Does Race Really Matter?

This is a transcript of Nemani Delaibatiki’s My Say programme on FBC Television’s 4 The Record last night. Let’s cut the race talk. I mean this is the kind of
10 Aug 2015 09:27
Does Race Really Matter?

This is a transcript of Nemani Delaibatiki’s My Say programme on FBC Television’s 4 The Record last night.

Let’s cut the race talk. I mean this is the kind of talk that stokes emotions, breeds intolerance and incites people to hate others.

The sad reality is that only a minority are engaged in this insidious campaign. It reared its ugly head again when they pedalled the rumour that the Attorney-General and now Acting Prime Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, was arrested and detained at the military barracks. We all know that it was a big lie started by people who thrive in an environment of conflict and instability. It also demonstrated a sick mind manifested in their hatred of Mr Sayed-Khaiyum.

They are racists, bigots and a bunch of losers who were on that gravy train of a dark past. They spread poison among the people knowing full well that their messages about things that are currently happening in this country are either their own erroneous perceptions or just blatant half truths and lies.

They desperately want to bring down the winning combination of Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and Mr Sayed-Khaiyum. It has become a personal crusade and a dangerous obsession for some.

They belong to the elite of a bygone era who no longer can accept that the nation’s wealth which used to benefit a few has now been spread around to benefit the poor, the needy and the vulnerable. Equality which once existed as a mere word is now being translated into reality.

It has replaced the elitist mentally and given more people hope for a better future.

Yet, we see the minority group, locked in a time warp, continues to spread their propaganda and want people to believe them.

They apply the race card instead of a merit-based approach in their outlook about life.

An offshore media commentator criticised my analysis on the reshuffle in the military hierarchy after the resignation of Mosese Tikoitoga as Commander. He asked the question why deputy commander Brigadier-General Mohammed Aziz, an Indo-Fijian, was not appointed commander. It’s obvious that the commentator does not understand how the military operates.

All appointments are based on merit, not on race, taking into account considerations that contribute to overall performance and integrity of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces. The appointment of Commodore Viliame Naupoto is in line with the military’s strategic plan. I am sure Mohammed Aziz has a specific role in this plan. What is important is not the position, but how you serve in that role.

This question is likened to a question from an Opposition MP wanting to know the racial breakdown of the civil service. Does it really matter whether we have more Indo-Fijians or more iTaukei? Or is it important that we recruit the best qualified people in the civil service.

We must stop using the racial lenses. They colour and distort what we see, hear and feel.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum walks the talk when it comes to breaking down racial prejudices. He crossed the racial, cultural and religious divide to marry an iTaukei. He and Ela have two lovely boys.

I think if many more follow his example, in time we will see the gradual disappearance of racist talk.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum will not do anything to hurt the iTaukei.

In fact he is passionate about improving their economic status. Wherever he has gone, he has been welcomed by ordinary iTaukei who have seen what the FijiFirst Government has done to improve their lives, except for a few blinded by the propaganda of anti-Government forces.

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj


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