Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Ibrahim Rasheed has requested the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) and Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) investigate the proposed allocation of 50 flats in Hulhumale’ to military officers.
MP Rasheed made the request in a letter forwarded to both commissions, according to an MDP statement. The request, sent to the two commissions, claims that the allocation of 50 flats to officers in the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) is a “clear violation of the people’s rights.” The allocation is to be taken from 1000 residential properties currently being constructed in Hulhumale’.
Rasheed claimed in his statement that the government has already decided to built flats in certain areas to provide housing for military officers, and therefore “taking away 50 flats belonging to the people” paves way for corruption.
If the government decides to give flats to MNDF today, he warned in future that more flats would have to be awarded to police and customs officers, as well as other independent institutions.
Meanwhile, the statement says that MP Rasheed had described the allocation of the flats as an example of the current government’s use of “undue power and influence” to attack people’s constitutional rights, asking the two commissions to investigate such actions.
He has there requested both commissions to block the allocation of the 50 flats to military officers and return the residences to the people.
Earlier this month, Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim announced that 50 flats on the island of Hulhumale’ will be awarded to military officers alongside financial assistance to help them keep up with payments.
He said that a committee headed by Brigadier General Abdulla Shamal will oversee the awarding of the properties to candidates from a “pre-set criteria” and officers from all ranks are expected to be included in the scheme. The MNDF has announced it will also provide assistance to officers facing difficulties in meeting the required payments on schedule.
ACC Deputy Chair Muaviz Rasheed today said that he could not confirm if the commission has received the case concerning the military flats, or if an official investigation had started as he was currently on leave.
Rasheed did note that another investigation into the development of a military training facility on Thanburudoo island as a surf resort was currently underway. He said no decision has yet been taken on the case.
Prior to the announcement on awarding flats to military officers, the news broke about the development of a tourist surf resort on the island of Thanburudoo under the newly established MNDF Welfare Company.
The decision attracted heavy criticisms from the local surf community after the MNDF confirmed that the island was to be awarded to a third party, identified as Singapore-based group Telos Investment, without an open bidding process.
The Maldives Surfing Association (MSA) hit out at the proposed resort development on Thanburudoo – known to be a popular surfing spot – claiming it will substantially reduce local access to an already limited number of high-profile waves in the country.
However, Telos Investment President Dr Gunnar Lee-Miller told Minivan News at the time that it would be issuing a statement soon regarding the project and the potential impacts on national surf development.
“To be sure, there is a robust surf development plan for local surfers and fruitful discussions with Maldivian Surf Association Leaders have already commenced,” Dr Lee-Miller responded by SMS earlier this month. “We care greatly about the development of Maldivian surfers both in Male’ and the outer atolls.”
Minivan News had not yet received a full statement from Telos Investment about their plans.