Faiyaz Koya Lives His Father’s Dream

Minister for Trade and Tourism Faiyaz Koya yesterday paid a special tribute to his father. He said in his maiden speech in Parliament: “This is a very special moment for
15 Oct 2014 10:30
Faiyaz Koya Lives His Father’s Dream
Faiyaz Koya (middle), wearing a bow tie just like his late father did, with Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimara (right), and Attorney-General and Minister for Finance Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Minister for Trade and Tourism Faiyaz Koya yesterday paid a special tribute to his father.

He said in his maiden speech in Parliament: “This is a very special moment for me to stand in the same chambers where my father, the late Siddiq Moidin Koya, stood 45 years ago, in 1969, as the Leader of Opposition, and delivered his maiden speech.

“I remember as a young boy witnessing this occasion and being struck by my father’s passion for his country, his belief in Independence and his vision for a new nation – full of opportunities and the promise of a bright future.

“As the Leader of Opposition and as Member of the House of Representatives, my father believed strongly in genuine democracy for the newly independent nation, after fighting for years to free Fiji from the shackles of colonial rule.

“He pressed for a legislature elected by universal suffrage with a common electoral roll and for all the people of Fiji to enjoy a common identity under a shared name.

“I’m sure he’s smiling from the heavens seeing Fiji finally united under a Constitution that enshrines the principles that he fought so long for. If you are listening, Abba, your dream for Fiji has come true and your son is standing here today to follow in your footsteps and to pursue your life’s great passion: to serve Fiji and all Fijians.

“I pledge to serve my nation and its people to the best of my ability as the Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism and as a FijiFirst representative under the leadership of the Honourable Prime Minister.

“Indeed, I wouldn’t have this remarkable opportunity to continue my father’s legacy had it not been for the revolution led by the Honourable Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama over the course of the last eight years. During one of our nation’s darkest periods, the Prime Minister emerged with the vision as well as the strength and determination to steer Fiji towards a road of genuine democracy and prosperity.”

Mr Koya said when he embarked on this revolution, our PM was determined to ensure that no one was left behind in the new Fiji.

“He believed that everyone has the right to such things as free education, better roads, better health services, clean water and electricity. He wasn’t interested in making short-term promises to win political support. He cared only about delivering real reform, genuine progress and tangible development for the people of Fiji and in so doing he won my strongest respect and support.

“I’m indeed privileged and humbled to serve under you Sir.”

Mr Koya thanked his family, friends and close relatives who had unwavering confidence in him and who provided him with an overwhelming amount of support and assistance.

“At this point, I wish to extend a special thank you to a special friend, who is more a brother, Hon Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, who despite being younger, has been my inspiration and it was him, who reignited my passion for politics and to serve the Fijian people.

“Without you, I would not be standing here today.

“Finally, I would like to thank all those who voted for me and also those who voted for the FijiFirst political movement. Your overwhelming support for our vision of a united, just and prosperous Fiji has been a source of great personal inspiration to me.

“Equally, though, I repeat the Prime Minister’s assurance that FijiFirst will serve on behalf of all Fijians, no matter where they live, what their background is or who they voted for.”



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