Letters to the Editor – Sunday, July 25, 2021

A writer says….the wait is finally over for the 2020 Summer Olympics games after a prolonged wait amidst the deadly pandemic, there is only one mindset back home – win the gold for Fiji to bring back smiles. Fiji 7s men’s team pose for a photograph in Tokyo. Picture: NACA CAWANIBUKA TWITTER PAGE

Jab saga
DO we have a choice? When the pandemic outbreak goes out of control, it’s best to try all avenues to save lives and the most popular one jab, all over the world.
TAHIR ALI Hamilton, New Zealand

National budget
MOST people won’t really be aware that the 2021/2022 budget announced on Friday, July 16, 2021, is technically and procedurally, still a proposal awaiting formal endorsement by Parliament.

That will take place from next week, after the debates and detailed consideration and scrutiny – in the remaining three readings – of the Appropriation Bill 2021/2022, of which the Budget Estimates is a Schedule or Annex.

All the proposals thus announced will then come into force on the specified date mentioned therein (in this case August 1, 2021) once the approved Bill is enacted as an Act of Parliament, assented to by the President.

We will just have to wait till then for the formalities to be completed.

Whilst it may be a foregone conclusion, that’s just the way it is.
EDWARD BLAKELOCK Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour

Looking tired
DR Fong is looking very tired after such a long time delivering bad news to the nation. His deliveries are getting slower and he seems to be shrinking behind his lectern.

It’s time to give the poor man a rest. It’s time the minister came out of hiding and accept the responsibility for which I’m sure he’s very well paid and face the press and public.

It’s funny how he always pops up to give thanks for donations of vaccine and other medical equipment.

New rules
WITH the new rules (rather relaxation of rules) coming into play for health workers, can we demand all positive, primary and secondary contact health workers to clearly have a badge identifying their CO- VID status? Please don’t add COV- ID-19 as part of the governent hand-outs.
IRAN KHATRI Samabula, Suva

Answer is yes
DR Kris Naidu’s article ‘Politicians should be psychologically assessed’ (FT 24/7) was very illuminating.

It gives us a very good understanding of the nature of political power intoxication/affliction.

The traits associated with this phenomenon – the Hubris Syndrome – seem to overlap considerable with that associated

with narcissism and megalomania.

(see The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement by Jean M. Twenge, PH.D and W.

Keith Campbell, PH.D).To Dr Kris Naidu’s final comment: “Does any of this sound familiar to you?”, my answer as a politics/ history student is “yes, very familiar”.
RAJEND NAIDU Sydney, Australia

Virus questions
IF a virus by nature is supposed to be more impotent and less infectious, as it gets passed from one person to another over a period of time, how is it that it can actually become more dangerous and contagious as it goes through a community? Is it not supposed to become less dangerous and less fatal, even though it may be more transmissible? How can a person be reinfected for the second or more times, since by nature, that person should now be immune as a result of developing antibodies from the first time infection, or after being vaccinated in advance?

The current pandemic crisis has created the scenario for these questions to arise.

Has something changed beyond the expected outcome and the norm?
EDWARD BLAKELOCK Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour

PPE supply
SURPRISING, after hearing an ABC radio interview that some health care workers including doctors are not fully supplied with PPEs in some major hospitals. If frontline workers are not protected what hope is there for the rest?
DAN URAI Lautoka

Water issue
SO if COVID isn’t enough for people to handle, the water authority decides to stop water in some neighbourhoods without having pro-active measures in place like sending water trucks out to neighbourhoods without water.

Gone are the days when we had the right people in the right places.
JOAN MCGOON Simla, Lautoka

Our budget

AFTER seeing the reaction of some people recently on the 2021-2022 budget, it is evident, the more people get the more complaints will arise. Well, the farmers are being considered to some extent which is a huge relief. Don’t get too happy or too upset people as I believe this budget is temporary which will be reviewed in six months.

As for lockdown of the nation, I think we have crossed the timeline. A bit too late now. Please get vaccinated as soon as possible unless you are a superman or a superwoman.

Wait is finally over
WITH days left for the 2020 Summer Olympics games to start after a prolonged wait amid the deadly pandemic, there is only one mindset back home – win the gold for Fiji to bring back smiles.

Winning the gold will restore pride to our motherland or Viti the way the world should see. In 2016 Ratu Ben created his legacy with a team of rugged players who were passionate and living and breathing the 7s heaven game. The mood and diet was perfect. The combination was deadly and the talanoa and lots of veilomani among players and for Fiji was at its best.

Finally the 2016 team had a lot of challenges and were the first team to compete and win gold. The 2020/2021 team has two survivors in Jerry and Kiti and how they help start the repeat feat will determine the end result. Jerry will captain the team and lead by example and Kiti will be the veteran sharing his 2016 win and inspiring the players.

There is a third person in conditioning coach Naca Cawanibuka who is in the mix and may just be the catalyst behind the scenes to finish the task as the unsung hero.

Go Fiji for Fiji, show them to them. Joka dina. Toso Viti, lave mai na rara!

