Ketan Lal apologises
I was not offended – PM

Ketan Lal apologises

I was not offended – PM

By Navitalai Naivalurua
Tuesday 11/07/2023
FijiFirst MP Ketan Lal and Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka

FijiFirst MP Ketan Lal has apologised for his statement in parliament yesterday after a point of order was raised by the Leader of Government Lynda Tabuya, stating that the FijiFirst MP had breached Parliamentary Standing Orders.

During his budget response, Lal had said that the 1987 coup, which was led by Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka, still haunts them to this day and this affected the cause of history for Fiji.

He also questioned the Prime Minister, when he was the PM in the 1990s, how half a billion dollars vanished into thin air from the National Bank of Fiji.

Lal continued by saying that the incompetent PM should learn from the example set by the former PM, Voreqe Bainimarama, who had a clear vision for a free Fiji without discriminating against anyone, equal citizenry and fair taxation for everyone.

He adds that the country thrived under the former PM, but now we see, there is a rise in criminal activities.

The FijiFirst MP also said these failed politicians are nothing more than a disgrace to the constitution and should retire from politics and allow the younger generation to take charge of the nation's affairs.

He says this government and the PM should go out because they have been breaching the Constitution.

While withdrawing his statement in Parliament today, Ketan Lal says democracy comes with a cost and he withdraws his comments that have hurt the democracy of the country.

He also promised that he will adhere to the standing orders before them and ensure decorum is maintained.

He adds that he has been called names, but as a young member, he is still learning.

Lal asked for forgiveness from all members of the Government and he is looking forward to the training session organised for all MPs and hopes to learn and engage during that session.

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka says he did not want to interject or respond to Lal’s statement yesterday, as he was only concerned that the FijiFirst MP had made reference to matters that he had apologised to the nation about.

He says senior members of the Government, and senior members of the Indo-Fijian community at the time accepted his apologies, and some later on have tried to ask him not to continue to apologise.

Rabuka says yesterday showed him the need to keep reminding members that there is a need to forgive and move forward and not to bring back the things that will bring malice in their hearts.

He adds that he was not offended as he was used to it, and it's like water on the backside of a duck.

Leader of Opposition Inia Seruiratu assured all MPs that he has spoken to his members in the morning, including Ketan Lal, and he will be holding another meeting today with Opposition members to highlight the importance of their conduct in Parliament and also how to express their opinions during debates so the decorum of the house is upheld.

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