Budget

AG clarifies ‘$10m upgrade’ Fiji Times report

The Fiji Times newspaper is once again under scrutiny after the Attorney General said that the paper had ‘deliberately distorted’ an article published today. Attorney General and Minister of Finance, Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said this at a press conference this afternoon. The Fiji Times had reported that ‘Government allocated $5million for the construction of Prime […]

Staff Writers

June 24, 2016 4:58 pm

The Fiji Times newspaper is once again under scrutiny after the Attorney General said that the paper had ‘deliberately distorted’ an article published today.

Attorney General and Minister of Finance at a press conference this afternoon. Photo: (Luke Nacei/Newswire)
Attorney General and Minister of Finance Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum at a press conference this afternoon. (Luke Nacei/Newswire)

Attorney General and Minister of Finance, Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said this at a press conference this afternoon.

The Fiji Times had reported that ‘Government allocated $5million for the construction of Prime Minister’s Office complex and another $5m for the construction of an executive residence’ in the National Budget announcement earlier in the week.

However, the AG clarified the issue and said $5 million will not be used to construct the Prime Minister’s residence.

The AG said that is not true and that the newspaper is misinforming the public.

SAYED-KHAIYUM: “You have deliberately done this. Yet they did not seek any clarification on this. The Fiji Times has deliberately distorted the facts.”

Earlier in the year (January 30) an advertisement was printed in the Fiji Sun on ‘Expressions of Interest’ for Executive residences.

The AG clarified that the $5million stated in the 2016-2017 National budget includes five residences:

  • His Excellency President’s residence
  • Hon. Prime Minister’s residence
  • Chief Justice’s residence
  • Borron house
  • and also minor works on the Commissioner of Prison’s residence.

SAYED-KHAIYUM: “If you don’t understand anything and want to ask questions, then ask. There were no calls or emails sent asking specific questions regarding this. I want to tell the people of Fiji that this is the type of misinformation being spread. This is a very serious matter.”

Meanwhile, Fiji Times Editor Mr Fred Wesley told Newswire that he will need to be briefed about what was said at the press conference held earlier today at the AG’s office.

WESLEY: “I need to be briefed by the reporter who attended the press conference and if we made a mistake then appropriate action will be taken.”

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