Funds for water crisis relief continue to pour in

The Government of Malaysia has pledged US$200,000 to the ‘Malé Water Crisis Management Fund’, while Japan is also reported to have given MVR13.9 million (US$903,000) to the Malé Water and Sewerage Company (MWSC).

The Maldives Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced the Malaysian contribution via Twitter.

The government hopes to raise US$20 million to protect against future incidents, though the opposition and civil society groups have raised questions over the transparency of the fund.

China has already donated US$500,000 to the fund, while an anonymous Saudi donor immediately pledged US$1 million during the crisis, which left 130,000 residents of Malé without running water for seven days this month.

From within the Maldives, Universal Chairman Mohamed Umar Manik, Champa Brothers, Trans Maldivian Airways, and the Maldives Tourism Development Corporation have all donated US$100,000, while telecoms company Ooredoo has donated US$200,000.

Haveeru has reported that Japan has gifted the MVR13.9 million to fully repair the damage caused by the December 4 fire, though it is not yet clear whether the money has been given to the government’s fund or directly to the state-owned MWSC.

“Japan hopes that because of its donation, the residents of Malé City will have continuous access to clean drinking water,” Haveeru quoted a Japanese statement as saying.

Additionally, US Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal has this week said the US intends to work with the Maldives on “long-term water production and distribution assessments” and to develop rain-water catchment and desalinisation projects to ensure clean drinking water.

Relief efforts included the arrival of fresh water supplies in multiple Indian military aircraft as well as passenger aircraft from China and Sri Lanka. Additionally, India sent two naval vessels, with China and Bangladesh also sending ships.

Both the UN in Maldives and the Human Rights Commission of Maldives praised domestic relief efforts during the crisis, which were led by the Maldives National Defence Force, alongside volunteers from the Maldives Red Crescent, who distributed free water throughout the capital.

Singapore provided technical assistance in repairing the damaged panels in the MWSC’s desalination plant.

Malaysia was among the countries thanked by Minister of Foreign Affairs Dunya Maumoon earlier this week.

“The people and the Government of Maldives are heartened by the strong show of solidarity and humbled by the generosity of our friends,” wrote Dunya.

Related to this story

Government seeks US$20 million in donations to repair Malé’s desalination plant

Both Transparency Maldives and MDP call for greater transparency in water crisis fund

Water distribution to stop as Malé water crisis nears end


Team of Malaysian businessmen arrive in Maldives

A team of Malaysian businessmen interested in investing in the Maldives through joint ventures with local businesses arrived in the country yesterday (November 15).

Maldivian High Commissioner to Malaysia Mohamed Fayaz told local media that the team includes 17 potential investors from the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Malaysia.

Fayaz said the businessmen had expressed interest in investing in guest house tourism, fisheries, construction, export and import, and real estate and would be meeting with the Maldivian Chamber of Commerce, the economic development minister and local businesses during their three-day visit.


Missing Maldivian surfaces in Bangkok

A Maldivian citizen reported missing in Malaysia five months ago has handed himself into consular staff in Bangkok.

Hamdhan Mohamed made himself known to Maldivian consular officials yesterday, with Malaysian High Commissioner Mohamed Fayaz telling local media that the 28-year-old was in good health.

Authorities began the search for Hamdhan in June after he failed to board two booked flights back to the Maldives. Interpol later issued a missing persons notice.

Fayaz told media that the cause of the disappearance was still unknown, but that a team from the High Commission in Malaysia would now travel to Thailand to meet with Hamdhan.


Malaysian high commission to hold futsal tournament

The Maldivian High Commission in Malaysia will host a Maldives Futsal Carnival next month at Sunway Extreme Park on the outskirts of the capital Kuala Lumpur.

“The event is to include a Futsal tournament with both male and female participating teams from Malaysia and Singapore, food stalls, cultural performances and children’s games and play activities,” read a high commission press release.

The event – held in collaboration from Maldivian volunteers from the expat community – will be held in celebration of the Maldives’ Republic Day on November 15.

