3 Mar 2003

PM's credibility is being damaged over outspoken MP's comments, says Fiji Opposition leader

4:50 pm on 3 March 2003

Fiji's opposition leader Mick Beddoes says the Prime Minister's credibility is being damaged by his failure to censure the Minister for Women and Social Welfare, Adi Asenaca Caucau, over her remarks in Parliament on handicapped people.

Adi Asenaca told the lower house last week that people become disabled because of evil forces and that people who are truly spiritual and good are those not handicapped.

Mr Beddoes says that it's not the first time the minister has made warped statements, but that unless Laisenia Qarase takes decisive action against her, he will be seen to support those views.

"If I was the Prime Minister I would have fired her when she made the first derogatory comment about the Indian community being like wild weeds and got somebody else who was worthy of being a member of parliament and a minister. Now at this stage it's been almost going to be a week since she made that statement and the Prime Minister hasn't commented and I think this is dreadful"

Mick Beddoes