Letters to the Editor – September 22, 2020

Action from the Nadi and Tailevu Skipper Cup match at Prince Charles Park earlier this month. Picture: REINAL CHAND/FILE

When Nadi held on

The sleeping giant must have heard the echoes of the sweet and melodious singing from the Nadi and Naitasiri supporters on Saturday during the Skipper Cup rugby match. Prince Charles Park has not always been a happy ground for my turaga naita from the highlands. The visitors could have won but Nadi held on. A well deserved win. VILI YARANAMUA, Nadi

Alarming statistics

The (FT 21/9) editorial comment titled “Alcohol and our curfew” highlights some of the pertinent issues relating to consumption of alcohol both nationally and internationally. The glaring statistics are worrisome. This is something that is very much preventable. It would be interesting to note alcohol sales in the second half of the year together with alcohol-related crimes. However, it may be difficult to prove that alcohol-related crimes are directly the result of lower alcohol prices. However, past comparisons could provide some evidence. Is it the right time for authorities to relook at alcohol prices? Pranil Ram Votualevu, Nadi

Lucky ones

I was also one of the lucky ones present at the 1970 Fiji Independence Day celebrations dinner at the Grand Pacific Hotel (GPH). I only got invited because my wife was one of the secretaries to Ratu Edward Cakobau. Secretaries and their husbands were invited guests. I was with a group on the first floor of the GPH when Prince Charles walked over from Albert Park to the dinner function. As he passed by our group, someone had asked me what profession I was in. I responded that I had just joined IBM, a computer company. Prince Charles stopped and said: “Computers, how exciting”. He then chatted with us for a bit before making his way to the head table. An unforgettable experience for me. Vijay P Madhavan Borron Rd, Suva

Lions tame Tigers

Labasa fans were back in full smiles as the “Northern Bullets” bit the Tigers in their own back yard and returned home with maximum points. After the embarrassment at the Uprising Sports Complex at the hands of Navua, the master Ronil Lal-coached Lions beat Nasinu 2-0 at Subrail Park and then broke the hearts of Rewa fans with Ilisoni Lolaivalu’s sizzlers. Labasa is tied with Lautoka on the points table and it looks like the Lions have done enough to steer themselves out of the relegation zone and I commend president Rayaz, coach master Ronil Lal and the players for rewarding the faith of loyal Labasa fans who stood by the team despite the rainy days. I must also commend veteran Taniela Waqa for playing his heart out for Labasa. Despite his age, Dan keeps getting better. Congratulations to Labasa fans and hard luck to Rodu, his red brigade and ardent Rewa fans! This was a good buildup for the IDC. Finally, thank you FBC and the “Voice of Soccer” Raymond Stoddart for the Rewa vs Labasa match live on FBC! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Recovery moment

I saw on Facebook madam Rosy Akbar enjoying a seesaw ride at one of the parks. Plausibly she has had a tough week and with mounting pressure on her, it is little recreational activities as such that always administers the much needed space and air to relieve; release; reflect; rethink; relook and reinvigorate one’s self. I hope she had recuperated herself well for another hectic week. Chiuu! Alipate Tuberi Suva

Soccer question

I refer to the letter by Mohammed Imraz Janif (FT 20/19) asking our passionate contributor Rajnesh Lingam why local soccer players are failing to secure overseas contracts in large numbers compared with rugby. Maybe the voice of soccer Raymond Stoddart can answer that. I believe Fiji FA is hell- bent on promoting their local tournaments such as the Fiji FACT, BOG and the IDC with no proper development plans to nurture the many talented players around the country. Despite the huge monetary support from FIFA and OFC, hardly any international exposure has been there pre-COVID to showcase our talents abroad. Thus, the chances of getting overseas contracts is minimal. It is too wide a gap to compare rugby with our football. Fiji Football will never ever come close to the success of rugby in terms of development, player contracts overseas and achieving results on the world stage. Look at the preparation  and hype for the 2020 Courts IDC, with Fiji FA CEO, Mohammed Yusuf saying: “This will be a very exciting  and entertaining competition in the premier and senior division and because the prizemoney speaks of itself.”  What a disparity. The two finalists will both play the equal number of minutes, with the winner taking $25,000 and the runners-up  $6000, a difference of $19,000. During the IDC, I believe Fiji FA, as usual, will say that the national coach  will be scouting for new talents and the standard of soccer has been lifted. Fiji FA, even with COVID-19, rugby players are  still going overseas with contracts. Finally, I request the Ministry of Health to monitor Fiji FA in terms of  adhering to the social distancing rules and regulations during the IDC. RAYMOND SINGH Golf Links, Lautoka

