Politics

9th August

Changes to Customs Act, A-G says

In a bid to address issues customers face with freight agents and cargo forwarders, there have been amendments made to the Customs Act, says Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. While outlining what the proposed changes would do,...

Kuridrani: Worst is yet to come

Opposition parliamentarian Inosi Kuridrani advised Fijians to “be prepared”, warned “the worst was yet to come” and questioned Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum’s projected growth figures against a forecasted global decline. “The IMF (International Monetary Fund) Revised Global Forecast downwards to 3.2 per cent from the previous forecast of April,” the Opposition member said in Parliament....

All political parties ‘welcome’

Campaigning in the vanua o Tavuki will not be restricted to “only one political party” as the 2022 General Election looms, says turaga na Vunisalevu na Tui Tavuki Ratu Penioni Nacagilevu. The three districts of Tavuki, Ravitaki and Sanima come under the vanua o Tavuki which consists of 24 villages. “I’ve always reminded my people...

6th August

Kuridrani: ‘Fiji’s grassroots people struggling’

Fiji’s grassroots people are struggling but Government ministers and assistant ministers will say we are lying, says Opposition parliamentarian Inosi Kuridrani. Speaking in Parliament last week, he said Fiji’s gross domestic product (GDP) per capita income has declined from $12,000 in 2018 to $9000 in 2020 because of reduction of revenue and increase of debt....

Chaudhry quizzes survey credibility

Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry has questioned the credibility of a government survey which claims that 90 per cent of the respondents said they were happy or very happy. “Categorised as the Fiji Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, it was conducted in 2021 when Fiji was going through its worst social and economic crisis caused...

5th August

Political party advertisements

Facebook only allows authorised persons of a political party to place advertisements on its platform, said Roy Tan, the head of politics and government outreach of Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp during the recent “Ready to Run” Campaign Training for Women Election Candidates held in Suva. Mr Tan added the person...

Complaints against fake profiles

Facebook reviews each and every complaint made against fake profiles, said Roy Tan, the head of politics and government outreach of Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. During the recent “Ready to Run” Campaign Training for Women Election Candidates held in Suva, he said they had a team that specifically looks after...

Tan: Politicians forget to tell people who they are

Politicians love to post about the work they’re doing on the ground and forget about placing what they are doing as a person, says Roy Tan, the head of politics and government outreach of Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp during the recent “Ready to Run” Campaign Training for Women Election Candidates...

A-G labels Ro Filipe as ‘an extremely bitter man’

Opposition parliamentarian Ro Filipe Tuisawau was labelled “an extremely bitter man and extremist” and “a hypocrite” by Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum during the debate on Miscellaneous Services allocation in the 2022-2023 budget in Parliament last week. Ro Filipe spoke in support of a motion by National Federation Party MP Pio Tikoduadua for the Fijian Broadcasting Corporation’s...

Tikoduadua accused of political gimmickry

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum accused Opposition Member Pio Tikoduadua of political gimmickry and misleading Parliament after the National Federation Party MP put forward a motion for the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation Public Service Broadcast (TV) allocation in the 2022-2023 budget be decreased by $3 million. Mr Tikoduadua said the FBC owed the people of Fiji an explanation...

Opposition MP ‘does not’ understand

Waterways and Environment Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy said Opposition MP Lenora Qereqeretabua “does not understand the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) process” when she put forward a motion to increase the Implementation and Enforcement of the Enforcement of the Environment Management Act allocation from $30,000 to $2 million. While speaking on her motion Ms Qereqeretabua said...

‘Just plain arrogance’

Opposition member of Parliament Lenora Qereqeretabua said it was “just plain arrogance” that “our most vulnerable taxpayers have to deny themselves their ability to feed their families with dignity while poor planning and incompetent oversight by ministers get rewarded a $5 million safety net”. She said this during debate in Parliament last week on the...

Fishing licences up to 3 years

Fisherfolk will now be able to obtain fishing licences for up to three years, instead of renewing their licences annually, says Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. He said this while explaining what amendments to the Fisheries Act would involve in Parliament last week. The A-G said prior to the amendment, for a licence to be issued to...

‘In country’s interest to have capital market’

The South Pacific Stock Exchange (SPSE) has an allocation of $320,000 in the 2022-2023 budget because it is in the interest of any country to have a capital market, says Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. He made the comment in response to a query from Opposition member Lenora Qereqeretabua during debate on the SPSE operating grant....

