Maldives pres hits-back at rivals with development stats

Incumbent president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom on Thursday hit-back at his "blind" rivals with development statistics insisting that his track record so far this term were unprecedented.

Speaking during the ceremony held on Friday evening to mark four years in office, president Yameen animatedly pointed out that his government boldly took charge of a country heavily in debt to bring development for its neglected people. For his political rivals who according to the president have turned a blind eye to the development instigated by his government thus far, he read out a series of numbers which he insisted cannot be ignored.

"Since my political rivals refuses to see or cannot digest development, its my pleasure to give these statistics to whet their minds," president said.

Detailing the significant achievements of his government, the president said out of the total 183 inhabited islands, safe drinking water has been established in 135, while sewerage systems have been put in place in 36 islands including the more heavily populated ones. More islands have been earmarked for similar projects in next year's budget which also includes over 3,000 scholarship opportunities, he continued.

According to the president, his government had ensured round the clock electricity to each and every island by providing generators. However, he noted that several islands have been requesting for larger generators which in itself was a positive for his administration.

"The people have been requesting for bigger generators because we've done something for them. If we hadn't then they wouldn't be asking for more now would they," he stressed.

Responding to the incessant criticism surrounding his term so far, president Yameen highlighted that the completion of 42 mosques across the country and the inception of a fully equipped Islamic university. He stressed that over 70 percent of the population have directly benefited from the development engineered by his administration in the last four years.

President Yameen also pointed out that the country's future had appeared rather bleak when he took office with a lot of young people behind bars. However, this government's primary objective is to bring youth who have fallen victim to the various social issues plaguing this nation back to society. He added that last week, over 400 young criminals had been pardoned while over 15,000 criminal records had been wiped clean to offer them the chance to get back to society as responsible citizens.

"For the so called political leaders who cannot see or smell the sweet aroma of development, I urge them to look at these numbers," the president said.

President further pointed out that excluding recurrent expenditure, his government in the past four years had spent over MVR20,000 million as capital expenditure which amounted to nine significant projects to every inhabited island in the Maldives.

"I want to ask them [political rivals] are you still testing your president? Do you still doubt that I can take this country forward? Do you accept that there's still so much more to do for the country and its people? Because there's no doubt that there's a lot more to be done. But are you still testing me? If you are, then you need to wait for the results," president said.