#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: 2011-09-18

Make Your Vote Count

Make Your Vote Count

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Nashville visit puts new light on Bainimarama's deal with Mahogany company

Feds take inventory and remove items from the Gibson Guitar factory in Memphis, Tennessee. Last month's raid (August 26) was related to one in 2009 where Gibson was accused of importing rare and illegal ebony wood from endangered and protected forests in Madagascar. Gibson says its supplier is certified and from India.


SMI AND BAINIMARAMA
Frank Bainimarama's flop visit to the Gibson Guitar company in Nashville has sparked another look at the unelected government's plans for Sustainable Mahogany Industries and Fiji Hardwood Corporation Limited.


It's been suggested the objective of SMI is to bring about the closure of FHCL and create a monopoly of Fiji Mahogany of its own. 


Current events would appear to support the argument.


After the Government released an Expression of Interest last year, SMI was the only company that met with the illegal administration for private discussions, which resulted in the company being granted the only license to purchase logs and the exclusivity to buy the premium mahogany of Fiji. 


SMI and the Bainimarama government have been putting on a show to the people of FIji with smoke and mirrors over an allegedly huge business of value, adding in the production of guitar components. But just how much wood has been exported to manufacture guitars and how many guitar components have been exported in recent months?


Remember, SMI is the only company in Fiji currently allowed to buy and process the biggest and best mahogany logs; the rest of the companies in Fiji can only process leftovers. 

The regime granted exclusive rights to SMI on the premise they were going to add value to this Mahogany and export downstream products (guitar components), but so far SMI hasn’t added any more value than any other sawmill in Fiji. They have only exported sawn timber, and they will keep on doing so, yet they keep enjoying exclusivity, nonetheless.


SMI received directly from the regime the rights to secure a 30 days account for the logs they buy from FHLC. Every other customer has to pay in advance. With the recent fire at SMI sawmill and the very little export they are making compared to the huge amount of Mahogany they are buying on the illegal government's credit, the question is:  How will they pay the Government for the logs they have purchased?

Acting on SMI’s complaints, the regime completely replaced the board of FHCL and appointed a board that has complied with every directive from the stop of supply to most of the sawmills FHCL was employing to the exclusivity of supply of premium logs to SMI. If this is not monoply behaviour, what is? 

Is it possible the SMI company received 'government money' for the initial purchase of the Logs and then went on to make this whole charade of presenting the cheque? It's believed that this was a loan that was paid.

It's also believed the illegal attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, has a vested interest in SMI, and is getting favors from the illegal government to operate and keep SMI operating as a monopoly. 

It was flagged weeks before the regime formally announced the Mahogany decree in June that Khaiyum intended to reform the industry so that landowners do not have a say in the selling of the mahogany and tender awards in an industry that can earn an estimated one billion dollars a year. 

The so-called audit of the industry was carried out by his accountant aunt, Nur Bano, after the board was dismissed and an interim one appointed. All of this done quietly while the nation was preoccupied with the sedition and mutiny charges against Roko Ului Mara and Pita Driti.

Smart bloggers suggested at the time that the regime was underpricing mahogany and questioned whether it was a sellout to investors.

This from one blogger: "Fiji Hardwood Corporation has set a very low selling price of log at FJD400/m3. This is after taking into account the $305 for log, $70 and $25 respectively for licensing fee making up the total. In US dollars @ the exchange rate of 0.56c, this F$400 comes to around US$224/m3 for A grade mahogany logs.

"However, the companies marketing this commodity as Fiji mahogany have advertised the f.o.b. selling prices in their web pages as between US$1200 and US$3000 per m3. Landworth’s Investment Ltd has advertised at US$2500/m3 and above while Tabs Investment at US$1200 to $1400/m3.

"Now what sort of mark up are investors allowed to make? Or to be given a very low selling price by Aiyaz and Hardwood Corporation of a total of US$224 equivalent is to donate the blood money to the exporters with undervalued pricing structure?

"If this is the price for A grade, then I only wonder what is the price for B and C grades. Come on Mr Prime Minister, is this the best you could do with Aiaz and your Hardwood Corporation board put together?

"If this is the pricing structure, then I would say there should be a gate price of FJD400 per m3 opened to everyone who wants to become an exporter without having to take a license out to export, as this is inclusive in the pricing at F$400.

