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Letters To The Editor 13/04/2018

Letters To The Editor 13/04/2018
April 13
12:18 2018

 

 Deceptive label

Savenaca Vakaliwaliwa, Suva

The cheapest canned skipjack tuna flakes that have flooded the Fiji super­markets have a deceptive or false picture as its label.

The label shows a white bowl filled with lettuce with a big heap of succulent look­ing tuna flakes in the middle.

But when you open this can of skipjack tuna, it is full of oil and with some mushy mashed tuna floating in it.

Pour away the oil and put the mashed tuna in a bowl of lettuce and I tell you, it is far from what is depicted in its label.

A woman told my other half that she buys this cheap tuna to feed her cats as she considers it not good for human con­sumption.

Sadly, in our current economic climate, many Fijians living below the poverty line will buy this cheap tuna with a decep­tive label because it is cheap.

What makes my blood boil is that this cheap tuna is imported from Thailand.

My question is: “Why is this kind of rub­bish being imported into Fiji when we as a nation are trying to keep our ever in­creasing NCD statistics at bay?

Some years ago mutton flaps were banned because of its high fat content but today, we can buy these imported mutton flaps that are just full of fat from butchers and supermarkets.

Come on Government and importers, your hearts are in your pockets and not in the good health and welfare of Fijians when you allow unhealthy foods and prod­ucts into our beloved nation.

Liar! Liar!

Arvind Mani, Nadi

I commend Jyoti Pratibha on her insight­ful article, GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT (April 10) which has a tagline – Why you should not believe the lies about the PM peddled by NFP candidate Feroz Gulam Mohammed and others.

Unfortunately the article was in the Tuesday’s issue when Fiji was in the throes of TC Keni and not too many peo­ple may have read it. It may be a good idea to print it again.

When it comes to political dishonesty, a great many people fall back on the old ad­age “How do you know if a politician is ly­ing? – because his lips are moving”.

This statement is amusing if judged as a witticism, however the folk wisdom that the joke relies on is actually rather concerning: the assumption that all poli­ticians are uniform in their absolute dis­honesty.

If intellectual laziness allows us to tar all politicians as equally and totally dishon­est, it is no wonder that the public is rap­idly losing faith in the political system.

How do you know whether something is true? How do you convince others to be­lieve the facts?

Research shows that the human mind is prone to making thinking errors – pre­dictable mistakes that cause us to believe comfortable lies over inconvenient truths.

These errors leave us vulnerable to mak­ing decisions based on false beliefs, lead­ing to disastrous consequences for our personal lives, relationships, careers, civ­ic and political engagement, and for our society as a whole.

Some politicians are reasonably honest and straight up guys, others are rotten-to-the-core liars.

It is sad that decent, hard-working politi­cians seem to be in such a minority these days, whilst the majority seem to be slimy, self-serving politicians.

Just look at President Trump. We are in unprecedented historical territory when a Senator called the President of his own political party “an utterly untruth­ful President” and when another Senator from the same party, described the Presi­dent as having a “flagrant disregard of truth.”

Research on debunking falsehoods shows such debunking sometimes back­fires. Called the backfire effect, scientists have shown in a number of cases people believe in falsehoods even more strongly after being presented with contradictory evidence

This situation enables Trump to pollute politics with deception, destroying trust in the democratic political system.

Now let’s look what we can do in Fiji to expose this type of reckless behaviour. It would be great if all the dishonest, self-serving career-politician slime bags could be removed in one go.

However, from a pragmatic perspec­tive, this is unlikely ever to happen. Even though we can’t magically fix the whole political system in one bold swoop, there must be something that we can do to pre­vent this alarming decline in political integrity and the consequential rise in political apathy.

In my view we must single out the very worst offenders, and make sure that their dishonest words and actions become so well known that their name becomes us­able as a synonym for dishonesty and lack of integrity. In the current political scenario, a few of them swim far deeper in the sewer of dishonesty than any other – NFP provisional candidate, Feroz Gulam Mohammed, SODELPA’s Jale Baba and Ezikiel Sharma and the FLP party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry come to mind.

They must not be allowed to get away with lying to the public, and then inventing ab­surd justifications when they are caught out, instead of actually apologising.

Firstly there needs to be a lot of public pressure to introduce a new code of con­duct, where MPs that have lied must face serious consequences.

Lying politicians should be made to pub­licly acknowledge the fact that they lied and apologise for misleading the public and undermining public faith in politics.

Such a code of conduct would have two important effects.

Public faith in politics would be some­what restored by the imposition of a sys­tem of punishment for politicians that lie, and politicians themselves would be incentivised to behave with more integ­rity, probably not because they actually believe that integrity is important, but out of the desire to preserve their self-interest.

Without a concerted effort to make politicians accountable for their lies, the downward spiral of dishonesty and apa­thy is certain to continue.

We can either sit back or accept that this decline in standards is inevitable, or we can attempt to fight back by singling out the worst offenders and calling for a new code of conduct in order to enforce higher standards of integrity on our political candidates and representatives.

Plastic Bags

Shyal Reddy, Nasinu

I want to highlight the ill-effects of using plastic bags. Plastic bags are non-biode­gradable and are extremely hazardous to the environment.

They are a major constituent of the filth and garbage in our society. Every year many animals die after swallowing these plastic bags.

Furthermore, plastic bags block drains and release toxic fumes when burned.

The government did impose a ban on the use of plastic bags but was it short-lived?

This, however, should not dissuade the authorities from taking another step. Jute bags are slowly becoming a vogue.

The authorities can show more adver­tisements on television wherein someone is shown using a jute bag in place of plas­tic bags.

The same can be shown on hoardings as well. I feel that I have raised a very seri­ous issue and will be grateful if it reaches your large readership.

 

FeedBack: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

 

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