Letters to the Editor – June 11, 2019


Danielle Baber

WELCOME to the rugby crazy world Mrs Baber! As the wife of Fiji’s most successful coach on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series circuit, I believe that you’ll have to develop a thick skin to swallow all the comments that come across after our 7s team performs on the series. The boys win and they get all the praises, but a loss and the words become poisonous — it’s all part of the global game and affection that Fijians have for 7s that we expect our team to win every game and every tournament. Danielle, I must apologise for the negative comments but I’m grateful that Gareth has learned to ignore the negative comments and focus on getting the best out of our team. Thank you for being part of Baber’s success! Cheers!

 Cigarette butts – Letter of the week ending 22/4-28/4 

I’D love the CEO of Suva City Council, the permanent secretary for the Ministry of Health and the Commissioner of Police to please explain to me and others, just why there are so many cigarette butts littering the ground around the small kiosks at Suva market, when signs in the area proclaim it to be a “smoke free zone”? A lot of the butts get washed, via the storm drains, to our “pristine harbour” and some no doubt literally feed the fishes!

Global economy- Letter of the week ending 29/4-5/5 

AN agenda item in the 2019 ADB meeting being held in Nadi this week is a discussion on ways in which member countries will respond to the heightening global economic uncertainty. One could surmise that this is referring to a possible global economic slowdown in the very near future. Pacific Island nations are usually at the receiving end of whatever economic events are happening globally. However, the degree to which our countries will be affected will largely depend on our economic relationships with the rest of the world, particularly our trade aid partners. As recipients, it will therefore be interesting to see what protective measures and strategies our regional island countries will put in place to buffer any negative impacts of a global economic slowdown. For Fiji, I guess that the outcome and resolutions of this ADB meeting will be translated into the economic strategies to be adopted in the upcoming 2019/2020 Budget Estimates. Will we see a more concerted move towards a much more manageable budget deficit? Will we also see a review of our capital expenditures strategies and programs, particularly infrastructural expenditures? Will this also mean changing the loans and grants ration to GDP, so as to make our national debt more manageable for us? We just have to wait and see. |

Old capital challenges – Letter of the week ending 6/5-12/5 

THEY wake up at 4am, cook, clean and dress their children for school and hurry to to the already filled trucks to make their way to work. Life in the Old Capital of Levuka has its challenges but it doesn’t seem to deter the 9000 people on this island, however, we all seem to be simultaneously suffering from back pains which apart from our long grog sessions could partially be attributed to our road conditions recently. It’s been months since Fulton Hogan packed its bag and left our streets to the mercy of the waves. I don’t know who (if anyone) has been appointed to take over but a humble plea to our distinguished leaders. If not a road contractor could you perhaps send a physiotherapist for our pains.

School bullies – Letter of the week ending 13/5-19/5 

THE buck is being passed around. All sorts of solutions are being thrown in. Sending a student who bullies to another school, teachers, parents or the police. Who or what will stop this? Exactly when did students’ behaviour start to become a problem in and out of school? Answer this correctly for the solution. Looking at the magnitude of the problem, beating around the bush is not an option.

Foresight issues – Letter of the week ending 20/5-26/5 

GOLD in any form, is; well gold. No matter where and how you get it. The glitter always, always remain. Most notable is when you win it. Nobody saw the value of the person who won it for us and brought glory to our nation as a whole. There were those also who inferred that said person will be the biggest loser. Yah right! Cika Matana much?

Stroke at 12 – Letter of the week ending 27/5-2/6

WHAT can be said but that we’ve basically become the product of our own doing. Sickness is now occurring more often where it should not be. We have basically become what we eat and drink. It’s about time Government takes serious steps towards limiting unhealthy food and beverage consumption for our children. From school canteens to retail stores as well as advertising and marketing, as they encourage pattern of consumption that causes obesity and leads to non- communicable diseases. About 5200 Fijian lives are shortened every year because of sickness and it all boils down to what we eat and drink from an early age. Evidence from research carried out over the past thirty years has demonstrated that the environment during early life influences an individual’s risk of developing NCDs, from before conception through fetal life, infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and into older age. Tackling the issue at the source is the only way to approach this epidemic in order to prevent early stages effects on later disease risk which potentially can become substantial. Government needs to take action. People need to take action.

