- Fiji News
- Fiji Sports
By RACHNA LAL and ELLEN STOLZ
Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama has called on accountants, as business people and as professionals, to participate in the political, constitutional and electoral reforms underway in Fiji.
He made this call yesterday whilst addressing accountants attending the two-day 2012 Certified Practising Accountants Australia-Fiji branch congress at the Sheraton Fiji Resort.
Commodore Bainimarama said: “We need to break away from the patterns of the past, when professionals were content to attend forums such as this, and leave the reform processes to others.”
These ‘others’, he said, were the political parties and the other groups who had traditionally held power in Fiji and whom he labelled as the ‘vocal elites’.
The Prime Minister said he was highlighting this because accountants, business people and other professions, had in the past, shied away from such nation building processes.
“Or, to be frank, they have put forward their agendas through the mouths of others, and have not come forward themselves,” he said.
“Indeed it is obvious that some accountants, and I should not forget some lawyers, engineers and other professionals, actually are the movers and shakers, but, behind the scenes. They are what I call the ‘silent elites’.”
Commodore Bainimarama stressed every Fijian has something valuable to contribute to the Constitution Commission, through his or her unique experience and individual knowledge.
“They must no longer; you must no longer, remain silent,” he said.
“It is only through the participation of all in a public forum that the Constitution can truly be said to be OF the people.
“Each submission is one brushstroke in what will eventually be the completed painting,” he said.
Commodore Bainimarama stressed the business community had a particularly important role in this process.
“Your unique insight is essential to ensure that we achieve the best results possible. You must be a part of the process, and your views must inform the finished product,” he said.
The Prime Minister highlighted that professionals bring to the table skill sets that a Government would need.
“The National Council for Building a Better Fiji, during its deliberations, highlighted as a major problem in the decline in the caliber of political players, especially after 2000,” he said.
“Parliamentarians, back-benchers and ministers must be drawn from all sectors of society, and most certainly including the business community or business-world.”
Referring to the theme for the 15th annual congress – ‘Putting Strategy Into Action’, Commodore Bainimarama said his Government over the past few years, had been doing just that.
“It is important to note that before you have a strategy, before you put that strategy into action, you must have a vision,” he said.
“After all, a strategy must be guided by certain core principles. Without the core principles, ethics and morals, your actions would go astray.
“For my Government, the vision has been and still is to create a modern nation-state; a modern nation-state that is economically-strong, has true democracy, where there is substantive justice and where all citizens are truly equal before the law.”