National Federation Party MP, Lenora Qereqeretabua says the Attorney General loves to berate the Opposition on what he terms an obsession with ethnicity but Qereqeretabua claims it is he who is obsessed with ethnicity.
Speaking in Parliament, Qereqeretabua says the role of racial and ethnic data collection in eliminating disparities is well known, just as well it is known that these are vital markers which are used to better identify and understand the risk factors.
She has used diabetes as an example to highlight the absolute need for ethnic data to continue to be collected and published.
She says this government because of some mysterious reason only known to the Attorney General continues to ignore the need for data along ethnicity.
Qereqeretabua says data on ethnicity is universally accepted as a vital tool for development and it does not need to be divisive which seems to be the irrational fear that the Attorney General has.
Meanwhile the Attorney General and the Minster for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum had stated in parliament last year that development and government services should be based on need, not on race.
He had said there is an enormous misunderstanding that we cannot have economic development or social policies implemented without having a reference to ethnicity. He says this is incorrect.
Sayed-Khaiyum made this clear while responding to Ro Teimumu Kepa’s question on why the Fiji Bureau of Statistics cannot release the data on ethnicity from the 2017 census since issues on health, education and social welfare are impacted by ethnicity.
He had stressed that there is no data available based on ethnicity from the 2017 Census, no data has been collected based on ethnicity and he says that no data will be collected along these lines.
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