March 03, 2009

WARNING: Not to be read after meals. Reading may induce intense convulsive laughter

As if the latest antics of the Shyster Shameem are not enough, under her Chairpersonship, the FHWRC decides that they now possess expertise in, wait for it, ECONOMICS.

Here’s what The Shyster thinks should happen to save the country’s economic downturn. It is perhaps an attempt to support her mate the Junta's Attorney General with his shakey public statements on the same matter.

Again. Please note this blog’s warning on the effects of these toilet ground-breaking ideas on your state of being.

February 25th 2009
Press Statement
The Global Economic Crisis and impact on
Fiji: implications for Economic and Social Rights.

1. The Fiji Human Rights Commission expresses concern at Reserve Bank warning

The Fiji Human Rights Commission expresses concern at the recent announcement by the Governor of the Reserve Bank that Fiji may need to borrow money offshore to cope with the declining economy. The Governor had given public advice that Fiji needed to encourage more investments, more tourism, more remittances and more exports to escape from the global economic meltdown.

The Commission is concerned about this advice. Its concern arises out of the Commission’s monitoring of economic and social rights of people in Fiji. These rights will be breached if appropriate solutions to the global economic crisis as it impacts on Fiji are not found and, alternatively, if impractical solutions are proposed to cushion Fiji’s people from the crisis.

The Fiji Human Rights Commission is aware that the global economic crisis originated in irresponsible actions of financial markets in the developed world. In order to protect itself from the fall-out, Fiji needs to set in place short, medium and long-term economic and social policies to deal with the boom- bust cycles in the global economy. Failure to do so will impact negatively on the lifestyles and livelihoods of all the people of Fiji, except perhaps those of the wealthier classes.

In response to the Governor of Reserve Bank’s warnings that Fiji needs to embark on improving its economic situation by encouraging more exports, tourism and remittances, the Fiji Human Rights Commission states that official economic advice needs to be tendered with caution, given Fiji’s particular situation in the world economy, so as not to cause panic among the people. Economic terms should be expressed without the use of jargon if the people are to understand their significance for them.

People are confused about the advice tendered because they know that, from a common sense point of view, there is no point in producing goods if there are no markets for them. The Reserve Bank’s advice to increase exports can only work if there are markets for the goods produced in Fiji; currently, many producers, for example China, produce goods in greater volume and much more cheaply than Fiji can. The global crisis is affecting markets of the developed nations and the goods produced in Fiji are likely to remain unsold in warehouses and factories unless there is a market for them.

Secondly, on the advice that we should encourage tourism, the Commission believes that tourism will inevitably be affected by the economic crisis because most of the countries our tourists come from are currently advising their citizens to holiday at home, thus keeping the surplus vacation funds within their own country.

Thirdly, remittances from abroad are also showing signs of slowing down, first, because foreign companies may no longer hire Fiji workers to work overseas, and secondly, because the crisis is encouraging those working abroad to save their money to cope with the high cost of goods and services in the host country. The Commission has been advised that many Fijians working abroad, for example in the British Army, face so much pressure to send remittances to Fiji that they are having to borrow to keep themselves afloat in the countries where they work. The remittances bubble may burst in the near future. In addition, there may be less recruitment of Fiji people for work in the British Army, and other similar workplaces, mainly because the economic crisis in Britain is forcing the British Government to take a serious look at its recruitment strategies. The private security companies have already reported a downturn in the industry which will also affect recruitment from Fiji.

Thus, in summary, the Commission feels there is no point in the Reserve Bank encouraging greater production of goods for export if the international markets have disappeared. This will merely produce a glut in the market. And tourism will diminish in future if people from developed nations choose to take their vacations in their own countries instead of going to foreign destinations, like Fiji. Furthermore, if the British Army and security industry will no longer recruit Fijian men and women because theirfirst preference is to recruit from the ranks of the unemployed at home, remittances to Fiji are likely to decrease in future.

Commission’s recommendations
The Commission proposes that there should be a more creative economic and social solution found to problems that
Fiji faces from the collapse of the international financial markets and the global crisis.

Most economic experts agree that the main problem causing the global crisis was the fundamental defect in the free market system, within which unbridled greed was allowed to run rampant and the free market taken over by speculators.

The FHRC’s advice is that solutions to the crisis can only be found in restoring the social justice element of economic policies, with the State acting on behalf of society, especially the poor. The role of the nation State must not be undermined, and sound macro-economic policies developed to rebut and diffuse economic instability.

