The salutation

Most resorts have a standard form of salutation the staff shall use to great guests and to answer telephone calls to the resort. These forms of greetings are chosen and determined by the management sometimes after extensive research and a good amount of thought. Sometimes decisions are taken even after consultation with linguists, historians and tourism ministry itself. However the forms of salutations appear terribly unwieldy and out of place in the local language or to the guests who are absolutely baffled by strange forms.

In common normal starred resorts, the greeting maybe the standard forms everyone accepts such as the English forms and Italian, German forms. However resorts who wants to be classed as classy and exclusive choose exotic forms which are quite hilarious at times. For example the word “dharuma huri” is an invented form of salutation used in Anantara resorts in Maldives. The words are local and yet has never been use for forms of greeting in Maldives or anywhere else. “Dharuma” means something like blessing and is associated with Hindhu concept of Dharuma and Karma. “Huri” simply means there is and conjoining the words to form an exotic form of greeting to be used as standard simply does not make much sense. An alternative form infrequently used in local language is “Baajeveri” +”Hendhune”, “Raegande”, “Haveere” etc. These words are simple translations of the words good + morning, evening, afternoon etc. These same forms are used in Arabic such as Sabaah al kahir, Masaa al kahair, etc which is in addition to standard Islamic salutation of Assalaam alaikum.

small resort-lets also to be monetized

Tourism Ministry and The government are in works to generate some more cash from the lease of small islands nearby resorts, which are frequently used for hosting dinners and free use for guests picnic. The government hopes that the decision will add a 60Million Rf to government revenues this year. Currently these small islands are just uninhabited islands given to some locals for a symbolic fee who in turn lease the island to bigger resort nearby, to use the island for undisclosed big sums. Such islands are many, are very small and unsuitable for building structures and frequently are bird sanctuaries.

However, there had been situations with the island’s landlord leasing the islet for a nearby resort and the resort clandestinely building guest rooms, prompting the authorities to dismantle the structures for lack of approval and permit. Hopefully this current decision will give some kind of status to those islands and monetize the islands for a fairer price, which would give a peace of mind to resorts eager to keep a remote outpost for guests enjoyment.

Why cannot somebody say sorry to Richard?

Richard is a Chinese businessman who was wronged in Maldives simply because he started his business venture with a government strong man at the time. 15 long years he has tarried in jail for no crime and yet the government present and past has failed to acknowledge responsibility for this loss. The former government operated above the law all the time hence no apology is expected from them but the current one which trumpets to the world their democratic credentials and wants to be seen as leading the world on global issues shall atl east be able to say sorry to Richard.

Governments acknowledging mistakes and asking forgiveness is not a new thing and is done frequently across the world.

  • The Australians say sorry to aborigines almost every other day.
  • The US and carribean and mainland American countries ask forgiveness from red indians as well as mayans quite frequently.
  • The European countries bend over their back each year many many times for the unforgivable crimes of Nazi Germany and to the holocaust where 6 million people are alleged to have been vaporized by them.
  • The Americans diplomats on each trip to japan say sorry to Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs and lay wreaths on tombs there.

So its not uncommon for governments to acknowledge past mistakes and say sorry at the victims. So we urge our first democratic government to be bold and say a mistake has been committed against Richard and say sorry to him.

here is Richar’s blog.

SOS…man overboard

Its happening quite often now- but nobody seems to be taking notice. The last two occurrences of Fishermen falling overboard resulted in two deaths and this is a growing problem that needs to be addressed. Also in the last two instances, the fishermen were extremely capable sea-hardened people so there is clearly a need to address this issue.

