Aiyaz Khaiyum's $370,000 Manual contains ridiculous rules like "chewing gum"
"The Standing Orders is issued to every MP and an induction course is undertaken for every new MP entering parliament for the first time. It covers among other things Proceedings on Parliament Meetings, the various officers of the House & their responsibilities and jurisdictions, The Business of the House, Rules of Debate, Motions and Voting, Procedure on Bills, Amendments to Bills and motions, Financial Procedures, Sector Standing Committees, Select Committees & Privileges It covers everything and yes including what to do when the speaker enters the house as well as rules on ‘chewing gum’.
The United Front for a Democratic Fiji (UFDF) says that the announcement recently by the AG that he has done a deal with a sponsor to publish a manual for ‘would be’ parliamentarian’s seeking to contest the 2014 elections is yet another colossal waste of time and a duplication of the already existing and well established 57 page parliamentary STANDING ORDERS a fourth edition of which was reproduced in May 2006 ahead of the commencement of the new 2006 parliament.
The AG sighted such basic things as quote ‘how to behave when the Speaker enters parliament? Do you stand or do you sit? ‘What do you do when a Minister presents a Bill? He also spoke of the behavior of members of parliament and the need to ensure a high level of debate’
The UFDF said the existing The Standing Orders is issued to every MP and an induction course is undertaken for every new MP entering parliament for the first time. It covers among other things Proceedings on Parliament Meetings, the various officers of the House & their responsibilities and jurisdictions, The Business of the House, Rules of Debate, Motions and Voting, Procedure on Bills, Amendments to Bills and motions, Financial Procedures, Sector Standing Committees, Select Committees & Privileges It covers everything and yes including what to do when the speaker enters the house as well as rules on ‘chewing gum’.
Distributing such a document to 200 or 300 aspiring candidates when only 50 will succeed is also ‘fool hardy’ and expensive and is unnecessary because those who fail to secure seats will have no further use or interest for the document for at least the term of parliament and those interested in parliamentary processes can just as easily visit the house, sit in the public gallery and listen to the debates and find out how things work for themselves and most MP’s invite on an ongoing basis members of their electorate to come to parliament during sittings and debates.
The UFDF says the decision about whether or not to replace the existing STANDING ORDERS of parliament with a Khaiyum authored version is surely a matter for the supposedly independent ‘Electoral Commission’ to make, but given that the Electoral Act, Appointment of the Supervisor of Elections and other key pre-election requirements are well past their due by date, such a publication would only be a distraction and well down on the list of priorities and as the STANDING ORDERS already exists, this matter should be left to the new ‘elected’ members of the 2014 parliament whose role it is to ‘create’ laws on behalf of and for the benefit of the people to consider and act on as they see fit.
The people’s elected reps must not be subjected to rules established by unelected, non representative officials."
[No 13 /2014]
[Mar 9 2014]
The UFDF today called on the AG to disclose the truth about the failed ‘E TICKETING’ system of transportation forced upon the people last year and asks what arrangement’s have they made for 100,000 Vodafone card holders who paid for the cards and purchased credit but have been unable to use it because all ‘E ticketing’ machines on buses in the west have been removed?
The United Front for a Democratic Fiji (UFDF) says amid the ‘hoopla and fanfare’ similar to that made on the need for a new booklet on parliamentary procedures, the Regime announced the introduction of ‘E Ticketing’ as the way forward for school children and the travelling public.
People were forced to line up in long lines waiting hours to fill out forms and pay $10 to Vodafone for a card as well as purchase credit for fares. And then things started to go wrong - on January 22 2013 the regime announced the price of cards would drop to $2 from $10 but warned it would go back up to $10 from April. Those who paid the $10 were told they could get a refund of $8 or use the credit for their fares?
At the same time the regime announced it would subsidize Vodafone $1 per card but never explained why? In February 2013 Vodafone ran out of cards after 100,000 cards had been purchased? People were forced to purchase a minimum top up on those cards of $5 then in May 2013 the authorities were again forced to reduce this to $2.
It was clear from all of the changes in pricing and supply at the early stages of its introduction that little thought if any was given to the operational requirements of this scheme and the processes and procedures adopted have clearly been flawed.
There has now been a ‘notable silence’ from the authorities and the AG on the ‘E TICKETING’ program perhaps hoping it will just slip away un noticed and allow it like others just ‘bite the dust’.
The UFDF says our people had been forced to purchase 100,000 cards for $2 to $10 from Vodafone and the same number of people made to pay from $2 to $5 in top up charges but have not yet used these cards or the credit top up because the bus operators in the West have since removed all the ‘e ticketing’ machines and the ‘National Switch Decree’ to bring this into law that was announced in the 2014 budget is nowhere to be seen.
The people were made to pay in advance for an undeveloped or proven system of transportation and they are still unable to use their cards today, more than a year after purchasing them?
The UFDF calls on the AG to provide a detailed explanation to the people of Fiji on the following:-
- Why have all the bus operators removed their machines and
- What is the current status of E Ticketing if it has ‘failed’ why has it failed and who is responsible?
- What arrangements have Vodafone and the government made to refund everyone who bought cards and credit and how much interest penalty for the use of the people’s money will they apply?
- How many people have been refunded to date and how many remain unrefunded?
- For those who are affected by this, what compensation is being arranged for them?
Fijileaks Editor; See also: TAKING Fiji for a ride: IT company Yalamanchili accused of muscling in on the E-ticketing market with help from Nur Bano Ali and Aiyaz Khaiyum