Politics

Proposal To Remove Fiji Media Industry Development Authority (MIDA) Proves Futile In Parliament

“Before they had said MIDA had too much power now they are saying MIDA is a toothless tiger,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum remarked.
20 Jun 2019 12:49
Proposal To Remove Fiji Media Industry Development Authority (MIDA) Proves Futile In Parliament
Opposition Members of Parliament Aseri Radrodro (from left), Dr. Ratu Atonio Lalabalavu and Salote Radrodro outside Parliament on June 19, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Opposition member Viliame Gavoka yesterday proposed the complete removal or withdrawal of the $150,000 budget allocation to the Media Industry Development Authority (MIDA).

Mr Gavoka said: “At a time when we are tightening our belts, cutting back on expenses, I do not see why we should put money and funds towards this body that I would brand as a ‘toothless tiger.”

In response, Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said MIDA dealt with a lot of issues which did not hit the public limelight.

“Before they had said MIDA had too much power now they are saying MIDA is a toothless tiger,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum remarked.

“There are individuals who do complain to MIDA, a number of these issues are actually resolved between the media organisations and the actual complainant.”

The motion was defeated when only 24 members voted in support of it while the remaining 26 voted against and one did not vote.

The salary of MIDA Board Chairman Ashwin Raj, who is also the Director of the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission, was also brought up by SODELPA MP Asaeri Radrodro.

Mr Radrodro questioned whether a person chairing positions in two organisations would be paid a salary from both parties.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum replied that Mr Raj was paid by the Human Rights Commission and did not receive any salary from MIDA.

“There are no allowances as such,” he said.

“Wherever you have a substantive appointment, so, if for example you are the Director of the Human Rights Commission, you are fully employed there, and you sit on a board of another entity then any allowances that are paid needs to go to the organisation, not to you individually.”

Edited by Susana Tuilau

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