Returning to islands not a solution: MP Ghassan

The opposition, Progressive Party of the Maldives’ (PPM) Vice-Chairman, also MP of Guraidhoo has said the capital Male’ is an island of all the citizens of the Maldives and having to go back to homeland being unable to pay rent in Male' is not a solution.

On Thursday, MP of Kendhikulhudhoo, Ahmed Easa, called on the citizens who are unable to pay rent to move back to the homeland in the current situation. Speaking in a parliament sitting, MP Easa said in a situation when the country is facing an economic downturn, some people from other islands living in Male’ have reached to the point where they are unable to pay rent. He called on such people to return to their homeland.

Following Easa’s discourse on the matter, many have been criticizing him on social media. Most people who raised concern over his remarks noted that it made people in a helpless situation further vulnerable.

Despite that, the former president Mohamed Nasheed, the speaker of parliament defended Easa. President Nasheed said the essence of MP Easa’s wordings is correct but the exact word he used may not be appropriate.

President Nasheed said the political leaders would reveal the bitter truth to the citizens and that some people might not like it when such truths are told. However, that is the reality, said Nasheed.

MP of Guraidhoo, Ghassan Maumoom said Male’ is an island of all the citizens of the Maldives and having to return to hometown being unable to pay rent is not a solution. He said this is something that can be solved with the spirit of patriotism.

“Male’ is an island for all Maldivians. Having to go back to the respective islands being unable to pay rent is not a solution. With the will of God, this country has the capacity to solve the issue, if worked in the spirit of nationalism”, Ghassan.

Ghassan said if the commercial banks that offered housing loans reduce interest rates by conditioning to reduce rent, then it will benefit everyone. He further said that is what the economic experts of the Maldives also suggest.

Due to COVID-19, the country is facing an economic downturn, and many are at the threat of losing jobs while thousands of employees are sent home with a no-pay leave. As a result, people who have been renting are facing difficulties paying the rents and meeting the ends. Meanwhile, these days some house owners are exempting rents or reducing the rent.