Letters October 12 2014

Nadi Hospital Mohenesh Singh, Nadi I would like to convey my heartily thanks to the senior medical officer Nadi for bringing much improvement in the Nadi and Namaka Health centres.
12 Oct 2014 07:58

Nadi Hospital

Mohenesh Singh, Nadi

I would like to convey my heartily thanks to the senior medical officer Nadi for bringing much improvement in the Nadi and Namaka Health centres.

The services at these centres have really improved from what it was in the beginning of the year, which is reflection of good administration and commitment to service to Fijians.

I would like to thank the staff as well for being caring with the patient and showing passion towards their profession. I have also noticed that the washrooms are well maintained and clean. The flow of service is good and well appreciated.

I thank all the health staff and the SDMO for your wonderful work and I hope that you will continue serving the Fijian’s with passion and  be caring towards all the people and to show empathy and compassion by helping to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

Salaries context

Timoci Gaunavinaka, Nausori    

So much has been written on the salary scale of parliamentarians and Cabinet members.

About 12 years ago, I used to bring all my children together and ask them to tell me what career paths they wish to go into? I advise them of a network of organisations in the Pacific often referred to as CROP for Council of the Regional Organisations of the Pacific. Professionals who work for these organisations are paid much higher than any civil servants in the Pacific region. Members of CROP include SOPAC, SPC, Forum Secretariat, SPREP, etc.

I showed them my “junior level” pay slip from 2002 for a few months contract with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) at Noumea office which shows that I was paid US$250 per day (Equivalent to F$500 per day then).  This rate is equivalent to the current salary scale of our President. ($500 per day x 5 days per week x 52 weeks per year = F$130,000).

For most CROP agencies, your gross pay goes into your pocket because there are no tax deductions. A close friend of mine and a Marist Old Student holds an advisory level post there and was paid over US$16,000 per month then. This is much higher than our Prime Minister’s current salary.

I can name dozens of civil servants from throughout the region including some from Fiji who left their various government jobs to work for CROP. Civil servants are usually lowly paid in the region. In Samoa for instance, some senior civil servants resigned to become a “talatala” (reverend) because a “talatala” earns much more.

Although the current salary scale of parliamentarians and Cabinet members is still a long way below CROP, it has brought them in par with most in the private sector. Let us hope that these initiatives will continue and filter down to the technical people in various Government ministries, especially fisheries, tourism, agriculture, trade and commerce who are the backbone of our economy. Let us also hope that it will eventually filter down to everyone including an increase in the minimum wage barrier.

Public toilets

Azim Dean, Nasinu

This is a very big concern for our citizens using public facilities. Recently I was watching the IDC at the ANZ Stadium. When I went to the gents  toilet, it was in a flooded condition. Sad part was someone had thrown toilet paper in the hand basin. All floor and system was wet with unbearable smell.

I urge the general public to use the facilities as they use at home. When the Pay n Use system is imposed people complain.

It’s a very shameful act to do these things because we have many foreign visitors. What then will be the image of our beloved country? What will the other citizens think of us?

To the authorities concern please keep a cleaner on site when we have big tournaments like the IDC.

Fact or fiction

Osea Sivo Naisau, Ba

In his letter to this column entitled “Fijian: two extreme views”. (FS 4/09) Dr Sushil K Sharma stated: “Any special right conferred upon the iTaukei and institutions made for them were a political or social solution made fluidly and amended at will by the different governors of the crown colony, but these in no way meant to re-confer to the iTaukei original rights as existing prior to the Deed of Cession.”

Whereas according to Sir Ian Thomson: “Fiji in the forties and fifties”; “it is worthy to note that it was to the Queen and not to the British Government that the Islands were ceded… contrary to the commonly held belief nowadays that colonial powers were land grabbers, Queen Victoria decreed that she did not wish to own land in Fiji and directed that it should be vested in the names of the owners at custom existing at the time of cession..”

And as to the name Fijian: “A name had to be found to describe the group of Islands. Various suggestions were put to her majesty including the indigenous name “Viti”, “New Orkney Islands” and the “Windsor Islands”. The queen decided that the group should be named Fiji as she was cognizant of the fact that the term “Feejee” Islands was in common usage at that time in the Pacific.

And as to the pre-election controversial usage of the term Fijian. The book stated: “to be classified as a Fijian, one has to be eligible for entry to the Native Land Ownership register, the Vola ni Kawa Bula.. strictly in accordance with the wishes of Fijian people, the laws didn’t permit the sale of Native Land which amounts to 84 per cent of the land area of Fiji… The end of colonial government in 1970 didn’t alter the situation. In all the years that I lived in Fiji (1941-1987) it was generally recognised by all communities that the Fijians (iTaukei) regarded their communal land ownership untouchable”.

As we as a nation begin a new journey under democratic rule. We should always try to be aware of the fact that a statement based on objective reality is of paramount importance.

On the fourth page of the book, the author penned William Penn’s famous quotation, “I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore there be any kindness I can show or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.”

Fiji soccer

Sukha Singh, Labasa

People in Fiji are so lucky that every year at a three-month interval we have a soccer tournament. Yet no one thanks Fiji Football Association.

I would like to thank Bob Kumar of Fiji Football Association for his organisational skills. This is the type of person who should be in the Ministry of Sports.

For the teams that did not do well in the tournaments this year do not worry try your luck next year. For my Labasa team, could they let me know if they had any local club competition this year?

Looking at the losing streak of some of the district teams I think I can safely say they have disproven the ‘Probability Theory’.

Laybuy it 5squares

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