Sayed-Khaiyum against the use of vernacular in parliament

January 23, 2023 6:30 am

[File Photo]

Former Member of Parliament Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum is concerned about the announcement made by the Minister for Finance, Professor Biman Prasad, on the use of any language in parliament.

Sayed-Khaiyum claims it was announced with the approval of Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka, who is part of the executive and not the legislature.

He says the legislature looks after the conduct of parliament, and its affairs are determined through standing orders and not by the executive.

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There is clear separation of power which are the legislature, executive and judiciary.

“The parliament is for all Fijians, the parliament is to ensure that every Fijian is able to understand what is debated and discussed because it is all about them. Everybody in Fiji under the ministry of education is taught in the English Language, the teaching medium is the English Language and that is why we have people speaking in the English language.”

He adds that according to Order 28 of the standing orders, the language to be spoken in parliament is the English language.

The use of vernacular in the Fijian parliament was not common under the previous government.

The government is expected to make a response to this matter.