Honourable Alvick Maharaj – Maiden Speech
Honourable Alvick Avhikrit Maharaj
Assistant Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations and Youth and Sports.
Hon Prime Minister
Hon Ministers and Assistant Ministers
Hon Leader of Opposition
Hon Members Of Parliament
Bula, Ramram , Namaskaram, Salam and Good Morning to you all.
Madam Speaker I rise in this August Parliament to give my maiden speech but before I do that I would like to congratulate you for your appointment as Speaker.
I would like at this stage congratulate Hon Veena Bhatnagar as Deputy Speaker. It was an honor for me to nominate you two ladies to these resected position.
While it’s interesting to see FijiFirst believes in empowering women and allowing them to take lead role in politics, Sodelpa on the other hand removed an empowered lady from the position of Leader of opposition.
What a Shame.
And here we had Hon Salote Radrodo talking about women empowerment for past four years. Your own party doesn’t believe in women empowerment, Hon Radrodro
Furthermore I would like to Thank His Excellency for opening of the parliament and for his gracious speech.
First of all I would like to thank HON PM, Party Secretary and FijiFirst party for having faith in me and allowing me to be a candidate to contest 2018 general election.
FijiFirst has been a party of action and not words. Yet again FijiFirst has shown how much the party believes in youth empowerment as I am one those of who is a living examples of youth empowerment.
Having made back to back to Fijian parliament as youngest elected member wasn’t an easy task.
It has been a steady growth for me as a politician for the past four years, I entered parliament back in 2014 as one of the youngest member and I have yet once again maintained that in 2018 general election.
I have been trying to reach out to public directly and that is what I have been doing for past four years.
It became a routine for me to visit people and having met them face to face allowed me to invest that personal touch and gave me a better understanding about what was happening at ground level.
My voters saw and recognized my hard work on ground, and not just voters but also I would like to thank my party for recognizing my hard work, having entrusted me with some of the major responsibility for the party.
Some of them are me being the Government Whip, and Assistant minister for employment, productivity, industrial Relation, Youth and sports.
My success story wouldn’t be possible without the blessing of my family. My sincere and heartfelt thanks goes to my parents, Pt Ambika Maharaj and Malti Devi. I dedicate my success to you two and thank you for your blessing.
At this moment I would like to remember my Grandmother who passed away during our second sitting of parliament after 2014 general elections.
My brother and sister in law Mr. Alrick Avhikash Maharaj and Kriti Prasad, and my niece and nephew Avhikrit and Anaya Maharaj.
There are few more names that I would like to acknowledge who have played a pivotal role for me in 2018 general election.
Mr. Mahendra Chaudary and Chaudary family of Sawani Nausori(Just for information not Leader of Fiji labour party). Mr Mika of Waila Nausori. Mr Balbindar Singh of Tailevu.
Mr. Chandar , Mr Veer Singh, Mr Salen, Lucky brothers family , Mr Rajendra Autar, Mr Subnesh and family and Mr Mahen of Labasa.
A big hearty thanks to each and every one back in Bulileka Labasa.
Mr. Nalin and family, Mr. Lingam, Mr Sushil raj of Vunivau along with Mr Babu and Ms Losalini of Naleba
Mr. Binnay of Coqeloa, Mr Hiren of Nabekavu, Mr. Arun and Rajen of Lagalaga. Mr Amka and Ami of Tagnikula and Mr Harish of Papalgi Labasa.
Mr Janif ,Mr Frauk, Ms Sashi and Ms Sujata of Bua.
Ms Ashwini, Mr Bimal, Mr Rahil and Mr Vinod of Dreketi and not forgetting Mr and Mrs Keshwa of Lautoka, for helping me with my campaign in the west along with Mr Bimal of Newworld Lautoka.
A hearty thanks goes to Mr. Binesh and whole community of Sabeto Nadi for supporting me in Nadi.
Politics in Fiji should not be about seats in parliament but rather serving the people of Fiji.
A lot was said during election campaign but I am glad people voted and accepted the government that believes in securing the future of our children’s, development of the nation and service delivery.
Madam Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I turn my attention to the important area of Youth and Sports. Indeed, with a mandate of leading on non-formal education for young people between the ages of 15 and 35, there is much work that has been done and a lot that remains to be done.