"Open the door to the locals if this is really the right price for this high grade well-matured commodity, while you can keep the price for overseas investors equal to locals. If you really think this pricing was the right valuation, then open a local exporter’s license with F$400 gate price from any of the Hardwood Corporation depots. If not then we can only think that there is someone making millions in corruption with this diminutive deal signing to overseas investors."    

Readers might also recall the email from Bainimarama to his former land force commander, Jone Baledrokadroka, around the time the regime was announcing the Mahogany decree. (Coupfourpointfive June 9 2011) http://www.coupfourandahalf.com/2011/06/rattled-bainimarama-contacts.html

Bainimarama emailed a copy of his speech about the Mahogany deal to Baledrokadroka with the message: "Put this in your blog site so u fools can learn," signing it off from franciscopancho168@gmail.com

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bainimarama's exclusive mahogany deal with Gibson Guitars hits a snag

Frank Bainimarama was gifted a $7300 Gibson Guitar on March 6, 2011 in return for the apparent exclusive deal

Fiji's illegal leader has become caught up in drama in the US where he has been trying to seal a deal with the company that produces the famous Gibson Guitars.

A press conference was supposed to have been held yesterday between Gibson Guitars and Bainimarama but it has now been cancelled.

The news conference in Nashville was to announce a new partnership between the company and Fiji for sustainably harvested mahogany wood.



According to the original news release from the company, CEO Henry Juskiewicz was to appear with Bainimarama to reveal and publicise the deal, which guaranteed Gibson rights as exclusive buyer of certified Fiji Pure Mahogany.

A statement from Juskiewicz, however, raises many questions and hints at problems: 


“We have been approached by a supplier with close ties to Fiji with promises of responsible and sustainable supplies of wood and are currently exploring the potential. No absolute commitment will be made until we conduct an extensive review of the situation."

Gibson was last month raided by federal agents looking for illegally imported wood although several politicians have described it asover the top.



Sources say the US follows very strictly legislation known as the Lacey Act, which bans commerce in illegal timber and since Bainimarama is the illegal PM, the deal would also be seen as 'illegal'.

Fiji's Mahogany plantations is the largest in the world and is a million dollar earner. One of the reasons for the George Speight coup in 2000 is believed to have been a fallout over a Mahogany deal between the Mahendra Chaudhry government and Speight, the then chairman of the Fiji Hardwood Corporation.


The Fiji media are, meanwhile, still running a story saying the deal has been signed off.


Amazon Ad:

Mara: outsourcing of elections a hoax

By Ratu Tevita Mara

Fiji’s illegal Attorney-General Aiyaz Khaiyum’s statement (of September 21) to the Diplomatic Corps in Fiji that “it’s better to outsource (election voter registration) as it creates transparency” is another scam, dishonest and despicable.

To all intents and purposes, it is another subterfuge to con Diplomatic Representatives in Fiji that the 2014 elections will be free and fair. The illegal AG Khaiyum neglected to name one country in the world that outsources the arranging and conducting of its National Elections.

Why did the illegal AG not select the United Nations, the Commonwealth, the European Union, the British, American, Australian, New Zealand or Canadian Governments to handle the elections? They may even finance it. Private companies can be bribed or bought if the price is right, and, who knows, the price may be right just like the price paid to an American Law firm through a public owned Fiji company, to write the iniquitous anti-Trade Union Decree.

The only voters in Fiji who have faith in and trust the Military Junta belong to the families of the murderer Bainimarama and the illegal AG and their cohorts. Everyone else regards the regime as totally corrupt.

The illegal AG Khaiyum likes to use the word transparency but he and the junta do not practice it. The word transparency refers to the quality that makes something obvious or easy to understand. So how will outsourcing voter registration to a private company be easily seen, open to questions and be easily understood by the Fiji voters? The illegal AG Khaiyum’s whole idea and plan for outsourcing the voter registration, if it is done, is to prevent openness and transparency.

The use of voting machines, supplied by overseas companies, that are not inspected by any international and independent professional electronic engineers reeks of fixing.

The machines can and will be rigged by the illegal AG’s preferred supplier to ensure the junta’s selected Political Party wins the election.

Since there will be no Ballot Slips to mark, will the voting machines print and issue a paper slip receipt to show the voter the accuracy of their vote? On the basis of transparency, fairness, openness and accountability, there must be a paper slip receipt issued by the machine to satisfy the voter. These paper slip receipts will also need to be signed by the voter and all collected and counted by an independent international body. The total count of the paper
slip receipts should equal the total electronic count.

