Fiji ministers ‘held on tight leash’ – afraid to speak up, claims Sharma

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Former Fiji Health Minister Dr Neil Sharma
Former Fiji Health Minister Dr Neil Sharma ... "A lot of government ministers are fearful of making open ended statements in public." Image: Fiji Times File

By Pekai Kotoisuva in Suva

Some Fiji government ministers are “held on a tight leash” and afraid to make open ended statements in public, claims former health minister Dr Neil Sharma.

He said this during a live video interview on Sashi Singh’s Talking Point page on Facebook.

Dr Sharma claimed that the perception of the public that this country was governed by a “one man rule” was true.

“A lot of government ministers are fearful of making open ended statements to the public,” Dr Sharma said.

“They will read from prepared statements and speeches and those speeches go through the government’s communications unit.”

He said government ministers feared being reprimanded for sharing their personal or ministerial views.

“Let me put it this way, they are on a tight leash,” he said.

Dr Sharma also alleged that the perception by the public that government ministers were “just mere puppets” in Parliament was true.

Questions sent to the Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, and Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama remained unanswered.

Pekai Kotoisuva is a Fiji Times reporter. Republished with permission.

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