20 November 2014

Why did MDP failed?

MDP without a doubt was one main reason for the multi party democracy that we see in this country. It is very difficult for me as a person to believe that this system would have come to us just like that without the kind of pressure that MDP or rather its members put on then the government. Where is MDP now? Why were they defeated not just in presidential election, but rather all the last 3 elections?

Here are various things I feel that went wrong within their system, especially during the 3 years in power.
Before that, let me make it clear. Some would argue that government was toppled by a coup. Coup or Not, is not what interests me here. The hard to accept fact remains and will always remain that, if one tries a coup and it goes well, surely that success would be the result of some wrong things on the other side too.  With this assumption I will move ahead and will try to focus on areas where they had control.

1Civil Service Pay- A deduction of civil servants salary was, I believe wholeheartedly taken as an honest and reasonable economic measure by majority of civil servant.  However, it was wrong and unacceptable to prolong the decision. Especially once the courts ruled out that the decision should not be prolonged any more, it was just an own goal by government.  Well, Rule is rule and has to be abided, no matter which possession in government you hold. Failing to do it, lead to unwanted and avoidable hate towards MDP and its leadership. Especially among several civil servants, who were already getting comparatively low pay.

  Playing with faith- At times even I use to ask myself if we are a 100% Muslim country. Yet, trust me, we are easy going people in this country, and we quiet often really hate to face some of the truths. It may be true that there are some who openly challenges or rather mocks some concepts of Islam or some are out there who claims to be atheists. However, WE, we I mean, the general Maldivians do not want our leaders to speak out against our long time beliefs and values.  The Eye Camp with Israel doctors, the absence from a vote for Palestine in UN assembly, the attempt to make Dhivehi and Islam as optional subjects in higher secondary education are noticeable blunders or rather acts of MDP government, that many including MDP members stood against. Indeed each of them led to a chance for then the opposition to create more hate or rather doubts towards MDP among oppositions. Also many MDP members within the party had to look down simply because they were not happy with these acts. Some of the monuments of SAARC summit added to this. Even in this case, it was wrong for government to refuse to remove them, once their very Islamic Minister said it is against the religion to keep it.

3 Failing to empower the councils. The golden opportunity MDP got was the introduction of Island/ City and Atoll councils. This was the first time in history of the country that the decision making power was granted outside capital Male’. The government should have made sure that this power was given properly to the councils. Had they been given some more autonomy and resource to gain economic benefits, I am sure the support would have increase at an unprecedented rate. An island for every city or atoll council and the aid and support to attract some investments to guaranteed long term income to council would sure have resulted in them getting ever stronger. However, even in the councils with full MDP power, they continued to remain as, ‘servants’ of government rather than implementers of policies.

4  The activists out of control. True. Activists are the grassroots power of any political party. At least that is the system in Maldives.  However, when the activist who was a room attendant in a resort or a tour guide in air port becomes a policy maker or a fisherman becomes a CEO in a government company, it is where things go wrong. Let me tell you one thing. I am not trying to let down the professions I mentioned above. My point is that jobs should be given on the basis of quality and not on the basis of how noisy your members are in the party activities.

Low support of security forces. At last, but not the least, MDP failed to gain the full support of the security forces in the nation. Well. It is obvious that it is difficult to gain it, after all your dealing with an era post 30years rule.  However, it is possible. This is how at least one described, “Listen man. We were been dealt with the same situation for more than months. Every day, every night, we were been told how bad government was doing. Religious scholars kept telling us that it is our duty to stand against government. And that it is not allowed to follow MDP government orders. We were like indoctrinated with this thinking. I bet many of us. We were Muslims first. And How could you assume that those preaches by scholars and those statements that MDP was anti Islamic will not affect us? It will and it did. Now why didn’t you guys (the government and MDP) showed the opposite side to us?  Why MDP didn’t repeatedly and more loudly kept saying that they were trying to brainwash? Why did you fail to carry our counselling sessions to the organisation regularly to bring back us to the track you wanted?” This is part of an hour long conversation between me and some of those who saw the event unfolding within the security forces. I guess I should stop in there for this point.

