Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

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Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum 2016.jpg
37th Attorney General of Fiji
Assumed office
8 January 2007
PresidentRatu Josefa Iloilo
Ratu Epeli Nailatikau
George Konrote
Prime MinisterFrank Bainimarama
Preceded byQoriniasi Bale
Minister for Economy
Assumed office
6 October 2014
PresidentRatu Epeli Nailatikau
George Konrote
Prime MinisterFrank Bainimarama
Minister for Communications and Public Enterprise
Assumed office
6 October 2014
Minister for Civil Service
Assumed office
6 October 2014
Minister for Justice, Elections and Anti-Corruption
Assumed office
6 December 2006
PresidentRatu Josefa Iloilo
Ratu Epeli Nailatikau
George Konrote
Prime MinisterFrank Bainimarama
Personal details
NationalityFijian
Political partyFijiFirst
Spouse(s)Ela Gavoka (m. 2011)
RelationsViliame Gavoka (father-in-law)
ChildrenTwo sons, one daughter
Alma materANU (BA)
UNSW (LLB)
University of Hong Kong (LLM)
University of Wollongong (GDLP)

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, (born 24 September[1]) is a Fijian politician and a Cabinet Minister. He is the Fijian Attorney-General and the Minister for Economy, Civil Service and Communications, and also serves the Minister responsible for climate change.[2] Prior to his appointment as a Cabinet Minister following FijiFirst's general election victory in September 2014, he was the Fijian Attorney-General and the Minister for Justice, Anti-Corruption, Public Enterprises, Communications, Civil Aviation, and the Minister responsible for Elections under the Bainimarama Government.

According to The Economist, the daily functioning of the Fijian government is run by Sayed-Khaiyum.[3]

He is the General Secretary of the FijiFirst party. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum serves as the Fijian Governor in the Asian Development Bank and has been the ADB Chair of the Board of Governors since 2018.[4]

Early life[edit]

Sayed-Khaiyum was born and raised in Suva, and was educated at Marist Brothers High School. He has a master's degree in law from the University of Hong Kong, a bachelor's degree in law from the University of New South Wales, a graduate diploma in legal practice from the University of Wollongong, and a bachelor's degree in political science from the Australian National University. He was a former senior legal officer in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. Sayed-Khaiyum was the General Manager Legal and Compliance and was the Company Secretary in the Colonial Group of Companies for five years immediately prior to his appointment in the Interim Government by the President of Fiji. He also worked with the law firm of Minter Ellison in Sydney. He was on the board of Transparency International Fiji and has been President of the Fiji Young Lawyers Association.

Political career[edit]

Bainimarama government[edit]

Sayed-Khaiyum was appointed to the interim government of Frank Bainimarama after the 2006 Fijian coup d'état as Interim Attorney-General and Justice Minister.[5] The 2006 coup has been described by some political historians as a final intervention intended to unite the country and forever put an end to the nation's spate of ethno-nationalist military takeovers.[6]

When Bainimarama formed the FijiFirst Party, Sayed-Khaiyum was appointed its general secretary.[7]

FijiFirst government[edit]

Sayed-Khaiyum contested the 2014 election as a member of the FijiFirst Party, winning 13,753 votes, the third-highest polling candidate. He contested the 2018 Fijian general election as a member of the FijiFirst Party winning 17,271 votes, again placing as the third-highest polling candidate.

As the Minister for Economy, he raised the income tax threshold from $16,000 to $30,000 and has progressively increased Fiji's minimum wage.[8] Fiji is currently experiencing its lowest unemployment rate in 15 years[9], and the country's economy has recorded an unprecedented nine consecutive years of growth.[10]

As Minister responsible for climate change and the leader of Fiji's COP23 delegation, the Attorney-General is also a global proponent of climate adaptation and increasing access to climate finance, and is working with governments, multilateral organisations and development banks to allow countries such as Fiji to obtain adequate levels of funding -- on the basis of vulnerability -- to build their resilience to climate change. At the COP23 negotiations, where Fiji served as president, parties agreed that the Adaptation Fund would serve the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and the Fund was replenished with an impressive total of US $93.3 million.[11]

In Fiji, Sayed-Khaiyum spearheaded the creation of the climate change division in the Ministry of Economy to mainstream the critical issue in national planning and public financing decisions, making Fiji one of the few countries in the world where climate change sits with the ministry responsible for finance.[12] He has also established a working group in the Office of the Attorney-General to examine peripheral legal issues related to climate change.[13]

During his tenure as Minister for Communications, Fiji has experienced a boom in access to high speed internet services and Free-to-Air digital television, which is now available all throughout the geographically-remote nation.[14]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Qoriniasi Bale
1st time
Attorney General of Fiji

2007-2014
Succeeded by
Faiyaz Koya
Preceded by
Faiyaz Koya
2nd time
Attorney General of Fiji

2014—
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by
Member of Parliament
2014—
Succeeded by

Personal life[edit]

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum is the son of former MP Sayed Abdul Khaiyum, and the brother of former Fiji TV journalist and current Fiji Broadcasting Corporation CEO Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. In 2011 he married to Ela Gavoka, the daughter of the MP Viliame Gavoka, they have two sons and a daughter together.

He is a member of the Muslim community of Fiji.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sayed-Khaiyum, Aiyaz (September 23, 2015). "AG celebrated his birthday today with team members. Happy Birthday AG!pic.twitter.com/gKY3BzUHRS".
  2. ^ http://wsds.teriin.org/2018/bio/Aiyaz-Sayed-Khaiyum.pdf
  3. ^ "Fiji's ruling party is in the ascendant, but its voters are emigrating". The Economist. 2018.
  4. ^ "Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum". Bloomberg L.P. 25 November 2018. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  5. ^ "Fiji's new Cabinet in profile". Fiji Times. 8 January 2007. Archived from the original on 5 February 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  6. ^ The 2006 Military Takeover in Fiji. State, Society and Governance in Melanesia. 4. ANU Press. 2009. JSTOR j.ctt24hdz7.
  7. ^ "Fiji's Bainimarama lodges party application - Radio New Zealand News". 2014-05-05. Retrieved 2014-05-08.
  8. ^ https://www.frcs.org.fj/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/128.Increase-in-Personal-Income-Tax-Threshold-Final-0208.pdf
  9. ^ "Unemployment in Fiji Drops to Lowest Level in 15 Years".
  10. ^ "Economy on track to grow for 9 years".
  11. ^ Urioh, Tajiel. "Report and Analysis of Un Climate Change Conference 2017 Bonn Germany".
  12. ^ "Fiji | Pacific Climate Change Portal".
  13. ^ https://unfccc.int/resource/docs/natc/fjinc1.pdf
  14. ^ https://www.fiji.gov.fj/getattachment/e0c88f28-8b30-4253-ac55-947a2671ae9f/FACTSHEET-ON-LAUNCH-OF-DIGITAL-TELEVISION-IN-FIJI.aspx
  15. ^ "Fiji's army-tainted politics". The Economist. 23 January 2016. Retrieved 24 January 2016.