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EDITORIAL: Ignorance NOT In Order

Parliament has sat for its second session this year. People who have watched the sessions live have been thoroughly entertained by the plethora of ‘questions’ fired off from the Opposition
15 May 2015 08:09
EDITORIAL: Ignorance NOT In Order

Parliament has sat for its second session this year. People who have watched the sessions live have been thoroughly entertained by the plethora of ‘questions’ fired off from the Opposition side.

Some of these sessions reminded many of kindergarten playground where the teacher (in this case the Speaker) has had to put her foot down.

A look at the week:

n On Monday the sitting started at a fairly slow pace. It quickly heated up when Opposition member Salote Radrodro said the Women’s Expo which has been bringing rural women into the spotlight is “economically non-viable”.

This of course did not go unchallenged by Women’s Minister  Rosy Akbar. She lobbed one right back at Mrs Radrodro and reminded her that the expo  “will provide a secure platform of women to showcase their skills and build self-esteem and confidence, the benefits of which necessarily doesn’t quantify in monetary terms”.

n Tuesday would have been just another day in Parliament. That’s had it not been for the Opposition insisting that their question on “Fiji’s stance on Australia and New Zealand’s role in the Pacific Islands Forum” be treated as ‘urgent’. Maybe attention was not paid when it had been mere days prior when Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama had explained the very same issue at one of the regional events.

Which begs the question as to why it needed to be treated as urgent? We had the New Zealand Speaker David Carter occupying a seat next to our Madam Speaker. We had other senior members of the New Zealand Parliament seated in the gallery.

Was it really necessary for our Opposition to want to push across such a question as necessary? This also led to the Speaker needing to stand up from her seat to get the House in order – once again. Oh, dear Children.

n We also had Education Minister Mahendra Reddy give his ministerial statement on Tuesday regarding technical colleges. He of course stated that admission into these technical colleges would be free.

But that did not stop Opposition members commenting that iTaukei population would not be able to afford it. The only Opposition remark of value on this issue was made by National Federation Party leader Biman Prasad. At the very least, he contributed well to the discussions on technical colleges in the country.

n Wednesday was again a funny day. Previously the word kaisi was uttered in Parliament and the person who did say it was too scared to own up, of course. On Wednesday, we had ‘liar’ shouted from across the floor.

But this also came from the same side whose members had asked if they could punch anyone in Parliament. And to think some got votes which enabled them to sit in such an august House.

n Thursday proved to us that the lawyers in the Opposition side of the house are not doing their side any justice. This was apparent when the Attorney-General was asked by an Opposition member to ask the Solicitor-General to change his legal opinion on permits for public gathering.

This is not how law operates. Having such questions asked when we have school students sitting and listening at the gallery; when we have live sessions televised, goes to show the ignorance of some Opposition members.

The Opposition seem to forget that they should be presenting themselves as the alternate Government. Passing remarks that one can influence another person to change their legal opinion is laughable. Making comments that iTaukei population would not be able to afford free technical education is plain ignorant.

All Fijians, regardless of which party they voted for, would like to see sensible debates on issues. Not hear words such as kaisi, liar, and very silly remarks devoid of any logic.

Some in the Opposition need to look at themselves in a mirror and ask: Am I really serving the people who voted for us?

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

 




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