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PARTNERSHIP: Acting PM Asks Media To Support E-Transport Move

PARTNERSHIP: Acting PM Asks Media To Support E-Transport Move
Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum
October 06
10:37 2017

Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has reminded media organisations to work with Government in highlighting e-Transport issues to ensure they are sorted out quickly.

Speaking at a press conference in Suva yesterday, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum confirmed that a complaint raised by a Communications Fiji Limited reporter in regards to e-Transport issues for the general public was quickly addressed this week and solved.

He said there was, however, one unconfirmed report that was yet to be resolved and this was raised by the Fiji Times.

He said the Fiji Times had run a story of one student who had to walk a distance because a bus driver did not let him board the bus.

He said a team from his office had tried to get in touch with the journalist, to find out which bus company it was, to identify exactly who the student was but they were yet to receive any detail.

“So if it is indeed a true story, if Fiji times has indeed published a true story, we want to know because the whole idea is to have the media work together in regards to the e-Transport issues and give information on any issues to our office,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

However, the Fiji Times reporter, Avneel Chand who had written the story was present at the press conference defended himself that he had emailed the Mr Sayed-Khaiyum to get comments on the story but did not receive any response.

But after his email, a team from Mr Sayed-Khaiyum’s Office had tried to seek more information from Fiji Times but did not get any response on the issue.

The reporter claimed that he himself did not know which bus company had refused to allow the student board the bus.

He said the mother of the child did not have a good command of English and could not say which bus company it was.

“I called the head teacher and he spoke off the record. He told me that he was not aware of that particular situation but there have been one or two cases whereby school bus drivers refused to let students on board because they do not have an e-Transport card,” the reporter said.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum asked if he knew the name of the bus company or if he asked the teacher.

The reporter stated that he did not know the name of the bus company as he was only focused on his ‘specific case’ and angle which the student was made to walk down.

“I did not ask for that because I was after my specific case.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the reporters’ specific case was also finding out which bus company did not do the right thing.

“That’s what you should be finding out, that’s what you should be telling us, rather than trying to create a sensational story. If you are interested in trying to remedy the situation then you must find out which bus company did it. Find out so that the bus company can be pulled out because law is: should a student not have a card, should the machine not work the student is allowed to travel on the bus for free,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum reiterated.

He added that, “As a responsible journalist you should be trying to find out which bus company it was, and it is unfortunate that this has happened. We apologise to the parent that the child had to walk. But we must get to the root of it, if you have the source we believe you have a moral and ethical responsibility to find out exactly which bus company did it, so it does not happen again tomorrow.”

The reporter added the story was yet to be published.

Edited by Karalaini Waqanidrola



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