Let the festivities of Christmas remind us once more of Christ’s message of love, understanding and compassion so that we can build a truly multicultural nation on a firm foundation of peace, progress and prosperity for all.
Within a week of Christmas, Year 2009 will be upon us. The next 12 months will be a testing period for Fiji when we will be engaged in discussing , and hopefully agreeing on, political reforms necessary to be implemented as we return to parliamentary democracy. Socially and economically, both here and globally, 2009 is predicted to be a difficult year.
The global credit crunch and economic downturn has already dampened spirits in the developed world and the thriving economies of India and China. It will, no doubt, have its ramifications in Fiji and other developing countries.
2008 was a difficult year with rising fuel and food prices – 2009 poses even greater challenges. As individuals we must all make a positive contribution to help ease the crisis by working hard and enhancing national productivity.
Government will, of course, have to continue to monitor the situation and provide relief when and where needed. Its major focus will have to be on agricultural development to increase food production, provide jobs and incomes and reduce our dependence on imported food.
What we need most is the determination to fully realize our potential as a nation. It is the collective responsibility of all our citizens to play their role to the fullest in this crucial nation building exercise.