Govt's current priority should be paying salaries: EX-VP Jameel

The former Vice-President of the Maldives, Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed has said that even though development of the country is important, for the time being, development projects such as the construction of a bridge must be ceased.

Ex-VP Jameel made the remark on Twitter in response to a statement by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih during a press conference held Wednesday.

In his remarks, the president had pointed out that the world is facing economic downfall and that the Maldives is not an exception. However, the aim is to carry on with development projects despite the current challenges, the president had said. The Maldives will overcome the present economic challenges, and the aim of the government is to continue with the developmental projects as well, said President Solih.

Criticizing the president Solih’s statement, Dr Jameel said the government has to come up with a solution for the losses caused to fishermen and tourism sector employees. During the upcoming month of Ramazan, the families of those employees will face several challenges, said Dr. Jameel.

Jameel said even if development is important, projects such as the construction of a bridge has to be stopped at this crucial and vulnerable time.

“At this moment, it vital to find a way to pay salaries rather than constructing a bridge, to assist families of the people who lose their jobs. It will be a loss to the whole nation when people who have been working hard become helpless," said Jameel.

He said at this time, the utmost priority should be helping employees and their families.

Jameel also criticized the president for continuing the news brief during the prayer time. The news brief which was originally scheduled to be held at 1645 hours was delayed by half an hour.

“It is a pity that the president chose to hold a news brief instead of going for Maghrib prayer and making 'Dua', even in this pandemic condition. This is also the beginning of something against the religion”, said Jameel.