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PM: Shocked By Rabuka Back-To-Dark-Days Plan

PM: Shocked By Rabuka Back-To-Dark-Days Plan
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama
May 01
10:42 2018

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said he was shocked to hear that a former Prime Minister of Fiji was talking about taking Fiji back in time to the 1990s.

Referring to comments made by Sitiveni Rabuka, Mr Bainimarama said this would take Fiji back under an old and weak Constitution, to some of the darkest years in Fiji’s history.

He said it would also undo all the progress that has been made, not only for the pine industry, but for all of Fiji.

The PM made the comments when speaking to pine landowners at the Tropik Woods Drasa Complex in Lautoka yesterday while distributing a record bonus payment of $7 million.

“He wants to return Fiji to the years where, during his term as Prime Minister, Fiji suffered from widespread corruption,” Mr Bainimarama said.

“During his term as Prime Minister, we lost the National Bank of Fiji, the only national bank of our country.”

He said the debts incurred by this loss were still being paid off today, creating inter-generational debt.

“Under his leadership, where rural people did the work, while only those who were wealthy and those with privilege saw the benefits,“ Mr Bainimarama said.

“After seven years of hearing these lies, my fellow Fijians, we can all say clearly; enough is enough.

“Because those in the Opposition weren’t only wrong, worse than that, they actually tried to stop our people from seeing the great benefits of sharing in this Industry’s tremendous success.

“It was irresponsible, it was unacceptable and it was unworthy of anyone claiming they have the best interests of our people at heart.

“I’ll tell you why my opponents are so committed to lying in order to stop you from doing well – they can’t stand that we are able to make this massive payment, because these were payments they could never afford to give you themselves.”

“Because this celebration and your success-it’s their worst nightmare.

“It shows them that we are better off without their lies, their fear-mongering and their attempts to trap Fiji in the past.”

“It was the damage done by past leadership in this country that my Government has had to mop up, not only in our pine industry, but in many other areas of our national life and development as well,” he said.

He said the weak 1990 and 1997 Constitutions allowed iTaukei land to be taken and sold off permanently, rather than be protected for all time, as is the case under the present Constitution.

 Edited by Percy Kean

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