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AG, Nawaikula clash over racial attacks

September 22, 2021 4:30 pm
Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and Opposition MP Niko Nawaikula.

Opposition MP Niko Nawaikula made personal attacks against Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum in parliament this morning.

While debating amendments to the Voter Registration Act and other related Bills, Nawaikula claimed Sayed-Khaiyum is using the FijiFirst government to remove iTaukei institutions and traditional governance structures.

He then implied that the Attorney General is racist.

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“In the drafting of the Constitution, implemented within that – common and equal citizenry – for what? To terminate ethnicity, to remove ethnicity – only for this personal agenda because he hates the native people.”

He was then called out by Minister for Trade Faiyaz Koya who asked for Nawaikula to be reprimanded for personal attacks and for speaking out of order.

Sayed-Khaiyum responded that Nawaikula took a personal approach because he has no valid rebuttals.

“When they talk about your ethnicity, religion, your family, you know that they have no good arguments to make. You know they are intellectually deprived and they do not have intestinal fortitude to be able to argue intellectually.”

He also expressed disappointment that members of the Opposition were cheering on Nawaikula, while others including SODELPA Leader Viliame Gavoka did not object to his attack.

“Some of the members of Opposition who I thought did not think like that but just sit there quietly, were all giving him accolades including a former Minister for Education (Ro Teimumu Kepa). I was actually surprised that Hon Gavoka did not stand up and say anything, I’m married to his daughter who is iTaukei. So in other words, Hon Nawaikula says I hate my wife.”

Nawaikula then apologized and withdrew his comment, saying he meant to say that Sayed-Khaiyum hated ethnicity.

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