Therefore the Commission advises the Interim Government, pursuant to recommendations of the UN Expert Panel on the solution to the global crisis for developing states, that the answers to Fiji’s problems, if they arise as a consequence of global recession, are as follows:

  1. Encourage State investment in infrastructure and services - health and vocational education, and the development of resources for the local market- this focus will allow people to remain productive, skilled and employable despite the international boom-bust cycle.
  2. Develop relationships between technological innovation, development and investment; that is, support investment into certain areas only, for example science and technology
  3. Ensure that there is rational and renewable use of natural resources, including energy
  4. Coordinate sub-regional bloc arrangements for trade and exchange, for example Asean at one level (beyond the Pacific Island Forum) and sub-regional, for example Melanesian Spearhead Group, at another.
  5. Ensure there is a paradigm shift from neo-liberal economics policies and the free market towards a framework that is more socially and environmentally responsible
  6. Reform governance structures on the basis of equality and fair distribution of wealth and the economic base and ensure that any trade negotiations serve to eliminate market distortions, for example agricultural subsidies, and correct trade imbalances that currently exist internationally and regionally in the Pacific
  7. Provide a fiscal stimulus by raising the incomes of the poorest members of society
  8. Increase trade through production and export of niche market goods, and avoid borrowing, especially from foreign banks. Central banks or financial institutions should provide all the loans that are required.
  9. Encourage people to locally produce and consume local goods and services, for example, rice.
  10. Encourage people to grow their own food, no matter how small their plot of land or allotment; open up government or crown lands for agricultural development.
  11. Encourage the production of alternative sources of energy for the household, especially for cooking and washing, for example, consider greater production of smokeless stoves and of wood chips for fuel.
  12. Immediately provide advice to the people on how to decrease their dependency on imports, especially dependency on luxury items. Our advice to the people is to grow more food.
  13. In the absence of international markets, encourage the development of local and sub-regional markets for our goods and services and ensure that goods conform to the highest quarantine standards.

The Fiji Human Rights Commission believes that the Interim Government still has time to review its current economic policies in order to cushion Fiji from the global recession. It must critically review all economic advice from a social and humanitarian perspective in order to protect its people’s economic and social rights pursuant to the 1997 Constitution and international human rights law. Free market and neo-liberal policies are not the answer to our developmental problems, and neither is the neo-Keynsian perspective a relevant solution.

A more sophisticated and human rights-oriented solution can be developed by the Interim Government to protect Fiji’s people from the economic and therefore social and human rights crisis facing the rest of the world. It can seek advice from UN economists to assist with developing a new, rigorous and relevant economic framework to ensure there is human and food security in Fiji despite the global meltdown.

Dr Shaista Shameem

Human Rights Commission


Tim said...

Very noble recommendations Shaista! So why hasn't the junta been doing just as you recommend?.

And the neo-liberal agenda - does that mean Samy's getting his marching orders, or does it mean he's going to have to learn a new ideology parrot fashion?

And what of all the apologists who've had their snouts in the trough for the past two years?

Still, as good as it may sound, its all a bit hollow considering the "state" has been hijacked.

Anonymous said...

Shifty shaista & all her ferrets are full of utter bollocks as noted when skim reading the article in so called press release. ...intend to re examine it.

'Bera na Liva' (Phantom) & his pigmies getting closer to the city belts of Suva!!! They are well euipped with p/arrows...iiiiaaaa time to hide shaista& all u dodgy iig regime!!

FijiGirl said...

And tell me, Dr Shameem - do the unicorns in your world speak to each other?

What freaking planet are you living on?

God bless Fiji (the real one, as opposed to the one inhabited by our so-called HRC)

Emele said...

Jeeeeeezzzz ... what a load of crock. What next from the stupid bitch ?

Tim said...

JUST how hollow her words are is relected in
Reminiscent of the neoliberal agenda of the late 80s and 90s.
Who's being mischievous Frank? (not that its Frank talking anyway) and how does the mad bitch reconcile her "vision" with it all?.
God they're full of it, and obviously still believe people find them credible

Fiji Democracy Now said...

The Shyster's take on matters economic is indeed ludicrous. What's even funnier is that it would seem she actually believes what she's saying!

What is not funny is the fact she was in her attack dog mode. We're concernedthat her criticisms of policy options outlined by RBF governor Savenaca Narube is the beginning of a move by our dictator to remove Narube.

It would not be the first time that the paranoid dictator has set out to shoot the messenger.

Without a doubt Narube is the most qualified person in the nation to hold the RBF governor's position. That's borne out by the fact he's held in such high regard by the regional banking community.

Not only would his removal be a serious blow to any remaining ability Fiji might have to ride out the world economic crisis, but the stupid mistake of removing him could be compounded many times over if the regime attempts to replace him with one yet another flaky coup apologist.

It's bad enough that the dictator has given himself the finance portfolio in the interim government.

Can you just imagine how much worse our economic disaster would become if the dictator managed to gain control of such a crucial lever of fiscal control as the RBF?