Dr Partha and live the reality. ALLEN LOCKINGTON Waiyavi, Lautoka

I rest my case

I AM surprised by the finding made by Dr Partha Gangopadhyay that the lowest paid workers are not affected by cost of food items (FT 01/06). As someone who worked as a social welfare worker for more than two decades in Fiji, I am acutely aware that lowest paid workers are deeply affected by the cost of food items. We have experts of all sorts. We recall tobacco companies once got academic experts to tell the whole world that tobacco did not cause cancer and all that. I rest my case. RAJEND NAIDU Sydney, Asutralia

Poverty line

Oi Dr Gangopadhyay! The poverty-stricken do not need to just survive, they need to live. Get it? Adjust that into whichever formulae you are working with. MANOJ LAL PATEL Lautoka

Minimum wage

SO we have a consultant procured and paid for by the Government touting the Government’s position on minimum wage. Quite apart from making some preposterous claims such as “lowest paid workers are not affected by increase in food prices” (makes me wonder which economics courses he studied), is it surprising that the consultant is singing to the tune of whoever paid the piper. MALVIN CHAND Suva

Rugby fans

AFTER the recent Super Rugby match, I just marvelled at the support rendered to both teams. The atmosphere was awesome and congratulations to the Hamilton-based Chiefs for the win. However, I have a simple plea to ardent rugby fans, can we show the same support when our Flying Fijians play a Test match at home, I believe our boys deserve the same recognition. KOROI SEDUADUA Nasese, Suva

Boxing shocker

ANDY Ruiz Jr took down Anthony Joshua in New York to become the new unified IBO/IBF/WBA/WBO world heavyweight champion. It’s the biggest upset in boxing history, bigger than Buster Douglas over Tyson. That’s some Mexican tacos to remember, AJ. And wipe that tomato salsa off your nose, will you? SAMU RAILOA Nadi


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