Well, that was too long a post. Yet, I tried my best to give a fare judgement to the topic I have taken.  I wait to see the party system in Maldives grow as an effective, productive and economically viable system, with respect to our values and norms. I hope democracy and rule of law ever last in my lovely nation. And I hope MDP members have enough a tolerance to see someone saying see you failed in this area and you got to fix it if you want success. 


17 November 2014

Four observations.

One factor that changed humans and brought up to a higher level is the ability to communicate things that comes to our mind. We communicate each other for so many reasons. One such communication is the official meetings that we see today. Today my focus is toward the meetings. Indeed, some observations that I made. Most of the meetings that I attended recently, I made 4 common observations.

Some do not turn up for the meeting though invited.
Now, let us look from the side of the person who invited us. He might have made so many preparations, just for us. He would have sure sacrificed many other things on his daily schedule just for us. And we ignore? How rude will I be to you, had you been the one who invited me? So, if your invited for a meeting, and your unable to attend, surely it will be nice for the both sides just to communicate that your unable to attend.

Some turn up late.
Better late than never, people say. Yes. Maybe! But then, even if you turn up late, let’s not forget we were been invited for a particular time. Will it not be nice if we try just a little more to make it on time. Seriously, that will help both the sides. You’re happy you won’t miss anything important. And the one who invited is happy that they didn't have to worry that you may not turn up.

Some forgets that they were invited.
That is the only reason that comes to my mind. In many meetings, I have seen some among the audience repeatedly talking, chatting etc. Well, for a valid reason someone may need to attend a call or text even if in a meeting. Yet, I don’t think that will last for hours that we spend in the meeting. Moreover, I am sure we do not attend meeting just to have a good chat with the one sitting next to us. Surely, its irritating when you keep commenting about every single word the speaker says!

Some are story tellers.
It happens that in some meetings, for some of us, once we start giving our speech, we forget to stop. Well, there are people who are real busy. There are some who might have attended the meeting just because they respect your invitation though they were not well. Respect them. Trust me, taking hours in your speech and people at the end of your speech thinking that you just gave 4 or 5 simple messages it crazy. We need to respect the audience and make it short. No two hour long stories please.

For us, as an individual, each of this may be something quite simple. Yet, as a whole society, this is something that will have a huge impact, if each of us takes our responsibility. Well, I am reminding these to myself too. How I wish, I will be able to attend a meeting without the above mentioned issues. How nice will it be. 

Image: http://research.gigaom.com/topic/social/

14 November 2014

Republic Day 2014 and my thoughts.

Two days back, we celebrated the republic day of our country.

Well, we had 2 phases of this. One when President Mohamed Amin Didi became the first and the only president of the first republic and second when President Ibrahim Nasir became the first president of the second republic.

It maybe a bit late, yet let me wish you all greetings, on the occasion of our Republic Day.
As we celebrate a republic day, surely that will be one day in life of a nation, that the citizens seriously thinks about their nation.  
What went right and what didn’t go so well? Well, let me share three major things I feel we have achieved.

1-      After 10 long years, I heard that now the government is ready to say “DONE”. Yes done with giving shelter to the 2004 tsunami victims. I really believe it was a big mistake that we failed to give shelter to our brothers and sisters for one whole decade. Well, as a nation, we did everything else, so there is no excuse to leave some children of this nation as refugees for ten long years. Fine. Now that it is over, that surely is a good achievement.  Thank you Presidents: Mr.  Maumoon, Mr. Nasheed, Mr. Waheed and Mr. Yameen.

2-      For me, 2012 February will be marked as the second darkest day. Sure 3rd Nov 1988 was the worst day the 2nd republic ever had. I am glad that the nation after long struggles within, against all odds reached a peaceful day. Now that there is a stable elected government, that peace is there within me a son of the nation. This was a good achievement. 

