Single private borrower lowers Maldives credit rating, and wants to borrow more: Assad

The country’s ability to borrow money has been made more difficult by a Majlis member borrowing a large sum of money and lowering the country’s credit rating, said the state minister for finance Ahmed Assad at the President’s Office press conference yesterday. Now that person has made a request to the government to give him a ‘letter of no objection’ to borrow a further large sum, he said.

Assad refused to name the Majlis member at the conference but it is widely assumed in the Maldivian media that the Majlis member is Gasim Ibrahim.

The European Investment Bank is complaining that the country is already in default, said Assad, and because of that complaint, the Maldivian government is having difficulty borrowing money and the country is in serious financial difficulties. It is jeopardising the government’s ability to borrow money for important projects like housing, he said.

The Majlis has left a tax bill in committee for a whole year, along with around 30 other bills which the executive government has submitted, said MDP MP Eva Abdulla last night on TV Maldives’ Rajje Miadhu (Maldives Today) current affairs program. These bills were designed to provide services to the people which were promised during the presidential election, she said, and instead of doing anything to pass the bills, the opposition has been amending existing legislation to remove the powers of the president.

The IMF has set up a program to help the government out of economic crisis, and an essential part of that program is to reduce expenditure and increase revenue, Eva Abdulla explained. The Tourism Goods and Services bill and the Business Profit Tax bill are designed to increase government revenues, she said, and both bills have been sitting in the Majlis committee for over a year and no progress has been made in passing them. The Majlis sub-committee considering the two bills is chaired by the leading businessman in the country [Gasim Ibrahim], she said.

Gasim also the head of the permanent Majlis committee for economic affairs.

This week, Gasim Ibrahim and another Majlis member, People’s Alliance party leader Abdulla Yameen, were arrested on charges of treason involving bribery of Majlis members. The Criminal Court ordered that Yameen, the younger brother of former President Maumoon Gayyoom, be presented in court by the police after midnight less than 6 hours after his arrest. The High Court yesterday endorsed the Criminal Court order. Both men were released from police custody by the Criminal Court and placed under ‘house arrest’ with permission to attend Majlis sittings and committee meetings. Gasim Ibrahim’s swift hearing at the Criminal Court took place without any media presence.

Abdulla Yameen is on the permanent Majlis committee for financial affairs which is headed by his party’s deputy leader Ahmed Nazim who is the deputy speaker of the Majlis. Yameen is also head of the permanent Majlis committee for national security.

Last night on Gasim’s Villa TV station, Yameen appeared and said he was confident that he would win the 2013 Presidential election competing against current MDP President Nasheed and the DRP’s Thasmeen Ali. Yameen also criticised the government’s economic policies and said the current administration had borrowed more than US$500 million in the last 18 months.

What is clear is that both Gasim and Yameen will have to pay significant taxes if the tax laws are passed, and therefore they are delaying the bills, said Eva Abdulla on TVM last night.

Gasim Ibrahim owns resorts and has an extensive businesses and media interests. Yameen also has widespread business interests in the Maldives and was a long-serving minister during President Gayyoom’s 30 year rule.

The present Maldivian government’s ministers resigned en masse in a ceremony held at the President’s Office earlier this week, before Gasim and Yameen were arrested. The ministers, who were appointed by the president, said that they were unable to function due to restrictions placed on them by Majlis amendments to existing administrative and financial legislation.

A press release by Gasim’s Jumhooree party says the arrests were designed to intimidate its leader and Abulla Yameen, and that the resignation of the ministers, followed by the two Majlis members arrests, were contrary to ‘the spirit of the rights granted to them by the constitution’, and designed to place undue influence on the Majlis.

“We know that there are big businessmen and corruption in the country,” said the former foreign minister Dr. Ahmed Shaheed at yesterday’s President’s Office press conference. “For a young democracy, corruption is the biggest enemy. Corruption is present in every country. Democracy will only be strengthened when institutions that are supposed to fight against corruption are strengthened. Maldives is at that stage. The question we have to ask is if the current institutions don’t help us, then how can we do this?” Dr. Shaheed said.

