29 May 2003

Prominent Fiji businessman objects to proposed Media Bill

9:08 am on 29 May 2003

One of Fiji's most prominent businessman has warned the Qarase government its proposed Media Bill could lead to one-party rule.

Mahendra Motibhai Patel says while the present government may have no ulterior motive, it could set a dangerous precedent for future governments to become autocratic and adopt one-party rule.

In a letter to the information minister, Mr Patel says this is the most dangerous part of the legislation.

He says Fiji has enjoyed media freedom since before independence and there is no need to create uncertainties and commotion in its society with the Media Bill now.

Mr Patel says the government needs to create employment opportunities, attract overseas investment and engender confidence but the introduction of the Media Bill will do the reverse.

He says the government should not be sidetracked by such media bills and other activities which do not contribute positively to the economy.