Curfew breakers

DOES intoxication give the right to break the curfew? Do these liquor consumers forget to obey the rules  set for the protection of their families and fellow citizens? They have not just become a headache for the  authorities to control but seem to have lost the rationality of abiding duties of a Fijian national. I hope that day may come  soon where we notice no curfew breakers. The police and authorities have been placing barriers during the curfew  hours to enforce their duties, but these infiltrators should be penalised appropriately to give a strong message.  As they have no right to put the health of others at risk. DR SAKUL KUNDRA Lautoka

Emergency numbers

I write to respond to the letter by Nigel Fiu of the Owls Perch, Lautoka, on NFA number (FT 8/09). It is encouraging to see the public acknowledge the 910 fire emergency number that was officially launched on September 8, 2020 by the honourable Premila Devi Kumar; Minister for Local Government, Housing and Community Development. The National Fire Authority (NFA) is grateful that the 910 is finally reaching our general public and people are providing us with their feedback. Since the endorsement of 910 by the Cabinet in 2017, the NFA has been working towards setting up the necessary infrastructure required for 910 to work in all three divisions throughout Fiji. The NFA used the time to test the system in place and create awareness for the people before the official launch of 910. The NFA has invested in the National Contact Centre with Vodafone Fiji to centralise all 910 emergency calls into the Public Safety Answer Points (PSAP) and has also invested in a Computer Aided Dispatch System which will correctly define call handling performance standard; integrate monitoring tools to track actual call handling performance and put in place systems to make sure the service targets of NFA’s national call number system are met. PUAMAU SOWANE Chief executive officer National Fire Authority

Voter survey

It is a golden opportunity for those registered voters who wish to upgrade their voter ID cards and details on the register to have it done during the running of the month or so long nationwide voter survey which has begun last week. This was revealed by the Fijian Elections Office Supervisor, Mohammed Saneem, during the launching of a two-day voter festival which also coincided with the celebrating of the International Day of Democracy on September 17 in Suva. The Supervisor of Elections said he was hoping they would get around 300,000 voters to participate in the exercise that would end in October. As I said this exercise was good for those voters who wanted their voter details upgraded before the next election scheduled to be held in 2022. The survey also provides an opportunity for our many jobless people to earn some money during these hard times. We hope that the survey yields the desired results and it is worth the money spent. As it is a nationwide survey, no need to panic as the team is expected to cover the whole of the country. If you think your details need to be upgraded, please don’t miss this opportunity. Just know when they were coming to your town. Suresh Chand Nadi

Blogsite issue

If something is nothing, it is hardly noticed. Grubsheet has been deemed nothing but it has gained attention and received a formal reply. First it was the A-G in Parliament and now it’s the PM through a government press release. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Diplomacy

Each time I read the news about the prime minister and the other guy talk, I want to go and pass on some diplomacy to them. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Lautoka

Trade unions

JAN Nissar (FT/17/9) trade unions are membership-based organisations where the leadership is democratically elected into office. Its leaders remain in office for as long as the membership deem appropriate. DAN URAI Lautoka

Soccer coaches

The letter by Nardeo Mishra (FT 21/9) on the subject of soccer coaches and Fiji FA makes interesting reading. I wonder if it has something to do with the fact that the Sports Commission of Fiji provides funding only for overseas coaches for all sports in Fiji. Vijay P Madhavan Borron Rd, Suva

Golden boy

Maikeli Seru’s September 20 article in The Fiji Times, please document the “golden boy” legend into a biography. Get vusi loa to collaborate to this project. Pasirio Kitione Duvula Rd, Nadera

My take

Some writers have asked me to reflect on the report of the auditor-general. I have not read the report of the OAG and I can safely say neither have they. I do not believe whatever is in the OAG report is anything new. These problems have existed for centuries, in every country — nothing unique to Fiji. But one thing I will say is that when the opposition parties come into office in 2022, I believe there is great anticipation that they will fix all these problems, by their prayers and fasting, I guess, because they will establish an embassy in Israel, the land of God. The roads will not be full of potholes but will instead be lined with pots of gold because they will resurrect the PWD. Fiji will be a land of milk and honey. Me, I am a realist. Jan Nissar Carlton, NSW, Australia

State of roads

Seeing the state of Kalokalo Crescent road in Makoi, most cane access roads in the West are in much better condition. Kemudou FRA! Wise Muavono Balawa, Lautoka

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