“There was a legitimate contract signed. We are disappointed”: Malaysian Trade Minister

The Malaysian government has expressed “disappointment” at the scrapping of the Maldives’ “legitimate” contract with the GMR-Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad consortium.

Indian media reported that Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak was scheduled to visit New Delhi towards the end of the week and would likely be discussing the matter with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Malaysia’s Consul General in Chennai, Citra Devi Ramiyah, told reporters in Delhi that it was too early to speculate whether MAHB would seek compensation from the Maldivian government, which voided the GMR-MAHB concession agreement and ordered the company to leave by December 7.

The government had earlier dismissed a stay order for the eviction granted by the arbitrators – the Singapore High Court – as an affront to the country’s sovereignty. A day before the end of the seven day notice period, the injunction was dropped on appeal after Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon of the Supreme Court of Singapore declared that “the Maldives government has the power to do what it wants, including expropriating the airport.”

Ramiyah told reporters that the Maldivian government had shown its intention “to do the project on its own and [was] willing to compensate financially. So, it is very early for us to comment.”

Malaysian Minister of International Trade and Industry Seri Mustapa Mohamad was more concerned, according to the Economic Times, and expressed hope that the Maldives would reconsider its decision to evict the investors.

“In Male we have enjoyed very close ties with the previous government for many years. The Maldives is 100 per cent Muslim country. Of course, with the new government the lesson for us is we should be more careful, more due diligent,” Mohamad said.

“We want our investments to be protected. There was a legitimate contract signed. We are disappointed,” he added.

GMR meanwhile handed over the duty free stores today after being ordered to do so by the government.

“GMR has vacated the duty free shops at the airport. So since they’ve cleared their goods, no services will be provided from the shops,” Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) Rahmathullah Ashraf told local media.

Andrew Harrison, CEO of GMR Male International Airport – GMR’s side of the voided airport development – dismissed claims in local media that the company had “stripped” the duty free store ahead of the handover.

“We were asked to close duty free by the 17th. It is not true we have stripped duty free. We have destocked and in some cases returned goods to suppliers, or found buyers through appropriate customs procedures,” Harrison said.

GMR had sought a smooth transition after being ordered to handover the airport “as we did not want passengers or carriers to suffer,” he said. “The only area left where we [were] active was duty free.”

GMR staff had begun returning to India, particularly those involved in the construction of the new terminal after the cancellation of the contracts to build it, he said.

The government has not yet declared what it intends to do with the foundations of the abandoned terminal project, built on 60 hectares of reclaimed land on the other side of the airport island.


17 thoughts on ““There was a legitimate contract signed. We are disappointed”: Malaysian Trade Minister”

  1. The message to our friends in Malaysia is that the Maldivian regime has found new like minded bed fellows in Beijing.

    The regime's defence minister is on a mission to restock tear gas, rubber bullets and other associated "civilian aid", thanks to the ever helpful Chinese.

  2. India's economy not really growing compared to China

    Good move to send GMR soon huh..

  3. Maldivians dont need India or Malaysia. We have China behind us now.

    Malaysians can take back their mosque and subsidies ! India can cancel their loans to us.

    Maldives should impose visa restrictions for Indians and Malaysians coming to our country ! We dont need your tourism or business !

    Long live china ! Long live china !

  4. Why so much praise to china from fishy heads? All survival instinct…... Why no Saudis, Pakistanis, and Palestine, Iran and the lands of Arabs who have lot of money to feed terrorism. After All China is the most anti Islamic country in the world.
    I sometimes wonder why such a minor people can have such ego. When we read these people’s comments, it seems like they feel so proud of being Maldivian that even American don’t have such pride being American. I am sure there must be some psychological issue.

    This is the smallest people in the world and still they talk such big things and even America doesn’t have such foreign policy. In the minds of Maldivian their nation of Sand dunes are very important in world political arena.
    We know of so many small nation but compare to Maldives they are huge like Singapore, but we don’t hear them getting involved in world politics.

    I am sure neither India nor China has such policy towards Maldives in terms of any political gain other than humanitarian ground. I have no doubt India and china will not go to wars to be engaged with Maldivians. May be India may have some bigger issue with regards to some of their nationals working in Maldives and some of Indian investments and some economic benefits from Maldivian who go India like their second home but such economic benefits is like drop of tear in the vast ocean. Indian economy would even notice Maldivian influx to their economy.

    Anni did try to get some sense in to tiny Maldivian brains but their brains have been infected with such virus that gone to a distance there is no return ,spread by Qayoom and now it has taken its course steered by the coup government.

  5. @ Maldives politics.

    You are absolutely right until the last paragraph, where you show your sudden bias.

    Its it very true that Maldivains absolutely adore their tiny country. When you are from a small country, you feel connected in a way that some one say say Kerala state would never fathom.

    No we don't have sand dunes - I think you have not even been out side of the country.