Futsal – a variant of 5-a-side football – has become increasingly popular in the cramped quarters of Malé, with a number of new facilities provided in recent months. Maldivian students held a similar tournament in Malaysia in 2011.


MP Nazim left Maldives on same night travel restrictions were placed

Former Deputy Speaker and Dhiggaru MP Ahmed Nazim reportedly left the Maldives for Malaysia the same night that travel restrictions were placed on him following a Criminal Court order.

Haveeru reported that Nazim left the Maldives last Wednesday night (October 22) while the Criminal Court issued an order to immigration authorities to withhold his passport on the same night at 9.45pm.

Police confirmed that Nazim’s passport has been held but refused to give any further information as to why the passport was held in the first place.

An independent report into the disappearance of Minivan News journalist Ahmed Rilwan also mentioned the Dhiggaru MP’s name, alleging that Nazim had attempted to implicate the tourism minister Ahmed Adeeb in the case.

The report by private UK-based intelligence firm suggested that Nazim had promised to provide a journalist with information linking Adeeb – also deputy leader of the PPM – with corruption if he could be linked to the disappearance of Rilwan.


Interpol release missing persons notice for Mohamed Hamdhan

Interpol have released a missing persons notice for Mohamed Hamdhan, the Maldivian national who went missing in Malaysia last week after failing to board a flight to Malé.

Malaysian and Maldivian authorities began the search for Malé resident Hamdhan, aged 28, after he failed to check in for two booked flights from Kuala Lumpur.

The police cooperation organisation has asked for anyone with information on Hamdhan’s whereabouts to contact its general secretariat.

Interpol described Hamdhan as having a small round white scar on his chest, eczema scars on the back of both ears, and small scars on his left hand and left bicep.


Maldivian reported missing in Malaysia crossed the Thai border

A Maldivian student reported missing in Malaysia has crossed the Thai border, the Maldivian High Commission in Malaysia has said.

Hamdhan Mohamed, 28, checked in at a Malaysian Airlines counter at KL Sentral train station on June 12. He was on standby for a flight that night.

Maldivian Ambassador in Malaysia Mohamed Fayaz told news agency Haveeru that Malaysian immigration records show Hamdhan crossed the Bukit Kayu Hitham border into Thailand at 6:30am on Friday (June 13).

Hamdhan is also reported to have crossed the border in 2013.

“We heard [from the family] that they could not reach Hamdhan after his check in at KL Sentral 7:30pm on Thursday June 12,” Fayaz said.


Maldivian reported missing in Malaysia

A 28-year-old Maldivian man has been reported missing in Malaysia.

Hamdhan Mohamed, from Malé City, checked onto a flight on Thursday at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport to return to the Maldives.

However, his luggage was offloaded when he failed to board the flight, local media have reported.

The Maldivian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur and the Malaysian authorities are searching for the man, Haveeru said.


Nasheed to give keynote speech at Islamic conference

Acting President of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Mohamed Nasheed will give the keynote speech to an Islamic convention in Malaysia next month.

The former president will appear at the 3rd International Muslim Unity Convention – to be held on 11-12 June in Putrajaya – alongside former Prime Minister Najib Razak, and former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed.

Malik Obama, the brother of US President Barack Obama and chairman of the Barack H. Obama Foundation, will also take part in the event.

The theme of the convention is ‘Yes to Moderation, No to extremism’, with Nasheed giving a 30 minute lecture on the subject of ‘democracy, justice and peace’.

“As in previous years, the world’s most renowned Muslim politicians, diplomats, scholars and leaders will gather to discuss and present their ideas how the Muslim world can unity to defeat extremism and present moderation as the true authentic voice of Muslims,” explains Nasheed’s personal website.

Nasheed, the Maldives first democratically elected president, was forced to resign from office following a concerted campaign by a coalition of civil and political groups who claimed to be protecting the nation from the MDP’s anti-Islamic policies.