$71.6m for road repairs

The Fiji Roads Authority has been given an allocation of $71.6 million for road repairs in the 2022-2023 budget, says Infrastructure Minister Jone Usamate. He said this in response to a motion by Opposition member Ro Filipe Tuisawau for a $10m increase in the FRA budget in Parliament last week. Mr Usamate said for all...

Reddy: Development partners sought for coastal protection works

Government is actively looking for development partners for coastal protection works, says Waterways and Environment Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy. While speaking on the allocations for the ministry in the 2022-2023 budget in Parliament last week, he said he had a list of coastal protection works that hd already been taken up by donor funding —...

Fiji to pay World Bank $10m fees

Fiji has to pay the World Bank $10.8 million in subscription fees as part of its obligation as a shareholder and borrower from the global financier, says Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. He said this while responding to a query from Opposition Member Lenora Qereqeretabua about the allocation of $4.675 million for World Bank subscription in...

4th August

FEO removes 7912 deceased from voter list

The Fijian Elections Office (FEO) has identified 7912 voters reported deceased and has had them removed from the voter list. Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem said the removal followed verification with village headmen, district advisory councillors and through secondary verification from the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. He said as of June 30, the...

3rd August

War of words erupt in Parliament

Fijian Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said “pigs are flying outside” in response to National Federation Party leader Professor Biman Prasad’s comments that The Fiji Times practised “ethical, fair and balanced journalism”. A war of words erupted during debate in Parliament last Thursday when Opposition member Ro Filipe Tuisawau moved a motion for the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation’s...

Fijian MPs take a swipe at A-G

Opposition MPs took a swipe at Attorney-General and Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum over State funding to the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation. The exchanges in Parliament followed Opposition MP Pio Tikoduadua’s motion to amend a budget of $3.7 million for the public service broadcaster to $3 million under the 2022-2023 National Budget. Speaking on the motion, he...

‘A-G and cronies need to practise humility’

FijiFirst general-secretary and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum does not equate humility with strength, says SODELPA general-secretary Lenaitasi Duru. This followed a comment by Mr Sayed-Khaiyum in Parliament against SODELPA leader Viliame Gavoka. Mr Duru said labelling Mr Gavoka “weak”, was a reflection of the minister’s egotistical and arrogant leadership style. “The FijiFirst pack leader...

2nd August

Aviation authority records net loss of $1.6m

The Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji (CAAF) reported a net loss of $1.6 million for the year ended on December 31, states CAAF’s 2020 annual report that was presented in Parliament on Friday. The entity had recorded a loss of $572,600 the previous year. CAAF says 2020 had been a very challenging one for the...

Not a 5-minute job, says PM

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama told Opposition Leader Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu that implementing the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) “is not a 5-minute job” during discussion on the 2022-2023 budget in Parliament last Friday. Ratu Naiqama said the REDD+ allocation had appeared for the fourth time in the budget and asked the PM...

Opposition MP lauds minister

Opposition member of Parliament Anare Jale lauded Infrastructure Minister Jone Usamate for separating the allocations for groundwater assessment and development in the 2022-2023 budget. During discussion on the individual budgetary allocations last Friday in Parliament, Mr Jale asked Mr Usamate to explain why there were two allocations — $760,000 for small islands and $2 million...

Report: ‘No gossip’ policy in ministry

The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism has a policy on “no gossip”, according to the ministry’s 2018-2019 annual report that was tabled in Parliament last Friday. The “no gossip” policy is one of 10 policies the ministry has as part of its internal human resources (HR) policies, states the annual report. “The human resources...

Amendment to address budgetary policy changes – A-G

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the amendment to the Tax Administration Act 2009 will address budgetary policy changes and will allow the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (FRCS) CEO to pay into the Consolidated Fund, any uncollected refund amount that has remained uncollected for five or more years from the date the refund became due. He...

2749 questions asked in Parliament

A total of 2749 questions were asked in Parliament between 2017 and 2018, states Parliament of Fiji’s annual report for that year that was tabled in Parliament on Friday. The report states included in the total questions asked were 153 oral questions, 543 supplementary questions and 53 written questions. “In terms of impact, question time...

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