3-      Unlimited health insurance is another milestone that we have achieved. Thank You President Yameen and his team for reforming Aasandha to make it a near full fledged insurance coverage. Let me not forget the famous 65+ senior citizen allowance too. These were achievements that we have made in our nation.  I just hope it goes in a sustainable and economically sound manner.
 These are 3 major achievements we have reached in 2014. It might have started a year or even a decade back. Yet, it was this year that showed us the completion.

Where there is good, there will also be the other side of the story.
As a nation, we still have failed to deal with the 3 major cases. Three things we need to end, or we may end up in a worst place than we now are.

1-      Drugs and gangs. Drug surely has been the biggest issue the youth has faced. It is this drug that has led to gangs. If we do not want to see the gang fights and murders, we must stop drug getting through our doors.  I hear about sniffer dogs, I hear about high security systems at the entrances to country. Yet I am yet to see the issue of drugs getting lower.

2-      Equality and freedom are two axis in life of humans for which so many wars were fought.  We in Maldives still lack the equality. People complain that in Maldives it is very easy to take some to justice whereas even you go to hell and back still you see some never faces justice.  The huge disparity in pay for the people is another big issues that may lead to loss of peace and harmony among people. It will be wrong and crazy to think that just because you have power, people will be afraid to speak out. Don’t forget this is 21st century. I don’t know where and how it will begin. But I am pretty sure that we must address this issue soon before things goes out of hand.

3-      Just few days back I read an article on haveeru daily. The worst nightmare it was for me. The estimated number of Maldivians fighting in the civil war in Iraq and Syria estimated to reach 100. Mr President!! This is an alarming sign of what this nation may come across tomorrow. The government and the Maldives National Defence Force needs to stop the spread of extremist thinking in the county. We so far failed in this as a nation. At least speak out to say what was done to stop it. People are worried of this development.

These are things that comes to my mind as we celebrates our republic day. End of the day, it is my nation too. 

13 September 2014

Do I hear a BANG?

A beautiful nation. A nation of peace and love. A nation with  a smile to very visitor. That was our Maldives.

Nearly 20 years back, if someone hits another person, it became a very big issue. An issue discussed a lot among elders. And indeed they made sure kids doesn't hear those "bad" stories. And today? Nearly every month, we hear of a murder, almost everyday we come across gang fights. This shows that things has change a lot more than we would ever wish it to change.

Today, I am forced to talk on this issue after seen an article on one of the news sites of Maldives. For me, I found it alarming. Indeed, for me it was a clear and loud warning of what this lovely nation may face tomorrow.

Extremism is not to be tolerated. No matter who it is, and on what base they are. Here in Maldives, I feel there are 3 major extremism which needs immediate and serious actions before things goes from bad to worse.

1- Religious extremism. Here there are two branches. Some are so much into religion that they are ready even to kill the rest who doesn't follow their very footsteps. Here let me share what a respected Islam teacher told me once. "In Maldives, we could categories religious activities into 4 levels. The first is the "Moderates" who represents most of the Sheikhs and other religious people who loves Islam and can tolerate others.  Second goes the "Salaf". Even they are moderate enough to live and follow the Islam without any issues. The "Super-salf" refuse the thinking of the earlier mentioned 2 and the last "Dots" both refuse the other 3 as well as do not accept them as part of their Muslim society members. Well, I don't know! I know one thing. There is extremism in Maldives in the name of Islam and it needs to be stopped.

2- Extremism in freedom. Well, you may question if I refuse freedom of expression when I myself am a blogger. Sure I do believe in freedom of expression. However, I also believe it must be within some limits. The line where my freedom of expression to express and another's freedom to live in peace should be very clear and must never be crossed.  Also, my freedom of expression, and me belonging to a nation that follows democracy (at least calls themselves a democracy, lol ) does not give me a ticket to be an atheist or whatever that is against Islam in this lovely nation. Well, I belong to this nation and I refuse to accept that we need to open to citizens to follow a religion of choice. My freedom also should not make me a drug addict as that has happened to majority of our youth. Such a freedom I'd rather call as extremism in freedom.