From our independence to today, the Office of the Supervisor of Elections was responsible for arranging and conducting all General Elections in Fiji. The Office of the Supervisor of Elections is also responsible to ensure fairness, honesty and independence. All this work was done in Fiji and subject to consultation with all Political Parties, discussions and inspection. In fact, the 1970 Constitution, the 1990 Constitution and the 1997 Constitution contained such requirements. Why then is the power-hungry Khaiyum changing the system. This also provides another reason why the 1997 Constitution was abrogated...to give the illegal AG the power he needs to “fix” the next elections.

There are also other important issues that must be considered. They include:

    * First, how can the promised elections be open, fair and honest with the existence of the Public Emergency Regulations, which prevents free speech, assembly, political meetings, media freedom and freedom of movement

    * Second, will the presiding election officers and Poll Clerks be military officers or supporters of the ruthless, power drunk junta or bribed officials.

From this analysis we can safely conclude that there are far too many unanswered questions that suggest that the electoral system proposed by the Illegal AG and Military Junta (to outsource the registration of Fiji voters and to use voting machines) is nothing more than another scam. It is also dishonest and a despicable attempt to deceive the people of Fiji and the world.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

UK consultant disassociates himself from Air Pacific and David Pflieger

Industrial relations consultant denies acting for David Pflieger’s Air Pacific to counter ILO attack on Essential Industries Decree

By Victor Lal

Andy Cook, a London based industrial relations consultant allegedly hired by Air Pacific CEO David Pflieger to help enforce the draconian Essential Industries Decree has disassociated himself from the contents of a letter that Pflieger had written to the illegal Bainimarama-Khaiyum regime.

On Thursday, September 15, 2011, Coupfourpointfive had published a copy of a letter from Pflieger to the illegal regime, which stated as follows: “30 August 2011 - TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: I confirm that Air Pacific Limited, a limited liability company of Fiji, in which the majority shares are owned by the Fiji Government, has retained Marshall-James of Kent House, Upper Mulgrave Road, Cheam, Surrey, UK, to work on its behalf on issues relating to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) complaint made against Fiji and the airline. Andy Cook of Marshall-James has authority to procure services from third parties in this regard. Yours sincerely, David H. Pflieger, Jr.”

However, Andy Cook, founder and chief executive officer of Marshall-James, says he is not currently working in any capacity on anything related to Fiji or Fijian employers. If anything, he supports the rights of organized labour, and is urging the Fiji regime to adopt a policy of engaging with the International Union Movement and the ILO. According to Cook’s statement:

(1)   I support the rights of organised labour. I believe wholeheartedly in the value of Trade Unions;
(2)   I have not been engaged by Air Pacific or the Fijian Government to support or help implement the Essential Industries Decree;
(3)   As a Labour Relations Specialist, I get asked to look at many different scenarios and situations. Having been asked my opinion, I have been urging the Fijian Government to adopt a policy of engaging with the International Union Movement and the ILO to begin to address the concerns and issues expressed by these communities with a view to finding a way forward. This is very important for all concerned. If there is a desire for engagement, then I am willing to play a part in making that happen.
(4)   Lastly, I confirm that I am not currently working in any capacity on anything related to Fiji or Fijian Employers.

Andy Cook is a veteran British trade unionist and was a union officer before founding his own industrial

Bainimarama and Khaiyum spinning different election yarns

Earfare
What's really going on with the election plans for 2014 - or whenever?

Cut to Suva a few weeks ago and
the Engaging With The Pacific gathering and the illegal leader Frank Bainimarama pitching the Strategic Framework for Change and saying voter awareness campaigns have been underway for the past few months.
 

Bainimarama also told the group, pilot voting booths have already been established around the country.  


Cut to Suva again today, and the Bainimarama appointed attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, is informing diplomatic crops that "voter awareness and electoral systems obviously will be carried out once a system has been decided through the consultation process".

Today's gathering had Khaiyum and the regime appointed solicitor general, Christopher Pryde, bringing diplomats up to speed on the electoral steps being taken toward the 2014 elections. The key message? That voter registration will start in January.


So which gathering got the true facts? Bainimarama's ready assurances to the Melanesian delegates or Khaiyum's to the diplomatic corps? Or neither?  

