Record ‘Set Straight’ Against Lies

The FijiFirst Party yesterday held campaign meetings in Rakiraki and Tavua, specifically to set the record straight against lies it says has been spread by other political parties. At the
01 Sep 2014 10:41
Record ‘Set Straight’ Against Lies
Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s team during the France Sevens in Toulouse. Photo: World Rugby

The FijiFirst Party yesterday held campaign meetings in Rakiraki and Tavua, specifically to set the record straight against lies it says has been spread by other political parties.

At the first meeting at Penang High School in Rakiraki, general secretary Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum called out on the supposed trump card that the National Federation Party has – of VAT reduction from 15 per cent to 10 per cent.

He said the hype that the NFP had been creating about VAT “is not all that it seems.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said: “NFP says that they will decrease VAT from 15 per cent to 10 per cent and the price of food will come down.

“You don’t pay VAT on rice, flour, sharps, tea, cooking oil and tin fish, you don’t pay VAT on vegetables, and produce like fish that people sell on the road, and market so obviously the price of those things won’t come down,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“By reducing VAT from 15 to 10 per cent, the tourists and big businesses will be benefitting. Government overall will lose out on $300 million.

“NFP has admitted that they may look at increasing other taxes.

“This academic is experimenting on you,” he said in an obvious reference to NFP leader Dr Biman Prasad.

Other issues he highlighted included misinformation spread that iTaukei people while registering new births could no longer register the yavusa, mataqali, koro.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said: “We have gone to places where people are asking us about the birth certificate registration which are all lies.

“The registration of births, deaths and marriages is and has always been done under the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act and no change whatsoever has been made to this Act.

“Yet SODELPA through its meetings and social media is spreading the propaganda that iTaukei identity and claim over land was diminishing.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum explained that no one, no Government, no political parties had the authority to change the ownership of iTaukei land which was very well protected under the 2013 Constitution.

“Despite not having the so called entrenched provisions, land under 2013 Constitution is better protected then it was under the 1990 and the 1997 Constitutions.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the same people who were propagating such issues were in Government when iTaukei land was converted to crown and ultimately to freehold. He said this could no longer happen.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum also spoke about secular state and responded to earlier comments made by Laisenia Qarase who while campaigning for SODELPA had told supporters in Sigatoka that having a secular state would mean people would not be able to pray to or say in public Jesus or Jehovah.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum explained what secular state meant and said Government had to be neutral and not favour any one’s denomination or religious belief over another. This, he said, was in a nutshell what having a secular state meant.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said that parties were only doing this so that they could trigger people’s emotions. He said that instead of focussing on issues which would take the country forward, political parties such as SODELPA and NFP were still living in the era of divisive policies.

“While political parties normally hand out their manifestos and flyers during such meetings, the FijiFirst Party has been handing out copies of the 2013 Constitution and fact sheets and have been urging people to read and know what is the truth in the Constitution.”

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