The way to go about addressing this problem is legislation which would require fishermen and dhoni crews to wear protective jackets while on the job and enforcing the measure. It might not be a popular decision the fishermen or crews will automatically like but rules and regulations are there for a purpose. Also its quite common a sight when foreign navies visit Male’ in their warships, they are always found wearing such protective gear even in the calmest weather despite being extremely capable seamen. So its time our fisheries ministry shall do some awareness programs about the risk involved in commercial fishing without suitable protective gear and inform the ‘odi verin’ (owners of fishing vessels) to require their crews to don protective gear on the job. The same applies to resorts as each resort has a small navy of their own to ferry supplies and guests and staff to airport, Male’ etc. Its a small but necessary measure most have overlooked but it seems shall not be ignored now as needless fatalities increase.

Civil servant’s payroll dillema

A comical situation has developed with the Civil Service Commission raising up the salaries of the civil servants which was reduced to address the global recession and the finance ministry doing exactly the opposite. Both offices has issued circulars to stating their positions. ie. that those employees who are involved in the payroll shall do this and that.. Its quite funny how the govt works now. But at least its an improvement on the situation before where only one person makes the decision and nobody has any say. At least now there is some sort of drama to it.

Is MACI for labour exploitation?

Maldives Association of Construction Industry is up in arms against recent decision by the Immigration Department to curb labor exploitation citing that the imposed deposit will cripple the industry. According to Haveeru they are negotiating with the Immigration to lessen the deposit for big construction companies. There seems to be very little debate on the issue in blogosphere or in media and if MACI is going to have its way and the Immigration is forced to backtrack from their earlier decision, there is a good chance that the situation will of labor exploitation will be in square one.

The situation of construction industry in our country is just like the situation in our film industry… everything is chaotic and in ridiculous state with no hope in sight. There are only glimmers of hope here and there that small things will happpen little by little and yet as soon as some small good deed is done to alleviate a particular suffering, voices are being raised from across sectors of those who have vested interested to keep the situation as it is. For example the construction industry can be said to exist to benefit only a handful of construction groups who for years has had insider dealings with the Planning Ministry which got lucrative contracts for big projects for them and their friends who are only sleeping partners to the bussiness. The actual back breaking work is done by locals youth who invariably after every project will be seen in and out of courts fighting for their money being swindled away by their group leader or someone else. This is about 80% of the time the case is. As for the expats, they fare worse sometimes working like in slavery conditions sometimes only to be sent home when they demand money after 6 or 8 months they have gone without pay.

Then there is the skills shortage everyone cries about but forgets that as long as this sub-contracting chain goes on unregulated, there is very little hope that those locals who have expertise can be found to join the construction industry simply because all the monies of a project simply vanishes away by the time it reaches those who actually do any work by hand to the sub-contracting chain.

The only hope for the construction industry is to do away with the scourge of sub-contracting to sleeping partners who do nothing except reap undue benefits of others labur and the way to go about is to legislate and install stringent measures for the industry. What MACI is doing is only making a big fuss about pure and simple labor exploitation which shall not be allowed to happen.

Move to curb labour exploitation

construction workers

At last Immigration is going to do something about the human exploitation problem we have in the country. This is a long overdue measure belatedly taken but still a good one and a necessary means to curb labor exploitation in the country. The problem of labor exploitation like most of the woes facing the country started with the former regime’s unstructured and limitless immigration policy which swamped the country with laborers from nearby countries. At the height of this laborer-importing-frenzy anyone can just fill a form specifying how many human beings he or she want to import to the country and have approval in a matter of minutes and bring laborers to the country. Many “human trafficking” agencies were created and some of these agencies operated inside the Department of Immigration as well. That’s how bad the situation was and frequently we had riots over the imported laborers complaining about living conditions, pay and food. Some were simply left fend for themselves without pay and job in an unknown city the day they come to Maldives. Also its a common knowledge that most labourers spend phenomenal amounts of money to agents back at home to secure a job in Maldives in the first place. So by being abandoned in Maldives from their “bosses”, most of these unfortunates face a double loss and this happens quite frequently.

The new measures to combat abandoning workers after importing them are to charge a hefty deposit dependent on nationality of the imported worker. These are:

8000rf for a Bangladeshi
4000rf for a Sri Lankan
3000rf for an Indian

here is the story in Haveeru

IDP is no more…11 more to go.

