Nasheed requests to be more attentive in using names of top businessmen

Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed has requested MPs to be more attentive in naming prominent business people and speaking ill of them at the Parliament.

Nasheed indirectly made the request with regard to statements made by Kaashidhoo MP Abdulla Jabir while debating a bill on the Tourist Act submitted by Hithadhoo Central MP Ahmed Rasheed.

Speaking at Monday's Parliament sitting, Jabir said Maldives' presidents, especially former presidents Ibrahim Nasir and Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom, were involved in the tourism business. He said such actions would affect investor trust and called on the government to dissolve the tourism company, MTDC, established during Maumoon's rule. He further called on the government not to be involved in trade.

The MP went on to name some businessmen who were integral in introducing tourism to the Maldives and heavily criticized them. He named Kolige, the Champa family, and Villa company and said the businesses got involved in tourism when the Maldives did not have a Tourism Act. He accused former President Maumoon of handing over islands to the parties.

'These people who made money by working in tourism when we had no laws, these are the people who have now crossed border control. They have taken the dollars in the country and invested them abroad. These people are the four or five people I have just named,' said Jabir.

According to Jabir, tourism in southernmost Addu City was 'ruined' by MTDC. He said the company was established by Maumoon with the participation of Champa and Villa.

With regard to Jabir's comments, Nasheed said while the names of Maldives' renowned businesspersons were being clouded on the Parliament floor, they were unable to speak in their defense at the Parliament.

'These people are not present here at the Parliament. So, naming people and speaking ill of them while debating in this Parliament is, I believe, something that reflects badly on your own characters,' said Nasheed.