Letters to the Editor – Wednesday, May 12, 2021


Still going strong

For 61-year-old fisherman Maciu Koroidua, the saying “hard work leads to success”, rings true, as he is still very much active with farming and fishing all on his way.

I read the piece penned by Unaisi Ratubalavu in yesterday’s People column, and I was impressed with Maciu’s journey.

For the past 20 years, Maciu has been constant at the farm and fishing, and it’s a routine that’s become a habit.

This line from Maciu, “There is no excuse, if you want to succeed, work hard”, stood out.

His advice for young people was to work hard with the resources God has blessed them with.

He also urged Fijians to save for the rainy days and have a plan of what ones to do, targeting the coming week or month, and work towards it.

Such a handy and valuable message, thanks to Maciu and Una!

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

$90 cash assistance

Never mind what one says about the $90 cash assistance, the long and early morning queue along main streets of Lautoka City proves that it is worth something.

Early as 6.30am with babies in their arms braving the heat and cold says that we are in desperate situations of survival.

Just hope for better at earliest is our belief and faith.

Rouhit Karan Singh, Lautoka

Use land

I’D like to remind the iTaukei to please make use of any available land at home.

It has been more than a year since we were told of the hardships COVID-19 will bring about.

We were all fairly warned last year and if we’re still grasping what to do and relying on others or the Government to feed us, then God bless you.

Beautify your compound with vegetables, root crops and other edible plants rather than hibiscus and roses which will not feed your mouths.

We all had the time to prepare ourselves for the worst and when we are ready, the Government can do the rest.

But when we’re not doing your part and contributing to the challenges we are facing, hardships will be knocking at your door day and night.

Where are you vanua and lotu?


National lockdown

Rumours are abound.

Is a national lockdown inevitable.

Some members of the communities are just too complacent and extremely arrogant.

Their inability to adhere to simple medical sciences, instructions and protocol are very troubling and most worrisome.

This is the true status of some irresponsible people who think they know best.

Sa dua na leqa levu dina.

Ronnie Chang, Martintar, Nadi

Save our economy

Does the Ministry of Economy have a plan for all the businesses who are on zero income some now going on to the fourth week.

Workers are being assisted by way of FNPF withdrawals and cash grants which will keep them fed at least.

Businesses that are closed, however, have a cloud hanging over their heads of utility bills, finance and loan payments, rent, supplier payments etc.

How do these businesses cope with these expenses when they are not trading at all?

These are questions that keep most business owners awake at night.

It will be helpful if the Ministry of Economy and the Reserve Bank of Fiji come up with some clear and firm directions which mandate rent reductions, interest rate drops (liquidity is very high) utility bill rollovers etc.

Most businesses do not expect a handout from Government but I think emergency powers can be used to dictate certain measures which will help save many businesses and hence jobs in the long term.

This is an unprecedented national crisis of epic proportions and is no one’s fault and hence we all should make financial sacrifices and that includes the financial institutions and landlords.

It is unfair to burden the very engine of the economy which is the small and medium enterprises any further as most of us have been taking it on the chin since March last year.

A lot of my many friends who are business owners feel that this new hit to their businesses may be the final nail on the coffin and many may never recover.

It’s high time Government takes some firm, bold, and decisive action to save our economy.

Reaaz Ali, Nadi

Genuine struggle

A handful are doubting the genuine struggle on the ground.

I think it’s the effect of their luxurious surroundings.

Although not necessarily written and formalised, common people keep a budget too.

As I may present it, inside their heads.

Despite receiving aid and loans, Government would most likely push back the next national budget.

Imagine the impact on the commoner’s budget.

I’ll leave it for you to think about the state of where it is stored.

No wonder there is a boom in “assistance needed”.

In mask up, it’s not necessary to cover the eyes and block the ears.


Educational programs 

I NOTED that Channel 10 in the Walesi platform is named the Education Channel and runs cartoon shows and some educational programs daily.

While the Education Ministry is trying to decide when school should start, I thought that the Fijian Broadcasting Corporation could actually run educational programs in a dedicated channel, in conjunction with the Ministry of Education and run different programs based on the school syllabus, specifically targeted at different classes to fill up the whole day.

While more developed countries use the virtual facilities to educate their children, which appear effective for periods as long as a year because of COVID-19 restrictions, I am certain that FBC, which is paid a sizable chunk of money from Government to run community programs, can also operate educational ones on its TV platform which would serve government’s purpose more effectively.

Just a thought to keep our children occupied with schoolwork and using Government’s hard-earned funds more effectively.


Backyard garden

THE Sigatoka Valley has been traditionally referred to as the Salad Bowl of Fiji.