Whatever the reasons maybe, the decision to disband IDP is a good one because IDP like most of our political parties is just another dysfunctional ‘thing’ public money shall be saved from.

Most of our political parties came to being from forgery by using people’s identities without their approval or knowledge. MDP, Adhaalth and IDP were perhaps the few parties which actually did not join this forgery drive. DRP would have no reason to use this method to gain members because DRP was in power at the time but DRP is said to have used all means legit and non legit to inflate their members list. However its still worrying that the government does not seem to be worried about these scam parties which gets lots of public money by law each year. The ideal solution now to bring about legitimacy to the parties would be to disband each party at a time and give a time frame for the parties to form and register with the Elections Commission with stricter mechanisms to verify membership.

Ghosts resorts

Kandholhu Island Resort?

Do you know a “Kandholhu Island Resort”? Not very likely, because even the tourism ministry doesn’t acknowledge a resort by that name. But the resort exists and is run by Universal Group of Hotels.

There are quite an unknown number of phantom resorts in Maldives lost to the helpless Tourism Ministry which keeps a highly inaccurate list of registered resorts at their website. These resorts would have been illegal under the law and yet money and influence are always used to cover-up these murky deals which only benefits the already corrupt. Despite Tourism industry being the biggest earner of revenues for the government its amazing how these priceless islands were given away to corruption.

The situation is quite like the ghost schools situation in Pakistan which the government did clampdown on but here in Maldives this is one issue our government does not seems to be aware of. Maybe its time the government takes an inventory of resorts islands we have in Maldives and ask for island rent and overdue taxes which would surely go a long way to address the financial woes of the country.

Despite Universal Group‘s silence on the existence of a “Kandholhu Island Resort” most tour operators advertise the island.
Here are some websites which sells tour package for the island:

Now is a good time to pay Zakaath

Most of us are simply unaware of Zakaath and few (resortworkers?) with savings actually manage to pay Zakath. The problem is lack of awareness on the issue compounded by the fact that those who try to exhort and explain people to pay Zakaath frequently use Arabic technical terms which confounds the average person. So here is Zakaath made easy.

  • Zakaath is obligatory on any Muslim with about 3700rf (current situation in Maldives) and above in bank as savings after one year and (if one has not yet paid up) its now is a good time to settle the debt with god because this is yet the beginning of new year both.
  • If the bank adds interest to the savings account, make sure to deduct that amount from the total and then divide the savings by 40. That’s  the amount to pay to Zakaath.
  • Remember also that Zakaath is applicable on savings, not earnings
  • If bank interest was added to the savings, draw out that interest amount and write a cheque for a charity. A good place would be Thalassemia Fund.
  • Ministry of Islamic Affairs in Islamic Center is the easiest place to find in Male and they are open to collect Zakaath every working day from 8 to 3 in the afternoon. A crossed check in favor of Islamic Ministry is the easiest and most hassle-free way of paying Zakaath.
  • If however you do not wish to pay Zakaath then make sure you do not have savings above 3700rf saved in bank or at hand or anywhere.

Lots of Salaams.

Global warming proof.

The proof is on going on probably the biggest hoax of our time. Nature is providing the proof and it is about climate change. On the day Obama signed and wrapped up the deal at Copenhagen, Mother Nature started the works and have brought abundant snow in record breaking numbers on most world capitals. From Washington to most of European capitals and most recently to China, South Korea and even in India, many lives were lost to “Climate Change” [which used to be called Global Warming] mostly the homeless people living rough on the streets.

here are some interesting links on global warming scam from the skeptics camp:

12 Facts about Global Climate Change That You Won’t Read in the Popular Press

Scores of Peer-Reviewed Studies Contradict Global Warming Alarmism – by Compiled by Peter Risdon – Environment & Climate News

The Great Global Warming Swindle

Issues in the Current State of Climate Science – by Robert Ferguson

Cap And Trade: The Ultimate Fumble