3- Political extremism. The black market for changing parties, the so called "hard core activists" activities of some members of various parties must be stopped. Well, they need to be rather told that their love to the party should be to a limit. When the party leader points at moon and says "such a huge sun" and if we still dare to say 'yes sir', and clap...something is very wrong. If you are ready to spend 10-12 hours win your party office and forgets about your job, family and other responsibilities, what else can I say to it? Sure it is extremism, and I bet it it high in Maldives. We hear people saying this fight happened with politics behind it, that murder was a political one etc.. I am sure you'd know better than me, the stories of some families getting to level of divorce just with arguments over politics. Well, that's crazy and that is extremism.

All the 3 issues I mentioned are problems that needs our attention. Problems that needs to be addressed. Sooner or later, we will suffer or our next generations will, if we fail to act today. For me, I just hear a loud and deafening bang that could come anytime. Going to be disastrous if we stay quiet waiting for the bang.


09 September 2014

The wheel is turning backwards... We need to fix soon (7)

Development is what we always look-forward. A developed, peaceful and a civilized society sure will be the dream of all. However, reaching this is easier said than done.

We, in Addu, have the same dreams, the same wishes and the same hopes. Same is the case throughout the nation. Development  is not just about the buildings. Development is not paved roads either. It is more a broader term.

Let me not go running around the bush! I am sure you'd not prefer it, after all, this is a post from me after ages!!

We in Addu, or even in Maldives, tries our level best to make sure our island/city as developed as possible. We made charts, we made plans, we drew our visions, and we even spoke of our big dreams; I Have a Dream!

However, I am pretty sure, time has come for us to seriously address another issue. OURSELVES!!!

What did I do? What did I fail to do? Let me tell just few things that comes to my mind.

Love Addu. Yes, We do love Addu. That I have no doubt of, Yet, I am sure people will question us, if we still throw pieces of papers, chewing gum, etc,,, to the streets. The tires, the nappies, the plastic bags, tins and bottles found on our beautiful beaches are no a good sign.  We also seriously needs to find a way to dispose the fish wastes in a proper way than just throwing to the sea, which in a day or two makes our very breathing not so pleasant.  The Education that we get will be in questions, if we have a very specific set garbage area in Addu, and still our beaches are worse than these garbage area.

Be Safe. Accidents are the big issue in Addu now. Specially that 2 youngsters just passed away a day back in a tragic accident. Accident may occur anytime and it maybe faced to anyone. Indeed that is why we call it accidents. However, negligence on the road, and breaching the rules made for the good of everyone is a what we could fix easily. I am sure no one will force you to not remove your helmet on link road or even else where on the road. I doubt if a taxi driver will ask you to remove seat belt either.  And surely you wont have to pay mvr700 if you goes at or below 30km/hr and 60km/hr ranges given. This could only be fixed when we as a part of this society believes that the correction measure needs to start from the very our ourselves and not necessarily by a  police fine.

Respect. A human is a human.  That does not matter which country they belong to. If we claim Addu as a developed or even a developing city, let us have the basic respect to others. Bangaalhees as we often call, too are humans and they need to be respected and their rights protected. Without this its more than insane for us to try calling ourselves a civilized population. Respect also is found missing when we goes to counters of various offices and tries to "finish off fast" by taking the help and time of a friendly employee in office. Trust me, others are also as busy as we. In a nation where smoking in public places are banned, its a disrespect to the non smokers to break that rule. At least, I don't like someone to keep smoking and sending that smoke to my face!

I am not going to make the post too long. However, I will not hesitate to say that if we are able to fix what I mentioned above, our Addu is going to be far far more better than what she is today. Let us start from ourselves, and our family before we talk of what others could not do. That is the kind of thinking we expect from an educated and a civilized man in this 21st century. I Hope I don't need to give a caption for the photo I uploaded in this post. :)

06 July 2014

tO: mY DeAr edUcatiOn minisTer

Dear madam,

I sure am not your advisor, nor someone who has the capacity to do it.

However, as someone who happened to be one of the several people who works under your ministry, I feel its not going to give me a curse even if I express what I feel. At least, that is what I hope.

