Ro Filipe: Sayed-Khaiyum must stop hiding the truth

Opposition MP Ro Filipe Tuisawau. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU/FILE

The problem with Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum is that he labels anyone talking about ethnicity or indigenous matters as racist, says Opposition MP Ro Filipe Tuisawau.

He claimed Mr Sayed-Khaiyum himself was a racist because he did not want to hear “any issues specific to the iTaukei as a people”.

“We have to ask the hard questions and address (them),” Ro Filipe said.

“The A-G must stop hiding the truth and baseline data on the iTaukei must be revealed.

“All experts such as Dr McCaig, Professor Steven Ratuva and Prof Wadan Narsey agree that baseline ethnic data is necessary for development planning and economic equity – not only amongst individuals but amongst communities.”

Ro Filipe said this in response to comments made about him by Mr Sayed-Khaiyum at a media conference on Sunday.

During the media conference, the A-G criticised the media for not reporting Ro Filipe’s comments on how people should be appointed to the government.

“You have honourable Tuisawau making comments in Parliament, you guys (media) don’t run anything about it – that people should be appointed to government and various other offices based on ethnicity – not on capability, not on capacity, not on their ability to deliver but on ethnicity,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

Ro Filipe said the A-G’s statement was “misleading”.

The Social Democratic Liberal Party MP said he had questioned the Government in Parliament about the findings in the 2019-2020 Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) that 75 per cent of those living in poverty were iTaukei.

“All I asked was what strategies did Government have to address this?” Ro Filipe said.

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