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SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, May 27) – Fiji Labor Minister Kenneth Zinck created a furor in Parliament yesterday over his singing role in a Meridian Services Agency promotional video aired on television on Tuesday night.

Mr Zinck was showed on television singing "Isa Lei" for Public Warehouse Company human resource manager Nasser Obaid and director Kelly Shuttleworth.

Mr Obaid and Mr Shuttleworth had negotiated with Meridian director Timoci Lolohea to employ Fijian men in Kuwait but so far only 200 men have travelled there.

Dubbed the "singing minister", Mr Zinck drew comments from members of the parliamentary opposition following a question about his recent trip to Kuwait that was posed by Suva Member of Parliament Ofa Swann.

Ms Swann asked about the purpose of Mr Zinck's trip to Kuwait and other countries and the confusion that seems to have surrounded Government's dealings with Meridian Services.

"I think singing Isa Lei is not colluding at all," Mr Zinck countered.

"I know we were a mood to host and Fiji Television tried to discredit the Government by saying here you are supporting it and here, you are sort of not supporting it," Mr Zinck said.

He said the Government supported the move to recruit people from Fiji but since some men were still stuck in Fiji waiting for jobs in Kuwait, had to investigate.

"As long as everyone continues to follow the law in this country and as far as recruitment and contracts are concerned our job is to verify the contracts."

Mr Zinck said the men who were stuck in Fiji were still waiting because a contract Public Warehouse had bid for had not been successful.

The local men have already paid application fees to the company.

May 27, 2005

Fiji Times Online: http://www.fijitimes.com.


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