Friday, 3 October 2014

Parliament Opening Live on Internet, Monday 10am

Parliament is to be streamed live on the Internet when it convenes on Monday for the first time in the refurbished Chamber in Government Buildings.

The proceedings can be seen on the following link:

This is an addition to the streaming available at Connect Fiji's myconnect homepage -

Both sites will go "live" on Monday morning in time for the historic official Swearing In Ceremony for new MPs at 1000.

The Minister for Communications, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, said the live streaming would give Fijians an unprecedented level of access to the proceedings of Parliament and set new levels of transparency.

" And, of course, it makes MPs more accountable. Standards of behaviour in the Chamber are bound to be kept high if our elected representatives know they are being watched by the people who sent them there", he said.

The Minister said hosting the proceedings on two websites should avoid any problems with connectivity.

"As anyone familiar with the Internet knows, it can sometimes be frustrating to be confronted with continuous buffering or dropouts. We want everyone with access to the Internet to be able to watch Parliament in session", 
he added.



  1. It will be interesting to see how often the PM attends parliament and if he ever engages in debate as opposed to reading prepared statements. Quite a challenge for him I would imagine.

  2. I wonder how Ro Kepa will do. Will she have lots of open papers and books as she did on Straight Talk against the PM.

  3. Pardon the typos--so one more time: "We shall see, what we shall see."
    "For everything there is a season ...
    A time to live and a time to die ... and a time
    to watch Fiji parliamentary proceedings on the Net ... "

    I do not expect any great debates or any high level of eloquence. What I expect is a replay of the past--much sound and fury not signifying very much. I do expect, however, that Khaiyum will shine. Despite all the innuendo
    venom and low level bile directed at him, from the peanut gallery, Khaiyum is smart.
    To be brutally realistic, and frank, there are no William Pitts in the House.

  4. A suggestion for the Opposition:

    Croz, while I’m a FijiFirst supporter I thought maybe I also have a duty to help our opposition parties out and offer them some suggestions that can help them contribute to a better and accountable Fiji. So here’s it is:

    I suggest that when debating the Auditor General’s report the Opposition would really need to go through previous AG reports before the debate and identify those issues that have been systematically mentioned over and over again and specifically identify systems and processes and policies in the various Ministries that still have not been addressed adequately.

    This problem is very similar to my taxi.

    A few days ago my friend who is also a taxi driver asked if he could ‘hire’ my taxi for 2 days as he needed some quick bucks to meet traditional obligations. I gave him my taxi but forgot to mention to him that at times there’s some little problem with starting the engine. When he returned the taxi he just couldn’t stop complaining about this problem as he had a really disturbing experience with this problem as it rained suddenly last week and he had to come out every now and then each time he needed to turn the engine on.

    In my view, if the wheel or lights or breaks still have not been fixed then no matter who drives this taxi of mine it will still bring about some unpleasant experiences.

    So if Govt. still have not fixed those repeating problems that AG may have time and again highlighted then surely driving our nation forward and reaching our intended destination would really be an ‘unpleasant and costly’ one.

    So the Opposition parties can really contribute if they identify these repeating problems and ask Govt. why inadequate steps still have not been taken to fix these problems.

    Another suggestion for the opposition:

    I think the opposition needs to familiarize themselves with laws governing the Environment and identify loopholes in the processes especially where the TLTB gives the green light for development to proceed without the Environment laws being followed strictly.

    I have heard of stories from passengers (I don’t know whether it’s true or not) that because we want development so much at times Environmental law’s importance becomes secondary and the Dept. of Environment too weak to pause things until environmental studies are fully done.

    So the opposition should consider familiarizing themselves with environmental laws and processes and identify all Depts. and TLTB’s roles and how things works and identify under which circumstances environmental laws become secondary and are not fully followed over the need for quick development (and at times at the expense of land owner’s interest in ensuring their land are not left at a deteriorating state at the end of the development)

    Thanks and hope the above suggestion is of some use to the opposition team.

    And may Fiji prosper from our Parliamentary leaders’ debates.

    1. I had an interesting passenger today and he said that he was a Govt. official. We had a good conversation when I took him home.

      I asked him where can a member of the public get information (roles, plans, achievements, etc.) about the various Ministries and he said the best way is to visit the Ministries website or obtain an Annual Report.

      So I did this and saw an Annual Report of a Ministry. Here's the address of the report I visited: (Check this report out and see the amount of info in this report).

      After going through this Annual Report I started asking myself lots of questions. (I think a member of the opposition will certainly have more questions than I).

      So here's an additional suggestion to the Opposition:

      Before starting your debate on the Auditor General Report remember:

      - Prepare well by going through previous year's AG's reports (as mentioned above) and look for systematic issues.

