FijiFirst MP Viliame Naupoto says the Great Council of Chiefs is the westernisation of a very traditional iTaukei governance system.
While debating on the iTaukei Affairs (Amendment) Bill 2023 which will allow the reinstatement of the Great Council of Chiefs, Naupoto says the chiefly system must be preserved and protected for as long as we can.
He says the chiefs’ decisions are final and are not scrutinized or critiqued before they are accepted.
Naupoto says when all of these are intact, we have deep reverence for our chiefly system and as long as the reverence exists, the chiefly system will be protected.
He says according to the Act, the decisions of the GCC are presented to the President and if the Bill is required then it is first presented to a board, and then to the Permanent Secretary, to the cabinet and to the parliament.
The Opposition MP says in that process, the Bill may not pass.
He says a big criticism of the GCC in the past was the politicisation and it will always be politicised as it cannot shield itself and will face its fair share of criticism.
Naupoto says the best way to protect and preserve our GCC system is not to expose it but to shade it from the influences of change brought by the globalised world that we live in and shield it in its purest form or as close to it as possible. He says in all these years without the GCC, the iTaukei continues to be served through the various arms of government.
He says since the government will reinstate the GCC, we must be reminded of the words of Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna when he warned them in 1944 that if we are merely decorative, our position is finished forever and will soon be tossed aside when some other races rise.
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