Mr. Speaker, Sir, I join other honorable Members who spoke before me, to thank His Excellency the President for his Address to the Joint Sitting of Parliament on Monday, 26th July, 2004.
Sir, His Excellency’s Address was, as usual, wide-ranging and it would be impossible to comment on all the issues within the limited time-frame given to me, but I would like to thank my fellow colleagues for yielding some of their time to me.
In view of time constraint, Sir, I shall try to very briefly respond to some of the important issues that have so far been highlighted during the debate, and then I will focus the major part of my contribution to the issues covered under the headings; National Progress to Benefit All, Partnership Approach for Effective Governance and the Need for a Consensus Approval.
Sir, let me start with the controversy over the posting of a Fijian Head Teacher to Kavanagasau Indian Secondary School, as I see that even Maika Namudu, the FTA’s General Secretary has valiantly tried to defend it in the newspaper two days ago. But, Sir, he is certainly barking up the wrong tree.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in personnel management, the Public Service Commission (PSC) is normally guided by the PSC Act and Regulations, General Orders and so on. But there is also a very important daily bible, which the PSC maintains; it is referred to as the Book of Precedents. The honourable Member for Samabula/Tamavua Open (M. Dobui) should know as he was once the keeper of this book. So, where you cannot strictly apply the PSC Act, Regulations and General Orders, you consult the Book of Precedents.
For the benefit of the honourable Members on the other side of the House, many of whom are not here, “precedent” in the Macuata dictionary means “a previous occurrence used to justify taking the same action in later similar situations” or in law “a judicial decision that serves as an authority for deciding a later case”.
Sir, what I am trying to say to the Government side and in particular, the honourable Minister for Education, that the Kavanagasau case is not a new one. If the Chairman and CEO of the PSC care to consult the Book of Precedents I am referring to, they will find a policy decision handed down by the Cabinet of the Alliance Government, under the late Tui Nayau (and which coincidentally the current Chairman of the PSC was part of it) which stipulates that when it comes to posting a Principal or Head Teacher to a non-Government or Committee-run school, the Ministry of Education must first consult and seek the approval of that school committee. Thus, even if the present incumbent does not meet the MQR (Minimum Qualification Requirement), that does not give the Government any right to impose its own choice on the School Committee. Then, Mr. Speaker, Sir, if the question from the other side is, what do we do then in such a situation? My answer is, tell the Chairman PSC and its CEO to consult the Book of Precedents. The answer is there. Even the honourable Member for Samabula/Tamavua Open (M. Dobui) if he was here today, can tell you the answer.
The second issue that I wish to bring up, Sir, concerns the imminent collapse of the Government-owned Fiji Ships and Heavy Industries Limited or better known as the Government Shipyard. As I speak, Sir, the employees of the Company, of whom over 80 per cent are indigenous Fijians, have been required to work for three days and two days off a week since 8th July this year. Worse, Sir, 300 employees were laid off in September, last year. The remainder who are now placed on a 3 day-a-week roster, have been directed to approach friends or clients for jobs. This is not only ridiculous, Sir, but very heartbreaking.
Only last week, we have been told by the honourable Minister for Transport and Civil Aviation that senior officials of his Ministry have just returned from abroad shopping for a landing craft and a passenger/cargo vessel and here, we have a shipyard with no jobs. It reminds me, Sir, of the familiar Slim Dusty number “A Pub with no Beer.”
It is quite obvious to me, Sir, that the Government has totally run out of ideas and imagination. Instead of teaching our people how to fish, they prefer to buy them just by the tonnes. They are concerned only about instant popularity, posterity or no or rien in French.
Sir, our shipyard was renowned in the region, including the Eastern rim of Asia and Western rim of America for the skills of its workforce and its boat building craftsmanship. It built a number of ships for overseas clients and produced our own local passenger/cargo vessels, such as the Degei, Dausoko and numerous landing crafts like the Katavatu, Duiyabaki, Vasua and Golea.
What is Government’s response to these crisis at the Shipyard? Sir, briefly, and in the words of the honourable Minister for Public Enterprise, (and I am glad he is in): “I am aware and concerned and have asked the Board to look for work for these employees.”