“Maldives is in this economic crisis because corruption has been widespread. Particularly because the previous government has looted the country and because they have given priority to their personal interests rather than to the nation,” he said.

Democracy can be strengthened only when looters of the country receive appropriate punishment, Dr. Shaheed added, and the government has to take urgent action against corruption.

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48 thoughts on “Single private borrower lowers Maldives credit rating, and wants to borrow more: Assad”

  1. I have so far been under the impression that criminal court is a place where cases are looked into when it is initiated and prosecuted by the state.

    We all know that a crime takes place when someone violates the written laws of the country.

    However, in Yameen and Gasim's case, it looks like this is the first time I'm experiencing something different.

    In this case Yameen and Gasim was suspected of committing a crime and the sooner they are taken for investigation by police, their defense team has gone to criminal court.

    Their case has been initiated by their defense team.

    Why should the Criminal Court after midnight order Yamin and Gasim to be present at court in one hour when it has been only 6 hours since the police took them for investigation?

    Does this mean the Criminal court and the high court is going to make similar rulings on every individual that is going to be arrested in future by the police for investigation?

    And again, before their investigation is over, the court is passing a judgment that their is no case.

    This is unbelievable!

    Where is the Judicial Service Commission which is supposed to look into these matters?

    And why is the media not reporting on this?

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  2. I have serious doubt about both Ali Hashim and Assad's capability to fix the country's economy.

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  3. "The European Investment Bank is complaining that the country is already in default, said Assad, and because of that complaint, the Maldivian government is having difficulty borrowing money and the country is in serious financial difficulties"
    Why should Govt be in default even if the individual concerned defaults? What is the B.S Assad is talking about? Who are these people trying to fool?

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  4. @ hameed,

    And I have no doubts that you will keep focusing on the person instead of the bigger issues.

    Don't worry. You can be the next finance minister to fix the country's economy once the parliament approves it is their mandate to open for applications to become ministers and appoints them.

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  5. Rushdee,

    Go.. read some economics and how the economic systems work.

    Then you will understand what Assad is talking about.

    Do not expect Assad to open an online university on economics to raise your awareness on economic and fiscal systems.

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  6. @kaheenu: We have to focus on the person becasue the impact is on the big picture. We are talking about fix the economy of a country not managing Le Cute or finacial department of Vaali Brothers. To fix the economy of a country you need more than just University degree.

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  7. These two individuals Yameen and Gasim including few MPS are against the legitimate Government. And this is a national security question. When it becomes national security matter it is up to president to deal with this matter. The courts have no ruling. Keep this people locked and they should not be allowed to attend Majlis sitting.

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  8. Asad and Ali Hasim is one of the best politicians this country can get! We all know that! Only they can rectify the problems faced by Gayoom's cronies like Mohamed Jaleel and Jihad who ruin this economy! Remember this country have faith in Ali Hasim, Asad, Inaz, Raazi to make a big U turn to bring the economy to a smooth ride! We know these people are much more credible and honest! We know Yameen, Gasim, Jaleel, Thasmeen, Fazeel Najeeb are all cronies of Gayoom and his family! They made their pockets fat! We need to clean this system from these people!!!

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  9. keep these people locked up so we can have a functioning government!

    i'll be damned mad if i don't get electricity subsidy next month because of this amendment to finance bill

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  10. Ali Hashim a good economist? You must be joking. None of these guys like Razee know what they are doing? We should bring Arif Hilmy back. When he took over the Finance Ministry during Gayoom's time, the economy was in a worse situation than now. He may have his personal faults but he will sort out the country's finances.

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  11. I was a big fan of Mahmood Razi until I got to know how he mismanaged the privatization process of Male International. I am a 100% supporter of privatization of the airport; because I know it needs serious investment for expansion and development. But listen to the Chairman Nooradeen and Managing Director Mohamed Ibrahim has to say. When Chairman and three other members of the MACL Board refused to give their approval unless Razi-led privatization comity shared the details of how the bidding and the technical evaluation process were conducted, they were all immediately replaced. Why? Read Chairman’s interview with Haveeru. How did the evaluation comity, made up of randomly selected people, finish their work in just 3 days. Did you all know that there were serious issues which concerned MACL Board members about GMR’s plan to develop the airport? Razi utterly failed to communicate what he was doing with MACL Chairman and other Board members, let alone the oppositions.

