Letters

Letters To The Editor, 11th November 2018

Rabuka lied about NBF Timoci Gaunavinaka, Nausori Whenever we see men with guns entering a bank anywhere in the world, the first thing that comes to mind is, “Bank robbery”.
11 Nov 2018 12:41
Letters To The Editor, 11th November 2018

Rabuka lied about NBF

Timoci Gaunavinaka, Nausori

Whenever we see men with guns entering a bank anywhere in the world, the first thing that comes to mind is, “Bank robbery”.

That was exactly how the late Visanti Makrava was installed as NBF chief ousting Gordon Ryan who was seconded from the Com­monwealth Bank of Australia.

No letter of appointment. Just a group of armed soldiers send by Rabuka to march into the NBF headquarters with Makrava and declared himself as the new chief.

In his interview with Yashwant Gaunder for the Review Maga­zine’s July, 1995 issue, Rabuka stated, “When he (Makrava) was made NBF Chief, not even the NBF board nor the Minister of Finance knew. And to see the influence this man has made on the bank, I was assured that I had made the right choice”.

That was Rabuka’s exact words as recorded on that interview.

On July 20, 1995, RBF declared on a front page article that it had been warning the Rabuka Government several times since 1991 against their lending policies, but no cor­rective measures were taken.

The late Savenaca Siwatibau in writing the foreward for the book, “Crisis: The collapse of the Nation­al Bank of Fiji” stated, “The new management installed after the 1987 coups did not have the depth and breadth required to run an in­ternational bank.

The management consistently ignored the supervisory author­ity’s (RBF) requests to moderate its lending.”

Azam Khan was the Deputy Re­ceiver at the Receiver’s Office which handles all bankruptcies and liquidations in Fiji during the Rabuka Government.

In his interview by the Review, he stated that in 1994 there were 120 cases for bankruptcies and 33 for winding up.

In 1996 there were 1084 cases for bankruptcies and 204 for winding up.

This is more than 900 per cent increase in bankruptcies cases filed and more than 600 per cent in­crease in winding up cases in just two years.

Most of these businesses were funded by the NBF loans under Rabuka’s Affirmative Action initia­tive. Dhiraj Hemraj, a PriceWater­house partner who handled many bankruptcy cases then stated, “I have seen a $2 company with a mul­ti-million dollar loan.

That shouldn’t be allowed to hap­pen”.

Azam Khan also stated, “It was common to see a lot of properties conveniently transferred under the wife’s names or the children’s names so they cannot be taken away to pay for the debts”.

Then he added, “One politician owed $184,000 to NBF, $124,900 to FDB and $11,540 to Motor Corp when the court was petitioned for his bankruptcy in 1993. On a repay­ment scheme of $200 per month, it would take another 159 years be­fore he repays the full debt.”

Subhash Parshotam, whose law firm Parshotam and Co. deals with a lot of winding up and bankruptcy cases, then stated in his interview with the Review, “NBF made a lot of money available to people who would otherwise been insolvent. Now the reality has hit and credi­tors are after their money.

“The boom we saw a few years ago was due to credit, not a thriving economy”.

It was this increase in businesses funded by the “NBF Loot” that Rabuka today claims was a testimo­ny of his Government’s economic growth.

Without shame or guilt, he has used the biggest single economic muck-up in our nation’s history un­der his leadership to dress it up as an achievement to our young vot­ers who either were not yet born or too young to remember what actu­ally transpired.

How can a man be worshipped as a hero by some of our uninformed citizens cowardly lied about his past?

He then lied again to the nation claiming that the late Ratu Timoci Bainimarama’s (Our PM’s elder brother) name was on the NBF list of Bad debts.

The list was published in the me­dia on Thursday, July 25, 1996 and can be easily accessed at the Na­tional Archives.

Ratu Timoci’s name never ap­peared on it.

Political families

Taitusi Sokiveta, , Phoenix, Arizona

People who are newly elected as leaders around the world normally surround themselves with relatives or own family members for impor­tant posts in the newly-elected gov­ernment.

These political families strongly support their newly elected rela­tive and the leader picks from his own family people he can trust and depend on for important Cabinet positions.

Reliability, ethics and justice are some of the criteria a leader looks for.

The main reason a leader is famil­iar with such persons is that he can depend on them for moral and po­litical support.

Outsiders may have qualifications and experience, but when it comes to trustworthiness and reliability the newly-elected leader will nor­mally pick a family member or rel­ative they are familiar with.

When he was US President John F Kennedy picked his brother Robert Kennedy as his Attorney-General and kept another brother Edward Kennedy, a senator, close by.

President Kennedy always re­ceived advice from his father, Jo­seph, a former US Ambassador to Great Britain and moral support from his mother, Rose Kennedy.