Honourable Minister, let me ask you this question: Is this all you can do when to add to the other 3,000 whom the Government cannot provide for under the Family Assistance Scheme, when the livelihood of hundreds of families are at stake? What else can you do honourable Minister to save the imminent collapse of this very important industry, which is capable of generating billions of dollars of revenue for our cash-stripped Government?
Let me tell you what I will do honourable Minister if I were in your position. I will do exactly as we have done for the Fiji Sugar Corporation. As you will see, there is precedent to follow. I will immediately replace the Board and its Chairman. I will immediately replace the Chief Executive Officer. I will bring the Shipyard under direct supervision of your Ministry in the interim. I will persuade the Minister for Transport not to proceed with the proposed purchase of the landing-craft from Australia, but instead I will direct the shipyard to build one within two to three years. This way, we will not only save our shipbuilding industry, the Shipyard will rehire all its workers, and there will also be huge savings on our foreign exchange.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I was going to speak on the Rewa Dairy saga, but I am aware that the clock is ticking away. I will leave that to a later time, but I am glad that the recent publicity has created an awareness amongst our dairy farmers of the urgent need for more transparency and accountability by the Board and management of Rewa Dairy in the administration of the Contingency Fund and in the overall management of Rewa Dairy itself. I sincerely hope that the management of Rewa Dairy will live up to their promise to convene a special meeting of the farmers sooner with a view to informing them of the present state of affairs to the Contingency Fund.
To the honourable Minister responsible who has told the daily newspapers that he does not see the need for an inquiry into Rewa Dairy, let me say to him, “Do not become like the proverbial ostrich, burying his head in the sand so that he is oblivious of the serious problems facing the Dairy Industry in Fiji”. The honourable Minster is in a unique position to ensure that the history of the sugar decline does not repeat itself in the dairy industry while he is presiding over it. One should learn from the precedent we have set recently in the FSC. Do not hesitate to use the yardstick. Open up the market, allow market competition because it is the only way to ensure an efficient and viable dairy industry. Above all, do not compromise our quarantine standards for political expediency. One cannot gamble away the lives of our people by exposing them to see these illnesses and diseases.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Fiji Labour Party agrees fully with the sentiments that His Excellency expressed in paying tribute to the leadership, statesmanship and service to our nation of the late Tui Nayau and his late widow, the Roko Tui Dreketi. His Excellency rightly acknowledged that this great chiefly couple were the most successful and enduring leaders of post independence Fiji. They believed in multi-cultural and multi-racial Fiji based on tolerance, mutual respect and care for each other’s interest. For the two decades after Independence, they were recognised and respected in Fiji, in the Pacific region and internationally.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the late Tui Nayau, I remind this House, was the first leader to advocate that “Fijian” be our national name and he was also the first to propose a Government of National Unity (GNU) in 1983. This idea of GNU was based on belief in negotiation, mutual respect and accommodation between the political leaders of all communities. As the Tui Nayau said at the time, he wanted to form a Cabinet from the most able talent of all “Communities and Parties.”
Sir, when the Tui Nayau called for a GNU, he had been Government leader for about 15 years from about 1987, so he spoke then with the benefit of experience, for he had led multi-racial Cabinets, with the Indian Alliance leaders and the leader of the General Electors Association as prominent members. These leaders of other communities in the Alliance Party held important ministries. They were not token ministerial appointments. His Cabinet was small and efficient. However, the Tui Nayau saw good talent in the Opposition’s National Federation Party (NFP) and wanted to include them too. His approach was to appoint people into his Cabinet on merit and not because of their race or political considerations.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, because of his long experience in Government, the Tui Nayau naturally saw the practicality of a multi-racial GNU and its prospect of contributing to the growth of an enduring sense of unity, national identity, peace and security in this country. Whilst the Tui Nayau was deeply disappointed that the Leader of the NFP, Mr. Jai Ram Reddy, did not at the time appreciate his gesture, he still held to this belief that this was the best way forward for Fiji. That was why he warmly supported the introduction of the Multi-Party System of Government in the 1997 Constitution. He saw the provision of Section 99 as an innovative approach to realising his idea of a GNU. He therefore assisted the then Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka in persuading the Bose Levu Vakaturaga (BLV) to accept it. When he was President, the Tui Nayau graciously intervened to ensure that our political parties that formed the Government after the 1999 General Elections were united in accepting the leadership of the honourable Mahendra Pal Chaudhry as Prime Minister. He took a keen interest thereafter in his relationship with our Government and the Prime Minister.
