Discussion On Economy Should Be Apolitical: A-G

  Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has appealed to the Opposition not to undermine the economy for cheap political points. The Attorney-General and Minister for Economy made the appeal in Parliament yesterday in
27 Sep 2016 10:31
Discussion On Economy Should Be Apolitical: A-G
Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.


Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has appealed to the Opposition not to undermine the economy for cheap political points.

The Attorney-General and Minister for Economy made the appeal in Parliament yesterday in the debate over President, Major-General (Retired) Jioji Konrote’s address at the ceremonial opening of Parliament.

He said any discussion on the economy should be apolitical because of the real threat of natural disasters brought about by climate change.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said one example of Opposition trying to gain some cheap political points was their statement on the MWH saga with the Fiji Roads Authority.

He said the Opposition went on international media degrading the Government, and the decision on MWH.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the focus should be building a strong foundation for Fiji’s economy and he hoped that the Opposition would focus on the same too.

He said one of the fundamental issues that the President spoke about in his opening address was building strong foundations for our economy.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said that meant building confidence like having appropriate laws in place and see that conventions are ratified.

He said build confidence not only for foreigners but also domestic investors which required a national approach irrespective of political differences.

“Please, I appeal to everybody. Do not try to undermine the economy simply to gain some cheap political points,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

He believed that every Fijian wanted economic progress and that had been missing in the political landscape.

He said the cheap political points scoring must stop from both sides.

“We have the fundamental responsibility, irrespective of the political parties you belong too, the responsibility to ensure that all Fijians are well looked after. We should focus on service delivery,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

He said there were more SIM cards than the actual Fijian population because people had more than two phones.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said to build confidence among people, Government needed to keep people connected irrespective of where they come from.

He said that would require Government to work with stakeholders by connecting people.

“We are able to empower them, give them access to M-Paisa, in the form of electronic transactions, we are able to get them to access to business, so all of these should be in the agenda, connect all Fijians where ever they are,” he said.

He said the children in Lau should have the same access to the type of education that children in Suva had.

“That is empowerment and what we should focus on,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

He said when Bills and issues were discussed in Parliament; everybody should positively talk about them.

He said other aspect was that 70 per cent of our population is below the age of 40, the focus was to harness their energy as they were the fire power of our country.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said a lot of initiatives by the Prime Minister had gained international recognition and something that everyone should be proud off.

He said the President in his address talked about the devastation left by Tropical Cyclone Winston on the Fijian people.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the Minister for Disaster Management and neighbours particularly Australia and New Zealand responded immediately.

He said Australia and New Zealand provided logistical support with their equipment.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum also acknowledged all other foreign countries that came in to support Fiji during Tropical Cyclone Winston.

He said the Government embarked on $80 million Help for Homes initiative working with the private sector and Fiji Institute of Engineers.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said they had been applauded internationally for their initiatives.

“In fact if you go to the Adopt a School programme website, you will find detailed records of drawings submissions cost base for all these individual schools and what type of building materials they required,” he said.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said by the end of November schools damaged by Tropical Cyclone Winston would be constructed.

He said all these schools would have a blueprint.

“We will build them better because we know that most of these schools are used for evacuation centres.

“The idea is to get the best return for our dollar value, not just to build the schools and they get blown away by a cyclone,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

Edited by Nemani Delaibatiki



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