Letters to the Editor – Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Former Solicitor General Nainendra Nand and one of Fiji’s most senior lawyers passed away last Friday, aged 63. Picture: SUPPLIED

A man of principle

‘Nand – a man of principle: A lawyer who stood for the rule of law’ (FT 10/1).

That’s how Graham Leung a former colleague of the former Solicitor-General Nainendra Nand remembers the man who was removed from his position after the 2006 military coup.

I wonder how many of those who removed him in such an undignified manner will be remembered as ‘man of principle’?

RAJEND NAIDU, Sydney, Australia

Political battle

AS 2022 begins, the political activities take on a sharper hue.

You will hear more political comments and criticisms from all political parties.

Strategies will be drawn and policies announced.

All political parties will make friendly overtures to attract voters.

The success of any political party is very much dependent on the leadership qualities and political acumen of its leader.

The ability of the leader to inspire confidence and to hold the group together is paramount.

The communication and administrative skills of a political leader will dictate the success or failure of the party.

No political party can hope to survive without the support of a group of wealthy supporters.

Financial support is integral to the success story of a political party.

You cannot look like a beggar with daily rumblings and grumblings within the party and hope to inspire confidence.

When a leader looks for sleeper cells within his/her own party it is bound to fail.

Members must not be treated as terrorists!

Therefore, I see Sitiveni Rabuka as a strong and a prospective national leader.

He is a well educated, seasoned politician with two terms as the prime minister of the country.

His ability to get along well with people at all levels of the community is a strong factor in his favour.

And I think SODELPA’s biggest mistake was to sack him from the party.

They are paying a heavy price for it now.

Lynda Tubuya has jumped ship to join Rabuka and I believe 16 others will follow … ( coconut wireless)!

The other strong political leader is the current Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

I believe he has proved that he has all the qualities that a leader needs to survive in the political arena.

Therefore, in my view, the political battle will be between Sitiveni Rabuka’s The People’s Alliance and the FijiFirst party.

The others will be left by the wayside to lick their wounds.

DEWAN CHAND, Donu Place, Suva

Living rent free

MY mum has a few tenants in Fiji who have not paid rent for almost two years.

She has never chased them up as she well understands the situation.

Some seem to be doing very well, but why pay when you are having a free ride, right?

My mum needed an everyday household item which one of the tenants sells.

I suggested we buy it from this tenant.

My mum was charged $6 for the item, by the tenant who owes her thousands of dollars in rent.

My mum paid of course.

She has another residential tenant who has not paid in 20 months or more.

He has had an electrical issue for months.

The thought of getting this fault fixed by himself never entered his mind.

My mum got it fixed for him while he was physically smoking and drinking grog at the time the fault was being fixed.

Just a normal activity in tranquil Fiji, without a second thought.

I guess there would be a lot of grog swipers in Fiji who would think the same – “It’s not my house so why should I fix the fault, I just live here … for free”.

That would make us an extreme and arrogant family, I guess.

JAN NISSAR, NSW, Australia

Cheap shots

I INTENDED to start my 2022 with positive vibes, but the letter by Jan Nissar (FT 5/1) has prompted me to respond accordingly.

Jan Mohammed, firstly, I believe you only returned to Fiji to conduct a sudden AGM at the South Seas Club, then disappeared back to Sydney and firing cheap shots from there.

You went to the shop where I am never at, as all my customers and even the landlord will vouch for.

This Singh doesn’t hide from anyone, and I believe the only reason you came was to deliver a letter falsely accusing my staff that they harassed a certain lawyer and the rest towards me.

How can I sense danger when you yourself, eat crocodiles and sharks?

I was told by my brother, also from NSW that you sneaked to the shop counter, leaving the envelop in a haste.

I can also sense that you wanted to see and tell me about my handsome framed picture as past chairman of trustees at South Seas Club.

Finally, I reiterate that take me on any time, I am mostly at Lautoka Golf Club or my Marine Drive bulk, talking with golfers and friends about my 14 national golf titles, twice my lucky number 7.

Happy new year, Jan Mohammed.

Vaccine saga

Just as the fine is imposed for not wearing masks, I wonder if it could also be enforced on those refusing to get vaccinated?

Together, we can protect our beloved Fiji.

Tahir Ali, Hamilton, New Zealand

Road condition

This rain just exposed the real condition of our roads by removing the so-called make-up coating.

Narayan Reddy, Lautoka

An end to coups

Imagine if we were all students and our research project was to write a paper on: “How to put an end to coups”.