This pandemic must make us realise that backyard gardens are fresh food bowls in communities.


Mobile service

WITHDRAWING money from M-PAiSA is a great help to the citizens of Fiji.

Great job Vodafone.


Essential services

DEAR Dr Fong, please allow spare parts and repair shops to open at least one day, say a Thursday so that cars or computers or refrigerators or leaky taps, etc, can be repaired.

As it is all spare parts shops, be they motor spares, computer spares, or plumber spares and repair shops are closed.

Let all shops open on that day please!

Thank you and Dr Sahukhan for your regular briefing and all our frontliners keeping Fiji safe.

NORMAN YEE, Martintar, Nadi 


POLITICS is not a theatre where one can act a hero.

Politics is a playing field where one has to prove his worth and exhibit how far he is committed to the welfare of the people, future of the country and the nation’s inclusive development.

Not just talking blather!

WISE MUAVONO, Balawa, Lautoka

 Long lines

WHEN the vaxi program took place at Tilak High School, the line was so long.

People braved the pouring rain and the blazing sun.

But that’s over, now the $90 M-PAiSA assistance I see my fellow Lautokans once again standing in long lines bunched up together.

I’m sure these things can be done better.

ALLEN LOCKINGTON, Kava Place, Lautoka 

Social distancing

TRAVELLING around Lautoka I have seen long lines at shops, I wonder what they are lined up for.

Very less social distancing.

There is a similar situation at the vaxi station in Lautoka.

Please stay safe, mask up while in the line and also practise social distancing.


COVID assistance

I WAS in town and an elderly lady in the market said that her son was unemployed because of COVID-19 from last year.

However, they were depending on their future money which is being given during this pandemic.

Later she asked if people of Sigatoka will also be given any $90 freebies, as most of the Coral Coast people are unemployed because of COVID-19.

Only words I had for her was pray for better and hope for peace.

JAHEED BUKSH, Korolevu, Sigatoka

Think, make and innovate

THE editorial column in yesterday’s edition is talking about the next two to three months and the outcome.

I agree we all must start with an empty paper.

Think, make and innovate and always have the end result in mind.

If we are fighting the battle on a day-by-day basis then the result is a day-to-day focus.

There is a very powerful saying: “Procrastination is the thief of time”.

The Government is playing its part.

Everyone needs to play their part.

Mask up, stay home, don’t breach protocols, adhere to distancing and above all listen to clear instructions.

Let’s, think, make and innovate.

For Fiji forever otherwise we will stay in a day-to-day world not kaukauwa enough to break this virus.

SHALWYN PRASAD, Mukta Ben Place, Nabua, Suva

Efficacy of lockdown

I BELIEVE any lockdowns in future should be well thought out.

The PS for Ministry of Health has hinted that future lockdowns will be targeted.

Although, the virus outbreak is much different to last time, we have learnt a lot from our last lockdowns and should do better this time around.

The underlying fact that should form the basis for any future lockdowns is the data that is available.

I am sure our health experts are well aware of this, as credible data will indicate to them which stance to take.

Lockdowns do have huge implications and exacerbate our financial problems as well.

I strongly believe that our health experts face a huge challenge of striking that delicate balance between having a full lockdown and that of financial impacts.

It is more a question of lives and livelihoods.

However, I deeply believe that if the data signals that a lockdown is warranted then that should be the best way forward, because human life is priceless.

PRANIL RAM, Votualevu, Nadi

COVID-19 pandemic

THE COVID-19 pandemic seems to rise at almost one-a-day in Viti Levu, despite the area/regional lockdowns.

Can the Ministry of Health please just take photos of the infected people, print them in the daily papers and on Fiji One and ask if anyone has come into contact with the infected people to please call the MOH/police asap?

If we do not put a stop to the daily infections being detected, the lockdowns, already creating havoc will be permanent and will definitely drastically affect Fiji’s economy.

This worldwide pandemic kills people in 2/3 weeks, despite treatment.

Is privacy the price to pay for a country’s economy?

EPELI RABUA, Loloma St, Tamavua, Suva

Daily briefing

THE daily health briefings led by permanent secretary for Ministry of Health, Dr James Fong has personally given me a sense of confidence that Government is doing all it can, and quite ably, may I add, to protect Fijians from the risks posed by the pandemic.

I felt at a loss therefore when I learnt that the ministry was planning on cutting down its briefings to just a few days a week.

I looked forward daily to the briefings by the health officials who displayed credibility and hope, if anything, during these sessions.

I get very worried when it is announced there will be no briefing for a particular day.

And the rumour mills start grinding during these times.

Please give us our daily dosage so we may continue to hear from the horse’s mouth.


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