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EDITORIAL: Once Proud NFP Struggling For True Leadership

Oh, dear. Now Biman Prasad is invoking the memory of the late, great National Federation Party leaders A.D. Patel and S.M. Koya to try to support his struggling leadership. Let’s
03 Aug 2015 18:07
EDITORIAL: Once Proud NFP Struggling For True Leadership

Oh, dear. Now Biman Prasad is invoking the memory of the late, great National Federation Party leaders A.D. Patel and S.M. Koya to try to support his struggling leadership.

Let’s face it. Today the National Federation Party and its policies seem all over the place.

For example, Mr Prasad very passionately argued during their annual general meeting that they were not a race-focused party.

Really? See for yourself. National Federation Party Member of Parliament Prem Singh put forward a question to the Government. This question was not allowed to be asked in Parliament, apparently because of concerns about its content and the politics of race implications.

But here it is. You be the judge:

Hon. Prem Singh to ask the Minister for Public Enterprises and Public Service – Will the Minister provide the following –

“… (iii) The breakdown of total number of civil servants by ethnicity that are Fijians of iTaukei descent, Fijians of Indian descent, Fijians of Rotuman descent and Fijians of General Elector descent;”

Race is not an issue for NFP, they say. But – like their Opposition partners SODELPA – they seem to continue to try to find avenues to make race a national issue. What else are questions like this?

This was the first question Mr Singh had for the House this year. First question of the year and NFP falls back on race? That’s what Mr Prasad appears to have conveniently forgotten.

Now here’s a question that needs to be asked: Has the NFP made the best use of the Parliament session?

The answer from where we sit is: No.

The quality and type of questions asked during these sessions scream out what agenda the party has. Fact is the once proud and relevant NFP might finally be back in Parliament. But it risks becoming increasingly irrelevant on its current course.

Its continuing collaboration with SODELPA – a party A.D. Patel and S.M. Koya would never have been seen near – smacks purely of the politics of convenience. Or is it desperation?

Watching Mr Prasad during Parliament sessions is similar to watching Bollywood actors playing the role of politicians in Bollywood dramas.

His first question in Parliament was about the back-pay owed to Police officers. He conveniently failed to acknowledge that this issue was not of the Bainimarama Government’s making.

Thankfully, his first question was not about decreasing the price of lamb chops.

Would the late A.D. Patel and S.M. Koya be proud of the NFP today? Hell, no, we think. These giants from the past would not have wasted time playing petty politics. They had their sights set on bigger goals – a better Fiji.

That’s something Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and his FijiFirst Government are now firmly focused on. That’s something they were elected to do.

Something Mr Prasad – despite the touting of his economist credentials by his mate at the other paper – increasingly gives the appearance of forgetting.

Biman Prasad, you are no A.D. Patel or S.M. Koya.

 




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