Photo: Peter Earfare, the Papua New Guinea High Commissioner to Fiji who led today's delegation of diplomatic mission heads and representatives who were given an insight into the electoral reforms including the formulation of a constitution, the consultations for a new constitution and the various time lines.

Viewpoint – Hypocrisy: UN OHCHR’s double talk on media freedom

By Tupuola Terry Tavita


Am I missing something? Or is Suva-based Matilda Bogner the biggest hypocrite in the region.


Carrying the mouthy title of regional representative of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN OHCHR), Ms Bogner this week issued an invective against an embattled Vanuatu cabinet minister – and the Vanuatu government – for alleged obstruction of media freedom in that country.


This while meekly hiding under the skirt of the biggest media bully in the region and happily turning a blind eye to the daily breaches of media freedom in Fiji. Its draconian extremes never experienced before in this part of the world.


Said Ms Bogner, “The failure to impose a credible punishment on a minister of the Vanuatu government for leading an assault on a newspaper editor and the alleged attempts by another minister to interfere in the broadcasting and publication of information on his conduct raises serious concerns in Vanuatu regarding freedom of the media.”


Fair enough. But where is her office’s concern for the detainment and torture of journalists and the daily interference of the military government on media publication/broadcast in Fiji? The severe lack of media freedom that’s happening right under her nose?Ms Bogner is a hypocrite, a coward and a fake.


This is the woman – in recent months, despite a mountain of evidence – could not mention the oppressive Fiji military and torture in the same sentence, when asked by the media.


She is one of the many international parasites in Suva happily feasting on global taxpayer dollars but failing miserably to raise the issue of human rights violations, of torture and murder committed by the military regime.


And now dishing out hollow lectures and patronizing homilies about media freedom across the seas, from the safety of her Suva office.


While soldiers occupy the newsrooms outside her door, Ms Bogner pontificates about media freedom in another country.


Why? Because the poor minister is a sitting duck. He’s already been exposed and ostracized by local and international media and Ms Bogner could not help but stick in her own one, two. She’s also quite happy to take all the plaudits for it from the alphabet media freedom groups who are forever looking out for higher support for their cause.


But don’t hold your breath. She will not lift a finger for media freedom in Fiji nor make a stand on barefaced abuse of human rights at her doorstep because, then, she will either be on the first flight home or the military regime and Fiji authorities will make things very difficult for the UN OHCHR office.Just ask the Forum Secretariat who are having to put up with things like lengthy visa and wharf clearance delays because it refuses to budge to Bainimarama’s demands.


Until the UN OHCHR makes a stand on media freedom in Fiji, Ms Bogner has no business wagging the finger at Vanuatu.


Tupuola Terry Tavita is the editor of Samoa's Savali newspaper.

Ngamoki-Cameron still in the job but investigation underway

The New Zealander Carl Ngamoki-Cameron is to stay in the role of chair of the Fijian Holdings Ltd until an investigation by the regime is completed.

Carl Ngamoki-Cameron
A spokesman for the office of Fiji's unelected prime minister, Pio Tikoduadua, has told the Fiji Sun that despite the special audit, Cameron, a lawyer, will continue in his position as chairman.

Tikoduadua says the audit is being done by officials from the office of Frank Bainimarama and the Ministry of Finance and that a decision on Cameron’s position will be made after the audit is completed.

The man appointed by Cameron to run Merchant Finance has, however, been moved on by the regime. Greg Cathcart has 'resigned' according to a statement from FHL.

Cathcart's appointment is one of several decisions that have led to Ngamoki-Cameron being investigated.

Other allegations that have surfaced include claims:
1) He requested management to customize the official appointment letter to himself with new clauses without Board's approval;
2) He verified unilateral appointment to several subsidiaries as Chair without consent and consensus of other Directors;
3) He did not consult other Directors nor did he give them adequate opportunities to be part of subsidiary Boards;
4) He wilfully obstructed payments which are contractually due to other Directors, namely Mr. Lutu for insurance;
5) He facilitated a friend to conduct an internal examination of MF at company cost;
6) He applied undue pressure at the HRM, Management and Directors, to recruit that consultant as the GM for Merchant Finance even when the consultant has not applied for the position;
7) He did not follow the process even after being reminded by the HRM and acting GM-MF;
8) He penalized acting GM-MF for highlighting the wrong process;
9) He acted against the agreed majority decision at interview panel at the interview of GM-MF;
10) The Board of MF was not consulted in the appointment of the new GM and not allowed to facilitate setting discretion of authorities limits, KPI;
11) He incurred capital expenditure without due board approval process.

