Did you know that during Ex. President Yameen’s tenure from 2014-2018, he made a total of 11 visits to Singapore?
Out of the 11 visit, only 3 are noted to have been official trips, the other 8 visits were purely personal that he would mostly seek to avoid giving reasons behind the trip. During 2014 alone, he made a total of 6 trips. The then opposition party MDP felt the need to pry into these continuous visits, because it was not transparent enough if these personal getaway from the paradise were made using transactions from state income and hence demanded the reasons behind President’s absence from the office.
There has been incidents reported about Yameen visiting places like Singapore, Malaysia, acting not as a President, but as a land broker, dealing on our islands to foreign hoteliers/business tycoons.
Officials feeding off of Maldives:
Lets not forget that more than 50 islands, plots were leased illegally without any acquisition fees during the bro era of Yameen and Adeeb. Also, contracts were awarded to companies without any bidding process, which is also illegal. Out of so many questionable deals, Yameen is only being probed for one i.e, Aarah, because of lack of evidence in other cases.
According to asset recovery committee Govt has lost US$128 million due low acquisition costs of 60 islands were leased by the Yameen Govt.
One such deal made by the government in March 2016, shows major red flags and possibilities that it was carried out in a corrupt manner. The US$140 million deal for the new IGMH tower was awarded to Singapore’s Chang Hua without an open bidding process. Malaysia’s WZR Group, awarded the US$122million deal for the office tower, was among three companies shortlisted by the ministry’s tender board. Then finance minister Abdulla Jihad signed off the contract.
He then left for Malaysia three months after the signing.
Around that same time, in August of 2016, Yameen left the Maldives for Singapore on an unannounced visit. Could the two have planned this?
The benefit of the doubt:
During 2014 and 2015, a similar unfolding of events between the bros Yameen and Adeeb — it was seen that both of them would be away from their offices visiting Singapore/Malaysia during the same course of time.
Singapore-based billionaire apparently showered Adeeb, his family, and Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen with stays at luxury hotels in Singapore. Ong apparently met personally with both Yameen and Adeeb, and that the company dealt directly with the tourism minister when negotiating the deal. This is how Ong ended up leasing one island for just US$5 million, while another island was leased out for free.
Even after the islands were secured, Ong continued to show hospitality to the Maldivian politicians. During the Grand Prix event, both men were in Singapore for the same event. Its reported that while Adeeb attended as a guest of Ong, Yameen and his wife’s visit to the country was on the formal invitation of Singaporean Prime Minister Lee.
Whereas, photographs leaked from Adeeb’s phones show that he and Yameen hobnobbed in VIP areas at the race.
Now we know, what kind of “personal” trips were made by Yameen.
The slate of former finance minister Abdulla Jihad, isn’t any cleaner. Back in 2020, corruption charges has been raised against him in the criminal court.
Yameen may have sacked Adeeb and jailed him but his tactics to do business remained the same. There is every possibility that the coincidence of Yameen and Jihad being present in Singapore and Malaysia. Two countries which have been signed for a US$262 million contract, may have been to close off backdoor clauses regarding the deals.