Imagine the students of a particular school were given the opportunity to write the school rules for teachers! Imagine how much fun they will have doing that?
Quite similar is the case of MATI which is trying to rewrite the labour law according to their whims and wishes. And the saddest thing is there seems to be little public debate or awareness about this issue. So lets start from the beginning.
MATI or Maldives Association of Tourism Industry is a group of elitist business people in Maldives who to all known extents are known to serve their interests first second and even last. The former government had close contacts with these elitists and when the current government assumed power most of the elitists found themselves on the wrong side of the divide which is why the group seems to toothless at the moment. However it will be only a matter of time before they regain their former positions thanks in large measures to the sorry state of the economy of the country.
Now where and when MATI started dabbling with labour law is quite known. The labour law was drawn and sent to Majlis and passed hastily by the then government controlled Majlis all inside a carefully orchestrated political drama a few known or cared about. But the implications of the law seems to be creeping up to places most people never thought about. Hence she was quite right when the newly appointed Attorney General said that although MATI has raised many objections to the labour law it has failed to name one offending clause of the law. MATI took hint from this and has started the arduous task of re-writing law to which they have no mandate! They are not writing law per se but lobbying the Majlis members and the government to change the law to make it suits them. As they are organized unlike the resort workers are and they have well oiled machinery to carry out these sorts of undertakings those who shall be concerned shall be concerned. What is at stake is hard fought freedoms and liberties the labour law gave.