The unauthorized expenditure were for:
(i) Apple noteback which was not compatible with FHL system. No quotes were called for and was purchased in Auckland and demanded reimbursements for;
(ii) Purchase of a second notebook, IPAD from a friend GM-MF and requested reimbursement from FHL;
(iii) Purchase of a wireless printer from FHL funds.


12) He incurred unauthorized expenses such as phone bill, subscriptions course fees;
13) He used FHL office for private work including use of office phone, board room for meeting with private clients;
14) He selected management staff to report directly to him;
15) He communicated directly with staff and suppliers without following proper process;
16) He willfully delayed to review expired staff contracts (7 middle managers);


Suva Yacht Club
17) He selectively invited shareholders to a part(y) at Suva Yacht Club using company funds - Directors and Management were not invited;
18) He had no justified reason for a quick travel to PNG at an exorbitant cost without prior Board approval. During this travel he incurred a cost of 14K to travel back to attend a private Fiji NZ business council meeting;
19) He was accompanied by newly appointed GM and MF;
20) He approved the sponsorship of FRU without prior board's approval;
21) He used external consultations/friends for BLC and PR consultant for FHL without Board's approval; and
22) He made unilateral decisions without giving due respect to other Board members.

See the blog Intelligentsiya for another take on the story, including the revelation Tikoduadua is going to bat for Ngamoki-Cameron.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fijian Holdings Ltd moves Merchant Finance chair on after just three weeks

Greg Cathcart: FHL statement says he has resigned.



The man appointed just last month to run Merchant Finance has been moved on after shareholders questioned how he came to be in the role.

The board of the Fijian Holdings Ltd has now announced the 'resignation' of Greg Cathcart, who was brought into the company by the chair, Carl Cameron, and who is his himself under investigation.

Coupfourpointfive was yesterday sent the 'market release' of the announcement and the release (pictured) shows the decision was signed off two days ago.

Readers will recall that Cathcart was caught up in the inquiry into Carl Ngamoki Cameron. See earlier Coupfourpointfive stories.

A letter sent by shareholders to Cameron and accessed by us reveals concerns about Cathcart's appointment.

Cameron announced Cathcart was the new General Manager for Merchant Finance Investment Company Limited (MFIL) on August 30. But unhappy shareholders, concerned at how a local was overlooked for the role, wrote: “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.”

Shareholders made it clear it was uncomfortable with the way Cathcart got the job: “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."

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Proof Air Pacific paid New York law firm to draft Essential Industries Decree

Wilbur Foster
Coupfourpointfive can today reveal that a leading law firm in the United States was hired by Air Pacific to draft the draconian Essential National Industries (Employment) Decree.

Evan Fleck
Evidence gathered by us proves the military regime of Frank Bainimarama and Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum rode on the back of Air Pacific and its chief executive officer, David Pflieger, to recruit expertise, and eventually, allow the regime to enforce the ENI Decree.
 

Dennis Dunne
The evidence also shows Air Pacific paid the USA law firm MILBANK, TWEED, HADLEY & McCLOY LLP, to draft the Decree, which means it not only lobbied the regime to introduce and enforce draconian laws but also funded its drafting.

The pertinent question now is: Did the Australian Airline Qantas, which has 46% shares in Air Pacific, know of Air Pacific's collusion with the military regime and that its directors on Air Pacific's Board endorsed Pflieger's proposal to pay the USA firm to draft the Decree? Or was all this done without its knowledge and right under its  nose?

Either way, the Australian Government, through the involvement of Qantas in an unlawful and illegitimate act (paying of legal charges for drafting a draconian decree trampling on workers and unions) in collusion with a military regime that usurped democracy, is now obligated to answer for Qantas's actions. This issue can become a political hot potato for an embattled Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

We reported last Thursday (September the 15th), a clear trend was emerging about the powerful influence foreign-owned corporations were exerting on the regime through Bainimarama and Khaiyum.

We had established the trend following documents sent to us that were signed by Pflieger (including a draft memo on the appointment of a consultant by the name of Andy Cook), plus the naming of foreign owned multinational banks like ANZ, Westpac, Bank of Baroda and even the Papua New Guinea owned Bank of South Pacific as Designated Corporations under the Decree.

