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2018 Person of the Year: Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama

2018 Person of the Year: Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama
December 31
14:41 2018

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama is Person of the Year.

He gets the highest award in the Fiji Sun’s Top 10 Fijians for 2018.

The awards are for their exemplary service and contribution to nation building.

There is no contest for the top award. Mr Bainimarama deserves it for his unwavering and decisive leadership on the domestic front and international stage.

He has achieved more than any other Prime Minister since Fiji became independent in 1970.

His FijiFirst Government has rolled out more people-oriented initiatives than any other previous government.

He has become the voice of reason and a leader people can look to for security, peace and stability in the face of the divisive politics of race and religion adopted by some Opposition politicians.  He has constantly spoken about the importance of national unity and its implications on economic development and progress. He also backs a merit-based system and the elimination of corruption and nepotism.

He continues to take keen interest in the welfare of ordinary Fijians who are vulnerable – the sick, the disabled, the poor and the elderly.

He has a soft spot for the children and women of this country. This is reflected in the health, education and social welfare policies introduced in the 2018-2019 National Budget.

On the international stage, Mr Bainimarama has done more than any of his predecessors.

His ability to be able to engage with world political leaders, business leaders, civil societies and even celebrities has been recognised.

His presidency of COP23 and co-leadership in the World Ocean Conference have been the highlight of his international achievements in 2018.

Mr Bainimarama has raised Fiji’s international profile through his powerful, frank and open statements on climate change, the oceans, our environment and United Nations peacekeeping missions.

Despite its small size, Fiji is punching well above its weight in these international forums. Mr Bainimarama has led the charge. He is not afraid to mix it with the big boys, so to speak.

His political courage has earned him respect among his peers.

Edited by Epineri Vula

2. Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has been instrumental in policy implementation of the FijiFirst Government.


Over the past year, his focus on family and working to bring about policies such as paternity leave, among others, is no small feat. He has been the man tasked with making things happen within FijiFirst and the Government. Investor confidence in Fiji is at an all-time high. Civil service reforms are well under way, which boosts confidence by investors. He deserves due recognition for his part in modernising Fiji.

3. Commissioner of Police Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho has worked hard to bring the Police Force in order.

Police Commissioner Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho

Police Commissioner Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho

His recent revelation about how unfit a good percentage of his officers are and his efforts to rectify it is praiseworthy. Instead of sweeping this under the carpet, we have a Police chief tackling this issue head-on

4. Dr Jiko Luveni.

The late Speaker of Parliament Dr Jiko Luveni.

The late Speaker of Parliament Dr Jiko Luveni.

This is a posthumous award for the late Speaker of Parliament. Dr Luveni deserves recognition for her inspiring contribution to sports (table tennis and golf), women, dentistry and Parliament.

5.Tony Whitton

Tony Whitton pic

He is the managing director of Rosie Group of Companies. He is an important figure in the travel and tourism industry. He has worked hard to build and rebrand the business. The Rosie brand is considered one of the strongest travel brands in the Pacific. He was responsible for the first charter flights from China to Fiji and continues to work behind the scenes to market Fiji as a tourist destination.

6. Anil Patel

Anil Patel NEWWORLD Ltd, CEO


The chief executive of NewWorld Group needs recognition in the supermarket trade for his success in lifting the NewWorld brand in Fiji. He likes to keep a low profile and has worked hard behind the scenes to develop the NewWorld IGA brand, which has given customers a range of products to choose from and a cleaner shopping environment.

7. Vijendra Singh

Vijendra Singh.

Vijendra Singh.

The man who developed the Fijian Elections Office result mobile App. For days after Fijians cast their votes in the 2018 General Election, many people downloaded and checked the App to keep track of the progress of counting. Born and bred in Suva, Mr Singh is a for­mer student of Rishikul Sanatan College, Nasinu, and holds a Master’s Degree in Computing Science and Information Sys­tems from the University of the South Pa­cific.

8. National Fire Authority Rescue team – Ba Fire Station.

Members of the NFA team who trekked and swam for three hours to get two pregnant women safely to Ba Mission Hospital. Photos: Sabrina Khan

Members of the NFA team who trekked and swam for three hours to get two pregnant women safely to Ba Mission Hospital. Photos: Sabrina Khan

Six firefighters braved risky conditions to take two heavily-pregnant women to safety across the flooded Ba River flats at Yalalevu. The rescue effort meant the firefighters had to help the women onto inflatable rafts and swim and walk with the women hoisted on their shoulders for three hours from Moto to Ba Mission Hospital.

9. AnnMary Raduva.

Annemary with mum Moira Raduva with baby Eunice

Annemary with mum Moira Raduva with baby Eunice

Fourteen-year-old AnnMary Raduva already made a name for herself as an environmental activist. With the help of her family, the Adi Cakob­au School Year Nine student has started a campaign called “Say No to Balloon Releas­ing”. Her interest grew after watching a You­Tube video with her 11-year-old sister which showed turtles and sea birds dying from swallowing plastics and bits and pieces of balloons. During their spare time AnnMary and her sister Faith like to pick up rubbish along the Nasese foreshore.


10. Mohammed Saneem

Mohammed Saneem

Mohammed Saneem

The Supervisor of Elections came out with flying colours from intense scrutiny by the Opposition political parties before, during and after the 2018 General Election.

Compiled by Jyoti Pratibha and Selita Bolanavanua

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