So iArse got the green light for his casinos. What can this possibly bring about, other than the further ruination of our once-promising nation? “Fiji Fantastic”, so the ads used to say. That possibility is now so far out of our reach it seems almost as though it never was.
Gambling. Readers may recall back in mid 2009 Dr Wadan Narsey released a far-reaching analysis into how badly the new illegal regime was performing. Many others besides predicted how this regime would start rotting our infrastructure. Discombobulated Bubu hit the nail on the head with her Boiling Frog series. Solivakasama (under Kutu, as it was at the time) held many forum discussions on the true corruption of this illegitimate regime. Well, the regime is no longer even pretending to care about moral fibre, and is instead looking at gambling as an easy avenue to a quick buck. (iArse – will you never learn? THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS EASY MONEY!)
Let’s revisit the facts.
- Alleged corruption. When OmniVore illegally took control of our government, he claimed that he was doing so in order to root out corruption blah blah blah. [Anti-IIR bloggers will know that his actual motive was to avoid prosecution for the murder of the CRW soldiers who died in custody. Then Police Commissioner Andrew Hughes (arguably Fiji’s most successful PC) had compiled his dossier and handed it to the DPP’s office. OmniVore got wind of this, through his chum and co-conspirator the malodorous Chodokant, and threatened to hold a coup-d’etat. If only we’d sacked him when we had the chance!]
- Qarase Not Guilty. Since OmniVore took over the reigns of power, not one IIR allegation against the Qarase government has been brought to light, or proven. Not one.
- Economic death. Since OmniVore took over the reigns of power, Fiji’s economy has plummeted. Whereas under the democratically elected Qarase multi-party government our economy was not only thriving but growly steadily, OmniVore has only been able to keep the country afloat by under-the-table deals like selling off our foreign assets without declaring them (WTF happened to our embassy in New York?) or selling off our mineral, forestry or fisheries resources without declaring them. They are taking non-transparent loans from mainland China (which, as any switched-on African will tell you, is A Bad Idea), asking the IMF for ridiculous loans and essentially throwing our nation so badly into debt that any democratically elected government who comes in after them will have such an enormous and ingrained mess to clean up that it may not be achieved in our lifetime.
- Real corruption. OmniVore and his junta are self-appointed, and unelected. They have no reason to perform well at their jobs, and no-one to kick them out for poor results and for this reason, the REAL rot has set in, right from the top. They are systematically crippling our media, the fourth estate, from reporting what is really happening in our government. As the saying goes, the fish stinks from the head. iArse’s own mother has migrated to NZ to escape her son’s double dealings. Anyone who thought that corruption was bad under previous governments (let’s face it, Fiji’s politics has never been snowy white, but at least we had the option before to throw them out when they were really useless – like we did to Chodokant) is watching the IIR in real shock.
- Real rot. And now the rot sets in. Whereas before, Fiji’s crime problems stretched as far as home incursions, a fledgling drug trade in the hill tribes, prostitution in the main towns and of course unsustainable illegal fishing in our waters, we are now looking at an entirely new ball game. Fiji’s criminal underworld is now probably better organised than the government itself. Prostitution is all over the streets in any town within 5 hours’ journey of a Chinese workman (just enough time for him to – ahem – come, spend his money and return to work on his next shift). The drug trade has exploded to the point where every province now has a local drug lord who monitors the crop, keeps prying eyes at bay, tries to placate or neutralise the chiefs (some provinces, where a chief has died suspiciously before his or her time, there are tales told of foul play by the local drug lord). The unsustainable fishing has been able to move into broad daylight. Boat captains on the wharves hold clearly visible, bulging brown envelopes which are passed without question to officials who turn their blind eye to the portions of the haul that fall way over quota. How ironic is it that Fiji’s waters are at their most endangered under a naval officer? And without a free and unfettered media, we can only guess at the full extent of the rot.
- Gambling. And now, for iArse & OmniVore’s next chapter. Gambling. Not satisfied with the growth of organised crime, drugs, prostitution they now openly court the next addictive vice on their list. Gambling!
If you will forgive me for getting biblical for a moment, there is a story of the time Jesus found the moneychangers conducting their business in the temple of the Lord and, well, he basically lost it. Jesus’ passion, his righteous fury and the reported tantrum that followed, of overturning the tables, scattering the money to the floor, chasing them from what should have been hallowed, sacred and consecrated ground, has inspired believers, preachers, philosophers, artists and leaders alike. For the habitually reasonable and calm Jesus, this was the point at which he said ‘ENOUGH!’ and took a definite stand against the impending rot. Some scholars argue that it was this event which lead to his own people beginning to turn against him and planning schemes to hand him over to the Romans.
I like to think of Fiji as a land of God. The Almighty has given Fiji so many gifts, so many natural resources and precious, beautiful features. Traditionally, the Fijian people have seen ourselves as stewards of our land. We look after it in order to pass it on to our next generation. This illegal regime takes a vastly different stand. Their only motive is to ravage and pillage Fiji for everything they can get. There is no thought for what will come after, or for the greater good of We The People. There is no consideration of their duty to the Almighty or how they should give thanks (real thanks, not the thanks of a thief) by multiplying the gifts that Fiji has to offer. No. Their only thought is of what they can take.
Why am I so angry about gambling being legalised in Fiji? Because, like the vices of drugs, sex/prostitution and organised crime, once it has taken root, it will be very, very, very difficult to root out.
During the Qarase government, the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre released a story on the real cost to the nation of domestic violence. They counted up the number of reported cases of domestic violence, the amount of hours it took to process a report, treat the victim, prosecute and fine or jail the aggressor. They calculated the hours taken up by police, doctors and nurses, magistrates and court officials, detention facilities. And they were able to tell us all the REAL cost of domestic violence in Fiji. It was in the millions.
The cost to the nation of treating the consequences of gambling and addicts to gambling will be vast. Gamblers suck up their own finances, and the finances of their families to feed their addiction. They turn to crime and, like drug addicts and the prostitution ‘industry’, they feed the cycle of violence that sustains those vices. Fiji will not become the Monte Carlo of the South Pacific. No. Our gamblers will not be the great and the good of ANZ, no. Our gamblers will be our poorest, most vulnerable and most tiresome individual burdens on the state (other than the IIR, of course).
This illegal regime is doing everything it can to bring about the systemic ruination of Fiji. What is next? What lower depths can they stoop to? I would not be surprised if they work their way around to child pornography, if they are not there already. (I write this in a matter of fact way, but looking into the happy, carefree and innocent brown faces of our beautiful children, the future of our land, I am filled with a gripping horror.) How much further will they willingly push us?
Jesus took a stand. When will We The People decide enough is enough?
God bless Fiji