Politics

Sayed-Khaiyum: STOP Economic Sabotage To Opposition Members

The Opposition had the inability to treat all Fijians equally and understand the fundamental needs of everyday Fijians.
19 Jun 2019 10:10
Sayed-Khaiyum: STOP Economic Sabotage To Opposition Members
Attorney General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum outside Parliament on June 18, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Stop the economic sabotage by misrepresenting facts, inaccuracies, deliberate manipulation of facts and tugging racial lines, the Opposition was told in Parliament last night.

Responding to various remarks made by Opposition members in the past two days, the Minister for Economy and Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed- Khaiyum, in his right of reply, reiterated that the Opposition had said “nothing of value”.

He noted: “There are no new ideas, no suggested alternatives and nothing constructive to take Fiji forward. Just the same old rhetoric insidious bigotry, ethnic reference and hypocrisy led by an opposition leader that brought Fiji to its knees and verge of economic chaos, a disaster which Fijians are still paying for today.”

He said the Opposition had the inability to treat all Fijians equally and understand the fundamental needs of everyday Fijians.

“I plead with the Opposition. Please, don’t put the economy at risk for your own political gains. Let’s have an objective approach to the economy,” he said.

Replying to the notion that Government had not faced any major setbacks, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016 wiped off approximately one-third of the value of Fiji’s Gross Domestic Product.

“We had to spend $500 million in rebuild efforts. Mr Rabuka incorrectly said that debt of countries such as US and other large economies are around 60 per cent of GDP. He needs to get his facts right. The debt of US is around 109 per cent of GDP, Japan is 234 per cent of GDP, Singapore is 109 per cent of GDP and Canada is 84 per cent of GDP,” the A-G said.

“We have reiterated so many times in this parliament that there’s a point of difference between indigenous rights, its applicability to Fiji, and exposure of indigenous people in Fiji as opposed to indigenous people in other countries and racism.

“They are two separate issues. They use this issue for their own political expediency. But more fundamental than is that this Opposition will always develop their policies based on ethnicity and provincialism, not for the overall well-being of our nation and all Fijians.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum highlighted that the Government was on record saying that the National Federation Party had been responsible for the establishment of the Fiji National Provident Fund while other Governments had introduced the television service, the Monasavu Dam and even telecommunication.

However, he said the Bainimarama-Government and the FijiFirst Government had increased the viability of FNPF for it to be regarded as a market leader in the superannuation industry.

The A-G also questioned the failure of previous governments to hear the calls of Monasavu landowners and provide them with electricity.

“This Government has put in place policies that no other Government has implemented before. Policies that have modernised our economy, improved the lives of ordinary Fijians and raised our nation’s international profile,” he said.

Parliament has now moved into the committee stages where finer points of the budgetary allocations will be discussed.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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