By Victor Lal
The chairman of the Fijian Holdings Ltd, Carl Ngamoki-Cameron (a New Zealander by birth but naturalised Fiji citizen) is under fire for why he has been running the Fijian Holdings Ltd, and is now under investigation following allegations received against him. According to Fiji Live and Fiji Village news reports, mysteriously removed for further consumption, a team from the Prime Minster’s Office and the Ministry of Finance is now conducting a special audit against Cameron.
The FHL board, according to Fiji news reports, met and also appointed Iowane Naiveli as the Acting Chairman until the special audit is completed. The Board said at this stage the audit is focused on corporate governance related issues and the recent appointment of the General Manager for Merchant Finance, Greg Cathcart. Cameron was appointed as the Chairman of Fijian Holdings on the 27th of June this year and is also the Chairman for Merchant Finance and Investments, Fijian Property Trust, FHL Logistics Limited, Blue Lagoon Cruises Limited and PNG based Pasifika Holdings Limited. Meanwhile, the FHL board said it is business as usual for the company and the enquiry will have no impact on the day to day running of the group’s business activities.
The Charges Against Carl Ngamoki –Cameron
What are the charges against this wannabee Cameron who seems to be involved in all sorts of shoddy deals in the country? A letter leaked to me from the dictator’s own office, and written by a group of FHL’s concerned shareholders on 12 September 2011 to Cameron begins by informing him: “We the undersigned are most concerned at the way Fijian Holdings Ltd is operating under your chairmanship. Firstly, Mr Nausab Fareed continues in an acting role as chief executive officer of FHL with all the uncertainties involved in that situation. This is the vital leadership post in FHL’s management structure. We need a confirmed CEO as soon as possible. This will allow him to perform his duties with total confidence and commitment. Further delays in confirmation are simply unacceptable and will have negative impact on his performance and the way he carries out his responsibilities. There is a morale factor here. This will trickle down to the staff and over time affect the Group performance. We, therefore, recommend that action be taken on this matter immediately.”
Misuse of FHL Office
The letter continues: “Secondly, we have learned from FHL staff that you appear to be using your office at FHL as an extension of your legal firm. If this is true it is highly irregular and unacceptable. It would be an abuse of your position as FHL Chairman and offensive to Class A shareholders as well as employees. ”
Cathcart as GM of Merchant Finance: Nepotism and Favoritism
On 30 August Cameron announced the appointment of Greg Cathcart as the new General Manager for Merchant Finance Investment Company Limited (MFIL). But the shareholders are unhappy with the way a local was sidelined withi the FHL: “Thirdly, your choice of Mr Greg Cathcart as GM of Merchant Finance represents a blatant disregard for one of FHL’s core roles. That is to train and promote indigenous people to enter into and participate effectively in higher corporate management. Hence Mr Napoliono Batimala now finds that he does not have a proper role to play within the Group as he has now being displaced by the aforementioned person.”
On Cathcart’s appointment, the shareholders questioned Cameron’s role and called for Cathcart’s employment termiantion: “We also object to the manner in which Mr Cathcart was appointed. The procedure did not follow due process and the rules of good corporate governance. We are told that the position was advertised but Mr Cathcart’s application was received late. He had come in initially as a consultant, and then applied for the position of GM. We are led to believe that the position was filled by Mr Cathcart on your personal endorsement. The normal procedure would be for a report to go to the Merchant Finance board seeking approval for an appointment, which would then be endorsed by the FHL board. It is critical in a major corporation such as FHL, for all appointments to be made in a proper manner. The hiring process should be designed to discern personal and commercial values, professional attitudes, depth of experience and successful work performance. From this a judgment is finally made on the suitability of a candidate for contributing to the organisation and its goals. Our sense at the moment is that Mr Cathcart’s appointment may be a case of nepotism or favouritism. We suggest that Mr Cathcart’s employment should be terminated and Mr Batimala should replace him.”
Cameron’s Track Record Questioned – Consider Stepping Down
The concerned shareholders challenged his own credentials: “Questions are also being raised about your experience and track record in operating successfully at a high level in a diversified group such as FHL. We do not have full details of your qualifications and past experience, but from what we have read have doubts about their relevance for the important position you now occupy. So we are asking what advantages and executive commercial abilities you bring to FHL? You have been with the company for two-and-a-half months but have not yet offered a vision and plan to accelerate the company’s growth and reverse its alarming decline in profitability. We would like to know how you intend to inspire the grassroots indigenous communities to take part in business and benefit from the Group. If you cannot answer these questions to the satisfaction of shareholders, then we believe you should step down to make way for a more suitable appointee.”
Deputy Chairman – Why the Delay?
The shareholders also questioned Cameron on the appointment of a deputy to him: “We also want you to know we are concerned about the delay in the appointment of a Deputy Chairman for FHL Group. A conglomerate of FHL’s size should have someone in that post. Why, then, is it being kept vacant? Please understand that the shareholders hold FHL in high esteem as the flagship for the aspirations of the indigenous people to compete in and benefit from participation in commerce and industry. This is an important national issue. We are proud of what FHL has achieved previously but I have to tell you that there is an impression that the company has now gone into a cycle of decline. We are, therefore, duty-bound to make our views known and to exercise our rights as shareholders. We are demanding that vigorous action be taken forthwith to recover what has been lost and position the company for the strong record of growth that it previously enjoyed.”
Who is Carl Ngamoki-Cameron?
According to some Maori websites, “Carl holds double degrees in Law and Sport Science, is admitted to the High Courts of NZ and Fiji, has current legal practicing certificates for both countries, owns and operates his own legal practice in Fiji specialising in foreign investment, tourism property development and construction law.”
In June 2001 it was none other than the brutal dictator Frank Bainimamra, who had appointed Cameron as the new chairman of the FHL. The dictator was exercising his power of appointment as the Minister for iTaukei Affairs. Cameron had replaced Iowane Naiveli, who was acting in that position for the past four months following the resignation of former chairman Isoa Kaloumaria in February. The dictator had also appointed Ilimo Cawi as a director replacing Michael Makasiale.
We will “Never Give Up”
We will “Never Give Up”
Carl Ngamoki-Cameron is best remembered for that recent shoddy rugby world cup song and video. FHL sponsored the Flying Fijians song for the Rugby World Cup 2011, with Cameron boasting that it was the first time for the company to back a sporting team. “We hope that this Flying Fijians music video ‘Never Give Up’ is going to have the same impact as what Waka Waka had for the soccer World Cup. The song is sung by Steve Macomber and is collaboration between FHL and the Ministry of Information’s Film and TV Unit.”
FRU board chairman Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga said the song will inspire fans to support the Flying Fijians: “Full credit to Fijian Holdings for coming up with the idea and it will no doubt remind the players of the support they have back home and will also unite the country to get the Flying Fijians like never before.”
The dictator’s propagandist Sharon Smith-Johns indicated that it was very important for the Government to support such initiative: “This is nation building. We hope this song is going to inspire the boys to try harder and never give up”
Meanwhile, sources inside the dictator’s office have informed me that FHL Board was not aware of “the stupid song” and are worried that other sporting bodies will also be queuing for sponsorship from FHL.
As to Carl Ngamoki-Cameron and other treasonous supporters of the illegal and dictatorial regime, we say: “We will Never Give Up” in pursuing and exposing your scams and transgressions in Fiji.