Bill No.17 does not in anyway derogate, water down, limit the rights of i-Taukei landowners – AG

Bill No.17 does not in anyway derogate, water down, limit the rights of i-Taukei landowners – AG

By Naveel Krishant
Friday 30/07/2021
Attorney General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

Attorney General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says Bill No.17 does not in anyway derogate, water down or limit the rights of i-taukei landowners.

While giving his Right of Reply on the debate of Consequential Bills, Sayed-Khaiyum says what it does is remove an administrative blockage, does not in anyway affect the existing rights of the landowners but fundamentally improves the value of their land.

He says SODELPA MP Ro Teimumu Kepa earlier in the day gave a sanitized view of Fijian history adding that Ro Teimumu has never done this before and why is she doing it now.

Sayed-Khaiyum says Ro Teimumu has only done it to raise emotions, sensationalize the issue as to somehow or the other this Bill is a threat to indigenous culture and land.

He says on the one hand the Opposition is talking about not alienating iTaukei land yet they try to justify the alienation of land in Denarau and Momi.

Sayed-Khaiyum says the FijiFirst Government has never justified the permanent alienation of land for economic development.

He adds the philosophy is that you can have economic development even with the iTaukei land title intact.

Sayed-Khaiyum says they are empowering iTaukei landowners so they benefit directly from their land. The Attorney General further says NFP Leader, Professor Biman Prasad says the Government is giving a racial overtone but he does not have the gumption to stand up to SODLEPA’s racism and Prasad will only have a go at the Prime Minister and FijiFirst.

He also says these people have a political agenda and it is how can they get more votes.

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