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