Well Deserved For PM Bainimarama And Minister Akbar

This is an edited version of Nemani Delaibatiki’s My Say in FBC TV’s 4 the Record programme last night. The Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, and Rosy Akbar deservedly received the
04 Jan 2016 10:30
Well Deserved For PM Bainimarama And Minister Akbar
Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Rosy Akbar

This is an edited version of Nemani Delaibatiki’s My Say in FBC TV’s 4 the Record programme last night.

The Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, and Rosy Akbar deservedly received the Fiji Sun’s top awards for their contribution to the country in 2015.

Ms Akbar has followed in the footsteps of Dr Jiko Luveni, her predecessor, as a trailblazer. She has continued from where Dr Luveni, now Speaker to Parliament, left off.

Her relentless attempts to engage women from all backgrounds, more particularly those living in rural and isolated areas, in economic activities and self-empowerment is significant and commendable.

There is more awareness now on women’s roles and their positive influence on families and the community and in nation-building.

The focus on eliminating violence against women and children is gaining traction in our communities. It is a top issue that Ms Akbar constantly raises wherever she travels.

Last but not least is her recognition of the challenges facing our physically and mentally-challenged people.

Never before has this group been given so much help and encouragement through equal opportunities.

Then of course is her focus on getting people out of poverty and into self- reliance. This is linked to the other projects that I have mentioned earlier.

It is consistent with the FijiFirst Government’s policy of getting people educated and working to improve the standard of living.

Mr Bainimarama, our Man of the Year 2015, stands above everyone else. Despite what his political opponents say about him, he has shown through simple deeds, his empathy for the interests of the ordinary people.

He has broken down the culture of elitism that has benefitted only a privileged few and he has spread the wealth of this nation to more people than ever before through sustained economic development.

There is no pretence or hidden agenda in his leadership. His simple and down-to-earth approach to life makes him popular among the ordinary people.

He has walked where no other Prime Minister has walked to meet the people and hear their concerns.

He has traversed and crisscrossed the country, from deep in the interior of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu to the remotest islands of the Lau Group and the Yasawas.

He took development to the people and that mission continues with the same intensity from Day One. His detractors have tried in vain to weaken the momentum of his relentless push for development.

He has defeated the politics of old – the politics of division based on ethnicity – that for many years had slowed our progress as a nation.

The lies about alleged ethnic cleansing and alleged dismantling of iTaukei culture, tradition and practices have been exposed and destroyed. As a iTaukei myself living in the village, I see our culture intact and very much alive.

People who perpetuate this myth about the desecration or destruction of iTaukei culture by this Government should hang their heads in shame.

The future of our culture lies in our hands. While it is protected under the Constitution, it is unavoidable that it will continue to undergo some form of transformation. It will change and adapt to the modern realities if it is to stay alive and relevant.

Its core values will be retained but some cultural practices may have to change to make them more appropriate to meet present-day needs. A culture that is not inclusive and responsive to modern changes is doomed.

On the international stage, Mr Bainimarama stood tall with his presentations, whether it’s on global peace or climate change. He has not shied away from telling it like it is and he has earned respect for that.

2016 will be another exciting year for our nation. We will have a new national flag and that should help strengthen our unity and patriotism.

Hopefully it will be ready in time to be proudly displayed in the Rio OIympics in August. We will have our biggest contingent ever to an Olympics there and there is a real possibility of a first gold medal too.

Mr Bainimarama and Ms Akbar have shown us in the past year that we can get there through hard work.

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

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