Politics

You Cannot Rob People, Prime Minister Tells Opposition

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said when his Government was busy putting in the sweat to forge our shared national identity and secure our common and equal citizenship, many in the Opposition fought them every single step of the way. Every time a wall of communal division came crashing down, the Opposition protested in bitter agony.
19 Nov 2019 13:01
You Cannot Rob People, Prime Minister Tells Opposition
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama in Parliament on November 18, 2019. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday told the Opposition: “You cannot rob our people of their national identities.”

He was speaking in Parliament in the debate over President Jioji Konrote’s address at the ceremonial opening of the new Parliament year last week.

“Those old debates are over. You cannot undo our great achievements. The Fijian people have not forgotten, nor will they forget,” Mr Bainimarama said.

“You cannot walk into a Year Six classroom and tell those young folks they aren’t all Fijian. You cannot tell our students their merit and hard work will be ignored because they don’t have the right background, or the right last name, the right connections, they aren’t from the right province, or they don’t have enough money.

“You cannot – you will not – drag us back into our divisive and unequal past. And if you are unwilling to acknowledge that reality, you are unworthy of the seat you hold and the nation you are intended to represent.”

He said when his Government was busy putting in the sweat to forge our shared national identity and secure our common and equal citizenship, many in the Opposition fought them every single step of the way. Every time a wall of communal division came crashing down, the Opposition protested in bitter agony.

“As we improved our economy with innovative thinking and forward-looking policies, they offered nothing, but nonsensical comments, half-baked alternatives and intellectual dishonesty. And as we levelled the playing field across our society, they dug lines in the sand around the old systems of privilege and entitlement. All the while others among them watched tightlipped.”

On women, he said their empowerment had long been stifled by a deadly culture of physical violence and gender-based discrimination.

He said the abusers themselves were despicable.

“But the blame for this societal plague also falls on every man who fails to challenge patriarchal systems and uproot mentalities of male entitlement and supremacy,” he said.

He said men who perpetrated this violence and psychological intimidation and apologists who defended them were “all the same breed of coward.”

He said women today had finally been given equal and fair treatment.

“We’ve kicked down the door of the old boy’s club.”

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: ilaijia.ravuwai@fijisun.com.fj

Fijisun E-edition
Tanoa Waterfront Lautoka Fiji
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: