Politics

7th February

‘I was investigated by FICAC, had my home and offices searched’

“I was investigated by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC), interviewed numerous times and had my home and offices searched unannounced.” Former Fiji Sugar Corporation executive chairman and CEO Abdul Khan said this in...

Investigation is ongoing – police

Chief of Intelligence and Investigations Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police Sakeo Raikaci says investigations into FijiFirst party general secretary Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum are continuing. “After taking over the office of Chief of Intelligence and Investigations, I have reviewed the investigation files with ​necessary​ guidance provided to the ​​task force,” Mr Raikaci said. “They are now working...

Singh’s claim ‘grossly overstated’

Former Fiji Sugar Corporation executive chairman and CEO Abdul Khan says Sugar Minister Charan Jeath Singh’s claim that he was paid a salary of $802,800 per annum was “grossly overstated”. He said Mr Singh “should verify the correct annual salary and donate the balance to worthy charities in Fiji”. Mr Singh, while speaking to the...

Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum’s pay package – Amrit: We have proof

Fijian Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) board chairman Ajay Bhai Amrit says he has receipts to prove former FBC chief executive officer Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum received an annual package of $387,790.08 inclusive of benefits and entitlements. He said this worked out to $32,315.84 per month Mr Amrit also said they had evidence in the form of payslips and...

Australia PM pushes for bipartisan support on Indigenous referendum

SYDNEY (Reuters) -Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will push for bipartisan support on a referendum that aims to set up an Indigenous consultative committee in parliament, when it meets on Monday for the first time this year. The landmark referendum, to be held later this year, will establish an Indigenous “Voice”, that can make representations...

U.S. military says it is searching for remnants of Chinese spy balloon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military said on Sunday it is searching for remnants of the suspected Chinese surveillance balloon it shot down the previous day, in a dramatic spy saga that has further strained American-Chinese relations. The U.S. Navy is working to recover the balloon and its payload and the Coast Guard is providing...

6th February

Pakistan’s former President Musharraf, key U.S. ally against al Qaeda, is dead

ISLAMABAD/DUBAI (Reuters) – Pakistan’s former President Pervez Musharraf, a key U.S. ally in the campaign against al Qaeda following the militant group’s Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, died in Dubai on Sunday after a prolonged illness. He was 79. Musharraf, a former four-star general who seized power after a 1999 military coup, died in hospital in...

Thousands of Danes protest cancelling of public holiday

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Thousands of people gathered in Copenhagen on Sunday to protest a bill put forward by the government to scrap a public holiday to help finance increased defence spending. The demonstration was organised by the country’s biggest labour unions which oppose abolishing the Great Prayer Day, a Christian holiday that falls on the...

Republicans criticize Biden for waiting to shoot down Chinese balloon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Republican U.S. lawmakers on Sunday criticized President Joe Biden for waiting days to shoot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon as it floated over the United States, accusing him of showing weakness toward China and initially trying to keep the breach of U.S. airspace undisclosed. A U.S. Air Force fighter jet on Saturday...

Japan government has sounded out Amamiya about becoming BOJ governor -Nikkei

TOKYO (Reuters) -Japan’s government has sounded out Bank of Japan (BOJ) Deputy Governor Masayoshi Amamiya to succeed incumbent Haruhiko Kuroda as central bank governor, the Nikkei newspaper reported early on Monday, citing anonymous government and ruling party sources. The next BOJ chief will face the delicate task of normalising ultra-loose monetary policy, which is drawing...

No one is exempt from the law – Tikoduadua

Home Affairs Minister Pio Tikoduadua has reiterated that no one is exempt from the law. He made this comment while speaking on the crucial importance of the separation of powers by law enforcement agencies under his ministry. “Even though I am the minister responsible, I have a mandate of government. The police should only respond...

Debt ‘limits’ State’s capacity

Fiji’s $10 billion national debt and a further $1.8b in contingent liabilities will severely limit the Coalition Government’s capacity to borrow further for critical capital expenditure on infrastructure such as roads, ports, hospitals, water and sewerage. “Our national debt also restricts the Government’s ability to direct spending into key areas such as education, health and...

‘No one above the law’

No matter how high one’s public status is, no one is exempt from the law. This was reiterated by Minister for Home Affairs Pio Tikoduadua as he spoke about the crucial importance of the separation of powers by law enforcement agencies under his ministry. “Even though I am the minister responsible, I have a mandate...

5th February

Saneem: A-G acted contrary to the law

Former supervisor of elections Mohammed Saneem says while resigning from his position, he had highlighted critical issues with the Constitutional Offices Commission (COC). In a statement released on Friday evening, he said he resigned from his position because he found the process followed by the Constitutional Offices Commission lacked natural justice, good governance and certain...

Saneem questions legality of immigration watch list

Former supervisor of elections Mohammed Saneem has questioned the legality of his name being placed on the immigration watch list in the absence of an official Stop Departure Order. He was prevented from travelling to Australia while attempting to board a flight at the Nadi International Airport on Friday morning. In a statement, Mr Saneem...

4th February

PM Rabuka: Aiyaz a ‘person of interest’

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka says the former attorney-general, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, may have his “movement out of Fiji” restricted if he was subjected to any prosecutorial processes. He made the comments in an interview this week with New Zealand-based Tagata Pasifika. Mr Rabuka said Mr Sayed-Khaiyum was allowed to leave the country initially because “there was...

FICAC stops Saneem; FEO refers him to FICAC

Former supervisor of elections Mohammed Saneem was stopped from leaving the country yesterday at the Nadi International Airport. He was stopped after he was referred to the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) for alleged abuse of office and for corrupting benefits given to, or received by, a public official offences. Mr Saneem’s stop order...

Prasad: There will be no mini-budget

“We’re not about that kind of inconsistency and haphazard policy making.” This was the statement made by Minister of Finance Professor Biman Prasad when responding to queries on why there wouldn’t be a mini-budget. He said different people would have a different take on the subject. “The people have to understand that we’ve just come...

Fiji Coalition Government plan to revamp services

The people’s coalition Government’s plans to revamp medical and hospital services, improving education and strengthening sports programs were highlighted by President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere when he opened the 2023-2024 Session of Parliament yesterday. He said on the health front, there were plans for the revival of medical and hospital services and functional divisional command centres...

President’s plea for healing of divisions in the nation

Unity, resilience and togetherness. These were the themes reflected in President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere’s speech to members of Parliament as he opened proceedings for the 2023-2024 Session of Parliament yesterday. He addressed both sides of the House, making an urgent plea for the healing of divisions in the nation, and also in Parliament. Ratu Wiliame...

Big salaries were wasteful – Minister Singh

Wasting taxpayers’ funds on people who were not worthy. This was how Sugar Minister Charan Jeath Singh described how the FijiFirst government ran the sugar industry. He said he was shocked to see the hefty salaries and allowances former Fiji Sugar Corporation CEOs were paid. While revealing the salary packages of former FSC CEOs on...

Great Council of Chiefs scheduled for May

The first meeting of the re-established Great Council of Chiefs (GCC) will be held in May. However, by recognising indigenous rights, the Government does not seek to place indigenous rights above the rights of members of minority ethnic communities. President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere emphasised this while opening the 2023-2024 Session of Parliament yesterday. He said...

Coalition Government reminded to follow proper consultation and deliberation

President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere sent a stern reminder to the people’s coalition Government to ensure that all laws and legislation that are drafted, follow proper consultation and deliberation, and are taken to the people. He also reiterated the need to focus on the rule of law and democratic processes, including transparency, accountability, respect for human...

‘iTaukei statutes will be reviewed’ – Fiji President

Principal iTaukei statutes will be reviewed, President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere said. Among those statutes are: iTaukei Affairs Act, iTaukei Lands Act, iTaukei Land Trust Act, iTaukei Trust Fund Act, and the iTaukei Development Fund Act. “This will position the relevant institutions to deliver their mandates efficiently and effectively,” he said in Parliament yesterday. “The iTaukei institutions...

No fly out for Saneem; No departure order issued against former elections boss

Former supervisor of elections Mohammed Saneem was stopped from leaving the country yesterday and Home Affairs and Immigration Minister Pio Tikoduadua confirmed it was because a stop departure order was issued. He said the travel restriction was not issued by his office or police, adding that agencies such as the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption...

Ratu Wiliame: Private sector is a critical driver for economic growth

Government must recognise that the private sector is a critical driver for economic growth. President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere highlighted this while delivering his address at the opening of the 2023-2024 session of Parliament this morning. He said the private sector needed freedom and flexibility to perform their aims but they must operate within the law...

3rd February

GCC’s first meeting scheduled for late May

The Great Council of Chiefs (GCC) first meeting will take place in late May of this year. President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere clarified this while delivering his address on the opening of the 2023-2024 session of Parliament this morning saying traditionally, the apex of the vanua would be re-established. “The Government will undertake consultations and preparatory...

Fiji parliamentarians urged to deliver sacred duty to the people

Members of the Parliament were today urged to deliver their sacred duty to the people of Fiji. While opening the new session of parliament this morning, President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere said it was his hope and prayer that both sides of the August House worked together in cooperation and unity  for the betterment of Fiji....

PM Rabuka: GCC to meet soon

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka says the Great Council of Chiefs (GCC) will meet as soon as the legislation related to its establishment is formalised. He said they were working on the legislation at present. “Yes, we were going ahead with that,” the PM said. Mr Rabuka said there were plans for it to be rebuilt...

Ousted FBC chief executive dismisses allegations of exorbitant pay

Ousted Fijian Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) CEO Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says allegations he received exorbitant pay were “incorrect”. In a five-page statement, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum outlined his side of the story from the moment he had met the board and delivered a “staggering” 12,000 documents relating to senior management contracts, audit reports and financial statements from 2006 onwards....

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