Letters to the Editor – Monday, January 30, 2023

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka delivers his eulogy during the funeral service of late Allen Lockington at the Girmit Centre in Lautoka. Picture: REINAL CHAND

Our national hero

AFTER many articles I read so far a hero picture of the late Allen Lockington has been etched in my memory. People, who knew him by his works, have paid tribute through the social media and especially in Letters to the Editor. I was surprised how an ordinary man can do so much in this country. All articles were worth reading. Our PM also acknowledged his works and titled him as a pantheon of national heroes in the Letters to the Editor ( FT 28/01). It is one of the biggest achievements I have known. I once heard from a wise man that when you were born, the world rejoiced while you cried, do something in your life that when you die, the world cries while you rejoice. Thank you The Fiji Times for publishing inspiring stories of our national heroes. RODNEY CLARENCE RAJ Naleba, Labasa

Name of a street

GIVEN what a hero he was, it may be appropriate for the Government to name the street where he lived after him. INOKE VAKALABURE Yasiyasi Rd, Nadera

Fitting farewell

ALLEN Lockington was given a fitting farewell, one that he truly deserved. At a packed Girmit Centre mourners lined up to pay their final respect to a great writer, social worker and environmentalist. Great eulogies were delivered by the PM, Sashi Kiran and Allen Lockington’s loved ones and daughters. I was given the honour to deliver the eulogy on behalf of The Fiji Times Letters to the Editor column. It was a privilege to rub shoulders with the great writers from the Sugar City- Nishant Singh, Selwa Nandan, Rouhit Karan Singh, Kirti Patel and Navnit Ram, and the editor-in-chief Fred Wesley. Allen was a simple man, and his funeral was attended by people from all facets of life. The various letters and opinion pieces via The Fiji Times spoke of the power Fiji’s ordinary man had over people. He was loved by many and that showed with the amount of tributes that he received. There will never be another Allen Lockington. I thank Allen for his contributions via writing and towards humanity. You have left a legacy that will be hard to fill. Ni moce mada my guru! Thank you Fred Wesley and The Fiji Times for giving him the space in the newspaper that Allen truly deserved! RAJNESH LINGAM Balgovind Rd, Nadawa, Nasinu

Friend of the poor

MOCE mada vakalailai, honoured and faithful friend of all the poor, the needy and the down-trodden. You were truly a faithful servant of the Lord your God in Jesus holy name. You touched thousands in your own unique way. How blessed! Thank you for your thousands of sharing over many decades. You touched many hearts — for better or worse. You were truly brave. You were undaunted. You spoke the truth as you saw it. Take your special place in your heavenly apartment. Rest well. May your family find strength to carry on in life with the beautifully rich legacy you have left for them. Sincere sympathies and condolences in their ensuing difficult hours and days ahead. Allen was truly blessed in the numerous accolades bestowed upon him. He earned them very richly and in abundance. In my view, this faithful son of Fiji and larger than life icon deserves a medal of honour to be awarded posthumously. Will the powers that be consider this recommendation, in good faith, merit and total respect? The city of Lautoka has inherited a brand new guardian angel. RONNIE CHANG Martintar, Nadi

Memories of Allen

AS Unkol Allen leaves us, I salute his beloved TD for being by his side. TD, Unkol’s memories will be a blessing. You got this. MANOJ PATEL Drasa Ave, Lautoka

A final letter

VINAKA vakalevu, The Fiji Times, you did Allen proud. A four page spread and other numerous articles. If only Allen could write a final letter from beyond on his views of his final day with us. TERRY HULME AUSTRALIA

Rubbish collectors

I HAVE great sympathy for rubbish collectors. They go above and beyond to collect household waste that comes from garbage bags and strewn all over the place without any apparent complaining despite it being an offence for households to use garbage bags and not rubbish bins. Another concern is for the health and safety of the rubbish collectors as they jump off and on and hang off the back of the rubbish collection trucks many times a day as they go about their work. After the rubbish is collected in my street, the truck races back down to the end at high speed. It must be very hard to hold on so tightly and avoid falling off. This practice whereby rubbish collectors are at risk of injury or worse is not accepted under the Health and Safety at Work Act 96, but rather blatantly ignoring the regulations. It is the responsibility of the employer, namely the municipal council in this case, to ensure employees have correct and full PPE and the workers are safe in the workplace at all times. It is clearly not happening. This needs to be addressed. There is no time to waste. JULIE SUTHERLAND Tamavua

Two out of office

I LIKED the front page heading ( F/T 28 /1) “Two out of office.” What I liked more was that incumbents from the two respective institutions have been appointed to act – Juki Fong Chew as COMPOL and Salote Panapasa as Commissioner Fiji Corrections Serviced (first female to hold this position). What I liked most was the announcement by the PM was that all such positions would be advertised once there is a substantive vacancy. Vinaka PM. ARUN PRASAD Dilkusha, Nausori

