Planned Maldives Islamic channel launch to be reviewed next year

The Ministry of Islamic Affairs has said it will review the possibility of launching a Maldives-based Islamic television channel next year to ensure that the technical demands required for the endeavor can be met.

Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Mohamed Didi, told Minivan News that the postponement of plans to begin broadcasting an Islamic TV channel in the country were not so much an issue of budgetary limitations – but that of human resources.

“If we were to start this channel we would need human resources and the technical staff to support it,” he said. “We have spoken to the Maldives National Broadcasting Corperation (MNBC), who can supply this, so we have the technical capacity, but we need to think how we will move ahead.”

Didi said that broadcasting a new tv channel in the country was “not an easy task” and there were concerns that the project needed more extensive planning.

“If we rush [starting the channel], we might not be able to sustain it so that is why we are waiting until next year,” he claimed.

Didi added that the exact nature of how the channel would operate and the duration of its programming on a daily basis had yet to be finalised and would be a key part of any ongoing talks.

Meanwhile, Miadhu has reported today that Islamic Affairs Minister Dr Abdul Majeed Abdul Baari believed repeated postponements of forming the channel were related to low budgets and ongoing legal action regarding the control of state media.

According to the report, Rf2 million from the Zakat fund had been allocated to fund the proposed Islamic channel, but the money has now been transferred instead to a scholarship programme.