بســم اللّـه الرّحمـن الرّحيــم
اَلحَمْـدُ لِلّـهِ رَبّ العَـالَمِـين، وَالصّـلاة وَالسّلام علـى سيدنا محـمَّدٍ، خاتم الأنبياء والمرسلين، وَعلـى آلـه وَصَحْبِـهِ أجمـعـين
Distinguished members of the Dale View Group of Institutions
Distinguished members of the Selection Committee,
A very good morning to all of you.
I am greatly honoured to be here at this august gathering to receive the first ever Dr. Kalam Smrithi International Excellence Award, in remembrance of India’s Former President and the great visionary, Prof. Dr. Abdul Kalam. His spirit lives in our admiration for him. May his soul rest in peace.
I am also greatly touched by the kind sentiments expressed to me and to my country.
Let me hasten to extend my sincere gratitude to the Dale View Group as well as Dr. Kalam International Foundation, for conferring on me this singular honour. I accept this Award on behalf of my people who have elected me to lead them, with a clear mandate to transform the economic fortunes of my country.
I am inspired by the Dale View Group’s integral role in the socio-economic development of the Indian society, during the last 39 years. You have excelled in establishing numerous social development welfare programmes. Pharmacy education amongst the many other educational and training facilities, measures to improve community health, increasing access to agricultural technology, providing rehabilitation services to victims of substance abuse, as well as enacting support networks that promote social and legal justice are notable. Your objectives are indeed noble and praiseworthy. I wish Dale View Group every success.
We have put the economic agenda on the front line of our ideals, along with the feasible solutions needed to overcome our current developmental challenges. However, these solutions are ideals only on paper, for they do not have a life or course of their own. Things simply do not happen. It is leaders that bring these solutions to life. In the words of Dr Kalam, “Knowledge with action, converts adversity into prosperity.” Knowledge and expertise therefore need to meet halfway with pragmatism.
Leaders have a responsibility to foster a climate where the synergy between knowledge and action could be enhanced. Maldivians have entrusted me with paving the way to help them grow and prosper, both as individuals and as a nation. It is the hopes and aspirations of the Maldivians that serve as the life that drives me forward, that instil in me a sense of purpose worthy of a statesman. Indeed, while there is life, there is hope.
Since assuming office in November 2013, my Administration has been implementing a number of bold policies towards the creation of jobs for the youth, promoting youth entrepreneurship and empowerment of the women in our society. My Administration is also addressing the fiscal difficulties of the previous Administrations, and reigniting investor confidence continues to be at the very top of our national agenda. What was unmistakable was that our quest to scale further heights in development could not be attained without an immediate and extensive improvement in infrastructure.
We have pioneered on transformational infrastructure development projects, including the dredging of the Second Phase of Hulhumale’ –Youth City, a bridge connectivity between Capital island Male’ and the airport island of Hulhule’, and as well as expanding six-fold our International Airport.
The Hulhumale – Youth City includes a Cruise Terminal, Marinas for Luxury Yachts, Technopolis and Knowledge Park, Multi-speciality hospital, Heritage Island, Financial district, National Stadium with a sports Centre and housing units for all classes of Maldivians.
I express with deep satisfaction that the civil works on the bridge connectivity between Male’ and Hulhule’ Island has been commenced this year, linking the Youth City and Male’ promising new opportunities. The backbone of our economy will then be fortified to ensure more than 200 percent increase in GDP per capita in 5 years. The Bridge will enable greater Male’ region to cater to the majority of the population ushering in bountiful economic opportunities. This bridge will be the magnet that pulls rural populations spanning over 183 islands to the medina of Youth City cradling the dispersed restless youthful population to opportunities, and contention.
Key development projects include the construction of the longest road in the country and ambitious social housing projects across the country and the Tsunami Rehabilitation project, providing permanent housing for the affected families. Happy to note that Maldives is the first country to rehabilitate fully the Asian Tsunami victims.
Our philosophy of economic growth is development that fosters equality. To the youth of my country the change has begun. Let them have life and have it more abundantly.
އަޅުގަނޑު ދިވެހި ރައްޔިތުންނަށް ދަންނަވާލާނީ މި ޝަރަފަކީ ދިވެހިރާއްޖެއަށް ލިބުނު މަތިވެރި ޝަރަފެކޭ. މި ޝަރަފު ލިބުމުގައި އަޅުގަނޑު މެދުވެރިވީ، ތިޔަ އެންމެހައި ލޮބުވެތި ޢިއްޒަތްތެރި ރައްޔިތުން، އަޅުގަނޑު ތިޔަބޭފުޅުންގެ ކަންތައްތަކުގެ ކުރިމަގު ބައްޓަންކުރުމަށް އިޚްތިޔާރު ކުރެއްވީތީއޭ. އަޅުގަނޑު ދިވެހި ރައްޔިތުންނަށް ދަންނަވާލަން ބޭނުންވަނީ، ބަދަލު އަންނަން ފަށައިފިއޭ. ﷲގެ ރަޙްމަތާއެކީ އެދެވޭ ނަތީޖާ ފެންނަން ފަށައިފިއޭ. އެހެންވީމާ، އަޅުގަނޑު ދަންނަވާލަން ބޭނުންވަނީ، ޙަޤީޤަތުގައިވެސް ދިރުމެއްވާކަމަށްވަންޏާ އުންމީދެއް ވާނެއޭ. ބަދަލުތައް އަންނަން ފަށައިފިއޭ. އިރާދަކުރެއްވިއްޔާ، އޭގެ ނަތީޖާއަށް އިންތިޒާރު ކުރައްވާށޭ.
As we go along with our economic development, we are aware that peace in our neighborhood is imperative for our sustained growth. Our vision for a better tomorrow requires support of those countries that have been friendly to us. India is amongst the most important friends for the Maldives.
We are grateful to the Government of India and its people for the steadfastness with which they have always stood by the Maldives, both in good and bad times, unwavering, undeterred and uncompromising in extending its generosity as a good neighbour.
A few weeks back, I had the opportunity to meet with President Mukherjee and Prime Minister Modi in New Delhi. At these meetings, I was able to confirm the progressive and mutually-beneficial foreign policy vision of the Government of India. The result of these fruitful interactions has brought vitality to our bilateral and development ties.
My people ask for equitable governance, one based on the conviction of fairness in our polity. An administration committed
· to upholding the rule of law,
· to protect human rights,
· to practice democratic governance and,
· to defend the independence of the judiciary and,
· to encourage and sustain the free and responsible press.
The singular honour that you have bestowed on me and my nation today has reenergised my sense of duties and responsibilities to my people. There is no ideal more dominant than that of democracy, there is no foundation of democracy stronger than freedom and there is no greater guarantee of freedom than the rule of law.
Let me quote from Dr Kalam, “In a democracy, the well-being, individuality and happiness of every citizen is important for the overall prosperity, peace and happiness of the nation.” May his legacy live on to serve as an exemplar for today and many more days ahead.
Thank you very much. Thank you all.