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  12. @Rasheed

    Regarding allegations of corruption during the rule of President Gayoom.

    This isn't about complicated economics - its what happens when you put people who are true greedy conglomerates - with interests in every sector of the economy - to run the economics ministry. At least the only so called vested interest of the current Finance Minister is a perfume shop and we can always tell if they start opening up a thousand branches across the country!!!!

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  13. I don't beleive that Ali Hashim and Assad’s capability to fix the country’s economy. I also don't belive that Ashrafee Adam Manik has the capacity to run the Bank of Maldives Plc.
    So many corruption is going on under the direct eye of the presidents office, by his cronies appointed in the top management of public enterprices. i don't agree that unless it is streamlined world Bank should not give a single cent to the present regime

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  14. You know hameed. You can even be a big fan of Gasim. Or even Yamin

    Seems all you care is people.

    The Ministers in MDP led government does team work. Cant you see the ministers resigned together. If that is something enforced on them by the President, its shows the leadership of the President.

    Ali Hashim, Razi and Assad are people who holds credibility in front of the international community.

    The Finance minister is not as shortsighted as the ministers in the previous government.

    You support privatization. You understand the need for the privatization of the airport and the need for its expansion and development. Yet you are stuck on Nooradeen and M Ibrahim? It is their job to get involved and find out without sitting and pocketing the finance.

    We know why Nooradeen and M Ibrahim refused to sign it. We know who they are and their links. We do not want such elements to be the reason for us to loose the opportunities we get and hinder the development process.

    They always have something to say as if they are people with prinicples. We have seen what happened in the elections while Mohamed Ibrahim was the Commissioner of Elections.

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  15. 1- Ibrahim Noordeen and M. Ibrahim are 2 people with integrity. Noordeen is not against privitization. He simply did not find the process transparent enough. Congratulations for the guts!

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  16. Assad you guys have become whiners instead of doing jobs, ever since you guys got these jobs to do, nothing else you guys are doing. According to you guys anything you guys can do is to have absolute majority in everything. But face to the reality in politics its not possible, none of you have the appealing to get mass support behind you guys. Most of you are arrogant, selfish wanna be best like people. I voted for Anni but I lost confidence him now.

    I feel Yameen only have economic background who can save us now. We have listed you guys for a decade now about Yameen and Raagondi Raaja label you guys gave him. We believed you then but not any more.

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  17. @Kaheenu:what can I say if u find it hard hard to digest facts. Perhaps next time you may not read my comments.

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  18. I had full confidence that Ali Hashim can fix the economic mess inherited from Gayyoom's government. Controlling spending is a move in the right direction. He has resigned and i hope Assad follows the same policy.

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  19. Anni Don’t let loose these two people, it will be very dangerous if they ever get to the Majlis, it will be a political blunder if these two people get there. It may sound that these guys are democratically elected MPS, but the fact is known to everyone that they have come from their constituency to represent a very few people and have got the votes by misleading innocent poor people by showing few coconut printed papers. You have moral right to keep them locked up if it helps to give the people some hope.

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  20. Puffffffffffffffffffff … it is still the Maldivian people who are going to suffer in this Airport Privatization. Don’t you see in every corner of the Maldives .. we are under dogs.. we are the dogs licking the Indians feet. What will happen to all the employees and their families after two years. WHO WILL PROCTECT US? Within 3 years they are going to build a new Terminal on the eastern side of Hullule and when they select staff for their new terminal ……………..those who are working in the old terminal , the Maldivians , are going to be randomly selected and the majority of them will be fired.