      - Read the Ministry's Annual Corporate Plan and also the Annual Reports to familiarize yourself well.

      - Prepare your questions well and discuss it amongst yourselves before attacking the Govt. in Parliament.

      - If more information or more insight are needed request the Auditor General's view. If needed, request the AG to conduct special audits on areas which in your view needs to be covered thoroughly and indicate to the AG the specific issues and angle you want the audit to take.

      Just a thought the Opposition may like to consider.

  5. Oh forgot to mention ................ a suggestion for Govt on the above processes relating to development proposals.

    I suggest Govt. to review the process above and put a timeframe on when each Dept. is to look at the various development proposals so that environmental issues are addressed adequately and processing doesn't take too long.

    All requirements from the various Depts. needs to be known up front (and advised in their websites) so business people are not taken around in circles and only to find out that certain requirements were not met and the need for them to conduct certain aspects of the environment studies.

    A passenger I once took mentioned to me his frustration when he found out after 3 long months that the Dept. of Environment requested his company to conduct another Marine studies because the earlier study they submitted only addressed issues relating to the land but not the marine environment. His major concern was why it took the Dept. of Environment that long to advice him of this requirement.

    Maybe the Dept. of Environment have valid reasons but letting developers/business people know up front of all requirements perhaps will ease things and no unnecessary 'cutting of corners' will happen and landowners' interests will not be compromised.

    Just a thought that can maybe help so a win-win situation for all.

  6. Another suggestion for Govt.

    For so long we have been having problems with our water supply and it seems previous Govt.s have not done enough and put in place some kind of system to safeguard and ensure our water systems are well looked after over time.

    I remember once hearing in the radio that this was so and FB was trying his best to fix this problem and his Govt. has done alot with regards to this.

    I would like to suggest that Govt. create a (30-50 year) Master Plan and a way to ensure sufficient money are always budgeted for our water system and no matter which Govt. is voted in, this Master Plan will not be affected much and monies that were planned for the Water Authority to fix the pipes and pumps, etc., are not drastically reduced.

    If there's no such Master Plan then any new Govt. voted in may be tempted to use these monies for other development needs and in the end our water systems again ignored and suffering at a later time.

    I really don't know how this is to work but maybe we can learn techniques from other developed countries.

    Still on the Water Authority:

    I remember driving in my old taxi and heard over the radio that some officers were misusing Govt. monies in the old Water Dept.

    I would like to suggest to Govt to put in the Water Authority some auditors to check every 2-4 months how monies have been used and identify whether systems are now OK or improvements needed. Otherwise, corruption and stealing will happen again in Water Authority especially when we hear over the radio the amount of money being spent by them in the various activities (e.g. for delivering water during this drought season the Authority spent over $1m - there is a risk that areas not affected could have been claimed by companies hired to cart water as a passenger told me that she saw a water truck coming to their area to deliever water when water was available).


  7. Last week I hear on the radio that alot was discussed in the UN meeting on issues relating to climate change and perhaps the need to protect the environment.

    So some suggestions for Govt. on this:

    I once had a passenger in my taxi and this iTaukei man said that he just got his land lease approved by TLTB. He then start reading to me some of the conditions in his lease and there was a condition that hit our attention.

    The condition was no planting should be done for slopes of more than 30 degrees (if I remember correctly). What amazed both him and I was that how will a farmer know if a hill is 30 degrees in slope.

    So I'd like to suggest to Govt. to tell those Dept.s responsible and TLTB to map out exactly those slopes that are more than 30 degrees and identify to the farmer where in his leased land these slopes are.

    These Dept.s can then provide to Govt. statistics on all such areas so Govt. with this important information can make good decisions as to how these areas are to be protected.

    Another area where information is not readily available is those mangrove areas that needs protection. These mangrove areas also needs to be mapped out so developers can know for certain that from points A to B in a particular mangrove area cutting down of mangroves is strictly prohibited. I think a national marker of some sort needs to be created and used in marking these areas for all to easily identify. Otherwise some developers will just continue beating the system and in some instances can bribe Govt. officials for their developments to be approved. Maybe the USP and SPC people can help Govt. (esp. the Mapping Dept.) in this.


  8. A request for Govt.
    Banks are charging extra interests on Credit cards even-though customers didn't use their cards.
    The problem was that customers just didn't fully pay their credit so Banks charge extra interest each month.
    Can the Govt. please look into this so interest charged by Banks are looked into?
    Interests charged should be different when customers credit money or use their credit card to buy items i.e. extra interest should only be charge once and not when card is no longer used.

  9. Jim Anthony and his praise for Khaiyum !!

    I wonder if he's looking for a job !!

