20 Jun 2006

Fiji's Jim Ah Koy gets knighthood with PNG's support

11:25 am on 20 June 2006

The former Fiji finance minister and multi-millionaire businessman, Jim Ah Koy, has become the first Fiji citizen to be knighted since Sitiveni Rabuka removed Britain's Queen Elizabeth as head of state after his second military coup in 1987.

He is now known as Sir James Ah Koy after the Queen made him a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire or KBE.

The honour has been bestowed following a recommendation from the Papua New Guinea government to the Queen in recognition of Sir James' contribution to business in the South Pacific.

Sir James is a director of over 40 companies and his computer business, Datec Group, has subsidiary companies operating in Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Tonga and Samoa.

Last year, the Samoan head of state, Malietoa Tanumafili II, honoured Sir James with a high "papali" title in recognition of his contribution to the economy of Pacific island nations.