Letters to the Editor – Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Sekaia Waqaniburotu in at his home in Namadi Heights, Suva. Picture: JONA KONATACI

152 reasons to smile!

I read Sekaia Waqaniburotu’s story titled ‘152 reasons’ (FT 19/19) with great interest. Sekaia, who is a retired schoolteacher, never missed a day reading the newspaper, and now that he is retired, he asks his family members to buy him a copy of the newspaper on their way back home. Sekaia shared that he found the reporting balanced. He also shared there were many features that readers like him enjoyed like the section where they talked about the history of a certain place or family, and there was a section for music lovers too. Sekaia added that reading the opinion columns was something he loved during the weekends. His concluding remark was powerful, “Fiji is blessed to have a newspaper like The Fiji Times and I hope they will continue like this in the future.” This has set the platform for The Fiji Times to strive and reach greater heights. Opinions from ardent readers about The Fiji Times are a delight to read! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Road upgrade

Since moving in to my property at Kini St, Suva way back in 1994, I was pleasantly surprised last week to find heavy road machinery doing their thing on our roads from Ritova St, through Kini St and out Matanitobua St. After the second week, I am happy to acknowledge the almost new roads in the area. I now enjoy driving on the new-look roadway throughout Suva and its surburbs. Thank you, FRA. Emosi Balei Suva

Global warming

BECAUSE of inflation hitting the highest level now with COVID-19, the consumer price rises indefinitely. With excessive use of all our resources for food, we may be contributing more towards global warming. With total cooperation of all mankind, we can still survive with changes in our lifestyle, giving priority to our needs and wants. Let’s also give some serious thought to keep our environment free from pollution to reduce global warming. This may be by being actively involved by following the rules in agriculture waterways and environment. Actions always speak louder than words. “Global warming threatens our health, our economy, our natural resources and our children’s future. It is clear we must act.” – Eliot Spitzer. Tahir Ali Hamilton, New Zealand

Saving issue

I refer to the ongoing controversy regarding the purported saving of $485 million in the 2020-2021 Budget (FT 19/10). My own experience as a public servant in the Ministry of Social Welfare is that it was not usual for the allocated budget to be underspent, even though the demand for welfare assistance by people in poverty always outstripped the allocated funding. This was for the self-aggrandisement of the management to show the tight control they exercised over government spending. The people they were meant to serve became a peripheral issue. It defied good sense and good governance. Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

Those tales

Many stories will be told with growing embellishment, what was seen as weak is now so bold, all for the sake of some entertainment. What was small and insignificant, becomes a giant and tall and even magnificent. Regaling tales around the tanoa, or around the coffee table, discussions and talanoa laughing and crying till you are unable. Being angry and complaining, just becomes so unreasonable, after being in lockdown and isolating, that’s really quite understandable. Friends and families not seen for half the year, bring joy and happiness with some shed tears, after a period of loneliness. Some have since left us for eternal rest all because of this coronavirus doing what it does best. Edward Blakelock Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour

Not saving?

So, Mr Narube has said (FT 6/10) that the savings shown in The Fiji Times 5/10 are not savings. He said that ministries under-spent. This is interesting in that when budgets are being made, it usually is based on past operations and monies spent accordingly. In the past, I have heard heads of department say that they have extra finances and they were nearing the end of the financial year. They then found ways to spend it, so that in the next financial year, their budget wouldn’t go down. But how come that many ministries and entities spent less? That’s too many. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Lautoka

Drunk driving

Eleven drunk driving cases over the long weekend. With all the campaigns on “Don’t drink and Drive” and the awareness on the dangers, some people still don’t take heed of the warnings. What will it take to get it through that thick skull of theirs that driving while either intoxicated or drunk is dangerous. Into the last quarter of the year and it can be tempting to take an unplanned drink, particularly at parties or after a grog session and consider driving home. In doing so, you’re taking the risk of injuring or killing yourself and other innocent road users. Even small amounts of alcohol impair driving so thinking that you can have one drink and drive safely isn’t realistic. Just one drink can impair your driving. Lives can change forever the moment drivers take a drink and decide to drive home. Every single death and injury caused by drunk driving is totally preventable. It’s your choice and responsibility. No matter what time of the year it is, never ever drink and drive. Wise Muavono Balawa, Lautoka

