Letters to the Editor – Sunday, January 29, 2023

Acting Police Commissioner Juki Fong Chew speaks to members of the media. Picture: ATU RASEA

Congratulations new acting police chief

CONGRATULATIONS to the new Acting Commissioner of Police Juki Fong Chew on his well deserved appointment after being a career police officer for 34 years (FT 28/1). The people of Fiji can look forward to the rebranding of the police force as the protector of the people and their right to live in peace and freedom under the rule of law in our democracy. RAJEND NAIDU, Sydney, Australia

Congrats minister

I wish to congratulate honourable Agni Deo Singh on his appointment as the Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations. I am sure that with his decades of experience in the labour movement and the understanding of the workers’ pleas, he will be able to look at the union’s labour issues with greater understanding and empathy. Of course the employer’s position and the government’s interest would also have to be considered. The union leaders cannot and should not put in claims that are impractical and detrimental to the economy. God bless and all the best in the new role. ARUN PRASAD Dilkusha, Nausori

Time for reflection

Mr Richard Naidu describes the former attorney-general’s recent actions as “the legal equivalent of shooting yourself in both feet”. I believe these actions and his recent public pronouncements indicate that Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has lost touch with reality. He will do well to take Richard’s advice and to sit down and reflect on his past use of constitutionalism and rule of law while his two feet recover from the metaphorical bullet wounds. tessa Mackenzie Suva

Take time out

Lawyer and intellectual Richard Naidu (some lawyers are not) tells us in his article “Rule of law — Maybe a time for Aiyaz to reflect” (FT 28/1) that former A-G Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum — the co-ruler of Fiji for the past 16 years (I am being polite here) — should now instead of bombarding us with his lectures on “constitutionalism” take time out to “quietly reflect on how well the governments of which he was part of embodied constitutional values and principles”. He has a total of nearly 16 years to reflect on and not all of us have forgotten. Indeed not. But I believe it’s a tall order to get Aiyaz to reflect quietly on how the regime he was a key part of conducted itself during its 16-year reign in power. Maybe it’s time for Aiyaz to just quietly go away and leave the people in peace! Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

Back to school grant

Why are foreigners not considered for the $200 back to school grant? First of all, I want to congratulate the coalition Government in Fiji led by honourable Sitiveni Rabuka and his team. The people of Fiji are elated upon this change of government and indeed one can feel a breath of fresh air everywhere. As a foreigner living in Fiji, I am writing to bring to the attention of the current Government that the recently introduced $200 school grant is not within the reach of children of non-citizens as applications by guardians and parents of children of non-citizens were not accepted. As the nation is making tremendous progress, we can as well refuse to overlook the significant contributions of those coming from the diaspora to work and live in Fiji. There are many foreigners working across boards, parastatals, educational institutions and several offices of international bodies and embassies in Fiji. Please permit me to encourage the Government to remember the children of non-citizens. Asking the applicants to put in their birth numbers was to discriminate against children who were not Fijians by birth. How about children whose parents are Fijians but born outside the country? I hope the Government will do something about this and give all Fijians the opportunity to enjoy the dividends of democracy. Once again, I congratulate the new Government. Bolarinwa Omopariola Gospel School for the Deaf

The objective

RUGBY is another competitive sport, whether 7s or 15s. Each player has a task to perform and that should reinforce the team’s strength that will determine its objective. If we just participate without competition, then the motivation to discipline as to achieve the objective will be pointless. The target should always be to progressively achieve, to win. In 1999, IRB World Sevens Series was formed to promote an elite-level of international rugby 7s and develop the game into a viable commercial product. Nine years later, in 2008, IRB introduced a fourband system of classification based on “the development status and record on the international stage”. All in all, it is how to be the best in what we do. SAMU SILATOLU NAKASI, NAUSORI

Rabuka Government

MY humble plea to the coalition Government is to walk, jog, run and then sprint! ARUN PRASAD DILKUSHA, NAUSORI

Old parliament house

IT’S interesting how time flies by. Just the other day, someone posted a video of the old parliament house on Tiktok. It broke my heart to see the condition of the building now. Ceilings decaying, rubbish scattered everywhere — it looked like a ghost town. I wish the authorities look into the preservation of the house, as it serves as an important historical value in our rich culture. If not, turn it into a museum, let the world see our history. Because if we don’t protect our heritage now, how will the future generation learn to value it? ASHNEEL J PRASAD ABU DHABI, UAE