We can now provide a copy of an invoice for 24.25 hours of work done by the US law firm, MILBANK, TWEED, HADLEY & McCLOY LLP, which was sent to David Pflieger on June the 8th, 2011, requesting Air Pacific wire $USD 23, 943.75 or FJD $43,200.00 to them. 


The 24.25 hours of work was done between February 10, 2011 and May 8, 2011. It was mostly carried out (24hours) by MILBANK partner, Wilbur F Foster Jr with the international company being paid in US currency.

The cover page of the invoice addressed to Pflieger refers to work done by MILBANK on Air Pacific/Proposed Insolvency Law. Tasks involved included conference calls, reading the draft decree (this is the decree Coupfourpointfive reported in May), corresponding with Air Pacific and dealing with MILBANK lawyers Evan Fleck and Dennis Dunne.
 
Work carried out also involved corresponding on the draft decree with Air Pacific lawyer, A Siwatibau. We have established A Siwatibau is from the Suva law firm of Siwatibau & Sloan. A (Atu) Siwatibau and James Sloan are partners in the firm. They were appointed Air Pacific's lawyers after the regime directed the airline not to use Munro Leys, whose partners are pro-democracy activists: prominent among them are Richard Naidu and Jon Apted.

The invoice in question (we are told its one of the several) amounts to hundreds of thousands of dollars and clearly shows Wilbur Foster Jnr's hourly rate is USD$995 or FJD $1800 an hour.

There is no denying the regime's appetite to devour human rights using illegal decrees is being funded by multinational corporations - or in this case a corporation that is 46% Australian owned.

MILBANK was founded in 1866 and its New York headquarters are at 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza,  with offices in major cities worldwide.

We publish in full the copy of one of the invoices from MILBANK.



Shareholder's letter accuses Cameron of misusing FHL office



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”
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.

Monday, September 19, 2011

What's going on now at Fijian Holdings Limited?

Carl Ngamoki-Cameron
More problems at Fijian Holdings Ltd although it appears the regime is trying to keep it quiet and out of the public eye.

The following story appeared and then were both removed today from Fiji Live and Fiji Village:

PM orders special audit on FHL chairman Publish date/time: 19/09/2011 [12:12]
A team from the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Finance is now conducting a special audit on the Chairman of Fijian Holdings Limited, Carl Cameron.


FHL has announced that Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama has appointed a committee to undertake the special audit regarding the allegations received against Cameron.


The FHL board met this morning 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 holdings.


Fijian Holdings Ltd only last month announced the arrival of Cathcart - an announcement made by Cameron:
New GM for Merchant Finance
Market Announcement FHL
New General Manager for Merchant Finance & Investment Co Ltd
In a press release made today, FHL announced the appointment of Mr Greg Cathcart as the new General Manager for Merchant Finance Investment Company Limited (MFIL).
Mr Cathcart is a 30 year veteran in the Financial Services Industry, having worked for companies AGC Finance, Pacific Retail Finance and GE Money and he is a finance graduate of the University of Auckland Business School. Over the course of his career has held most financial services roles from entry level up to CEO & Director seniority in NZ, Australia, Papua new Guinea and the Middle East.
In making the announcement, FHL Group & Merchant Finance Chairman, Carl Ngamoki-Cameron said “The appointment was based on the outcome of a stringent and thorough selection process. In addition he stated that “We are confident that Mr Cathcart has the necessary calibre to take on this challenging role and steer the company towards its strategic goals.”
Acting CEO for FHL Group and Merchant Finance Director, Nouzab Fareed, said “We welcome Mr Cathcart, and look forward to utilising his expertise for the benefit of the company and its shareholders and stakeholders.”
FHL would like to reassure our shareholders that business will continue to operate as usual within the Group.
MFIL is a licensed credit institution specialising in asset purchases financing, personal loans, term deposits and insurance agency services. It is also 100% locally owned, of which 80% is owned by FHL and 20% by Fijian Holdings Unit Trust respectively.
END
Chairman - FHL Company Secretary
Dated 30 August 2011
For more information, please contact: Elenoa Lalabalavu - Investor Relations Officer,
Phone: (679) 3305017
Email: info@fijianholdings.com.fj  
http://www.fijianholdings.com.fj/pages.cfm/news-media-centre/news/2011/new-gm-merchant-finance.html 


The blog Intelligentsiya posted this morning Cameron was under investigation saying that among his transgressions is the approval of the shoddy rugby world cup song and music video, which we reproduce here.