Home » Uncategorized » Dr Shaista Shameem questions Budget Announcement on FNPF provisions for Judges.

Dr Shaista Shameem questions Budget Announcement on FNPF provisions for Judges.

Commentary on Budget Announcement re ‘Civil Pensioners or those who fall outside the FNPF Scheme’- is this ‘windfall’ fair?

Dr Shaista Shameem


The Budget Speech on Fiji National Provident Fund Pensions was a shocker. Pensioners supporting the David Burness v FNPF and AG case are still reeling from the implications of it for them, that is, having their FNPF contracts cancelled without compensation.

What astonished most pensioners, however, was the part of the budget speech titled ‘Pensioners’, on page 19 of the speech.

This part is quoted in full below:

‘Regarding civil pensioners or those who fall outside the FNPF scheme, they will receive an increase on their existing entitlements. The last time these civil pensioners received an adjustment it was for 1 percent, back in 2005.

This time, former civil servants, their spouses, former members of the disciplined forces, war veterans, retired judges, former prime ministers, ministers and former members of parliament will all receive a 20 percent increase on their existing entitlements’ (my emphasis)

From the perspective of the Burness case already in court, consider what this provision means. It seems judges who retire will get a refund of their FNPF balance (hard cash) plus a 20% increase in their judicial pensions.

An example may illustrate our disquiet in relation to this provision better: if Judge Smith had worked as a lawyer before being appointed a judge, he or she would have been a member of FNPF and therefore entitled to a FNPF pension. If Judge Smith had chosen to take the pension option, he or she would now be entitled, under the new decree, to both a refund of his or her FNPF balance, as well as a 20% increase in judicial pension upon retirement as a judge.

No one knows how many of the judges are members or beneficiaries of the FNPF pension scheme but the public perception that judges in this category will receive a windfall at the expense of other FNPF pensioners cannot be dismissed. FNPF pensioners’ pensions, on the other hand, are not inflation adjusted.

The possible implications of a decree bequeathing such a windfall on the hearing of the Burness case cannot be ignored or dimissed.

A landmark House of Lords case is pertinent in this regard: In Re Pinochet Judgment of 17th Decemner 1998 and 15th January 1999, where the Law Lords said…’it is of the last importance that the maxim that no man is to be a judge in his own cause should be held sacred. And that is not to be confined to a cause in which he is a party, but applies to a cause in which he has an interest’.

Public perception in this instance, in which a FNPF pensioner’s pension is to be reduced significantly whereas judicial pensions are to be increased by 20%, all by decree, is surely something to consider quite seriously in light of the aforementioned Re Pinochet decision.

Under these circumstances what would be the judicial attitude towards the strike out application currently being made by the FNPF and Government in the Burness case?

42 thoughts on “Dr Shaista Shameem questions Budget Announcement on FNPF provisions for Judges.

  1. And old colonial facists and supporters of this illegal military junta like crosbie walsh and the idiot father barr think this is taking Fiji forward. So much for the workers of Fiji – screwed yet again by their own cowarldy poorly led military.

  2. Shyster Shameem – no amount of mealy-mouthed commentary in the name of ‘equity’ and ‘appearance of justice’ will repair the damage you did to your reputation in your veciforous support of Frank’s treason.

    You should be contrite and ashamed.

  3. How is one believe what this person says, for this person is not only duplicitous but also mendacious.


    “Frank’s treason”

    Don’t you think you are bit infantile in your commentary regarding “Frank’s treason”, come on lets be fair here if we are to berate Frank than it would make good sense to also castigate the others for their part in the treasonous acts of the past.

  4. Vinaka Ratu Sai

    These guys are after Frank Bainimarama because they have either lost power or their families/relatives have been kicked out of public services for corruption and coup related matters.

    All previous coups were ok ( hahhahaah), Rabuka was a saviour…… these people were leading the marches in 1987 and then again in 2000.

    These writers and their families had gained from all previous upheavels by either getting promotions in the public service, other lucrative government contracts etc etc.

    With Frank they have suffered……they cant make money….through corrupt means

    Hence, the venom coming out of their muth is understand

    Look at some of the biggest hypocrites of their time:

    Teimumu Kepa – was a hard core coup supporter in 2000

    Naiqama – Took over military barracks in Labasa in 2000

    Mere Samisoni – democracy a foreign flower…..supplying bread to all those thugs, holding hostahe elected members of parliament

    Mara – Mara snr accumulated wealth at the expense of poor fijians…investigate MARAGATE

    and the list goes on and on

  5. Sai and Mela

    No one is after Bainimarama but it is common knowledge that he committed treason. The Fiji Court of Appeal ruled that his actions were illegal end of story.No amount of wishy washy will make that right.

    As for Shameem, what a shame. She was stretigically placed to make a difference in the way the coup penned out but she choose to support it. Now she is crying foul against rule by decrees.

  6. Shame on you guys for being so short sighted and unforgiving. At least Shaista has seen the error of her former ways and is doing something to mitigate the earlier wrong. What are you guys doing apart from spewing venom?

  7. Anon

    Who is spewing venom?

    I am merely analysing the events as they occur. Shaista is now commenting as a lawyer who has got a case pending in court. She was the Human’s Right Commissioner when she justified the coup.

    The point is that her comments change according to the hat she is wearing and unfortunately that causes confusion as to where she stands in the overall scheme of things in Fiji.

  8. @ Sai

    “Don’t you think you are bit infantile in your commentary regarding “Frank’s treason”, come on lets be fair here if we are to berate Frank than it would make good sense to also castigate the others for their part in the treasonous acts of the past.”

    Sure. Whatever. According to you, you would prefer to revisit the past instead of dealing with the future.

    So lets go through the annals of history and recount all the wrongs and rights – BUT the problem is that FRANK AND AIYAZ continue to perpetrate their crimes TODAY, Sai – but all you want to do is go back over old soil to distract from the present – what is happening today is far, far, FAR worse than anything that has happened to Fiji before. Even the blind, deaf and dumb know this much.

    We have the worst economy in Fiji’s history, no rights or freedoms, a compromised judiciary, executive and legislature and have been operating under martial law for over five years now – so what it good about that? What part of this glorious disaster are you so happy about? Who in your family is working with Aiyaz Sai? What sort of grown man takes such a one-eyed view of the situation, to the complete ignorance of your common sense and reality?

    You could only either be wilfully ignorant or incapable of understanding the issue at all – I guess it is up to you which you would rather be.

    @ Anon

    “At least Shaista has seen the error of her former ways and is doing something to mitigate the earlier wrong.”

    Really? What has she done? Ranting about the independence of judicial officers (ha!) while ignoring the proverbial elephant in the room – the regime?

    She owes the nation far, far more than that – perhaps an apology along the lines of Ratu Mara would be more appropriate and I would be more forgiving – but she and what seems to have been the entire family supported Frank’s treason, long before he acted. Reprehensible.

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