Tears shed

Sitting here and listening to the eulogies for our Unkol from family, friends, peers and politicians; I guarantee you all, tears were shed by all. Some silently, some openly; tears were shed nonetheless. On his final journey. Rest easy Unkol. Manoj Lal patel Lautoka

Sincere condolences

It has been a while since I last wrote to this column but herein I find myself in thought and solemn gratitude. To read about the demise of one of the many letter writers whose wit and humour was a contributing factor that nurtured my love for the Letters to the Editor columns, is sad. I have never met Allen although we have a few mutual friends on social media and before the advent of the said medium — Letters to the Editor where many would express their opinions. Allen’s letters would either make you laugh or make you have a serious thought, sometimes it would invoke both; but mostly it was the former. It was through his writings that I was encouraged to send in a few of my own letters. To the Lockington family, may you find solace and peace in this time of grief. Tawake Kolinisau Labasa

Witty writer

Oh, how much I miss weka Allen and tovata Simon’s letters. As an avid reader of The Fiji Times, these are two prominent names that I invariably look first for when it comes to the people’s parliament Letters to the Editor column. Additionally, I had to turn to Google to find a word that best encapsulates Allen’s letters, I found the word “wittiness” to be befitting as it is defined as the ability to be clever and make people laugh. That to me was Allen in a nutshell! In fact I will remember him for the “very long pipeline” phrase that he coined perhaps during one of his regular follow ups pertaining to the Lautoka $12.6 million swimming pool fiasco and the Shelly Park and Botanical gardens saga. More importantly, the incumbent Opposition Leader and former prime minister may have a thing or two to learn from his late cousin. Humility and humanity would be two virtues that Allen would’ve certainly wanted to impart to his cousin. More interestingly, I wonder what Allen would’ve shared in this column regarding his cousin’s reluctancy to vacate the PM’s official residence. Another very long pipeline perhaps, unkol? Chiuu.. Alipate Tuberi Suva

Tribute to Allen

My sympathies on the passing away of Allen Lockington who touched the hearts of many Fijians locally and abroad. I have been reading his inspiring and frank letters in The Fiji Times for quite some time with so many things to learn on various topics. I have noted many things, even from his talanoa sessions under the Sekeola tree though I have never met him. Rest in peace Allen — we miss you. Tahir Ali Hamilton, New Zealand

So long Allen

Firstly, I must thank all the writers for their beautiful but touching words of tribute to late Allen Lockington. He was a humble soul with enormous charisma. A very soft spoken gentleman but articulate and forthright in expressing his views and opinions. Although he was my junior colleague in Customs, we never had the opportunity to work together except for occasional interactions at meetings and workshops. But I have heard many stories from my colleagues about their experiences with Allen and how they enjoyed working with him. Those fond memories will be cherished for ever. I last met him about three months ago when I went over to his place to deliver a wheelchair to support his movement. But otherwise he looked OK. He promised me that he will look after his health. He was a giant of a man when it came to serving the poor and the needy. Through his service to humanity he has touched many hearts and also inspired so many others. Sai Baba said that service to mankind is service to God. It’s only the chosen ones who are picked by God. Surely there is a place waiting for his arrival in Heaven. You have worked so hard my friend and it’s time for you to take a good rest. So long Allen till we meet again. SELWA NANDAN Lautoka

Medals of honour 

I ONCE wrote to the President’s Office to ask if my father Balwant Singh could be given some kind of medal. My dad was a Justice of Peace for the Northern Division for 42 years from 1956 until 1998. They said they do not honour people who have passed away and to be honoured a person has to be nominated while he/she is alive and have consented to be honoured. I am sure even if someone had wanted to nominate Allen Lockington for a medal of honour he would have refused. I had asked him many times to stand in the elections, he said he wasn’t interested. SUKHA SINGH LABASA

Rest my brother

GO rest my brother Scribe, your work here is done, your time to rest is now, ni sa moce mada. NIGEL FIU OWLS PERCH, LAUTOKA

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