NEWS

ANALYSIS: Shame On Isoa Tikoca

The visible anger on the Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism’s face yesterday was quite telling, even on live television. Faiyaz Koya had just quoted his late father’s comments from
16 May 2015 10:05
ANALYSIS: Shame On Isoa Tikoca
The Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Faiyaz Koya.

The visible anger on the Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism’s face yesterday was quite telling, even on live television. Faiyaz Koya had just quoted his late father’s comments from the Hansard Report of December 21, 1971.

Siddiq Koya was then Leader of the Opposition, a star in Fijian politics in the newly-independent Fiji, and respected for his leadership of the Indo-Fijian community, forthright views and commitment to a multi-racial and multi-cultural nation.

His legacy is respected on both sides of Parliament, even today.  No wonder then the shock on Minister Koya’s face yesterday when Opposition Whip Ratu Isoa Tikoca, called out, “Shame on you!”

What does one make of repeated breaches of decorum by the Opposition Whip?

The latest apparent breach happened during a debate on a motion to review or repeal  the Media Industry Development Decree 2010.  The motion was eventually defeated.

The Speaker to Parliament, Dr Jiko Luveni, was again forced to intervene and ask Ratu Isoa to withdraw his slur. Earlier in the week, Ratu Isoa was also forced to withdraw a slur against the Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

If the Opposition is trying to paint itself as an alternative Government it is failing miserably and their chief Government Whip is one to blame.

Mr Koya showed remarkable restraint in controlling himself.  Anyone would take personal offence at their parents’ legacy being called into question.  Personalised comments like that by Ratu Isoa are unbecoming of members of the august house.

On that note, calling the Speaker of the House, Dr Jiko Luveni, an iTaukei expletitive, which cannot be repeated in this column, at a political pocket meeting at Penueli Methodist Church, on Thursday night cannot go unchallenged.

Witnesses have confirmed that Opposition parliamentarian, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu; use the iTaukei expletitive to describe Dr Luveni, when he was asked about the Speaker by a member of the audience present at the church.

And this coming from a prominent chief representing a party that purports to represent Christian values.

You would have thought that after all the fuss over acquiring a permit for their meetings; the senior member of the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) would have been a bit more respectful, particularly within the parameters of a church facility.

When contacted yesterday, Dr Luveni declined to respond, saying she preferred not to comment on the issue.

So here’s our take on winners and losers in Parliament this week.

 

Winners

  1. The Fijian Parliament for its unanimous decision to rejoin the Inter-Parliamentary Union. The decision showed there is common ground between the two parties, despite the obvious enmity that exists at times over different issues.  The Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama was backed by speakers on the motion from the Government, Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) and the National Federation Party and also the New Zealand parliamentary delegation that observed proceedings earlier in the week. It showed civility and unanimity was possible in Parliament on important issues.
  2. Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama for releasing crucial information on iTaukei land issues despite the retraction of questions by Opposition parliamentarian Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu. The information, released through the Government’s Department of Information, was available to all media outlets and the public. A plus for transparency in the public service.

Losers

  1. Primary and tertiary school students in the public gallery in Parliament this week.  The Opposition were in no mood this week to follow directives from the Speaker Dr Luveni for order in the House.  The Opposition’s theatrics, name-calling and lack of decorum were an embarrassment, and highly unlikely to inspire any of the young people present.
  2. Ratu Isoa Tikoca, the former senior army officer is becoming a serious liability for the Opposition. He has already been warned several times by the Speaker to maintain order in the House. He has been told to retract slurs against Government members. If there is any good being done by the Opposition, particularly SODELPA, it is becoming undone by such unruly conduct.

Feedback: josuat@fijisun.com.fj

 



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