    1. Why so negative Bill? What's wrong with praising ASK?

  10. Nope. Not interested in any job.
    At 80 I am securely 'retired'. Besides, my professional consulting rates are too high for the government of Fiji to afford me.
    Mr. Khaiyum is a good man and smart to boot. Note: I did not say that Mr. Khaiyum was perfect: like all of us he has his flaws, his human failings. If I said that he was perfect you--and others, Mr. Carson, would be entitled to be more suspicious that you apparently are. Time to move on from old stupidities and continuing nonsense..

  11. @Jim Anthony

    I wholeheartedly agree with you that Khaiyum would have the opposition party for "lunch and dinner" when it comes to Parliamentary debate. Not only is he smart, he conducts himself in a very respectful and diligent manner if his debate with Prof Biman Prasad is anything to go by. Khaiyum comes across to me as someone who is strategically astute but at the same time has this rare ability(amongst Strategies anyway) to be practical/operational. I see that the PM has also elevated Pio Tikoduadua to Number Three on his cabinet line-up. This is a shrewd move by the PM. Tikoduadua is one of the smartest military officers to ever come out of RFMF and he is an excellent communicator/debater. With Khaiyum and Pio next to his ears in the parliament, the PM may just surprise a lot of people. The PM is an ex-military officer and planning and preparation is "bread and butter" for those in the profession. I will put my "last dollar" that he will meticulously prepare (assisted by his staff officers) prior to all Parliamentary sessions and will hold himself well.

    And Bill Carson before you accuse me too, nah Fijian Govt won't be able to afford my salary with Education sector in NZ.
    Sa dri yani.

  12. @ Ratu Naita

    I agree. Pio was secretay in the PM's office and has a good grasp of everything that went across the PMs desk. He was at the heart of Government administrative machinery and is thus a man that the PM wants to keep at his side.

    1. Looking from the outside in and knowing Fiji as well as I do, it is worth repeating that Khaiyum is smart. Whatever his faults might be no body in his right mind can deny that he has served this PM better than just "well", I only know of Tikoduadua from other insiders. He's smart too. The scarcest of Fiji's scarce resources is its human talent. Fiji's best and brightest ought to be nurtured, encouraged, supported, given the opportunity to travel widely, to get a measure and a fix on the world beyond Fiji's shores. It would be wise for the Bainimarama/Fiji First government to establish a National Center for Innovation--a nerve center from which cutting edge ideas can be selected and shaped for consideration by people who will be helping to make and shape policy--and with direct access to Cabinet.

      Fiji will have to get beyond 'vinaka vakalevu, shukriya, dhanyavaad etc.' and deal with a range of critical policy issues: poverty alleviation, early childhood education, productive use of land, in an age of global climate changed induced rising sea levels, ocean warming and ocean acidification and more. Waiting and hope are not strategies. The time for talk is over. This is now the time for action--to deliver the goods to the nation and its people. The PM is a military man--he what knows what 'terms of engagement' means. He's now firmly and legitimately in the driver's seat. His job in no small part is to set the terms of engagement and get the job done.

      One job that must be done is to strengthen the military, streamline it, modernize it, make it the best military machine in the Pacific. Pay, working conditions, pensions for those in the armed forces must be improved. The prospects for enhanced training and education must be advanced. A first rate Military Academy must be established. We live in a dangerous, unpredictable world. Time for this government to roll up its sleeves and get to work. In no small part democracy means that you get all of the relevant people in on the action but in the end you have to get action. Interminable talk is for the birds.

    2. Xenophobic cultural parochialism has long been a major disease in Fiji's brand of sectarian politics. True, its wings have been clipped (if I may mix my metaphors) but the roots of the disease are till there. It will take a couple of generations--all other things being equal, which they never are--for the disease to have been eradicated. SODELPA seems to be clinging tenaciously to old myths and continues, so it seems, to refusing to face new realities.SODELPA seems to be in urgent need of consciousness renovation. At the best of times this is difficult. These are not the best of times.

      Biman Prasad (BP) does not impress me--as a speaker or as a great political intellect. On the charisma scale he is close to zero. He has to get used to the idea that he is no longer at a University dealing with students with power over their grades. Parliament and politics are, together, an entirely different milieu where a different game is played with quite different rules. BP often reminds me of someone trying to play soccer who has two left feet and little understanding of the rules of the game. Most of the time he seems lost on the "field" and off side.

      In any event, the FF government has a solid majority and a solid mandate to rule. It has set its agenda. Now is the time to begin delivering on each and every election manifesto promise, each agenda item.

      Consult the Opposition parties by all means but do not let them weigh you down with leg irons from the furnace of their confusion. the government's job is to lead and "move it, move it, move it."

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