With the Honorable Minister, we will ensure increased cooperation between the 2 Ministries to which we have been appointed. We need to get more young people into entrepreneurship. We have 70% of our population under the age of 40 which bodes very well for our economy as we provide relevant skills training for them and as they age, we will not face the same challenges as developed nations. FijiFirst government is determined to facilitate the development of job creators and with the innovation of young minds combined with their energy, we will support the process with more educational, employment and leadership opportunities for our youth.
The Ministry is addressing the needs of urban and rural youth, working to break down the gender stereotypes of various trades and employment training, cooperating with other Ministries as it is only through such cooperation that we can create a holistic solution and process. Working with the Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts, we need to provide support for those who have not returned to school.
With my other Ministry, to create a supply of young people willing to work overseas.
With the Ministry of Agriculture, to promote modern farming techniques combined increasingly with organic production which is attractive both locally and in overseas markets.
The Ministry of Fisheries supports young people developing their fishing expertise in a sustainable way and the Ministry of Youth and Sports augments this with boat masters courses to ensure safety at sea.
The five Youth Training Centres across the country provide training in agriculture, carpentry, music and now one of them provides training specifically aimed at our young women. The Youth Training Centres are being developed further and are now working to provide short courses in a residential environment for other young people to ensure that the Centres are used 365 days a year.
This will undoubtedly ensure a better return on investment for Government.
Sport is also a key component of any society as it brings us together to support our local community through to national teams.
It creates opportunities for Fijians to come together and to promote social cohesion and better health and wellness. Physical activity, together with improved nutrition and a more systematic approach to physical education in schools, will help us to address the scourge of NCDs.
The Ministry is in the final stages of consultations on the revised National Sports and Physical Activity Policy which will then be presented to Cabinet for consideration.
Through this, we will be able to coordinate our approach to sport and physical activity with our National Sports Organisations, the Sports Commission and Council and, indeed, other Ministries.
We are convinced this will assist us in improving mental and physical wellbeing as well as help unearth more talent across all our sports while presenting Fiji as a great host of events internationally. We are already looking forward to hosting the World Junior Weightlifting Championships next year and the U20 World Netball Cup in 2021
Madam Speaker when I see on the other side I see, self-proclaimed youths and when I look at Government side I do see actual youths
When I look at other side I see a leader who did not had any vision for Fiji back in 1987 and shot a gun in this August house in which he sits today, showing disrespect to the highest office of the land. Someone who totally shattered the economy of the country and ruined Fiji. Someone under whose Primeministership the door of our National Bank were closed
Madam Speaker when I see the leader on our side I see the leader who sees the future.
A leader who looks beyond the horizon.
A leader who believes in equality.
A leader who is improving the life style of ordinary Fijian.
A leader who sees everyone as Fijian, A leader who stands and serves every Fijian regardless to their religious or ethnic back ground.
A leader who believes in truth and ensures that he and his members speak nothing else than truth. Unlike on the other side leader sits silently and listen when his members as they lie in parliament.
Madam Speaker when I see that side I can recall land swap. Well one member tried his best to justify this yesterday but we are glad that they did admit that it was through them I’tauki land was lost forever at Denarau and Momi Bay. On one side they always have been saying that Sodelpa and SDL are two different government and we should not compare them and on other hand Sodelpa member stands and defends action of SDL government. It won’t help Hon member. Old mindset and modern day politics don’t go together.
Madam speaker I can still see a member on other side who as TLTB manager went house to house asking landlord not to renew land leases which created a chaos in the sugar cane Industry and the economy overall.
Madam speaker I see another member on other side under whose leadership as education minister scholarship were issued on ethnic lines.
Madam Speaker as assistant minister for youth and sports when I see that side it reminds me of FRU lottery, but we will ensure that such things doesn’t happen under current leadership.
Madam Speaker lot was said about votes increase and decrease of seat but the fact is madam speaker we are still in government and they are in opposition. This fact and will not change so therefore NFP your change just won’t come.
With these words I would like to thank everyone once again for the support they have shown for me during 2018 general election and I shall continue to give my contribution in this August Parliament