MSG Invitations Significant, Poverty & Social Wage, FNPF Devaluation, Nurses, RKS Apology
NA SALA CAVA? Readers are urged to scroll down to the three "Way Forward" questions, read what others think, and add their own comments.Today is the last day for comments that I'll summarize this week before postingmore question on Friday.
THE SUN ARTICLE. I think some people are reading too much into the Fiji Sun article I criticized yesterday. Many readers agreed with me that the article did Government no favours. I'm sure the PM was embarrassed by its publication. It was "way over the top", but the article was not typical. Far from it. Most Sun articles are at least as professional as other media, and their coverage often much better. Anti-Government readers should spare their criticism for The Fiji Times whose typical lack of coverage favourable to Government is constantly "way over the top" -- although it seems to have improved a little lately.
A reader commented: You're right, Croz. Anyone who has any sympathy with the regime at all ought to be horrified by this piece in the Fiji Sun. Because it's precisely the kind of crude, unsophisticated propaganda that is guaranteed to be totally unproductive.
has invited leaders of the Pacific smaller states to attend "because that is the request they put through to me after we were removed from the PI Forum by Australia and New Zealand ... Island states have said that they would like to talk and that would be the only forum that would be available for them to talk to us - the MSG." [This is a significant geopolitical move by Fiji that marginalises Australia and New Zealand. The reaction and uptake will be interesting.]
POOR NEED 'SOCIAL WAGE.' Integrating services helping the poor and government assistance to provide them with a social wage (that includes the money needed for transport, health and education) will help lift the poor out of poverty, according to USP Development Studies Professor Vijay Naidu, speaking to a Consultation on the Definition of the Poor and their Needs.
“What is needed for our government to do is to bring all these different types of support together and put it in some kind of framework so that we see an integrated process ... What I am saying is not original; it has been reported in the UNDP Fiji Government poverty report, that if we head towards being a low wage economy, it is government's duty to provide subsidies and I’d like to say that the government is doing that.” At the end of today’s workshop, participants are expected to draft a poverty statement for Fiji.
FNPF DEFENDS NATADOLA DEVALUATION. An internal forensic audit into the Natadola Bay resort project suports the writedown from $301 million to $81 million which reflects the resort's actual value. The FNPF is taking steps to hold those accountable for the writedown and has also identified specific actions to ensure that these funds are recovered over time.The FNPF said this will not happen overnight. The Fund has engaged Deloittes from Australia to conduct a forensic investigation into the Natadola Project.
MORE NURSE TRAINEES. The nurse training intake for the next three years will be 170, up from 90, to address the nursing shortage. Health Minister Dr Neil Sharma said the Fiji School of Nursing intake will increase from 90 to 120 and the Fiji National University to 50. Typically, 60 nurses a year left the workforce through retirement or migration. This year 65 nurses have been promoted to create space for new graduates, and 20 nurses who had returned from working overseas had been absorbed into the workforce as senior nurses.
RATU KADAVULEVU SCHOOL. The PM has apologized to parents, guardians and students for the one week closure of the school due to the kitchen not meeting health standards. The fault lies with the PWD that was given funds a week ago and failed to do anything. The PM, a school old boy, will open the ndew multi-million dollar school Chapel at the end of the month following a request from Old Scholars.
WELL WORTH LOOKING AT. Two items in the left column. Scroll down to see the video of the Queen's 1953 visit to Fiji and Tonga, and further down for the latest political satire in the Namuamua Journal.