Valuable lesson

ONCE again I am extremely thrilled to read this article in the opinion column of The Fiji Times (Sat 28/01) by the prominent Suva lawyer Richard Naidu. In this super article Richard clearly tried to tame and gave a valuable lesson to the former attorney-general Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. According to most of us, we believe anyone holding the office of Attorney-General should be knowledgeable, experienced and a qualified lawyer. He should be a guide and a model for other lawyers in the country. I also sincerely hope that the former attorney-general had read this article and is planning to counter or justify the points raised by Richard Naidu. I also request the colleagues of Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum in the FijiFirst party including the former prime minister to read this article and if possible encourage and assist Mr Sayed-Khaiyum to respond to Mr Naidu’s opinion. Finally thanks to Mr Naidu again for choosing moderate English language for the average readers like me to enjoy reading. I believe as a lawyer and a former journalist he may have purposely avoided too many legal terms to put his message across for common people. VIJAY MAHARAJ, Sydney, NSW, Australia Lautoka mill I VIVIDLY remember visiting the Lautoka, Ba and Rakiraki sugarcane factories as part of a school field trip back in the early 2000s. Last year when I visited my motherland, the images of the

Lautoka mill

crushed my spirit. Far from its glory days, it looked its age, as if so brittle that upon touching it, it will tumble down. The mills are a metaphor for the girmitiya suffrage. The mills stand as a reminder of the girmitiya’s past and the reason Fijians of Indian descent are in that beautiful country. As much as the past hurts, it’s important to pay respect to the sugar mills — a major rehaul and renovation must be accounted for. The sugar industry may have lost its sweetness, but it has not turned so bitter that we turn our head and responsibility away from it. ASHNEEL PRASAD Abu Dhabi, UAE

Top 10 skills

ACCORDING to the World Economic Forum, the most important skills for this year and beyond are 1. Complex problem-solving 2. Critical thinking 3. Creativity 4. People management 5. Coordinating with others 6. Emotional intelligence 7. Decision making and judgment 8. Service orientation 9. Negotiation 10. Cognitive flexibility It’s a big list. But you need to empower yourself with these recession-proof skills – giving you a massive advantage in a time where the economy can change so quickly. While we feel happy (and rightly so) with the new government, we, as responsible citizens, need to do our due diligence to consistently improve our lives. The Government can create an environment to foster the conditions for us to do well, but will not spoon-feed us. We need to do our bit. It all amounts to personal responsibility. ARVIND MANI Nadi

U17 loses play-off

SO the under-17 side lost the third place play-off and the same old story is repeated again. The coach and management will say that Fiji soccer team learned a lesson and will need to improve in some areas. How many times in soccer does our national team need to learn lessons? Fiji has a soccer academy for players to learn. Why learn during playoffs? It’s like sending a student to school to study then when that student fails, the reply from the teacher would be that the student failed, but learnt another lesson. FFA should change its structure, management and most importantly all those people on the top should resign and make way for new people with new ideas. Change should happen for the betterment of Fiji soccer. GEOFFREY CHAND Lautoka

FNPF pension

HOPEFULLY FNPF pensioners get a fair deal under this new government. Hopefully they get what they were getting before 2012 pension rates. Give the pensioners what they deserved. MELI MATANATOTO Nadi

AGM for mataqali

ANNUAL general meetings for all mataqali! Great idea from well-known accountant Iowane Nailveli. Hope for the future of both the iTaukei and Fiji. TESSA MACKENZIE Suva

Trim plants

CAN the overgrown plants between the roads near the airport and other areas in Nadi be trimmed. It’s like a bush now. GEOFFREY CHAND Lautoka

Better result

AFTER three tournaments, the Fiji Airways men’s 7s team made the Cup semi-final. Fans had grown used to seeing the team in the semis since Ben Gollings took over, but starting from Dubai 7s the side took a nose-dive, finishing ninth and then fifth in Cape Town and eighth in Hamilton. Frustrations had grown and Gollings was on the firing end until the Sydney 7s where Fiji progressed into the semis. The side was unbeaten in pool play. Flashes of brilliance that were seen last year characterised the performance of the team. I pay accolades to the boys for rising to the occasion. Toso Viti toso! RAJNESH LINGAM Balgovind Rd, Nadawa, Nasinu

Number of clubs

ANOTHER National Club Championship has come and gone. I think virtually unnoticed. Do you know the current number of club teams in each district compared to around twenty years ago? Maybe those at the FFA headquarters will share with us someday. MOHAMMED IMRAZ JANIF Natabua, Lautoka

Baby Bula Boys

HOW can we expect babies to beat New Zealand . SUKHA SINGH Labasa

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