Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Fiji's Kangaroo Parliament Back to Hasty Law Making in 2017!

Sai Comments:

- Another year, yet the same for Fiji's Parliament, as it will again be treated with contempt and disdain by the Bainimarama government with its plan to rush important pieces of legislation through using its majority numbers!
- Fijians must really be regarded as if they're all stupid and dumb by the likes of Khaiyum and Bainimarama in the way laws to govern them are being developed and approved with obscene haste and having such blatant disregard for the Opposition and the public to be provided ample opportunity for input through the committee stages of proposed legislation for their consideration and input.
-  The extreme arrogance and total disregard for outside involvement in such an important process of governance by Khaiyum has become legendary since the FijiFirst regime came to power and it continues unabated. As a result, they have become a real danger to the lawful governance of the country and only their removal from power can remedy the situation. To them, the Parliament is a mere playground for them to shove through what they need to paint a veneer of legality to their rule. That has been their prime modus operandi owing to their obscene arrogance flowing from the power they now exercise with impunity!
- Fiji and and its people can only reclaim the true role and function of their Parliament when the FijiFirst regime is no longer allowed to terrorise the law making body with their dictatorial and unrelenting appetite to control every element of the machinery of the Fiji State!

A-G tables Bills

Nasik Swami
Fiji Times - Tuesday, February 07, 2017
THE Government is to use its numbers to push urgent matters in Parliament on five important Bills.
On the resumption of the House yesterday, the Government used Standing Order 51 to fast-track and serve notice that it intended to proceed without delay on five Bills.
The Bills are:
* Public Order Amendment Bill 2017;
* Financial Transaction Reporting Amendment Bill 2017;
* Workmen's Compensation Amendment Bill 2017;
* Value-added Tax Amendment Bill 2017; and
* Electoral Amendment Bill 2017.
Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum moved the motion for the Bills to be considered without delay and debated during this week's sitting. The amendment to the Public Order Act tabled by Mr Sayed-Khaiyum proposes to remove the requirement for a permit when organising or convening a meeting or procession in a public place.
The current Public Order Act 1969 requires any person who wishes to organise or convene a meeting or procession in a public place to apply for a permit from the relevant divisional police commander.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum told Parliament while there would no longer be any requirement for a permit for a meeting in a public place, a permit would still be required for a meeting that was organised or convened in a public park or on a public road.
He said the restriction to having permits for meetings only in public parks and public roads ensured that the safety, security and interests of others who used the parks and roads, were not affected.
Contrary to the definition of public place, the proposed definition of public park and public road in the Bill only refer to any highway, public street, public road, public park or garden, any sea beach, river bank, public bridge, wharf, jetty, lane, footway, square, court, alley or passage whether a thoroughfare or not.
"The Bill also proposes the powers conferred on the commissioner of police or any divisional police commander under section 9 (2) of the Act to prohibit any procession, meeting or assembly in any public or private place or to direct any procession, meeting or assembly in any such place to disperse."
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said police could still stop a meeting if inciteful comments were made.
The principle Act was amended in 2012 and 2014 by a decree.
The amendment to the Financial Transaction Reporting Amendment Bill 2017 which is Fiji's key legal safeguard against money laundering and terrorism financing proposes to allow the minister to prescribe penalties in regulations made under the Act of a fine not more than $150,000 or a term of imprisonment not exceeding five years, or to both.
On the Workmen's Compensation Bill, the proposed amendment to the Act is to make worker-friendly provisions and to better facilitate the making of compensation workers in the case of injury or claims by death,
The Value Added Tax Amendment Bill 2017 proposes to address two issues.
The first is the update of the concession codes under section 14(4A) with the new concession codes in the Customs Tariff Act 1986 and the second is the introduction of new provisions to allow Fijians engaged in the supply or construction of residential accommodation accumulating a gross turnover of less than $100,000 to be able to register and claim for valued added tax (VAT) refunds.
Amendment to the Electoral Amendment Bill 2017 proposes to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of the electoral processes and procedures.
If the Bill is enacted, it would allow the Fijian Elections Office time to plan ahead and make necessary arrangements in preparation for the next general elections in 2018.
The Opposition objected to the Bills, saying it should be referred to relevant parliamentary standing committees.

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