    You will see that I am telling the truth .. in time …

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  21. Mohamed Jaleel, was able to pass public finance act, securities law and create CMDA and stock exchange, create Housing development Finance Corporation, Maldives Finance Leasing Company, Raised finance for development of Hulhumale, and brought 1.5 billion dollar transshipment port project which was failed by parliment at that time and biggest advocate against it was mdp afeef. Arif Hilmy nationalised Bank of Maldives from Bangladesh share holders. They both saved our economy from from the gulf war crisis, and even 9/11 and other economic recessions. They never put our country in hands of IMF. What did Ali Hashim, Razee and inaz do? Ali hashim gave us to imf and following imf like a puppet. Razee is selling all assets we have together with ali hashim. And inaz distributed the SME loans which were given from japan agency to help sme to the last government and inaz distributed like it was his money.. who evaluated the last sme loans??? bank of maldives only checked the credit history and rest inaz decided in closed doors.. You cannot even compare jaleel and arif to ali hashim and razee

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  22. How could you lease Male' International Airport without corruption when the head of the Airport regulatory Authoruty is headed by the same person who is also heading the privatization committee and also acting as the Trade minister. I also have doubt about this person heading the Airport evaluation committee as well. "Is this a joke". What kind of corruption are you pointing at Yaamin and Qasim when you don't know how to identify corruptiuon at all.

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  23. Please sign the petition for right to recall your Majlis Members for their unacceptable behaviour
    To sign the petition go to
    http://www.gopetition.co.uk/online/37519.html

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  24. The Adaalath Sheiks will know best about our economic system. They can give expert opinion on how a country like this can become an A grade country. Can we get their opinion, please.

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  25. Corruption is nothing new in this country. It has been here since president Nasir days. All these people need to be kicked out from political arena. There should be no role for businessmen in the political area of Maldives. Leave the country to be run by educated light minded people. And yeah even Nasheed has corruption in his resigned ministers. ?
    I don't know now who is best for this country. I fee like I'm form India or Sri Lanka now, not a Maldivian.

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  26. Nasheed is playing politics with this small nation. What a show he played asking all the minsiters tp resign enmass infront of the TV. What a riduculous political stunt. Dr Shaheed did you mastermind this as well??

    Dr. Shaheed i think its best you keep your double mouth shut. I am still suprised how shameless you coudl be to come out in the media and talk about courroption greed. I don't think it needs telling how greedy you are to keep your job. Certainly you have no values and no integrtiy. You a man with a PHD but no principles. It makes me wonder why you still think that we maldivians beleive you at all. You must be mad or mentally blunted.

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  27. The fact is there are no MP's in the parliament who are free of corruption.This has been going from the past regime till now. It is time for the president of the nation to emerge. The Maldives is much bigger than MDP's national council or the party itself. The president and the MP's were elected not only to serve the people who voted you in but to the whole population.Its time President end this game of You are either with us or against us policy and rule the country by law. Please Assad ruining the biggest stakeholder in the country is never going to be recommended by the IMF or World Bank. Gasim Inc or other Big companies get bailed out by the government because they are needed for the economy to survive. When a state minister Aslam says that there is no way businesses are going to survive without aligning themselves with MDP is that right? Nobody in the government nor the opposition knows what going on.This is the same scenario you get in a mismanaged Male' tea shop.

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  28. forgot to add ...It gets ugly when bajiyyas and keemiyaas start flying around.

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  29. Shafeeqa, did you know that the 2007/2008 global recession was the worst in history? It has not comparison to anything before that. Even right now, there is a global fear of another recession looming. We're still not out of the woods.

    How can you fail to see that the previous regime left the country bankrupted? There was no alternative but to bring in the IMF. Look around you? How many countries in the last couple of years have gone begging to the IMF? Heard of Greece, which is a rich EU country?

    Get your facts right before you talk.

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  30. The Airport privatisation was overseen by one of the most respected international financial institutions, the International Finance Corporation which is an arm of the World Bank.

    I don't believe that a few ministers of the Maldives government can pull the wool over the eyes of such a body! Don't be bloody fools.

    What this government has been doing would transform the fortunes of this country for the benefit of EVERYONE, not just the few rich ones. That is why, Gasim, Yameen, Jangiya Nazim and others are running around to stop this process by any means.

    Gasim and Yameen and Co., want to go back to the Old System, i.e., power and wealth centred around a few and based around Male', forever!

