Monday, April 05, 2010

Unelected AG hits out at Media Outlet for Comments


Fiji Village News
5 April 2010


Unelected Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

The Fiji Government has hit out at what they have labeled negative comments by a certain media outlet on the eve of consultations on the draft media decree.

Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum at a press conference this afternoon replied to an article in the Fiji Times whereby their Managing Director made comments on the time allocated for consultations on the draft decree.

A newspaper advertisement on the draft media decree said copies of the draft would be given to stakeholders at 8am on the day of consultation, the consultations begin 2 and a half hours later.

In the article Fiji Times Managing Director Anne Fussel said and I quote, “nothing would seem to be lost, and indeed much would be gained, by allowing a reasonable amount of time for careful scrutiny and thus informed feedback” unquote.

Fussel said presumably several months were spent working on this draft decree and taking into account the breadth and complexity of the subject and its importance to the lives of everyone in Fiji, it would seem appropriate to allow a reasonable time for consideration and comment on something that will last many years.

In the article Fussel said this decree will not only impact on the quality of information every person in Fiji can access, on which to make decisions that affect their lives, it could also impact on potential investment and on revenue streams which flow on to the Fiji community through areas like income tax and VAT.

She added great emphasis has been made at all levels of government about the importance of consultation and dialogue and this seems a good opportunity to show that sentiment being put into practice.

Sayed-Khaiyum said all of a sudden after months of negative publicity on the government they are now concerned with the impacts of the decree on the economy. 

The consultations will be held at the Holiday Inn in Suva on Wednesday at 8am, Ministry of Youth Conference Room in Labasa on Thursday at 9.30am and at the Sugar Cane Growers Conference Room in Lautoka on Saturday at 9am.

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