When things got tough at the White House, 43rd US President George W Bush always had his mum and dad at the White House.

His dad was a former President and Vice President under Ronald Reagan and had tonnes of experi­ence.

His brother Jeb Bush was Gover­nor of the State of Florida and even had an unsuccessful run for the Re­publican ticket as presidential can­didate.

Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara picked Ratu David Brown Toganivalu, his brother-in-law married to his sis­ter, as his deputy Prime Minister after the death of another relative Ratu Edward Cakobau, who had been deputy Prime Minister.

Another relative, Ratu Sir George Cakobau, became Fiji’s first local Governor-General.

Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau, another relative, was deputy Prime Min­ister, Governor-General and later President.

They were all related.

So, if a relative of Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama works in his government or Attorney-General’s brother is CEO of Fiji Broadcast­ing Corporation (FBC), so be it.

That’s not unusual.

As long as the job gets done.

Fiji is one of the best countries in the world right now and leads the world in climate change activism.

The economy is stable.

Fiji is the top dog in the South Pa­cific. We should all be proud of Fiji and the successes of the current Government.

We can all go to bed at night and sleep peacefully, thanks to the cur­rent Government.

Town Planning

Tim Howick-Smith, Lami

A review of public notices posted by various municipal councils regarding land rezoning clearly indicates that in excess of 90 per cent involve rezoning from “Resi­dential” to either “Commercial” or “Industrial/Heavy Industrial”.

Surely enlightened Town and Country Planning should ensure that areas of towns designated as residential should be preserved as such, together with their surround­ing environments, and not subject to the increasing incursion of, and destruction by, commercial and in­dustrial activities.

As a resident of Lami I wonder how long the council will be able, in good faith, to maintain their bill­boards welcoming visitors to “The Garden Town”!

Inevitably this trend reduces the amount of available residential land.

This increases the cost of such land, making it even more unaf­fordable for people to buy or build their own homes.

At the same time the invasion of commercial/industrial activities into residential areas threatens the property values of homes in which people have invested their life’s savings.

Whenever one tries to preserve residential areas faced with the threat of commercial or industrial activities one is accused of being against “development and job crea­tion”.

It is unfortunate that, despite whatever concerned members of the public may try to do to question such rezoning, the pressures of so called “developers” will inevitably and ultimately prevail.

We do not have to choose between economic development or residen­tial areas and the environment.

Effective Town and Country Plan­ning can contribute to both – by pursuing and practicing genuine “environmentally sustainable eco­nomic development”.

I have repeatedly suggested to the authorities concerned that they need to identify additional land outside residential areas to be de­voted to commercial and/or indus­trial activities.

Such industrial zones/parks will be able to absorb the increasing need of existing and new compa­nies to expand.

If developed using modern inter­nationally recognised standards they can both facilitate efficient operations whilst at the same time enabling monitoring potential, and mitigating against, environmental hazards.

For many of us our residential homes are where we can relax, bring up our children in safety, enjoy our retirement and sleep in peace.

Our gardens are where we derive much-needed exercise, grow flow­ers and fresh food, and at least in some small way contribute to the preservation of the environment.

Many of us do not wish – or be able to afford – to move into the apartments that are mushrooming up in all over towns, that are devoid of a “community”, and where we are unlikely to get to know or care for our neighbours.

Party composition

Simon Hazelman, Savusavu

With just days away from our 2018 General Elections it would be pru­dent for us to know the make-up of the three major parties.

SODELPA has 51 candidates, 93 per cent of which are iTaukei and 7 per cent Indo-Fijian. There are sev­en women making up 14 per cent of the party.

National Federation Party has 51 candidates, 31 per cent of which are iTaukei and 62 per cent Indo-Fijian. There are 10 women making up 20 per cent of the party.

FijiFirst has 51 candidates, 50 per cent of which are iTaukei and 40 per cent Indo-Fijian. There are 11 women making up 22 per cent of the party.

The mix of each party tells you the story!

Street Lights Timing

Jitendra Raniga, Lautoka

Could the relevant authority fix the timing as to when the street lights get turned on in Kermode Road, Lautoka.

At the moment the lights turn on at 8.35pm (DST) daily leaving the streets in darkness from after sun­set, which is around 7pm.

Because of the darkness, until the street lights get switched on, the street/road becomes unsafe to walk on.

Please if the relevant authority which l believe is Fiji Roads Au­thority can do something about this promptly.

Also, l hope they set the timer for the street lights in Kermode Road, Lautoka, to get switched off in the mornings after the sun has risen or as it is rising and not much earlier when it is still very dark.

I am saying this because in the past the lights would get switched off at 4.30am when the sunrise would be at 6.30am.

I will see how long it takes for ef­fective action to be taken on this concern of mine by the relevant authority.

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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