Facts Will Sharpen MPs Questions And Lift Debate Quality
Prior to a parliamentary sitting, it would do a lot of good for members of Parliament to establish the truth of an issue they intend to raise in the House.
For example yesterday there were a number of questions on the technical colleges from equipment to their relevance to the job market.
What they could have done was visit these colleges and find out for themselves the real situation on the ground. They would have found out whether the relevant machines and equipment were in place or not. Then they would come to Parliament armed with the facts instead of relying on hearsay and perceptions.
MPs have allowances to use for this kind of exercise. They also have researchers employed by their offices in Parliament and their political parties.
If they are proactive in their approach, they would come to Parliament well prepared and raise the standard and level of debate.
Overall it would improve the quality of parliamentary debate. Lively debate is interesting to watch and listen to. It would be even better if it goes with substance.
More and more people are watching these live television telecast and MPs could be easily exposed if they make unsubstantiated comments.
If MPs ask questions based on facts, they would keep ministers on their toes and prompt them to lift their performance.
That would help improve service delivery and make ordinary people happy.
MPs should cut out the waffle and ask the pertinent questions. They should also avoid repetition because it is time wasting. When the current parliamentary calendar was announced last year, Opposition MPs complained there were not enough sittings.
The best outcomes from these sittings would be achieved not from the number of sittings but from the quality of debates.
Making sure that people get benefits of Govt initiative
Consumers sometimes wonder why the price of certain items are too high.
The Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum gave the answer on Sunday at the Fiji Taxi Association annual general meeting in Nadi.
He said the reduction of duty on many items, including food, had not filtered to the consumers.
The duty is reduced because Government wants goods to be cheaper. But that has not been passed on to the consumers.
We are hoping that the relevant authorities will take the appropriate action to ensure that the people get the benefits they deserve because of Government’s initiatives. We cannot allow certain organisations to deny the people those benefits.