Sadly, in the most stressful and humiliating of circumstance, he was removed after most of the honourable Members of this side of the House were imprisoned by George Speight’s thugs in this very Parliament. The people who instigated this dishonourable and disastrous events are still to be fully exposed and brought to account.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we can see in stark contrast the illustrious record of Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara’s leadership, with the able support of his late wife, Ro Lady Lala, to the political leadership of the honourable Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase. Sir, this current Prime Minister, has on numerous occasions condemned the Multi-Party System that the Tui Nayau supported, as impractical and unworkable. He had done everything to undermine and make it unviable. It is fair to say that, unlike Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, who was genuine, the honourable Prime Minister’s approach to the issue of forming Multi-Party Government can be fairly labeled as insincere, grudging, small minded, disrespectful, humiliating and racist.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I say “racist” because had the majority of members of the Fiji Labour Party been indigenous Fijians, he certainly would not have treated us in the way he has, since his appointment as Prime Minister.
First, he had proposed the largest Cabinet in the history of this country and then offered token ministries to the Fiji Labour Party as non-negotiable offers. He has refused to enter into the spirit of the Multi-Party provision in the Constitution. In his Address to the Fiji Law Society on 12th June, 2004, the honourable Prime Minister said and I quote:
“Frankly, I find it patronising and condescending that some foreign governments have appeared to question my integrity and commitment in this matter. I suppose this is typical of the insensitivity and arrogance of some of the larger wealthier powers.”
Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I say, this is “The pot calling the kettle black”. The representatives of countries that the honourable Prime Minister had accused of arrogance and insensitivity, can clearly see that the honourable Prime Minister’s large Cabinet and non-negotiable offer of token ministries to the FLP is a gesture of arrogance, disrespect, insensitivity and insincerity. To use the honourable Prime Minister’s words, it is “patronising, condescending and lacking in integrity”.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in genuine multi-party democracies, Cabinets are formed on the basis of earnest negotiations, compromise and agreement, based on the recognition by a Prime Minister that other parties to be included in Government have policies too, and they represent real important interests of real communities in the country of their birth. These interests, needs and aspirations are vital to the welfare of this country because we are all inter-dependent as communities. These must, therefore, be respected, fairly accommodated and catered for.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in genuine multi-party democracies, governments are not formed on the basis of dictatorship of policies from one party to the other, especially to a party that is constitutionally entitled to be part of Cabinet. This is an offer for impractical Government and he knows that well. So if the honourable Prime Minister had been advised by the representatives of foreign governments in Fiji to take a genuine, compromising and respectful approach to the formation of Government, then he should have taken such counsel seriously, in the spirit of the Constitution and the judgement of the Supreme Court.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, those foreign governments that the honourable Prime Minister accused of condescension in questioning his integrity, have seen clearly that his claim to respect and implement the judgement of two Supreme Courts is nonsense. He reeks of bad faith and insincerity. Let me read the relevant part of what the first Supreme Court said, and which was endorsed by the latest Supreme Court judgement.
Sir, and I quote:
“The invitation to the party contemplated by subsection 99(5) is an invitation to be represented in the Cabinet. This is not simply an invitation for their members to be there without any agenda or policies of their own. This is a provision which advance the central constitutional purpose of power sharing. Subsection 99(5) by referring to representation of the eligible parties allows that their representatives may take into Cabinet deliberations, their own policies and agendas. If they do so, however, they do so, subject to the requirements of collective responsibility and confidentiality which are recognised in the Constitution as aids to effective Government. This may mean a more difficult Cabinet to manage, then a Cabinet whose members belong to the same party or a coalition that has worked out some consensus before its formation. But this is a kind of Cabinet that is envisaged by the Constitution and it cannot be rejected as unworkable in principle because of that difficulty.
