Foreign ministry recalls high commissioner to Malaysia

The ministry of foreign affairs has recalled today the Maldivian high commissioner to Malaysia, who is reported to be a close associate of the jailed ex-defence minister Mohamed Nazim.

The ministry in a press statement said the High Commissioner Mohamed ‘FA’ Fayaz had failed to “adequately promote Maldives’ foreign policy interests in Malaysia.”

Hours later, Fayaz announced his resignation from the foreign service on Twitter.

Speaking to CNM, Fayaz said he was unable to continue living in Malaysia any longer for personal reasons.

When asked if he would accept a different position with the government, Fayaz said: “I do not think I will be offered another job.”

Fayaz was the deputy minister of transport and communication during the controversial transfer of power in February 2012.

He then served as minister of state for home affairs and was appointed as the high commissioner to Malaysia in May 2014.

Nazim was sentenced to 11 years in jail on weapons smuggling charges. The police had found a pistol and three bullets during a midnight raid on January 18.

President Abdulla Yameen dismissed Nazim from the cabinet two days later, and he was arrested on February 10 on charges of treason.

Citing documents allegedly found in a pen drive with the weapons, police said Nazim had planned to attack the president, tourism minister Ahmed Adeeb and police chief Hussein Waheed.

In court, Nazim said the weapons were planted in his bedroom by rogue police officers on the tourism minister’s orders.

The ex-defence minister said Adeeb bore a grudge against him after he lodged a complaint with the president on masked men, reported to be police officers, cutting down all of Malé City’s Areca palms on Adeeb’s orders last year.

The media was barred from the hearing where state prosecutors revealed the documents from the pen drive.

But pro-government newspaper Vaguthu later publicised the documents claiming Nazim’s legal team “took pictures of the documents and sent to close friends.”

The leaked documents purportedly showed Nazim was planning to secure weapons from the state armoury to assassinate president Yameen.

Fayaz was to get support from the Thailand army “if necessary” to help Nazim assume the presidency.

Nazim’s lawyers, however, slammed Vaguthu for “blatantly false information” and categorically denied taking photos of the documents. They noted that court officers confiscated phones and searched lawyers with a hand-held metal detector before they entered the courtroom.

The documents also contained a chart showing the Yameen administration divided into factions led respectively by the president and Nazim.

Nazim’s “team” included Fayaz, the Vice President Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed, the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF), Home Minister Umar Naseer, former Police Commissioner and current JP MP Abdulla Riyaz, former State Trading Organisation (STO) Managing Director Adam Azim (Nazim’s brother), PPM MP Hussain Manik Dhon Manik, PPM MP Ahmed Nazim, Youth Minister Mohamed Maleeh Jamal, and President’s Office Minister Abdulla Ameen.

The president last week dismissed Maleeh without any explanation.

Following Nazim’s dismissal, the military dismissed Major Ahmed Faisal and Captain Ibrahim Naeem from the posts of head of the Special Protection Group (SPG) and Head of Armoury, respectively.


Parliament approves Mohamed Fayaz as high commissioner for Malaysia

The People’s Majlis today approved retired Deputy Commissioner of Police Mohamed Fayaz (FA) as the Maldives High Commissioner for Malaysia with 39 votes in favor, 8 against, and one abstention.

Following President Yameen’s nomination of Fayaz, his name was reviewed by the parliament’s National Security Committee.

The committee approved Fayaz without interviewing him, stating that he is “in terms of academic qualifications and experience, the best candidate to be appointed as the Maldives High Commissioner for Malaysia”.

Disgraced Civil Service Commission head Mohamed Fahmy Hassan was earlier appointed as the Deputy High Commissioner for Malaysia. In 2012 the parliament dismissed Fahmy as the president of the CSC for sexual harassment of a female staff member.

Mohamed Fayaz has also been criticised – particularly by the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party – for his involvement in the controversial power transfer of February 7, 2012.

Fayaz, along with Abdulla Riyaz who is currently running for People’s Majlis, and incumbent Minister of Defense Retired Colonel Mohamed Nazim were seen among the mutinying police officers gathered outside the military headquarters where President Mohamed Nasheed was at the time.

Fayaz negotiated between top generals and the mutinying police officers and was seen beside Nazim when he announced that the president should resign unconditionally.

According to the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) which investigated the events that lead to the power transfer, Fayaz was with President Nasheed when he was taken from the military head quarters to the President’s Office for resignation.

“Nazim and Fayaz went into the President’s Office ahead of the car in which the President was travelling. Following behind the car were the President’s SPG, Chief of Defence Force and Military Operations Commander,” the CNI timeline of events stated.

Nasheed’s resignation letter was later taken from the official dispatch by Fayaz and Riyaz who then delivered it to the speaker of the people’s majlis.

Fayaz served in the National Security Service for fourteen years under President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. He was a lieutenant at the time the NSS was split into the police and military branches.

In December 2008, President Mohamed Nasheed appointed him as the Deputy Commissioner of Police, but he was soon dismissed while on study leave. Within a month of his dismissal, Nasheed appointed him as the deputy minister of civil aviation and communication.

Following the power transfer of Febaruary 2012, President Mohamed Waheed appointed Fayaz as minister of state for home affairs.

In January 2013 Fayaz applied for registration of a political party named ‘Maldives National Industrial Alliance’, though the application was rejected last month by the Elections Commission for failing to reach the minimum number of members required for the registration of parties.

During the first round of presidential elections he entered the Jumhooree Coalition supporting businessman Gasim Ibrahim.