Monday, May 16, 2011

Profile of a Megalomaniac: Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum - Fiji's Illegal AG


Michael Field 16 May 2011
Described as a lonely, inadequate megalomaniac, Fiji’s interim Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has always been deeply unpopular despite the considerable power he yields.
 
Central to the dislike among indigenous and mostly Christian Fijians is that Sayed-Khaiyum is Indian Muslim.
With his brother, Riyaz, who now heads state owned Fiji Broadcasting, they were close to Voreqe Bainimarama through the events leading up to the coup of 2006.
So was Colonel Tevita Uluilakeba Mara who, with other soldiers, made up the military council that backed Bainimarama.
A lawyer for Colonial Insurance, it was Sayed-Khaiyum who put a legal gloss on things. 
But Col. Mara, now in exile in Tonga, revealed what was well known; the military did not like Sayed-Khaiyum. 
“For inexplicable reasons, Commodore Bainimarama, weakened by ill health, morally and intellectually bankrupt, is no more than (Sayed-Khaiyum's) hand puppet,” Mara said adding he suffered from “megalomania … inspired entirely by the self importance of a lonely and inadequate man.”
A reflection of Sayed-Khaiyum’s power was his known government salary: F$336,000 (NZ$240,000). Bainimarama pays himself F$267,000 (NZ$191,000).
Sayed-Khaiyum defends the higher salary saying he is minister more things, including justice, anti-corruption, tourism, trade and being the attorney-general.
A distinctive looking man, he wears tailored suits and heavy gold jewellery.
 Sayed-Khaiyum did his law degree at the University of New South Wales in Australia and his masters at the University of Hong Kong, writing a thesis which advocated the removal of the right of indigenous Fijians to own land exclusively.
In Fiji he was, for a short time, in the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions but left under a performance cloud.
His mother’s sister, Nur Bano Ali of accountancy firm BDO Ali. It handles the payroll for the government, including Khaiyum’s pay (read the full story here).

Bainimarama’s 2006 coup was regarded in Fiji as a counter-coup; all previous coups had been indigenous Fijian led, while the 2006 was to restore Indo-Fijian power.

While most of Fiji’s Muslims are liberal Sunni, the Sayed-Khaiyums are followers of the Ahmadiyyas, a break away group from Islam.
While far from extremist, and often subject to violence in Pakistan and Indonesia, the prominence of Muslims in the regime has always riled indigenous Fijians.
In March Sayed-Khaiyum married Fijian Ela Gavoka, daughter of former Fiji Rugby Union chairman Viliame Gavoka.
Bainimarama blessed the wedding, saying he was “very very happy” to see Sayed-Khaiyum at last married since he had been asked alot of questions about Khaiyum’s marital status.
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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

hmmm
so according to the first line of your post, christian fijians are racists, hating people of any particular faith?.. or so you say? I have holidayed in Fiji many times and I find that statement to be untrue! Can you please edit this and add that this is your opinion rather then making such heady claims. I mean did you take a census of racism? lol.
Btw, folks who read this post, do not believewhat the author is trying to potray atleast not the first and last lines where he potrays the innocent people of fijian origin as the klu klax klan of the south pacific ;)

Anonymous said...

I stand to be corrected, not the first line, rather the first paragraph is the bloggers personal view on what the native fijians should hate " Central to the dislike among indigenous and mostly Christian Fijians is that Sayed-Khaiyum is Indian Muslim"

In case you have taken a census to prove the people of fiji are racists, I await the poll results :)