No policy to put Minister Ameen on no-pay: Hoodh

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (L) with Spokesperson Ibrahim Hoodh (R) | Photo: President's Office

Male’, Maldives – Spokesperson of the President’s Office, Ibrahim Hoodh has revealed that there are no policies within the government to place the Minister of Health of Maldives, Abdullah Ameen – who stands accused of major corruption allegations with regards to the procurement of ventilators for the state – on a suspension without pay.

Answering a question by ‘The Times of Addu’ as to why Minister Ameen is still receiving full salary despite having have recused himself following the allegation of major corruption with regards to tax payer money, Hoodh said that as long as Minister Ameen remains on the payroll of the government as an employee, he will receive his remuneration as there is no policy to place him on a no-pay suspension.

When further asked how the government justifies such expenditures from state fund for a Minister who has recused himself and is not carrying out any duties as Minister, while also having have lost public confidence due to the corruption scandal, Hoodh said that it is subjective and that there is no way to quantify the loss of public confidence with the Minister.

As a result of no such policy existing within the government structure, Minister Ameen continues to receive a monthly salary of MVR 66,000, essentially being on a paid vacation, while the public demands to know the truth as to why and how Minister Ameen and his team were able to carry out the acts of corruption, and what happened to the ventilators and when the country would receive them.

Along with Minister Ameen, names of 11 other officials of the Health Ministry were forwarded to the Prosecutor General’s Office on the 14th of October to be charged with the crimes, by the Anti Corruption Commission of Maldives (ACC). However, it was revealed on Tuesday, by PGO, that no charges can be raised against either 11 of the Health Ministry Officials, due to the lack of evidence. While no further details were revealed with regards to the case, PGO is scheduled for a press conference later this Tuesday.