Letters To The Editor, 30th April 2017

What makes a quote quotable? Arvind Mani, Nadi The Fiji Sun has been publishing ‘Quotable Quotes’ in Parliament for a while.  There were several in last Saturday’s (April 29) paper. 
30 Apr 2017 10:32
Letters To The Editor, 30th April 2017

What makes a quote quotable?

Arvind Mani,


The Fiji Sun has been publishing ‘Quotable Quotes’ in Parliament for a while.  There were several in last Saturday’s (April 29) paper.  This is reminiscent of Quotable Quotes in the Reader’s Digest. While I really enjoy the quotes in the Reader’s Digest, the ones in the Fiji Sun are mostly mediocre and sometimes not quotable at all.

Which begs the question – what makes a quote quotable? There are several criteria for determining whether material should be included. There are two levels of quotability to consider:

Is a particular quote “quotable” enough to merit inclusion? Is the quote itself particularly witty, pithy, wise, eloquent, or poignant?

Take for example the following quote: “Everybody thinks of changing humanity but nobody thinks of changing himself.”

Now that’s a quote to make you think. It is profound and oh, so true.

Or what Leo Tolstoy said: “Often we change our jobs, our friends and our spouses instead of ourselves.” Which is almost identical to the previous quote.

How about the following quote?  “A mind is like a parachute. It does not work if it is not open.” Many politicians in our Parliament can use the wisdom in this quote.

Lucille Ball said something quite quotable which men need to remember – “A man who correctly guesses a woman’s age maybe smart but he is not very bright.” Isn’t that so memorable?

Au contraire, if you look at the quotes in yesterday’s Sun, they are not witty or pithy and alas, very forgettable.

“Even my wife warned me to keep my mouth shut in Parliament” by SODELPA MP Niko Nawaikula. What is so quotable about that except maybe to show that his wife knows him quite well? Which reminds me a real quotable quote by Mark Twain: “It is better to be silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”

The other supposedly “quotable” quote in the Sun: “You are not listening and that is the problem” was said by FijiFirst MP, Ashneel Sudhakar. While that is good advice, it is hardly quotable.

Thought I must say, it is great advice for most of the parliamentarians and one I hope they will certainly heed.

The only person who ever says anything clever, witty or quotable is the Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

I enjoy his repartees but most times, the Opposition members are so noisy and boisterous that they do not hear it. Which actually may be a saving grace.  I suspect that if they listened, the sarcasm and wit may go over their heads.

I deliberately abstain from listening to the proceedings in our Parliament as it reminds me of a quotable quote by Shakespeare: “It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

If nothing “quote worthy” has been said, which is most of the time, the Sun would do well not to publish anything which would make the reader shake his head and wonder what was so quotable about that?

Marijuana cultivation

Sachida Rao,


Does anyone remember why some bird species like the bulbul, mynah and mongoose were introduced to Fiji by the British?

If you say it was to curb and control pests in the commercialised agricultural sector, you are absolutely correct.

May be the three – mynah, mongoose and the bulbul – initially had some control of the pest. Later, I suppose, the three grew out of control and now most of the farmers regard them as pests. The mongoose is preying on chicken and eggs, the bulbul picks on lentil flowers while the mynah loves to nest and share part of the dwelling as family friends.

So, in the name of commercialised agriculture and growth in economy, a suggestion is made in the august house to introduce the commercialisation marijuana farming. Perhaps, there may be some degree of validity in the argument. However, a lot of soul searching is required by all Fijians. Don’t we have enough cases of drug abuse that is haunting the society?

I have a feeling that Fiji is not yet ready to take such a step. Unless, you consider mongoose, mynah and bulbul as pets and not pests.

It is like asking a goat to stare only and not eat the grass.


What’s priority?

Kirti Patel,


So now the main domain, Parliament does not consider the lack of medicine as an urgent issue.

We are talking about the medicine here not some toy. What is wrong with some people!

If something is being dragging on for ages and a solution is not being reached, then I guess it is something that should be considered seriously. Medicine is what people depend on badly for their health and the willingness to get better. My direct question to the Madam Speaker is did she ever go to the pharmacy recently and find out that her required medicine is not there and her health is deteriorating?

Only the suffering person would know. I really don’t feel good reading such things. Half the time the hospitals don’t have specified medicine thus very easily the staff tells people to buy from the private pharmacies. People need money and some medicine is expensive. It is really not funny.

Stop attacking each other and focus on some serious issues and yes, medicine and health issues are serious issues from where I am sitting.

As far as dialysis treatment is concerned for kidneys Mrs Akbar is saying that she is looking into this matter, but for how long? Those sitting in the big chairs don’t understand. Kidney patients die because of lack of treatment this also is an ongoing issue.

Nothing is new but lo and behold “no such thing is urgent”.

Stop the cat and dog fighting and get into action with some solutions. There are too many issues but very little solutions.

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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