The structure of section 99 has a certain linear logic about it. It will, however, operate in the context of political posturing and negotiation. Negotiation between the Prime Minister and the leaders of the various parties may take place in advance of any formal invitation or concurrently with this issue. There may be interrelated discussions about the formation of coalitions or the development of protocols or understandings in relation to certain areas of policy. The persons to be appointed as Ministers and the portfolios allocated to them will also, in all probability, have a role to play in such negotiations.”
Mr. Speaker, Sir, let me also remind this House of what His Excellency the President said in his Address on this matter, and I quote:
“On the multi-party Cabinet, I welcome the clarification by the Supreme Court and the consultation by the Prime Minister with the Parliamentary Leader of the Fiji Labour Party. The resolution of this outstanding constitutional issue is crucially important to our continuing progress as a nation.”
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we can see here, that the honourable Prime Minister’s approach is totally contrary to His Excellency the President’s expectation and the ruling of the Supreme Court. Both, the President and the Supreme Court want a resolution through a multi-party Cabinet, formed on the basis of negotiations over ministries and policies, and good faith agreements. These requirements have been completely negated by the honourable Prime Minister’s non-negotiable and humiliating approach. The honourable Prime Minister has no respect for the rule of law. He has more than just paid lip service, he is, in fact, in breach of the judgement of the Court.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the honourable Prime Minister is still placing himself above the law and interpreting the law to suit his political prejudice. That is exactly why he is getting this subtle message from the international community, to resolve this issue in accordance with what the Supreme Court said.
The honourable Prime Minister and the honourable Minister for Foreign Affairs know that the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) on the Harare Declaration is closely observing the honourable Prime Minister’s conduct. You will be recalled to explain the honourable Prime Minister’s behaviour, honourable Minister. The CMAG will have no respect for the honourable Prime Minister’s integrity if he continues along the path of paying lip service. Why should the honourable Prime Minister expect respect, when he continually speaks with a forked tongue on the issue of formation of a constitutional Government?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in all this cynical operation, the honourable Prime Minister is being advised by the honourable and learned Attorney-General and his Chief Executive Officer, Joji Kotobalavu. It was because of the honourable and learned Attorney-General’s wrong legal advice, combined with the honourable Prime Minister’s stubbornness, that this Government has spent over $1 million of taxpayers’ money on constitutional litigation.
All throughout this time, Sir, the honourable and learned Attorney-General has been claiming publicly that he cannot understand the meaning of section 99 of the Constitution. Unfortunately, he is not here. This, he gave as a justification for the Government’s reason for going to Court for clarification. Well, the Court has clarified this issue twice now but still, the honourable Prime Minister’s legal adviser continues to misread the judgement of the Court. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the meaning of section 99 is very clear. It is clear to Form VII Social Studies students, that some teachers have recently consulted, but not to the honourable and learned Attorney-General, one of the most senior lawyers in this country. Perhaps, advanced senility has started to set in on my friend.
The honourable Prime Minister and the honourable and learned Attorney-General were also behind the dishonourable and shameful removal of the Chairman of the Bose Levu Vakaturaga (BLV), Ratu Epeli Ganilau, when his term had yet to expire. The Government, Sir, did not like Ratu Epeli’s defence and advocacy of the legacy of multiracial and multi-cultural tolerance and inclusiveness of the late Ratu Sir Kamisese and Ro Lady Lala Mara. Having removed Ratu Epeli Ganilau, I ask; who is their next target? Will it be the honourable Speaker himself?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I believe the honourable Prime Minister’s next target is still Commander Voreqe Bainimarama, a good friend of Ratu Epeli Ganilau. From day one of the formation of this Government, Sir, the honourable Prime Minister, with the support of his Chief Executive Officer, Joji Kotobalavu, had plotted and connived to remove Commander Voreqe Bainimarama from his position, because he wanted the rule of law to be completely enforced in the FMF, to clean up that institution. He was and is committed to returning the FMF to the professionalism and independence that Ratu Epeli Ganilau had started to build, when he was the FMF Commander, and that Commodore Bainimarama, as his successor, wanted to see through to the end of another term.