How and where would you begin?

Like you, I have some thoughts and ideas.

However, one in particular could be considered left field and out there.

But rather than share what I think, how would a national talanoa to include our young people go down?

Because at the end of the day, our youth are the ones having to carry the can through no fault of their own.

So, what say you?

Colin Deok, Australia

COVID-safe protocols

“Students are safe as long as COVID-safe protocols are followed.”

A desktop statement uttered without realisation of the challenges involved in making students follow protocols.

Dan Urai, Lautoka

Planning ahead

While the weatherman had been alerting us to take precautions for the hurricane season, the health man alerts us to brace for the third wave.

In this unpredictable COVID world, as we live from day to day we should also plan ahead to our own advantage.

“Always plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.”

Health and safety is everyone’s priority to save lives.

Tahir Ali, Hamilton, New Zealand

Keep up the great work

Vinaka Raymond Singh (FT 5/01) for your observation.

Enjoy your letters.

You certainly know how to keep Fiji FA and even Jan Nissar on their toes.

Happy New Year to you and all of the wonderful writers who bring a bit of mircha and spice into our lives.

And thank you to all the amazing people at The Fiji Times who work behind the scenes in keeping a wonderful newspaper alive with excellent articles and commentary without fear or favour.

Happy New Year to you and your families and keep up the great work.

Vinaka vakalevu and God bless you all.

Colin Deoki, Australia

Thank you

Thank you editor-in-chief Fred Wesley, your dedicated team, and the directors of the ever popular The Fiji Times.

Yes, indeed I was very happy and proud to be part of The Fiji Times 152nd anniversary.

The Fiji Times was here from 1869 and will remain as a neutral voice for the thousands and thousands of readers in the years to come.

To my fellow writers in the LTE column, I wish you all a very happy and fruitful 2022.

Before I pen off, I conclude with Colin Deoki’s piece of the meaningful song (FT 23/2): Boney M’s — Mary’s boy child, and the time that seemed to jump out and grab him- “and man will live forever more because of Christmas Day”.

Indeed, and I repeat that material things have no value when you leave this world, but your good deeds will remain forever.

Glory be to God.

Raymond Singh, Marine Drive, Lautoka

Teacher unions!

I refer to the letter titled ‘Teacher unions’ (FT 10/01) by Asish Vinay Prasad.

It seems that Asish is not aware of the work that the Fiji Teachers Union has been doing at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and post tropical cyclone or Asish is simply being ignorant and trying to discredit the good work of the teacher unions, especially FTU.

Now let me enlighten Asish on what FTU has done.

Asish, the motto for FTU is ‘Child Our Hope’, and in 1980, the Kanhai Memorial Fund was launched to assist needy children annually with school fees, stationery and other needs.

Since then, a budget up to $10k per annum has been set aside for the purpose of assisting needy children, and additional allocation was made during natural disasters.

The School Rehabilitation Fund was established in the 2016 aftermath of STC Winston, and $10k was donated by FTU to the PM’s Relief Fund to assist those families who were affected by STC Winston.

Asish, this was done in good faith, considering FTU’s commitment to the welfare of Fijians living in communities.

Schools were provided with funds to provide lunch to students especially in the Western Division.

Grocery packs, worth $10k, were provided to worst affected areas like Korociri (Nadi), Lovu and Ba.

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck Fiji in 2019 and early 2020, and Fijians working in the tourism industry lost hours of work or their jobs, FTU forked out $22k to provide lunch for up to four weeks in schools from the Coral Coast to Nadi.

Following the destruction and devastation caused by STC Yasa in 2020, FTU teamed up with TISI Sangam to provide assistance, in the form of school bags and stationery, to the students in the North.

The cost was approximately $18k.

FTU has since then been responding to calls for assistance through leaders of the 16 branches, plus membership network nationwide.

Asish, for your kind information, FTU answered calls made by teacher volunteers, who were assisting the Health Ministry, and provided them with tea, refreshments and lunch.

FTU went one step further and provided lunch and refreshments to the frontline workers, which included nurses, doctors and military officers in the Central and Western divisions.

I have a long list of contributions that FTU has made since its inception. FTU has also been assisting organisations like FENC Fiji, WOWS Kids Fiji and the Fiji Blind Society.

We can catch up for coffee (at my expense), and I can provide you the details.

Asish, feel free to visit the FTU office, and the staff will answer all your queries.

Until then, do have a blessed day!

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

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