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  31. The opposition has used legally or illegally their majority in Parliament to make the President and the Executive into a sitting duck.

    They are now just taking pot shots at them, at will. They've totally cut off the air supply to the government:

    The government cannot raise any revenue, by:

    (1) Taxation. Parliament is holding on to the bills!

    (2) Loans. Parliament now has to get involved in that, and guess what. They'll blackmail the government before agreeing to any loans.

    (3) Privatisation. Aha, yes, Parliament once again has to get involved in this too.

    So, in summary, the only source of revenues to the government are at the discretion of Parliament which is in the hands of the opposition. Guess who is running the country then?

    Bloody hell! How did we get to this state? I know one reason. President Nasheed has consistently refused to go after the corrupt bastards of the previous regime and we're now paying the price.

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  32. Read this news about how GMR is building one of the largest airport projects in the world:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/10476902.stm

    The government should highlight these points, and explain the significance of this to the public.

    This goes a long way to show that GMR is a truly world class enterprise capable of impressive infrastructure projects. Gasim and Yameen are just jealous!

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  33. The problem is this Govt doesnt respect the principles of Good Governers, the airport privatization process is a very good example.
    1.When MACL Bd objected bcos the the details were not clear, the Bd was replaced.
    2. The new Bd had only less 2 hrs before they aproved. Would you believe they would have time to read each and details. Would they have time to get any legal advice from 3rd party.
    3. Razee is the Minister for Civil Aviation- regualtory body for airport.
    4 Razee is the Minister for trade - regulatory body for companys act.
    5. Razee is the chairman of Privatization process.

    We not against the privatization or the rest of the govt plans, but the problem is how they carry out the process. That is why we need to scrutinize everything this government does.

    Who would believe the entire cabinet resigned with their own will, everyone this is a drama orchestrated by president himself.

    Sadly it is childish and a foolish act which is going to backfire and once again the economy and people will suffer for a very long time.

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  34. Just get rid of these Ba----ds........To hell with the Parliament... to hell with Golhaa boah... to hell with Sultans of teh Seas vagu & to hell with Burumaa Villa group...

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  35. Most international institutions such as IMF have transparent rigid processes in place for procurement. May be one of the reasons why President Nasheed asked IMF to handle the whole airport privatisation process is because he did not want Maldivians to have undue influence on the process. If the process of IMF is in question then the government would have to get another credible institution to evaluate the bids. And who would that be? IMF has the experience to handle large projects such as this.

    The Airports Company was invited to observe the process and Mohamed Ibrahim did observe the process. Why did Mohamed Ibrahim not object to the evaluation process while he observed? Why did the Airports Company not object to the process if they thought it was wrong until the final moment? Was it because the company they wanted did not get the bid?

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  36. For the kind info of the people here, Gasim took the loan while he was the Finance Minister. The loan was purportedly given to reconstruct Fun Island which was destroyed due to tsunami.

    EIB officials visit the Maldives now and then to check the progress of these projects. During their visits they were utterly disappointed that the loan money has not been used for the purpose it was given... Stil Fun Island is not operational...

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  37. އޮންނާނީ ޤައުމުގެ ރައުސުލްމާލު ބަނޑު އަޅާލާފައި. ތިބޭނީ ހުސް ގާޒީންނަށް ލާފައި. ހައް ހައް ހާ. 2013 ގައިވެސް ވެރިކަން ކުރާނީ މަގޭ ޕާރޓީ. ޑީ.އާރު.ޕީ. އެހެންނޫނީ ޕީ.އޭ. އެހެންނޫނީ ޤާސިމް ނުވަތަ ހަސަން ސައީދު ނުވަތަ ކުއްޓި. ހައް ހައް ހާ. އޭރުން ހޭއަރުވާލާނަން.

