12 Sep 2006

Fiji government minister told not to discredit cabinet

10:00 am on 12 September 2006

Fiji's minister for public enterprises, Robin Irwin, has been told not to make any public statements to discredit the cabinet.

Radio Legend reports that the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, issued the instruction to Mr Irwin at a meeting this morning.

Mr Irwin says he will ensure that the statement he made last week is not repeated.

Mr Irwin had told the Fiji Tourism Forum last Thursday that the prime minister and the finance minister should be sacked for the "lamentable state" of the economy in Vanua Levu.

Mr Irwin later said it was a joke but Mr Qarase said if it was a joke, it was in very poor taste.

This morning, Mr Irwin said his statement was "inappropriate" and he had apologised to the prime minister.

He said his statement could have been worded in a better way.