Sir, the honourable Prime Minister, the honourable and learned Attorney-General and their connivers including the honourable Minister for Health, did not want him there but their initiatives and manoeuvres to remove him are all on public record in the news media. Mr. Speaker, Sir, they failed to achieve their aim for this very reason, that the news media in the country kept exposing them. So, they reluctantly had to recommend the renewal of his term for another five years and the posting of CEO Home Affairs, Jeremaia Waqanisau to China, as the fall guy for their failed scheme. I am glad that the honourable Prime Minister is on his way here.
However, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the determination to remove Commander Bainimarama still remains, and the allegation of the “gang of four” Colonels under suspension, that Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama had asked them to consider the removal of the Government, was their opportunity to get rid of Bainimarama again. This allegation was made six months after the event was supposed to have taken place. Given that there had been no evidence of such a place, what the Government should have done was for either the honourable Minister for Home Affairs or the National Security Council to have summoned the Commander to answer to the allegation. Instead, it was publicly decided to appoint a Commission of Inquiry, which would have cost the taxpayers at least $1 million, in a fruitless public investigation into something that never happened.
There was no substance to the complaint. The Government could have saved itself the embarrassment with His Excellency’s refusal to appoint the Commission of Inquiry. The Government could have handed the matter to the Police to investigate, instead of drawing up the Terms of Reference for a pointless inquiry. Mr. Speaker, Sir, who drew up that Terms of Reference? The same people who had been conniving to remove Commander Voreqe, namely the Attorney-General, Qoriniasi Bale, Joji Kotobalavu and Lesi Korovavala, the Acting CEO of the Ministry of Home Affairs. They wanted to be Prosecutor, Jury, Judge and Executor in their own notorious cause. Now that their second plot has failed, what are they going to do next? Will Joji Kotobalavu and Lesi Korovavala be held accountable by the Public Service Commission, for engaging in political activities, unbecoming of civil servants who should be professional and independent?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in this connection, the letter by Joji Kotobalavu, which appeared on Saturday’s Fiji Times of 31st July under the heading “Washington Posting”, in which he tries to publicly defend his recommendation to his boss, that the former Prime Minister Rabuka be posted as Government’s Ambassador to Washington, is clearly of a political nature because Kotobalavu not only tries to defend Rabuka’s role in 1987, he goes further to throw political and racist barbs at the letter-writer.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it will be recalled that it was on the basis of a similar newspaper article in 1994 that the PSC pursued disciplinary action against Kotobalavu while serving in the same position in the Prime Minister’s Office, and which resulted in the Public Service Commission reprimanding and transferring him to the Ministry of Information as its Permanent Secretary.
Accordingly, Sir, I call on the honourable Prime Minister and the Chairman of the Public Service Commission to take appropriate action against Joji Kotobalavu immediately on the basis of precedents that I have referred to. Political justifications through the press and media are best left for Ministers to handle and I thought the honourable Minister for Information, Communications and Media Relations was doing a fine job as Kotobalavu’s spokesman.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, as for Fiji’s ideal candidate for the Washington post, I am surprised that the honourable Prime Minister has had to look beyond his office for such a candidate. I refer, of course, to Mr. Amraiya Naidu, who has just returned from the United Nations as our Permanent Representative and who had served there with distinction. So I ask; why not him? If the honourable Prime Minister is serious about reducing the size of the Public Service, then he can begin at his own doorstep, by redeploying Mr. Amraiya Naidu to Washington, which would also save the country thousands of dollars of taxpayers’ funds. (I hope the honourable Minister for Foreign Affairs is listening). Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also wish to ask as to whom is the Attorney-General accountable to. He is not even an elected Member of this august House, yet he is sometimes called by many people as the de facto un-elected Prime Minister. He and Joji Kotobalavu are usually called the de facto unelected Prime Minister.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, let me quote from a public attempt by the Government to save its face, in a full page notice published in the Fiji Times of 20th July, and I quote part of it:
“The Prime Minister had explained to the President that he and Cabinet considered these allegations about plans to overthrow the Government to be very serious. They had implications for national security and stability, in the rule of law and parliamentary democracy in Fiji.”
