Civil Court orders MNBC to transfer assets and staffs to MBC

After months of dispute between the opposition and the government over control the state media, the Civil Court has finally ordered the Maldives National Broadcasting Corporation (MNBC) to transfer all assets and staff to the newly-established Maldives Broadcasting Corporation (MBC).

The tug-of-war began last year when the government transferred the assets and staff from Television Maldives (TVM) and Voice of Maldives (VOM) to the 100 percent government-owned corporate entity MNBC.

The opposition-majority parliament subsequently created MBC and order the government to transfer MNBC’s assets and staff. MNBC has been labelled pro-government by critics, while proponents argue that as most other mass media is owned by senior opposition political figures and favours the opposition, the government had no alternative voice.

Press Secretary for the President Mohamed Zuhair said that the government will appeal the Civil Court’s ruling in the High Court.

“The MPs and the judiciary should consider that the MNBC is operated by a board and all of its assets are properties of the MNBC,” he said.

Zuhair contended that there were resorts belonging to MPs that were operated under the same structure as MNBC, and questioned whether they wished to set a precedent for the court-ordered transfer of all their assets to another person’s company made for the express purpose.

MBC was formed by the parliament last year in April and its board was also appointed by the parliament. The board is answerable to parliament which makes the MBC board politically influenced, the government has claimed.

After the parliament passed the legislation to ”free” the state media, expecting the government to transfer the frequency and assets, the government bluntly declined to transfer the assets.

”MNBC was re-branded and changed its name after two board members of Television Maldives (TVM) proposed their names for the Maldives Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) board, but were dismissed from the parliament,” said opposition MP Ahmed Nihan at the time.

Nihan alleged that he was “certain” there was “a secret deal” made between MNBC and the government.

The opposition also held a series of protests for the freedom of state media before the issue was taken to the court.


13 thoughts on “Civil Court orders MNBC to transfer assets and staffs to MBC”

  1. Fair decesion by the court. With this decesion it seems the governement is getting more isoloated. It is true that the members of the MBC board are all former regime supporters and will not be able to run without DRP influence. At the same time MNBC also does not bring both sides of the story and is more biased towards the current government. What the public wants is a free media, free from all party politics. Democracy advocates must put more effort to make the media more free and fair.

  2. @MKH. That's the truth but how long can these members rule MBC.

  3. TVM = Television Maumoon
    MNBC = Mohamed Nasheed Broadcasting corporation
    MBC = Majlis broadcasting corporation
    VTV = Gasim's TV
    DhiTV = Maumoon's TV

    NO NO We dont need any of these! We need a totally independent state media!

  4. We do not have a fully functional Parliament. It's very dangerous for Parliament to increase its reach as it has been doing recently in the name of democracy.

    This is just a thin veneer to regain control of running the country by the former regime die hards who are sitting in Parliament. Their express purpose is apply pressure on all the CHOKE points of the government.

    One of the biggest choke points for any government will be the distribution of information. The fact that MBC was formed by Parliament doesn't make it more accountable or democratic. We can argue that it's even less so. You only have to look at the behaviour of Parliamentarians to see why.

  5. Let's see if the higher courts overturn the Civil Court ruling.

  6. Parliament is delusional. If they want to act as the Legislative then act as them. They cannot be judge, jury and the executioner.

    They are now encroaching on the territory of The Executive and the Judiciary.

    The whole problem of The Maldives now is not the MDP or the DRP but the whole Parliament. Unless we get these useless idiots out and get some sensible people we will be in this deep "shite".

  7. Well MBC's directors board were appointed by the senate. So its people who change that.
    Government must respect all the other government bodies and their decision. MNBC is the similar kind of example. Those board members may not be a supporters for MDP. that is a different issues, you must tackle that separately. doing strike or going to the courts you could find a solutions.
    But this MBC board is legally assigned people, government must respect that. and as the civil court has said you must handover everything immediate effect.
    If attorney General or a legal team of the government why are they still protecting MNBC board, it's illegal board and you cant win the case. so please instead of wasting your time and other valuable time of oppositions please stop playing a game.

    infect lets see how the MNBC board is functioning now... any one who's watching MNBC channel you could notice all their program are based on to protect Mohamed Nasheed's MDP people. and if any opposition want buy a time it will be like the end of the world.

  8. This is the most corrupted Government that we'd seen in our history.
    during those day when the former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom 30 years we have not seen anything like this happened. look at this Objectively
    Thilafushi harbor development contract , Airport privatizing and hand over to GMR these are the mega projects. we're talking about million dollar projects.
    this has to be very transparent. but when the Airport privatizing, we can show you many evidence that it was not done properly. look at what was happen when they were paying for the Government tax last time. they have cheated and it was not even half they have paid for the government.

    Mohamed Nasheed is failed you have failed by yourself. from the beginning i thought you will draw our future brightly. and we all will learn a good lesson from you but everything every dream we'd about this country is gone and you have buried it. i call all the people of Maldives do the strike in every where and let the would knows that this is another Mugaabey we have got.

  9. The Press Secretary has raised an interesting point. A corrupt cartel may plot to organize a parliament majority of 36. A $100 million enterprise could be transferred for say a million per vote? 36 million, or even 50 million would figure nicely in their calculations. In this set up, one dollar will buy you two, and MPs can laugh all the way to the bank, splicing a smallish cut for the judge who would promptly order a 20 day transfer.

  10. do not agree with civil court ruling. MNBC shud stay as it is. they try and do a good job in reporting stories. i see a very biased MBC board pass by the majority holding opposition at the parliament. this shud be taken into account. There are activists of opposition parties and we have seen that in the last two weeks in some media organisations footage. we saw an MBC board member at the strike. can she be so independent?

  11. Dear Ahmed Bin Addu Bin Suvadheeb, I know you are a biased MDP memeber...but this is too much...Just bcs MDP lost touch with the general populatioon and lost the parlimentary elections it does not mean this is not a fully functioning parliment...This parliment is the most democratic the Maldives has ever seen..and it would be even more democratic if it not were for the uncouth, uneducated yellow members such as Honorable member opinions show the sheer hypicrisy of this corrupt, economically unsatble MDP led government..The most pathetic and weak government the Maldives have ever seen in the 800 years of nationhood.

  12. Our judiciary system is a joke; therefore verdicts that come out from them can be nothing, but jokes!

    Commenting can also be biased in view of the biased. But, fact will always remain fact!

    Anyone can say what they want to.

    Under what hypocrisy Maumoon ruled for 30 years is unfolding.

    @Nars, it is sad that this government is corrupt, economically uneducated and is weak; but I am of view that they cannot be doing even a mere portion of what hypocrisy under which Maumoon and his cronies (perhaps you too) have been ruling this nation for 3 decades!

    You can sleep tight on this fact!

  13. The whole board of mbc consists of activists and people like Ibrahim umar manik who has been in vow for last 20years or so and tried propaganda for mammon. So those who believe the mbc board wud be unbiased ....haha it's a laughing matter


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