Letter writers

I asked the same question Shariff Shar (FT 19/10) in a letter which was not published earlier. The thing is democracy is transparent yet some people are harping about constitutional rights. I believe freedom of speech is suppressed where statements are not rosy to some people’s ears. The Fiji Times has the ability to withstand criticism. It has provided the platform for people to open up and give their 2 cents regardless of being pro or anti. Some people have so much to say but there are always people with their scissors ready to cut their wings off and will walk away smartly as if they have attained the world. To the directors and the whole team of The Fiji Times, from the editor-in-chief to their drivers, every one of you deserve accolades for making this newspaper such a hit. Thank you for providing this platform as an open forum to speak our minds. While on this I also thank the front desk staff, Ms Roshin at Lautoka Fiji Times office for her professionalism and friendly customer care. I am sure there are lots of blessings coming along. Vinaka The Fiji Times. We are always with you. Kirti Patel Lautoka

Speed bookings

The 452 speeding bookings over a certain 24-hour period during Prophet Mohammed’s birthday long weekend is more than just alarming. Thank you very much LTA and Fiji police for your diligence in pinning down the above. The attitudes of these offending drivers is most worrying. Reckless, to say the least. How many are repeat offenders? How many of these drivers have three or more speeding tickets, to date? If so, should they still be allowed to drive on public roads? How many have fines pending over extended periods of time and are still driving? Tough questions need tough answers, please. Good time for LTA to review and upgrade systems and procedures to keep repeat offending drivers off our roads. Uncollected pending fines need some urgent scrutiny. The festive season of Christmas 2021 quickly beckons. Poor driving standards will only increase if law enforcement officers do not make their required presence felt on our roads. Much speeding takes place regularly along the Martintar-Namaka stretch of the Queens Rd. Younger drivers, of the “show-off type”, below 40-years of age, are very visible and prevalent, these days. Ronnie Chang Martintar, Nadi

Appreciation

It seems that other political parties and former ministers are only too keen to criticise the ruling party and my favourite newspaper gives them optimum page space. While constructive criticism is a catalyst for improvement, I guess once in a while positive contribution is also necessary about the ruling party. Vikel V Lal Nasinu

COVID threat

When someone like General Colin Powell, a former US Secretary of State and Joint Chief of Staff chairman can die from COVID-19 complications (abc news 19/10), it just brings home the message that nobody is safe from this deadly virus. All we can and must do is to heed expert public health guidelines and regulations and hope to remain protected. Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

Vehicle change

The opportunity to show the world Fiji’s commitment to climate change goes begging. I believe they should have bought hybrid vehicles instead of the diesel guzzlers they using. Dan Urai Lautoka

Vax cards

Will vaccination cards be required in order to enter evacuation centres in the event of a natural disaster? Kiran Khatri Samabula, Suva

Hornet’s nest

When a hornet’s nest is shaken the hornets will defend their hive and haven that is only to be expected when danger threatens their very existence. they will do the best they can to prevent any kind of intrusion. Edward Blakelock Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour

Under pressure!

Manchester United started the season brightly, thrashing Leeds United 5-1, but then under under-performing coach Ole Gunner, the Red Devils have fallen apart. Despite spending heavily on the likes of Ronaldo, Sancho and Varane, the Red Devils have just collected a single point from their three league games. The 4-2 defeat at the hands of Leicester has added misery to Ole’s coaching reins. It’s a matter of time Ole, who has yet to win a trophy as manager, will be sacked, and a new coach will be appointed. Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Against DST

With so many people against the DST, I believe it should be seriously considered to be shelved for good. A survey is all that is needed. Let’s see who has that in their manifesto for the next election. Kirti Patel Lautoka

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