Dear Editor – Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the front page pieces on Solomon Star issue No. 5787, Thursday 9th April.
The two pieces that caught my eyes were those authored by Assumpta Buchanan and Denver Newter, with the headings “Grand Scale Theft” and “Scale Confiscated”.
The two headings had the word “SCALE” mentioned.
The former refers to the size of the theft, while the later refers to equipment used in a theft.
As a layman the word “scale” referring to the enormous size of the theft would apply to both situations mentioned here.
The person stealing money from another’s bank account is no different from the person manipulating weighing instruments to steal the cost of an extra pound (kilogram) of fish from customers.
This grand theft has been going on for years, under the eyes of the authorities, and now being addressed due to its chronic nature as all markets in and around Honiara had adopted this culture.
I have at many times believed that the “middlemen” who usually do the selling for the fishermen are the culprits (maybe not all), and should be banned from the fish markets.
These group of men should find more respectable employment elsewhere, than harassing customers at fish market venues. Do they need to steal from customers to pay for their day’s meal?
I am sure if these middlemen are not allowed to come in between the fishermen and customers, the price of fish here would be the cheapest in the region. It is sad to note that the price of fish here is getting beyond affordability of the average wage earner.
The Central Market Master must make sure the scales they provided are checked throughout the day. It’s not proper to advice customers to bring along a kilogram of rice to double check the scales. For goodness sake, Market Master, this is your job to make sure the Market functions properly.
And by the way, get rid of those selling betel nut in and around the Market. What other laws do you need to do this? Also do something about the market carpark becoming a Bus Stop and building materials hardware. Most times one cannot find space to park due to these “other’ activities.
I am sure the City Council is collecting revenue from these other sources, however, do respect market customers’ safety, comfort and affordability.
I must congratulate the newly appointed Assistant Central Market Master, Mr. Steve Batabiriala for taking a step in the right direction in dealing with the “scales” issue head-on.
History tells us that Market Masters do not last long in that position when they honestly do the job. Be encouraged and do the right thing. Consumers must be respected always.