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  38. I've 'eaten' the counrty's budget, so what? Nothing can be done. hahaha. All the judges are [email protected] ones I've appointed. They're all mine. hahaha. And in 2013 Yamin my bro will be president. haha. Or else the foolish ppl will elect one of my agents like: Gasim, Tasmin, HassanSaeed, Kitti Nasheed. hahaha. After that I will squeez you guys all again. haha. I am above the law. So is my agents and my family. No court can touch us. Even if we're accused of and investigated of terrorism we will be kept in the house for investigation so that we can bribe the wisnesses and twist the facts. hahaha.

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  39. Shafeega,
    YOU TELL ME MR.MOHAMED JALEEL AND JIHAD saved this country??? They were mere puppets of Gayoom..Jaleel almost urinated when Yameen scolded him once in Cabinet meeting! I agree Mr.Arif Hilmy is one of the best State minister for Finance ever we had..he was stronge in his words and capable!! But Mr.Jaleel was NO GOOD IDIOT! He doesn't even know the basic economic text stuffs! All he did when he was in MMA and Ministries was to run his private consultancy firm and followed the orders of Gayoom the dictator!! Ask Finance ministry staffs who worked with both!! So I guess you loved Jaleel becoz he pleased you in this sense! Jaleel was the worst economist we ever had!

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  40. I dont know about Ali Hashim, but Asad is just a down to earth accountant. How can he take this country from where we are to dry grounds.

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  41. Why are you editing, Cant you keep the opinions of people as they are ? Scared of whome? Iblis, Allah, or Jesus..
    Man Editing is a thing of the past. Today no one edits.

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  42. Look at the track record of Jaleel and arif, if Ali hashim and assad is capable then show us. Incapable of managing and raising finance.

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  43. Our finances would only come into order as soon as they start taxing people. I sincerely hope the Gasims and Yameens can find it in themselves to put the affairs of the country infront of their peronal gain. What country on this earth survives without taxation...except for an oil well. On a personal note, Assad is one of the few honest guys with a conscience in the Maldives today...

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  44. Jaleel an economist? Capable? my foot!! MJ or Jaleel was the worst of the kind in Gayoom! He was insane when discussing issues! I think Mavota Shareef was a better economist!!

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  45. Mohamed Jaleel, Jihad and Gasim were the worse finance ministers this country saw..why? because for them when Gayoom said 2+2 is 10 they said YES OUR BELOVED!! SO TRY TO TELL US HOW JALEEL, JIHAD AND GASIM IS CLEAN!! THEY ARE THE ROOTS! THE SEED WAS GAYOOM!

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  46. Heres a solution if Maldives has the guts. If the government can stand it, den I beleive the citizens will support it.other than the family members. But dats 100-1. so 4get it.

    Google and read about "the Amritsar massacre"..or the "black friday" of 1930's.

    A nice news paper headline could be...
    "In an unknown incident last night, some of the Ex-ministers of the previous regime were found shot dead, at their apartment last night...police are investigating (stop). Like many stops the media put..

    The outcome will be a 1 year turmoil which can b controlled if well planned. You cant have a meal without sacrificing something. I am sorry, I am not very good in economics..but this nation has talked all its life...nothing happened. We live in neighbouring countries because we are afraid of what our nation would do next. Never knows.

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  47. Oh...and one more thing. Well after the barter system stopped, cowry shells were used as a form of money. You can say "Maldives was the biggest bank back then..." but where did the money go? It was sent to the Raja in India for personal protection of the king back then. Like British profited from India in 1940's, the world profited from Maldives and its corruption.

    All the rulers who came in after making those blank promises...the have drunk the blood of our citizens and in the end suffered a death like that of Mr. Almarhoom..Mohamed Amin Didi.

    The dhivehi books, da social studies books, we studied a bunch of heap of lies and feel like crap when we get old. Did the rannamaari truly come? or was it a sex crazed king? Never knows.

    Soaked in lies. It does not make me wonder today when Maldivians say "it would be better off if we were under British rule" because they would have developed our nation or da least, its pple.

    I thank The president, Mr. mohamed Nasheed for teaching the nation to say "NO". It is truly the greatest achievement in literal terms we achieved. NO. Now its enough. You old ministers and cabinet members..yamin, "galhaali buruma, please step down n get out of the country. you had fed yourself and your family enough. There are still lot of un-inhabited islands.

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