The island that shouldn’t be given away

If there is one lucky person in Maldives who consistently gets his way through the courts of law, then that person could be the chairman of Yacht Tours Mr. Abdulla Jabir.

Chairman of Yacht Tours Jabir with his wifeDhiyana former AG

Mr. Jabir was a typical tourism worker till he was got the little secret red number of the then formidable government minister Mr. Abdulla Yaameen. Being like minded in style and in outlook they created a business partnership that endured. Several years since, they both used their influence and political posturing to get their way through several business deals and ultimately from zero resorts to nobody-knows-how much, Mr. Jabir is probably now the man with the most resort islands in the country. At a business level Mr. Jabir was not successful in running resorts which was apparent from the selling renting out of islands such as Dhonveli, yet he has even obliged the government to award him another one resort and that’s one another interesting story.
Kudavillingili or
The island kudavillingili (or “chickens” in the above image) is awarded to Mr. Jabir against compensation for the “oppportunity costs” they would have incurred because of a failed bid for “Biyaadhoo” which erroneously was awarded to some other parties. The interesting part in this story is that those who sat on the evaluation board did not have to take any responsibility for their error but the government had to and they are giving away the island as a result. All these events happened with political maneuvering in the background such as

  • Mr. Yameen in and out of several government ministries and boards including the STO which was a principal lender of materials for Jabir’s resorts. etc
  • Mr. Jabir becoming an MP in the ticket of the then ruling party DRP
  • Joins Jumhooree party in the elections which failed to secure the top job.
  • now Mr. Jabir is again in the ruling party and there are already talks about the cases against him being looked in to by presidential commission to be being quietly laid to rest now that he belongs in the correct fold..

All these cases of corruption, influence peddling, gaining priceless islands for free and political maneuvering are not lost on some who include the Attorney General but he is at a disadvantage because even the judiciary is influenced by the poisonous politics which resulted from the dismantling of the iron fisted rule of the last 30 years. According to news sources, the Attorney General voiced his opposition to the supreme court order to give the islands to Jabir and that he is weiging his options now. However its very unlikely that the island of kudavillingilinorth Male' atoll will be saved now that Mr. Jabir has AGAIN joined a ruling party (this time the MDP).

Giving away this precious island for free for a purely political reason is symbolic of the reasons why so many  islands were given away to develop in the last two rounds and yet very few islands were developed as resorts. The last thing we need in our country is corruption and political misjudgment as we strive to progress after the stagnant politics of the last 3 decades. Those advanced countries of the world became what they are not by sheltering criminals and allowing them to take advantage of law and the common good but by being fair and even handed in principle. Frequently we hear our politicians remarking about Singapore as a model of business success but nobody seems to realize Singapore is the least likely (Singapore is smaller than Huvadhoo Atoll in area!) to let their business model be hijacked by perverted politicians.



Protests against Yacht Tours in Hulhudhoo

Protests in Hulhudhoo

The ever so peaceful islanders of Hulhudhoo have decided to protest at Yacht Tours for mismanaging their resort Handhufushi and they are reported to have said to continue their protest until the resort is handed over to MTDC. The grievances of the islanders is mainly about financial wheelings and dealings of Yacht Tours which is proverbial in nature for their inconsistency and the seasoned people of Addu are no strangers to tourism.
For their part the Yatch Tours maintains that the protests are politically motivated and the monies owed by Yatch Tours to local business people will be paid very shortly.