The sudden closure of studies from grade 1 to 9 during Ramlhaan this year was a very unexpected and sudden decision. Let me make my view very clear. I do agree that it'd be a right decision to halt school during Ramlhaan, BUT, it must never be a last minute decision. I believe that the decision was made in a hurry and without any proper planing. Well, I was not in the meeting room when this big discussion was going on, yet there are reasons why I could believe that it was a decision made in hurry.

The 3 or more circulars that came regarding the decision, the very late information from the ministry regarding a "home work" to be handed over to parents, and the WONDERFUL reasons given to media regarding the closure are enough reasons to believe that the decision was without proper planning and coordination. I don't know about planning part, but at least with a Coordinator, I expected it to be going well.

Trust me, it was more than stupid when someone senior  from the education sector of a nation comes up to tell that studying during Ramlhaan does not bring a result, when the same seniors have already made a big decision. Yes, the decision that grade 10 to 12 will be studying (during this no outcomes period), and they are the only students who are tested by an international exam body. In short, the ones who are to bring a result are sent to school during a time when even ministry believes that a  result cant be brought. Sounds a bit crazy for me.

If we close the schools during Ramlhan, the value students put on Ramlhan could change. They hopefully will feel that it is really a time for them to improve on their spirituality. But why I say this time the decision is wrong because it was given at a too short a notice. And the impact is huge.
I'd just end this post by giving few impacts the sudden changes that we saw will have on education sector and to society as a whole.

1- The scheme of work that every school will prepare varies, and they never expected holidays. In other words, the schemes will have to be modified with almost 40 periods per subject reduced.

2- The school academic calenders and the activities that the schools would have planned now will go in vain, with a lot of activities having to be postponed.

3- It is the first time I heard government asks some employees to report and they have practically nothing much to be done. Is MOE forcing the teachers to take salary without having much work, that too during Ramlhan? Ooops no comment!

4- Hundred of man in this nation works in resorts and else where out of home island. They will have to reserve their vacations so far in advance to make sure they reach the family when kids are free at home. Now what will happen to these people who comes home during vaccation? Sorry those fathers! Your kids midterm break will already be over before you reach home.

5- Medicals? Oh no. They would have toiled so much to save some money to take this member or that member to Male' or abroad for some treatments. Now the plans has to be changed. For the worse, those who have already taken tickets to get at lower rates, sorry guys, MOE wasn't aware of your plans either.

6- Teachers. Well in Male' it seems teachers will have workshops to about the syllabus to be launched next year. The teachers in other islands, keep gossiping! Go door to door giving the homework ministry asked! Stay nicely though maybe your plans for the term break are broken.

Well, these impacts will come. But then I hope one day, in my beloved nation, people will realise that Education and Defence are two serious areas. Two sectors that are "forbidden fruits" unless and until  very carefully planned and the home work on effects and impact studied. God Bless Maldives.


27 May 2014

I am back...

It was Friday, July 25, 2008 that I made the first post on this blog. Yes! The day I started as a blogger.

At times I was able to post some articles that I believe many accepted, though at times some of my posts, even I found not so important. Well, that really didn't matter much. This is my blog and I am never claiming to be such a great mind to make every single post of mine a "must read" for you all. What matters more was that I contribute my views and thinking, which sure, some will accept and others may reject.

My last post on blogger was long back! Well it was last year September. I have been trying to start back on blogging, yet , different factors has stopped for various reasons. They say, its better late than never. Here I am, with one more try, hoping that even with the very last thread, I could hold back. I hope, Alif Laam Gaaf is back with a new hope and an even higher determination, to continue as a blog that presents to you posts with at least one reason for you to read.  :)

Now, just let me not end the post by merely saying I will be back. Just enjoy this very inspirational video  by Nick Vujicic , that I am sure you'd love.
Hope you will continue to visit my simple blog.

Photo: http://go.bloomberg.com/euro-crisis/2012-06-20/how-much-will-spanish-borrowers-pay-back-to-the-banks/