14 August 2022
“Don’t lecture the youth but tell the nation how the Bainimarama and Fiji First governments over the last 15 years have burdened Fiji with ballooning debt through economic mismanagement”.
This is the response of National Federation Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad to comments made by the Attorney-General and Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum during International Youth Day celebrations in Suva on Friday.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said youths need to understand how the economy works and emphasised on stability and consistency in policies.
Professor Prasad described the AG’s comments as “hypocrisy of the highest order”.
The NFP Leader said the need for stability and consistency came from a person who on 21st October, 2018, while addressing a Fiji First campaign meeting at Suva warned that voters would be putting a dagger to their necks if they didn’t vote for Voreqe Bainimarama (Prime Minister & Fiji First Leader).
“Four years later he talks about consistency, stability and the need for youths how the economy works”.
“His comments are clearly sardonic. Why is he trying to be cynical and is mocking the youths? Is he berating their intelligence because a majority of them can clearly see the state of decay and deterioration of the delivery of services in all sectors including health?”
“Instead it is the AG and the Economy Minister who needs to look at himself in the mirror and truly assess how both he and the PM have plunged the nation into unprecedented debt because at the end of the 2022-23 financial year in July next year every man, woman and child will be burdened with a debt repayment of around $11,000”.
“In fact, it is the youth who will have to bear the burden of debt in the future”.
“Why didn’t the AG tell youths that sluggish performance of most economic sectors and ballooning debt under their two-man rule is responsible for lack of decent employment opportunities that pay meaningful salaries and wages?”
“Why wasn’t he truthful to youths and tell them that both Mr Bainimarama and he have micro-managed the nation instead of governing with care, compassion and empathizing with Fijians at all times?”
“Instead, the AG tried to indoctrinate youths with failed Fiji First style of leadership knowing how important the youth vote bank is”.
“But our youths know better. Their understanding of good governance, transparency, accountability and economic management is far greater than that of the AG”.
“The AG or anyone else from government cannot camouflage the truth from youths who know how to exercise their democratic and fundamental right to vote for a future to ensure Fiji once again becomes a land of hope and opportunity”.