NATION

Kumar Pleads For Healthy, Well-Informed Debate

Re-elected Government Member of Parliament Parveen Kumar yesterday welcomed the Opposition mem­bers during his maiden speech and said he looked forward to healthy and well-informed de­bates and discussions. Mr Kumar,
28 Nov 2018 11:12
Kumar Pleads For Healthy, Well-Informed Debate
Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Youth and Sports Parveen Kumar and Opposition MP Niko Nawaikula outside Parliament on November 27, 2018. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Re-elected Government Member of Parliament Parveen Kumar yesterday welcomed the Opposition mem­bers during his maiden speech and said he looked forward to healthy and well-informed de­bates and discussions.

Mr Kumar, who was sworn in last week as Minister for Employ­ment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Youth and Sports, said while responding to the Presi­dent’s opening address to Par­liament that the role of parlia­mentarians went beyond playing politics in the August House.

He said such healthy and rel­evant debates should lead to direc­tions and decisions in the greater interest of Fiji.

However, Mr Kumar said Op­position MPs in their election campaign and contributions to debates in Parliament on Monday continued to insist on misleading deliberations and showboating, rather than telling the truth.

“As we move forward as a na­tion, the Opposition namely So­cial Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA), among its campaign promises, decided to promote the idea of a move backwards to the 1997 Constitution,” Mr Kumar said.

“SODELPA in their questionable wisdom decided that the return to a communal and racially-segre­gated electoral system under the 1997 Constitution would be the way forward for Fiji.

“This backward step was a staged drama based on a narrow and self­ish vision for Fiji. The campaign by SODELPA to get back the 1997 Constitution was only because of greed and selfishness.”

Mr Kumar said it was a regres­sive, narrow, ethnically-divided vision that was rejected by Fijians during the 2018 General Election, adding that the lies and decep­tion of the Opposition would only serve to highlight the good news of the FijiFirst.

He added that it was imperative to engage more on Fijian youths and include their thoughts, ideas and innovations in programmes about them.

Mr Kumar stressed the need to focus on a Fiji that united its citi­zens as it moves towards its 50th-year independence in 2020.

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