Hold the flag high and higher, koula dina!
SHALWYN PRASAD Mukta Ben Place, Nabua, Suva

YOUR SAY: Lockdown, Bill and rugby

A police officer checks vehicles at Drasa checkpoint in Lautoka. A writer says … It’s probably now too late to call for that lockdown. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

Lockdown call
IT’S probably now too late in the day to call for that lockdown, like everyone says either for the whole of the country, or just locally the damage has already been done in most places in Fiji the picture now seems so precarious as a result of people being careless, reckless and audacious but a peak may have just appeared at our door and now we will go into a trough, like once before but that does not mean that we will be free the virus will still be in our midst, here in Fiji the health restrictions will still be needed the protocols too, are also to be heeded no way this virus will totally disappear it just might again as quickly reappear this is the way we now have to live we’ll just need to have faith, trust and believe and seek God’s protection in meaningful prayer today and everyday, until death’s door our saving grace is to reach herd immunity so that we can all become immune in our beloved Fiji.
EDWARD BLAKELOCK Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour

About leadership
ONE of the truest exemplary skills of greater leadership is the cool calm ability to listen intently, and take constructive note, seriously – for and on behalf of all citizens who voted you in; and those who didn’t.

Please do not lecture us for our expressed views in a rightful democratic process.

After all, in a democracy we are allowed to air our views responsibly; respectfully and in a dignified manner. We are all but little voices in the wilderness; trying to speak up for our fellow mankind. Vindictiveness, only divides; Never unifies.

Displaying autocratic quality does not bode well for Fiji – “The way the world should be” has all but almost disintegrated, in my humble view, in these dark; deadly and destructive COVID perils which affect us badly.

Fiji is under a huge cloud uncertainty.

Now is the time for good exemplary leaders to shine; be inspiring.

Not ridicule.

There are numerous incalculable witnesses to the destructively deadly COVID-19 and its more harmful Delta variant.

“Time; Oh, good good time; Where did you go?”

Isa; Tamada levu e cecere sara Ni lomani keimami kece Ena vukui Jisu Na Turaga Levu; Dau veilomani keda kece.
RONNIE CHANG Martintar, Nadi

Niko out
I THINK the SODELPA leader is correct that Niko Nawaikula will be missed in Parliament. Even more when the iTaukei Land Trust Act amendment Bill gets tabled.

For many, he is regarded as one of those frank indigenous rights
champions in Fiji. Similar to many individuals who continue to raise their voices for the natives in other parts of the world.

In the august house, I saw him as the superman MP. I think he will fly back.

Proposed amendment
BILL No.17 of 2021, iTaukei Land Trust (Budget Amendment) Bill 2021 seeks to remove the powers to the iTaukei Land Trust Board to decide on its tenants’ decisions regarding mortgage, charge, pledge or caveat on a lease or for any court to adjudicate on these matters.

Reference is made to the fact that currently the 1940 Act requires the lessee or tenant to seek the permission of the Board before seeking to sell, transfer or sublease the leasehold.

It is unclear why there is such a great hurry to remove the Board’s powers regarding what the tenants of ITaukei land may want to do with the leased land.

There is no detailed justification for the amendment to the ILTA 1940, and it is unclear if full informed consent of landowners through extensive consultations have been obtained.

What remedies do the board and customary land owners have if tenants do not comply with conditions stipulated in lease agreement?

Back-to-back Tests
THE back-to-back international Tests against the All Blacks showed the gap between the Tier One and Tier Two nations, but it can be narrowed with more international Tests, regular funding and resources to Tier Two nations, training for local coaches and development of rugby at the grassroot level. The Flying Fijians took the All Blacks to the sword in the first spell before allowing them to hammer us in the last 20 minutes.

In both Tests, our boys held firmly, but then lack of game time together in the national colours allowed the All Blacks to sneak through. While the first Test in Dunedin was a cracker, the boys lacked the baptism of fire in Hamilton despite the huge Fijian support.

However, the two Tests have given Vern Cotter an indication of what the future holds for the Flying Fijians, as we look forward to the 2023 RWC in France.

Cotter must also monitor the performance of our local boys, as I feel that we need the best players for the following positions- halfback, fly-half, wing and full-back.

These are crucial positions, and I guess it’s time to look at local boys who have the capability of making a statement. On the other hand, players like Manueli Ratuniyarawa, Jone Koroiduadua, Kalivati Tawake, Seremaia Naureure, Kalivati Mocetadra, Taniela Sadrugu, Peni Matawalu, Peni Kadralevu, Mateo Qolisese, Lino Vasuinadi, Tevita Ikanivere, Sorovakatini Tuifagalele, Jone Vatuwaliwali, Sakiusa Nadruku, Esala Nalobo, Enele Malele, Misaele Petero, Mesake Tuinamena, Panapasa Qeruqeru and Setareki Raoba have been impressive, and they must be given an opportunity. I’m sure they’ll perform better than some of our ageing overseas based players. Johnny Dyer and Frank Lomani are classic examples of the talents that we have locally.

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