    The last para shows the TYPICAL media image of Anni-the-Saviour-of-Maldive-from-the-evil-of Maumoon-and-sea -evel-rise and restorer- of-freedom.

    Truth of the matter is Anni used ciches just like Maumoon, but Anni's plan is even more devious and evil than Maunoons.

    Otherwise your comment on Maldivians making took much out of China is absolutely right.

    With love to you from Maldives.

  6. @Investor - So once Chinese start faltering are you going to start kicking them out too? Your kind of diplomacy can't be fathomed by any person level headed. EU and Japanese economies are contracting for many years - they aren't welcome in Maldives, eh?

  7. The people commenting here, saying that Maldives is promoting relations with China, are all MDP propaganda machines, who are trying to infuriate and enrage Indian politicians, and convey the message that India was beaten by China, and that a secret conspiracy was underway by a fictional Chinese person who was leading the action against GMR.

    The truth is that a corrupt deal was cancelled by a sovereign state, it was not India that was driven out of Maldives but an Indian company whose contracts were merely cancelled by another Maldivian state authority. This has nothing to do with China. All things considered, the Maldives still depends much more on India than on any other state.

    This rumour was created by MDP morons, in the hopes of damaging Indian relations. The truth is, relations with India and Maldives would never had reached this point, if the MDP govt had been more truthful to their duties, and considered the benefits to the Maldivian people in giving away the airport to GMR. MDP govt did everything for the benefit of GMR, they lowered revenue fee's, they lowered fuel concession fee's to please GMR, they devised the initial agreement to the benefit of GMR, they drove out the Maldivian businesses out of Airport Duty free business for the sake of GMR, they stood idly by and applauded while no development plans at the airport materialised, they instructed GMR to deduct Airport Development Charge from the revenues of GMR to Airports company leading to the stupid situation of Airports company having to pay GMR instead of receiving revenue.

    This was totally against the desires of the (sane) Maldivian people. In fact, no-one with any sort of brains would have carried out this deal with GMR the way MDP govt sought to carry out this deal with GMR. What kind of moronic Finance minister signs a drafted agreement drafted by a foreign company, without considering the financial burdens to the country in the coming years just for the sake of pleasing a foreign investor and his own party people. When concerned Maldivians set out to rectify the stupidities committed by MDP, this was the sole reason that the clash with GMR and the Indian govt occured.

    All things considered, the compensation money that GMR demanded should be billed to MDP. Let them reap what they have sowed, and start giving GMR Airport development charge from their own pockets. The Maldivian people should not have to bear the burden of financing GMR, it is the MDP's moronic politicians who should have to bear the financial burden and the consequences of the GMR deal. (Raazee and Ibrahim Shihab, and the MDP appointed board of MACL).

  8. there are clear indications from Indian visa felicitation centres that Maldivians will have to apply for visa 1 week prior to arriving for tourism to India. Visas for other reasons will be Strictly scrutinised. It will be easier from now to go to shanghai or colombo for medical treatment.

  9. Its good that India is tightening visa on Maldivians.

    In fact Maldives should stop Maldivains from visiting India. Thailand is better for medical anyway.

  10. Get real. There is not one single "Muslim country" in the world which is democratic, where the people enjoy freedom and peace, where Muslims do not kill other Muslims day by day.
    Maldivistan has joined the list : Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Bahrain, Syria, ... of course, do NOT THINK about that. Let's just put our hope on the sheikhs and mullahs with their direct line to the Almighty herself / himself.
    Repeat : do not think.

  11. @ Investor.

    Yes, you're right. Thailand is a good destination.But for people who are white collared working class individuals.Not for fishermen. I suggest that you head to Sri Lanka(in your Dhaonis eh) it will be cheaper than India as well BUT they will still fleece you!

  12. @ macbeth khalil
    We maldivians have no interest or reason to go for expensive medical treatment to india or thailand or colombo or any other place. IGMH and newly built senhaiya hospital and adk hospital are enough for us. So you can get lost.

  13. Maldivian @ kolofushi on Tue, 18th Dec 2012 6:11 PM

    Talk about shooting oneself in the foot. Who do you think paid for your hospitals and where do your medical staff get their training.

  14. @kolofushi

    You are so far from Male. You don't have the faintest idea about the hospitals in Male. IGMH and ADK are good enough for child births or cuts and wounds (not of serious nature). For everything else, we need to fly abroad.

  15. f**k india, malaysia... CHINA is the best!!!! we should all marry chineseeeeeeeeeeeeee... and bomb india!!

  16. @geronimo i don't care where gmr stays or not ,but you comments fails to stress the most important point,a legitimate government authorized by the people of maldives (anni) is kicked out and decisions taken by a mandated government are trampled upon,but an illegitimate ,unauthorized one with decisions bound to affect generation's of maldivians without any accountability

  17. @cabs
    'Anni' resigned. He was not kicked out. He was just a coward who could not deal a 'little' strike.


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