We are all friends, go back, be at peace and do your job – PM tells FBC

We are all friends, go back, be at peace and do your job – PM tells FBC

By Vijay Narayan , Navitalai Naivalurua
Friday 10/02/2023
[Photo: Fijian Government]

Go back, be at peace and do what you are supposed to do

This was the message by Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka to the members of the FBC Board, Senior Management and staff as they presented a matanigasau at his private residence in Namadi Heights.

A matanigasau is a traditional ceremony where a tabua is presented to ask for forgiveness from someone who you have wronged.

Rabuka says some of them may have realised that they were doing something that was not giving them peace, or they probably suggested something which was overruled and were told to do something that they did not agree with.

Rabuka says they should not have been worried and have the trouble presenting the matanigasau.

While presenting the matanigasau, the FBC representatives told Rabuka that they are presenting the tabua to ask for forgiveness for all the wrongs they have done in the past that might have hurt the Prime Minister.

They said they are committed to working along with the new Government during their period of leadership.

Meanwhile FBC Chair, Ajay Bhai Amrit stressed earlier this week that the former CEO, Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum had a total package for the year of $387,790.08 and received $32,315.84 per month.

Following the public denial by Sayed-Khaiyum that he did not get that level of salaries and benefits, Amrit said in a press conference in the presence of the Chief Financial Officer, Vimlesh Sagar that they have double checked and verified the information with the Finance Team of the FBC including the Chief Financial Officer.

Amrit also confirms that Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum received a bonus every single year.

He says during the COVID year, the former FBC CEO did receive a 12 percent salary reduction effective from 13th April to Oct 2020 and it was reinstated. The salary reduction equated to $14,259.97 but with his KPIs, Sayed-Khaiyum got $27,671.28 in bonus for the same year.

Amrit also says they have receipts of what was paid out from FBC to Motorparts Traders also trading as Sakura Carz for the new Volkswagon for Sayed-Khaiyum, and the total amount paid for the former CEO’s new vehicle was $207,470.

He says they have everything to back it up – it is in Sayed-Khaiyum’s contract and pay slips.

Amrit says he will be referring his findings to the relevant authorities and people within the FBC so that they make their final conclusions on what they want to do.

While responding to Sayed-Khaiyum’s comments that his package is confidential, Amrit says FBC is a taxpayer funded company and the taxpayers have the right to know this.

Amrit says they are also analysing where the $93 million of the public service broadcasting funds through taxpayers money was spent from the time Sayed-Khaiyum became CEO.

He says they are also analyzing the amount of funds in government advertising given to FBC every year on top of the public service broadcasting funds, and they will also look at how the $21 million Fiji Development Bank loan to FBC was spent.

On advertising, government entities were the biggest spenders with FBC.

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