The statement continued:
“Cabinet was concerned about the role of the military and its obligation to fully respect the authority of an elected Government, appointed by the President under the Constitution, the country’s supreme law. The Prime Minister referred to what the people had seen and experienced in 1987 and 2000 and in the period that followed, in the disastrous effects of the unlawful removal of elected Governments.”
Mr. Speaker, Sir, this statement I have just quoted smacks of hypocrisy for a number of reasons. Firstly, a good number of Members of this Government had publicly supported the illegal overthrow of the elected Government of which I was a member. Some of them, Sir, are being tried in court for that, yet they remain as Ministers and one being the Deputy Speaker, instead of stepping down as is the custom in other democracies that observe standards for upholding the dignity and status of Constitutional Offices.
The statement refers to the Constitution as the supreme law, yet most of the Members on the other side had supported its purported abrogation in 2000 and the honourable Prime Minister himself had made a presentation to the Bose Levu Vakaturaga on 13th July, 2000, requesting support for the drawing up of a new Constitution. It is all very well for the honourable Prime Minister to remind the public through this public notice in the media of the undesirability of military overthrow of an elected Government and the need to uphold Parliamentary democracy and the rule of law, but he, as Interim Prime Minister in March 2001, had failed to implement the Court of Appeal Judgement in the Chandrika Prasad case, which had required the confirmation of the deposed President, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara’s position and the recalling of a Parliament that had been validated as still existing by the Court of Appeal Judgement. Commander Voreqe Bainimarama would have been happy if that had occurred and he had so advised President Ratu Iloilo before the Interim Government’s appeal was heard in March 2001. But this was not to happen, Sir, because the honourable Prime Minister Qarase’s illegal Interim Government manipulated the Bose Levu Vakaturaga to support the calling of a General Election in 2001. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the validity was the result of that General Elections. The Police has agreed to investigate as it has accepted that there are grounds for investigation.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Government statement that I have quoted on the cancellation of the Commission of Inquiry, lacks integrity in two other aspects. Firstly, the Prime Minister himself (and he should readily admit to this House that he had informed former Senator Adi Finau Tabakaucoro on 19th May, 2000 as they were flying by plane to Kadavu) that he really wanted to witness the march that culminated in the criminal seizure of Parliament because he knew there was going to be a change of Government following that. I ask, how did the Prime Minister know this on May 19th? Who told him there was going to be a change of Government on the day and why had he not informed the Police about what he had learned? So much for his professed realty to the rule of law.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the second aspect of the public notice I have quoted lacks integrity because the honourable Prime Minister, had in June 2000, when the then new President Ratu Josefa Iloilo indicated his other option to appoint Adi Samanunu Cakobau as Interim Prime Minister, Mr. Qarase had strongly disagreed. At a meeting held at the office of Fijian Holdings, the Prime Minister had asked Commander Bainimarama to remove His Excellency the President. The honourable Prime Minister cannot deny this. There were participants at this meeting from the military side and from Mr. Qarase’s side, like honourable Senator Apisai Tora for example, who can witness to the truthfulness of what I have said. Mr. Speaker, Sir, His Excellency first learnt of this event recently and the honourable Prime Minister himself can also validate this story and the story of Adi Finau.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, if the honourable Prime Minister denies what I have said or affirms its truth, then the way is open for him to hand in his resignation as Prime Minister to His Excellency the President, so that another Member of this House, who has the support of the majority, can be appointed as the new Prime Minister. Mr. Speaker, Sir, this country needs to be led by a Prime Minister that genuinely respects the judgement of the Supreme Court and forms a Government that will unite all communities in this country. Genuine reconciliation and unity is what the majority of ordinary people in this country want at this time. The honourable Prime Minister, with his insincere offer of 14 token Ministries, is blocking the way towards this. He wants to continue to take this country on the path of racial polarisation, distrust and hatred. In all sincerity, I ask honourable Prime Minister Qarase and his Attorney-General, Qoriniasi Bale to resign so we can have a new Prime Minister and Attorney-General who uphold the Constitution and the appointment of a Multi-Party and a multi-racial Government, in accordance with what the Supreme Court has said is the true interpretation of section 99.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I thank you for your indulgence.