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Tikoca makes prejudiced statement

July 5, 2016 5:21 am

Debate on the 2017 budget turned nasty today as Opposition Whip Ratu Isoa Tikoca made prejudiced statements about Muslims.

Ratu Isoa took the bigoted path accusing the Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum for quote…. “leading the nation with his kind" and giving jobs to only people of the Islamic faith.

Tikoca’s speech had little to do with the budget – and more to do with religious prejudice.

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“The concentration of economic power seems to be with a few elite, there is animosity growing within our various Fijian groups questioning why this elite group is being advanced over others. The fury with the stigma of one man leading the nation with his kind. People of Fiji have started to build misconceptions about others within his group.”

Tikoca then read out a list of around 14 names of those he accused of being appointed to key positions in the government because they shared the same faith as the minister for economy.

Mohammed Saneem the Supervisor of Elections, Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva Nazhat Shameem and Permanent Secretary for Industry and Trade Shaheen Ali were also accused of being appointed without merit.

Meanwhile, Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum also hit out at numerous personal attacks made against him.

“They have personalized matters – Hon Tikoca who is not here read out the names of selective people because they are of the Muslim faith, he forgot to mention the names of other people of other faiths, or other ethnicities – he selectively did that – Why? Because Deputy Speaker his reared his 1987 head again led by the leader of their party who sits outside the parliament and unfortunately the Hon Leader of Opposition who is inside this parliament also joined them by personalizing matters – saying that I control the Judiciary, the DPP’s Office – there is absolutely no control on this independent offices.”

Ratu Isoa was warned by Deputy Speaker Ruveni Nadalo to refrain from any comments that may raise ethnic or religious tension and animosity.

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