The President’s Official Spokesperson and Chief Communication’s Strategist, Ibrahim Hood has delivered a press conference today at the President’s Office, providing the media with a primer on this administration’s ongoing work in several important areas and addressing citizens’ concerns with regard to some issues that have been of especial salience lately on social media.
Fore mostly, the Spokesperson wished to highlight that, despite ongoing issues, this administration has successfully created a positive atmosphere compared to what had prevailed under the previous government, during which headlines were dominated by news items pertaining to politically motivated arrests; attacks on businesses and individuals; government encroachment on civic and political freedoms; and an overall deterioration of law and order.
He emphasized that all the headlines being discussed presently are, conversely, substantive policy matters that are being attended to by a government that respects our constitution and is sincerely committed to serving all Maldivians. Accordingly, this administration spent its first 100 days finalizing its ‘Strategic Action Plan’, laying out President Solih’s overall vision for the next five years, listing the concrete steps to be taken with regard to each priority area, that will make them manifest.
The Spokesperson addressed some recently expressed concerns surrounding the difficulties encountered by students with regard to their eligibility for scholarships and student loans, as well as with regard to an apparent rise in the price of electricity amongst some households. The Spokesperson expressed the President’s profound sense of regret and sadness that individuals are encountering these difficulties, and made it clear that these are the result of bureaucratic and administrative flaws that will soon be rectified.
Touching on infrastructural development, the spokesperson noted that this year’s annual budget has provided for various development projects across islands. Of these, projects in 117 islands are already in the preliminary stages and work is already underway in 41 islands.
The spokesperson further elucidated with regard to some of the work done by the government over the past week, including the successful inaugurations of the school breakfast program and of a bank devoted to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), which has already readied 23 Million Rufiyaa in funds to be disbursed as loans; changes in government policy with regard to maternity leave, for the benefit of new mothers; and revised legislation submitted to the People’s Majlis which if ratified will allow individuals to access their pension funds should they wish to make the Hajj pilgrimage.
With regard to the present administration’s zero tolerance to corruption policy, the spokesperson noted that the government portal for citizens to report corruption-related complaints has thus far received over 400 complaints, and of these 18 that were found to be of particular concern has been forwarded to the Anti-Corruption Commission of the Maldives for further investigation.
Taking questions from the media present, Hood responded to several inquiries pertaining to our foreign policy, reiterating the Maldives’ commitment to establishing relations with all friendly and responsible members of the world community, as well as to forging new and lasting partnerships. To this end, the Maldives will soon be holding the Maldives’ Partnership Forum, which will be the largest multilateral gathering to have occurred in the Maldives in almost a decade, and which will provide a platform for our friends from the whole world over to discuss new and exciting areas for development collaboration.