Botitu’s rise

Vilimoni Botitu was an unknown entity until he delivered a clincher in Cape Town and guided Fiji to the cup win after a lapse of 13 years. His sterling performance did not stop there and he continued to dazzle fans with his speed and power, try-scoring spree, deft footwork and the ability to break and make tackles. At 20 and in his debut season he stunned rugby followers by walking away with the DHL Impact Player after making 124 tackles, 24 breaks, 49 off-loads and 159 carries and finished ahead of USA’s Ben Pinkelman, Scotland’s Mac McFarland and Samoa’s Alamanda Motuga. In an interview Vili’s dad Josaia Lobau, who is a pastor, revealed that Vili loved to play with empty plastic bottles by kicking or throwing them around. Lobau paid tribute to Vili’s humility and good character and that as a father he has always supported Vili with the talents that Vili has. Thus, I’m sure that Vili’s stock is going to rise as we head to the 2019/20 WRSS and the Olympic Games. Thank you Vili for your incredible performance and for helping Fiji win back-to-back five tournaments on the WRSS! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Plastic bags

Allen, if the rise in the cost of alcohol and cigarettes has made very little difference and is anything to go by, I doubt the rise in the cost of plastic bags to 50 cents will matter to the majority. This problem will go away only and unless it is totally gotten rid of. It’ll take a couple of months of struggle before people will find and get used to an alternative. As it is, all we are doing is selling our problem to ourselves! Simon Hazelman Rava Estate, Savusavu

Online connectivity

On one hand the 2019/2020 Budget is enhancing the access to government services nationwide, through online connectivity by introducing e-registration, the bizFiji portal and other e-services. All these will obviously help to properly service public and business needs in a timely and more accurate manner. However, while introducing this very commendable initiative, the budget on the other hand, is also introducing a 10 per cent ECAL (Environment and Climate Adaptation Levy) on the importation of smart phones and televisions, including smart TVs. This will only make these connectivity items more expensive. In other words, it will make it even more harder for a lot of people and small businesses to access the new on-line initiative, because they just cannot afford a new smart phone. Edward Blakelock Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour

Kava spotlight

I had a little giggle when I read (FT 10/6) that many priests spend a lot of time consuming kava. This was revealed at the Archdiocese Synod of Suva. Well I be. Anyway, it’s good that it has come to light so that the priests can remedy this and only have one baby mix, no grandfather ones. (giggle) Allen Lockington Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Voice of consumer

I refer to the letter written in The Fiji Times (10/6) by Mohammed Imraz Janif on the above topic and would like to say that I believe the consumer council is a toothless tiger. Nardeo Mishra Suva

Two-way process

It’s a two way process where parties attending discussions talk and listen to each others’ views before an amicable decision is reached. If one party gives its views and the other is expected to accept it, then I believe it’s called something else. Dan Urai Lautoka

RWC 2019

As we gear up for the much anticipated world cup showdown in Japan, John McKee has made his intentions clear by naming a reputable coaching team. The players will be arriving later to battle for spots. Scrums, line-outs, rucks, mauls, set-pieces, discipline, conditioning, mental and physical strength will be at the forefront of concerned areas. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Cricket world cup

The 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup is gaining momentum and thanks to Sky Pacific I’m able to view matches live and I’m looking forward to more cricket action as the month of June unfolds. All the best team India! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Judges impressed

Voli K who introduced himself as an Albino Fijian not only won over the The Voice judges with his amazing singing talent (“Albino contestant blows The Voice judges away” Yahoo Lifestyle 5/6), he is also a deep thinker. Talking about the prejudice he has encountered throughout his life he said “The greatest thing I’ve learned is that ignorance is everywhere”. That’s so philosophically profound. Here’s another Fijian making Fijians everywhere proud. Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia




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