FIJI FINANCE MINISTER AH KOY'S PLANS FOR DAILY POST

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By Shobna Chandra

SUVA, Fiji Islands (February 24, 1999 - Pacific Media Watch/Daily Post/Pasifik Nius/Niuswire)---After this parliamentary session, Fiji's Finance Minister Jim Ah Koy will call a meeting with the two shareholders of the Daily Post newspaper to discuss revamping the paper.

He has expressed high hopes of making it the number one local paper.

He said the working conditions at the paper would be improved with more equipment and better facilities brought in.

Responding to the massive criticism he faced when the purchase of 44 per cent shares in the paper was made public, Mr. Ah Koy [reaffirmed] that there would be no ulterior motives behind the purchase of the shares.

"We are not going to gag anybody. Government owns the Island Networks and Fiji TV and we have not gagged anybody," he said.

He said it was only when another party showed its interest in buying the paper that he realized its potential.

"The business of buying the Daily Post is an important issue. We want to bring the newspaper up to scratch," said Mr. Ah Koy.

"But the specific details on the improvement will only be made known after the meeting with the other two shareholders, Colonial and Unit Trust.

Amid a privatization campaign of Government assets, the purchase of shares in the paper was a glaring contradiction of the Government's reform policy to rid itself of loss incurring assets.

"I am a businessman and I know what I am doing," said Mr. Ah Koy.

"This is another way of continuing privatization," said Mr. Ah Koy, who also has great plans about floating the shares on the market.

"I have a vision to see the ordinary man own shares in the Daily Post,"

he said.

Title -- 1955 FIJI: Finance Minister outlines plans for Daily Post Date -- 24 February 1999 Byline -- Shobna Chandra Origin -- Pacific Media Watch Source -- Daily Post (Fiji), 24/2/99 Copyright -- Daily Post Status -- Unabridged

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