MDA vote results show public's acceptance: Siyam

MDA leader, Siyam received a warm welcome from his birth island N. Kudafari -- Sun Photo/ Aman Latheef

The votes secured by Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) in the recent parliamentary election is indicative of the public's acceptance to the party, said its President Ahmed Siyam Ahmed.

While speaking with the locals of his birth island N. Kudafari, Siyam had highlighted on the negligence by previous governments.

He pointed out to the lack of income sources for the locals, he bemoaned the lack of domestic income despite strong tax earnings.

With USD 5 billion in tourism-related tax revenues paid to the Maldives government last year, USD 40 million from this total was paid by Siyam's owned tourist company.

He bemoaned that despite the large sum paid to the government, it is not reflected in the public's livelihoods. Siyam argued this due to rampant corruption, public funds' wastage and misappropriation of state funds.

During his speech to Kudafari locals, Siyam stressed on various areas of concerns, including the construction industry.

He noted that a classroom developed by his personal funds cost MVR 400,000 in general, whereas a classroom developed by the state costs MVR 1.4 million. Siyam questioned about the significant expense increment by the government.

"That is because of corruption and mishandling of state funds, and wastage," Siyam said.

The MDA leader claimed that project values were inflated to acquire large commissions by the government officials involved in them, and for other corrupt acts.

He also highlighted the significant expenditure on Aasandha - the state-initiated health insurance scheme - and noted that due to the significant spending, the government is required to approve a supplementary budget each year to meet the state's expenses.

Siyam also argued that the health insurance is not optimally extended to the poor citizens.

He claimed that the only available solution for public is to seek the assistance of sitting MPs while Aasandha remains helpless.

"The letters I receive are not getting any less while begging for assistance has been increasing, so what is the purpose of Aasandha," he added.

Siyam also shared he met with President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu to discuss on improving Aasandha. He further requested from President Muizzu to strengthen it with sound policies, thereby allowing better access to the service by the public.

The MP claimed President Muizzu agreed to his suggestions vowing to rectify Aasandha operations soons.

Siyam received a strong welcome from Kudafari, while 85 of the island's population - some holding prominent roles in MDP - had signed on with MDA.