Analysis

Nemani Delaibatiki: Beddoes’ Desperate Bid to Appeal To The Base Instincts Of The iTaukei

Mick Beddoes’ emotional tirade against an analysis I did on the Prime Minister is full of innuendoes and emotions. His video clip on social media attacking my column is yet
02 Dec 2019 18:46
Nemani Delaibatiki: Beddoes’ Desperate Bid to Appeal To The Base Instincts Of The iTaukei
Mick Beddoes.

Mick Beddoes’ emotional tirade against an analysis I did on the Prime Minister is full of innuendoes and emotions.

His video clip on social media attacking my column is yet another desperate bid to appeal to the base instincts of the iTaukei.

He sounds like a broken record fished from a river of distortions and half truths to suit his political agenda.

Mr Beddoes unashamedly uses the racial lense to examine issues, attack PM Voreqe Bainimarama and label me as a Government propagandist.

He is guilty of trying to incite the iTaukei and cause racial tension at a time when the national conversation is focusing on addressing issues on the basis of merit and need.

The national focus is a total shift from the politics of race and division that Mr Beddoes is used to.

But it’s clear he has not changed and continues to cling on the old style politics that has caused so much strife to this nation in the past.

People don’t want to go back to dark past

He needs to know that many people including iTaukei do not want to go back to that dark past. Mr Beddoes is trying to drag us back there.

Why is he talking about the iTaukei when he is not one of them? Why was he unceremoniously sidelined by SODELPA, the party that champions iTaukei issues.

Fair-minded iTaukei can see through his arguments. He is using the iTaukei for his own political ambition. His utterances are an insult to iTaukei intelligence. More and more young iTaukei are now ascending to leadership positions on their own merit, not on Mr Beddoes’ prescription. More and more iTaukei have now ventured into business than ever before. The change that he talks about will not happen overnight.

Mr Beddoes has become a spent force. His last throw of the dice was when he was with SODELPA via the Opposition Office as adviser to the former Opposition leader Ro Teimumu Kepa and senior administrative officer.

If he hasn’t, one day he may find out what they thought of him in the party.

Mr Beddoes needs to realise the reality in modern Fiji is that appointments to boards and heads of statutory organisations or State Owned Enterprises are based on merit not on race, religion, the colour of your skin, gender or where you come from.

When Mr Bainimarama started in 2006, there were people who would not accept any offer of appointments for political reasons. That was their free will and choice. Those who were available were chosen on merit, again not on the basis of ethnicity, religion or gender.

That has been the standard all along.

What we need to look at is how these appointees performed.

Let’s take a look at just two organisations – Fiji Pine Limited and Fiji Airports.

Faiz Khan is Chairman of Fiji Pine. He is also Acting CEO of Fiji Airports and its former Executive Chairman.

Fiji Pine landowners started receiving money for the first time under the Bainimarama Government and subsequently under the FijiFirst Government. They never got any money before because the organisation ran at a loss.

In October this year they received a record-equalling bonus payment of $7 million from Mr Bainimarama.

This has happened because of the strategic decisions, reforms and procedures carried out.

Mr Bainimarama said: “Fiji Pine is in a position that will sustain its financial security over the long term. The company is debt free and infrastructure has been upgraded to a state of the art level and this has been done with no importation of raw materials.”

In June this year, Fiji Airports declared $30 million in dividends to the Government as its shareholder. It made an audited net operating profit before tax of $79.2 million in 2018.

Geoffrey Shaw, the new chairman said the payment of an additional $30 million by way of dividend, marked a total dividends payout of $175 million to the Government, over the last six years. This remarkable and unprecedented achievement for a Fijian State was led by Mr Khan, under the strategic direction of the Board and with the support of a great team, said Mr Shaw.

By comparison, in the entire history of Fiji Airports prior to the last six years, less than $15 million in dividends was declared and paid.

There are other examples.

Look at the benefits

Mr Beddoes needs to look at the benefits to the people and the country as a whole.

When all the issues he has raised are put into their proper perspectives, his arguments are purely a racial matter designed to stir racial emotions. They are hollow and have no substance.

If he wants to know how the iTaukei feel, go and ask the Fiji Pine landowners.

For many years iTaukei were deprived of the benefits of their land and natural resources because of the damaging and debilitating effects of the politics of old – the politics of race and division.

That has now being replaced with the policies of equality and one people.

Mr Beddoes’ kind of politics has no place in Fiji. It should be consigned to the dustbin of history.

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

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