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Past leaders ran corrupted Govt: PM


Oct 27, 2022 10:33:29 AM

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has accused past leaders of running a  Government plagued by corruption, inequality and incompetence.

Bainimarama while opening of the Ra Provincial Council meeting said he believes that the last century’s failed leaders cannot improve or even sustain the new Fijii his Government has built together.

He said these leaders cannot solve this century’s complex challenges.

Bainimarama said prior to 2006, the only people the leaders of Fiji listened to were the society’s elites.

"Our entire political system was built for the benefit of a privileged few who served themselves in the comfort of our cities without sparing a thought for rural development."

"These leaders lacked the courage and compassion to heal a nation traumatized by the upheavals of 1987 and 2000, which sent scores of our best and brightest citizens overseas."

"Those leaders failed to see unity as our strength, and so Fiji was weak. Fiji needed a new approach and a new direction—and we provided that.
He said they took the country down the path of unity, meritocracy and equality.

"I experienced stormy weather at sea which put my very life at risk –– God has guided through those rough waters, and he has guided my leadership as Prime Minister."

He reminded the people of Ra that they can trust that their concerns will be heard and that their leaders will act — because this is not the Fiji of 1991, in which Government made a decision that affected their lives and told them to like it.

He said that this is not the Fiji of 2005 either or any year before it.

Bainimarama said this is the new Fiji.

He said Fiji is stronger, our people are more prosperous and the Government serves the people — not the other way around and they not only took on the pandemic, they took on the super-storm of ignorance and indecisiveness preached by those set against the government, and the government won.

"Our economy has never been growing faster than it is today, we have welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors since last December’s re-opening and Fiji has earned $446.9 million from tourism in the first half of 2022 and, last month, visitor arrivals were 89 percent of pre-pandemic levels."

"Today is about what the Government can do next."

Bainimarama told the Ra Provincial Council members that their provincial boundary was re-drawn without consultation in the 1990s.

He said they are committed to consult with the council and others who are affected by this as they have always done.

Bainimarama said they can trust that their concerns will be heard. He also says his Government has worked hard to confront and solve the major problems Ra has faced through investments of around $74.5 million from 2014 to 2021.

Out of this, over $27 million has gone towards social pension programs, poverty assistance schemes, and disability schemes to protect those most vulnerable.

The Government has also invested over $16 million in grid extension projects to connect remote areas to the national energy grid.
By Ilaitia Ravuwai


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