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Editorial: MPS Have Moral Obligation To Maintain High Standard Of Debate

Editorial: MPS Have Moral Obligation To Maintain High Standard Of Debate
May 19
13:58 2018

The Fijian people deserve better than the level of debate and contribution from the Opposi­tion side as witnessed during the Parliament session which ended yesterday.

Their questions were repetitive and lacked sub­stance and clarity.

One example was SODELPA MP Niko Nawaikula’s rambling and questions about the CARE for Fiji pro­gramme.

Only a day earlier, a ministerial statement had been delivered about it.

Their questions were wrong, as seen with Ro Teimumu Kepa’s inability to get her facts right in her question.

And, their whole demeanour and determination to make this Parliament session an attempt to election­eer was unfortunate.

The quality of debate was a disservice to the people who were watching television live and expecting a robust debate.

It is sad that some MPs descended to the gutter level to score cheap political points. They thought that listeners would swallow everything they threw at them. Well, they were wrong.

When MPs delib­erately distort and fail to tell the whole truth, they are abus­ing their parliamen­tary privilege.

If they come to Parliament unprepared and deliver a speech riddled with lies and mislead the people, they are doing more damage than good.

The TV telecast is done to give Fijians the opportu­nity to view Parliament sittings live and provides a level of transparency not available in previous par­liaments.

Some of the utterings were like a broken record.

There was nothing new in the rhetoric. They were old and boring.

NFP’s Parmod Chand, for example, was sounding like a broken record.

The sad attempt to politicise tens of thousands of people who turned up for CARE for Fiji was sicken­ing to watch.

Yes there were thousands of people who turned out. Yes, they had to wait.

But, the question that needs to be asked is whether they all are genuine in their claims?

Did all of them suffer losses during TC Josie and TC Keni?

It is alleged that from one family more than one person turned up to claim for assistance.

Is that fair?

No. it is dishonest and because of their dishonesty, the people who do qualify for assistance were left waiting in lines.

The entire CARE for Fiji programme has raised the question of how honest we are as a country.

Why do people think it is right for them to make a claim for losses they have not sustained?

Parliament reconvenes on June 22 at 7.30pm for our Budget.

When Parliament sits again after that, we hope to see a sensible debate and meaningful contribution.



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