Why is the media silent on the FNPF court case?

  • 7th July 2011
  • FNPF
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There has been a noticeable lack of information in the local media on the high-profile FNPF court case which came up for hearing on 4 July.

One wonders why the media has suddenly gone so silent on the issue considering its importance to thousands of pensioners who have been shocked by the announcement of impending drastic cuts to their pension allowances.

The Fiji National Provident Fund is planning to reduce the rate of pension to about 9% from the existing annuity rate of between 25%-15%.

The issue has been taken to court by Suva lawyer and former Human Rights Commissioner Shaista Shameem and her pensioner client David Burness.

The case came up for its first hearing on Monday, the 4th of July but strangely none of the local media carried any report on the proceedings.

A Radio New Zealand article the following day (July 5th) claimed the local media had been banned from carrying any reports on the FNPF case by  Attorney General Aiyaz Khaiyum and Permanent Secretary for Information Sharon Smith-Johns.

If the Radio NZ report on the censorship is correct, the FLP wants to know why information on such a high profile case is being withheld from the Fiji public?

It is not a political issue and there is no threat to national security. Why then the gag on proceedings being reported in the media?

The Burness case is of profound interest to thousands of retirees who have been devastated by FNPF’s decision to impose the reductions and have been left worrying about how they and their families will survive on a mere 9% payout.

LR Vayeshnoi