#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive

Thursday, May 12, 2016

NFP leader removed from Public Accounts Committee

NFP Leader Biman Prasad says he is not surprised that the Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, has removed from the Public Accounts Committee.

Prasad says he was removed because he was asking the hard questions.

"My removal was expected because the Attorney General accused me of politicizing the Committee. If thoroughly scrutinizing Auditor General’s Reports and seeking information about controversial expenditure like payment of consultancy to an Accounting firm for a study into the operations of Rewa Dairy leading to its sale, miscellaneous expenditure of Head 50 and payment of salaries of Cabinet Ministers through an Accounting Firm is politicizing the work of the Committee, then taxpayers of Fiji can no longer expect any discrepancy highlighted by the Auditor General to be scrutinized and highlighted.

"If a Government policy leads to abuse and wastage of funds, the Committee should have every right to highlight it and raise it in Parliament. With the change in the Standing Orders restricting the role of the Committee to basically only browse through reports, this scrutiny will not happen. This is ridiculous and a grave injustice to the taxpayers of Fiji."

Prasad's removal now means that Government can elect its own Chairman because it has majority members on the Public Accounts Committee – just like other Committees.

"One has to ask the Government why the change? Why is the Government frightened that an Opposition Chair is leading the scrutiny of Auditor-General’s Reports?"

The AG is on record of having lamented about the work of the Committee in July last year, two months after Prasad tabled a Consolidated report of PAC on the Auditor-General’s report from 2007 to 2009.

That report has not been debated one year after it was tabled. The Fiji Sun of 22nd July 2015 reported the AG as saying “it was premature to have a standing committee in Fiji on corruption because political maturity was lacking”.

He said there has been a culture in Fiji of standing committees being used for political point scoring.

Khaiyum had said this would not work for a standing committee on corruption, because “enquiries of corruption need to be dealt with apolitically and, with confidentiality.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Credit rating revamp 'silliest decision ever'

Australian media have waded into the Data Bureau controversy describing the decision as 'one of the silliest decisions ever' by Fiji.

The Aussies have taken an interest because ANZ and Westpac have come under direct attack by Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum for "their perfectly reasonable decision to back a local credit reporting agency called Data Bureau."

A columnist for the leading Australian Financial Review says "A well-functioning company operating with the implicit support of the Reserve Bank of Fiji has been closed for no cogent reason."

The paper goes on to give the history and credentials of Data Bureau, saying international companies will be hurt by the decision.

"Data Bureau's sudden closure without consultation or warning does not augur well for those doing business in Fiji or with Fijian companies.

"As of last week no Australian exporter to Fiji has been able to conduct a credit check on a Fiji buyer of their goods and services. This service was used by exporters to Fiji.

"The Data Bureau closure is tantamount to government appropriation of private property. It raises doubts about the country's commitment to supporting private enterprise."

Khaiyum criticised ANZ and Westpac after they put their names to a press release issued by the Association of Banks in Fiji (ABIF), which said the shutdown of the Data Bureau would clear the credit records of the vast majority of good borrowers and have a negative impact on the entire Fijian economy.

"The inability now to be able to search a person's credit history will greatly increase the risk levels within the personal lending market," the ABIF said. 

"Lenders will have little option but to increase interest rates to compensate for this increased risk."

Many remain bewildered by what appears to be a rushed and poorly-conceived decision to regulate the credit rating agency with lawyer Richard Naidu offering this view:

"The Government (cheered on by the Consumer Council of Fiji) seems to think that if it wipes out negative credit information on everybody in Fiji, then we will all have some kind of quasi-constitutional right to borrow money. In fact, now that no one has a credit record, cautious lenders will mean it is harder for us to borrow. Lenders will always find ways to protect their money. The only question is how much it will cost the rest of us."

Naidu and other critics could be proved wrong but Khaiyum's track record would suggest otherwise.

Koya defends new Fair Reporting Credit Act

Credit revamp will cost Fiji

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Fijian Cambodian terrorist killed

Neil Prakash

Fijian Cambodian Islamic State terrorist Neil Prakash has reportedly been killed in a US military air strike in Iraq.

Prakash - described as “Australia’s most wanted terrorist” – was a former Bhuddist who lived in Melbourne before becoming a Muslim and travelling to Syria.

He was the most senior figure in Islamic State, with Australian describing as him the IS’s most active recruiter.

Prakash’s death brings to an end more than a year of what was a very high profile driving Islamic State's ideology into Australia.

It remains unclear if he was active in Fiji.

Prakash was a high-value target because of his prominence as a recruiter not just for his native Australia but in other countries as well. 

He had starred in one of the jihadist group's promotional videos. He was linked to multiple extremist plots in Australia, and also to calls for lone-wolf attacks in the United States.

He was regarded as an enemy combatant under international law and is understood to have been on a so-called "kill list".

He is believed to have been involved in influencing the alleged Mother's Day pipe bomb plot in Melbourne last year, last year's alleged Anzac Day plot in Melbourne and the recent alleged Anzac Day plot in Sydney. 

He also helped radicalise Numan Haider, who was shot dead in Melbourne after attacking two policemen with a knife.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Fiji ranked 80 in World Press Freedom Index 2016

Fiji has improved from 93 in 2015 to 80 in 2016 in the latest World Press Freedom Index.

We'd like to take you back to stories we published in the same month seven years ago, when there was no press freedom in Fiji.

This was two years after the Bainimarama coup, around the time when censors were sent into newsrooms to monitor and approve what stories the media could publish.

Apart from the Fiji Sun which publishes rubbish and should no longer be called a 'newspaper' because apart from media ethics, the stories it publishes is just a disgrace to journalism and the great journalists that Fiji has produced, the rest of the media in Fiji have come a long way since 2009.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Fiji no longer a Pacific pearl

People living in tents after Cyclone Winston
Mother Nature has it in for Fiji at the moment sending floods and another cyclone post the worst cyclone in years, Cyclone Winston.

People are still struggling to get back on their feet and are living in tents as they await government help to rebuild. Ninety percent of the nation meanwhile are suffering from 'cika' or conjunctivitis after the cyclone and floods.

FNPF paid out thousands in the last month to people affected by the cyclone, unfortunately some recipients misused this money for alcohol and partying. It has become a joke with people treating the FNPF assistance as 'Christmas come early'. This was evident during the recent Hong Kong 7s win where people were seen with placards saying 'Thank you FNPF'.

Natural disasters aside, a concerning trend is the rise in the number of rape and murder cases in Fiji.

Mere Ailevu's body was found on Deuba beach. The Year 7 student of Lomary Catholic Primary School was found half naked, dead with a Tee- shirt tied around her neck at Loloma Beach. She had been raped and murdered.

A 39-year-old security officer of Vunibuabua settlement in Deuba was charged with the rape and murder of the 14-year-old girl.
Mere Ailevu

Today a 52-YEAR-OLD man was sentenced to 12 years for raping his three-year-old niece in 2010.

There have been a few other rape and assault cases this year.

It seems Fiji has become not only coup coup land, but a land of sex perverts.