A-G cor­rects news­pa­per re­port

Sayed-Khaiyum holds press con­fer­ence to re­fute in­cor­rect Fiji Times re­port on claimed PM ex­ec­u­tive res­i­dence.

Fiji Sun - - Fiji Today - Edited by Ru­si­ate Mataika ARIETA VAKASUKAWAQA SUVA Feed­back: arieta.vakasukawaqa@fi­jisun.com.fj

The job of a me­dia or­gan­i­sa­tion is to get the right in­for­ma­tion out to the pub­lic and not to add a po­lit­i­cal twist to it, says At­tor­ney-Gen­eral Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. He made these com­ments af­ter cor­rect­ing an ar­ti­cle pub­lished by The Fiji Times yes­ter­day.

The Fiji Times’ ar­ti­cle ti­tled ‘$10m up­grade’ had claimed Govern­ment had al­lo­cated $5mil­lion in the 2016-2017 Na­tional Bud­get for the con­struc­tion of the Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fice com­plex and an­other $5m for the con­struc­tion of an ex­ec­u­tive res­i­dence. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said Fiji Times had in­sin­u­ated that the Prime Min­is­ter would spend $5m for his home and an­other $5m for his of­fice.

He said the Fiji Times de­lib­er­ately wrote the ar­ti­cle as such. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the news­pa­per had sent ques­tions to him for clar­i­fi­ca­tions which he re­sponded to im­me­di­ately. He said the news­pa­per had in­formed him that they didn’t re­ceive the re­sponse be­fore print. “We sent it be­fore 7pm yet they didn’t seek clar­i­fi­ca­tion on this; and they had called us up then they can find what ex­actly it is,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said. The Min­is­ter for Fi­nance said an ad­ver­tise­ment pub­lished in the Fiji Sun news­pa­per ear­lier this year stated that ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est were sought for the de­sign, up­grade and main­te­nance of ex­ec­u­tive Govern­ment res­i­dences which in­cluded the Pres­i­dent’s res­i­dence, Prime Min­is­ter’s res­i­dence and the Bor­ron House. How­ever, he said The Fiji Times had de­lib­er­ately dis­torted the is­sue and painted a pic­ture that the Prime Min­is­ter would be get­ting $5m for his home and a sim­i­lar amount for the up­grade of his of­fice. “I am telling you now that if you don’t un­der­stand any­thing ask for clar­i­fi­ca­tions,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said. He said it was ob­vi­ous they were fol­low­ing a po­lit­i­cal line from some po­lit­i­cal party.

“The re­al­ity is this that the bud­get will be de­bated in a week’s time and as a me­dia or­gan­i­sa­tion your job is to try and get the right info out and not put a po­lit­i­cal twist to it,” he said.

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