#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Bainimarama rides the hungry tiger and ignores the nation

Monday, November 29, 2010

Bainimarama rides the hungry tiger and ignores the nation

By Jone Baledrokadroka

When the country’s 2010 economic growth rate is 0.1 percent of GDP, how can you justify giving an additional $8 million to the military? It will now gobble up $101 million or more than 5% of total government expenditure for 2011.

This will now bring military spending to two percent of real GDP for next year, which is the international warning siren for a Third World military regime out of control in peacetime. And believe you me - nothing to show for it this time next year!

Of this $8 million increase, it seems as announced, the Navy gets $6 million. Apparently, $1.5m is a grant to the Fiji Shipping Corporation Limited whilst the Government Shipping Services get $3 million. Both bodies, FSCL and GSS, have been ‘reformed’ and are now under the Navy. 

The Navy gets the rest or $1.5 million increase to their $24.2 million budget for 2011. Almost a quarter of the military budget goes to the 250-strong Navy.  Bringing FSCL and GSS under the Navy it seems is a clever way of increasing the budget for a fleet of aging patrol boats and a naval base starved of Australian Defence Cooperation Programme funding.

This role expansion is typical of a politicized military. The misconceived idea that military technocrats can salvage an inefficient industry has been long debunked, along with Lenin’s socialism. 

Today, it is the idea of private rather than public enterprise that creates efficiencies not to mention the maxim that government should not compete against the private sector. Indeed, the last IMF inspection report called on the regime for such government reforms in reducing the size of government.

Opponents of certain privatizations, however, believe that certain public goods and services should remain primarily in the hands of government in order to ensure that everyone in society has access to them (such as law enforcement, basic health care and basic education.)

But when the country has suffered its worst economic spell as in the last four years, privatization of all other government services such as maritime transportation has to be explored.

The problem is that the regime cannot further reduce the size of government without also justifiably reducing the size of the military. Eighty per cent of the military budget or $3.1 million a fortnight (or $80 million annually) is sunk into the 3277 regular soldiers pay and emoluments. 

All this against continual peacekeeping revenue loss when worked out as total cost to government. True, remittances are from British Army soldiers, security guards overseas, caregivers and overseas families etc.

Drastically reducing the military, and indeed the Navy, is the last thing on Bainimarama’s mind at the moment. In fact, he may very well be thinking of other public enterprises to increase military personnel as per his ‘military for life’ concept initially introduced with Telecom’s Telsat project in 2004 and Ports Security Unit in 2007.

As already mentioned, the paradox of Bainimarama’s ‘New Order’ is that he will need to keep purging and rewarding his political base  in  the military as he  rides and feeds a restless tiger. What the nation thinks or says about military accountability, such as the buried regimental funds enquiry, does not matter.


Anonymous said...

What a waste of good tax-payer's money. Soldiers must wake up now and realise they are the ones making this country poor day by day.

God please bring about changes.

Anonymous said...

The musings of an idiot printed by the sycophantic Fiji Sun today. Unbelievable. Out of the country and out of his mind.

Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama has called on the nation to accept the 2011 National Budget.

He was reacting to organisations who have criticised the budget after it was officially announced by Acting Finance Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum in Suva last Friday.

“This is my budget,” Commodore Bainimarama said.

He said the 2011 National Budget was well presented and stakeholders needed to work from there.

"Government is committed to reforms in the civil service, State owned enterprises and other public entities."

Commodore Bainimarama said many of these reforms have commenced, some are ongoing, and the short term ones have been completed.

He said these include the change in management of the government quarters, the merge of various government funded entities, re-organisation of entities, the divestment of shares and sale of businesses, outsourcing, and the participation of the private sector with government in joint ventures. Commodore Bainimarama said it was important for the people to work together for a better Fiji. Meanwhile, Commodore Bainimarama has hailed his trip to China a 'huge success'.

The Prime Minister said he had met with a lot of potential investors like the Shanghai Urban Construction who have showed interest in setting up businesses here.

Anonymous said...

Now that Fiji Water is gone I wonder which part of the 2011 budget Vore and Ayarse will now cut to cater for the shortfall in the expected revenue. Any guess towards the military is not entertained.

Lord Haw Haw of Horowhenua said...

The corrupt dysfunctional junta is a farce: colonels, conmen and carpet baggers - attracted to the dictatorship like flies to dog shyte!!

Dribbling idiot said...

Bainimarama is nothing but a dribbling idiot!

Anonymous said...

More money down the drain while people go struggle

TheMax said...

Didn't we always want the best deals for the people of this country in regards to the use of their natural resources? The PM has explained the truth about Fiji Waters tax holiday and related issues surrounding it.

For those of you who are criticizing what has happened, most of you are forgetting that earlier this year, the people of Ra were complaining that their rivers and streams have all of a sudden dried up. This has never happened to them as far back as they can remember. What was suspected at that time was that Fiji Water had over extracted the volume of water they were supposed to extract per month and this led to the sudden drying up of even the streams that usually had never happened in the lifetime of the elderly people of Ra. This led to the Dept of Mineral Resources to issue a statement regarding water extraction.

Before we even jump up and down, get your facts right and follow the trail as to why the government has come up with this policy.

Anonymous said...

Fiji Military are just paid mercenaries keeping an idiot in power. This is exactly the kind of blind following that brought about the likes of Hitler....as long an you're getting paid, but remember there's always a reckoning in the end and the money will eventually run out...then we'll see the hungry tiger ride Bainimarama!

Anonymous said...

JB has spent too much time in ANU now thus catching a bout of verbal diarrhea like most academics.

Anonymous said...

Joe say....

Voreqe & Ayarse & his puppets will have to keep the military personal happy for a long term paid job. Otherwise they will rebel if sent home. Never mind the noble reasons & wisdoms of the many wise to scale down the aermy size which is really NO VALUE ADDING to the nation.
Cry my belovered country...long live corruption, nepotism & tax payer raping by the regime.

Jake said...

Well well you have reached a new meridian with your Military denunciation. Were you not part of this unit? I just think your musings reek of someone trying very hard to shed his love for Bainimarama. Ponder this:"A Covetous man To Conveigh Against Prodigality....Is for the kettle to Call the Kettle Black" Jake. Comment edited-C4.5

Anonymous said...

@ TheMax

"the people of Ra were complaining that their rivers and streams have all of a sudden dried up... What was suspected at that time was that Fiji Water had over extracted the volume of water they were supposed to extract per month and this led to the sudden drying up of even the streams that usually had never happened in the lifetime of the elderly people of Ra."

It was called "a drought". It is not Fiji Water's fault. To suggest that they caused the drought is a bit more mad than your usual garbology.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 8:18.

Waste of time trying to explain basic metrology to Max's of this world because they simply can't hear or read you. Meander thru life with their heads stuck up their arses.