A PPM government would revise Hiyaa flat rents: Ex-pres Yameen

Former President of the Maldives, Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom, has vowed to bring down the price of the Hiyaa flats.

Speaking at a rally the opposing Progressive National Congress held on Friday evening, Yameen said the opposition's initial plan to have the rally at the Hiyaa social housing area in Hulhumale' Phase II did not sit well with the main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP). Noting that the government prevented the party from having the rally at the location, Yameen said the government was afraid that Hiyaa flat residents might overhear what was said at the rally.

The former president said the decision to hold the rally in Hulhumale' also affected India, as the opposition continues to call for Indian military personnel in the Maldives to leave the country. Noting that the Indian Ambassador to the Maldives resides in the reclaimed suburbs, Yameen said the government did not wish for the ambassador to hear and be disturbed by what was said at the rally.

'MDP may be democratic in name, but they are, in reality, hypocritic. They do not know how to run a democratic government,' Yameen said.

The former president said the Hiyaa flats and the plans for the area were not a dream and were made intentionally, knowing the situation of the country's youth and the need for housing. Responding to those who criticize the size of the flats by likening them to pigeon holes, Yameen said the flats were anything but. He went on to say that the plans also included the development of parks in the area for the enjoyment of flat residents.

Further noting that the PPM government designated 1,000 flats from the Hiyaa towers to disabled people and those with special needs, Yameen said the current government took away flats from some deserving recipients from the category. Although the current government claims the flats designated for newly married couples never existed, the flats now seem to have transpired from thin air, said Yameen.

Highlighting the government's failure to complete the flats even while three years into their term, Yameen said a PPM government would listen to Hiyaa residents' plights and address their issues. Criticizing the government for charging a monthly rent of MVR 7,500 for the flats, he said a PPM government would change the rent back to the initially planned rent.