Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka says the picture of the Minister for i-Taukei Affairs Ifereimi Vasu with his business partner Jason Zhong has become a sensationalized issue on social media.
In a statement, Rabuka said Vasu’s business partner has already served his time.
Rabuka said that the Irrelevant Convictions Act 1997 and Yellow Ribbon policy are relevant to the rehabilitation of offenders and part of the change in policy for Corrections from punitive containment to corrective rehabilitation and the reintegration of offenders into society.
He said that the Minister for i-Taukei Affairs meets the constitutional requirement for Members of Parliament.
“In addition, all Ministers are public office holders bound by the Constitution [in particular Section 91(2)]. Ministers and Assistant Ministers are also bound by their constitutional Oath or Affirmation of Allegiance upon taking office.”
Rabuka said they are also bound by the rules governing the conduct of Ministers in the Cabinet Manual.
He said the rules elaborate on the Oath or Affirmation of Allegiance as set out in the Constitution.
“Most importantly, Hon. Vasu submitted his declaration on assets, liabilities and income under the Electoral Act 2014 to the Fiji Elections Office.”
“These candidate declarations are published by FEO. The declarations are also accessible from the FEO, upon request,” he added.