Editorial | Sunvoice

Telling The Truth And Putting Family First Will Help Resolve Our Issues As A Nation

This is an edited version of Nemani Delaibatiki’s My Say for the FBC TV programme ‘4 The Record’ last night.   If you want to know whether a Government initiative
06 Aug 2018 13:25
Telling The Truth And Putting Family First Will Help Resolve Our Issues As A Nation

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


If you want to know whether a Government initiative is good, ask the people that it impacts.

I am talking directly to the politicians here.

Stop being armchair critics, go out and speak to the people and obtain first-hand information before you address an issue.

In other words, get your facts right

When you get the facts or truth, tell it as it is.

Do not manipulate it or distort it to suit your own political agenda.

You can analyse it and interprete it.

Smart politicians will recognise the positive features and highlight what can be done to get a better result or outcome.

That’s the modus operandi of a responsible politician.

In this general election voters will be looking at what we, as a nation, can do better.

People are not interested in the mud-slinging and smear campaigns.

They are interested in comprehensive policy package that will lift the standard of living, create new jobs, introduce more education opportunities for higher learning, build and maintain an affordable and accessible health service, look after the poor, disabled, weak and vulnerable of our society and strengthen security for all people.

At the moment, initiatives rolled out by the FijiFirst Government seem unbeatable.

The challenge is for the Opposition political parties to come up with something better and sustainable in the long term.

The FijiFirst Government has proved in the past four years that its initiatives are sustainable – initiatives like the free school fees, free school bus fares, free milk and Weet-Bix for Year 1 students, free medicine, water and electricity subsidy for those in the lower socio-economic ladder, bus fare subsidy for those over 65 years and a host of social welfare benefits for the elderly, the poor, the disabled and the vulnerable.

This Government has been able to maintain this on the back of nine consecutive years of economic growth. That’s pretty impressive when you consider the massive spending of millions of dollars in infrastructure development and the devastating impact of Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016.

If you had read in the Fiji Sun, listened on radio and seen on television Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama’s address at the opening of the Ra Provincial Council meeting at Dadamu, Nanukuloa, you should be able to work out this Government’s focus.

It was well laid out by Mr Bainimarama.

His emphasis on the importance of the family is profound.

Therein lies the solution to our social problems and their economic implications.

We must strengthen the institution of the family.

It’s our frontline defence against the wiles of the adversary which has brought pain and suffering to many families.

It requires reinforcing our spiritual and cultural values that have stood the test of time.

The gradual erosion of these values has led to an increase in social problems.

The abuse of alcohol, use of dangerous and illicit drugs, sexual promiscuity, crimes, dishonesty and other forms of anti-social behaviour have threatened and in several cases, have destroyed families.

When he was in Levuka last week, Mr Bainimarama heard that residents in some parts of Levuka lived in fear because of drunkenness and lawlessness.

He correctly attributes it to “a lack of values, a lack of common decency, accountability and responsibility for one’s own behaviour and for the safety of others.”

This can be traced back to the family where everything begins.

If a family raises and teaches its children correct principles, values and standards, the children are most likely to grow up with them.

We also know that financial pressures sometimes lead to bitter family feuds and eventual breakups.

That’s why we should all welcome the Government’s latest family initiative called Parenthood Assistance Payment scheme.

It’s unprecedented and offers relief to parents facing financial hardships.

Torika Tinai, of Naluwai, Naitasiri, a beneficiary, could not hide her joy after she gave birth to her fifth child at the CWM Hospital on Wednesday – the day the scheme came into effect.

She will receive $500 after she registers her baby to pay for baby needs.

The stay-home mum will receive another $500 when her daughter attends Year 1.

Working mums will have their maternity leave increased from 84 days to 98 days.

For the first time working dads such as Ms Tinai’s husband will get five days of paternity leave.

These are all family-oriented measures that will help families.

The family focus will help reset the moral compass of this nation.

Then we can effectively resolve our social problems.

Mr Bainimarama is a strong family man.

It’s reflected in the policies that are now being introduced.

His passion for families and children shows in how he interacts with people, particularly children.

A world church leader once said: “The greatest work you can ever do is within the four walls of your home. No success in life can compensate for failure in the home.”

That’s food for thought for everyone.

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj



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