Changing ministers wont lower internet prices: Opposition

MP of Eydhafushi Constituency and leader of PPM Parliamentary Group, Ahmed Saleem. | Photo: People's Parliament

Malé, Maldives – MP of Eydhafushi Constituency and leader of PPM Parliamentary Group, Ahmed Saleem (RedWave Saleem) has said that changing the Minister of Communication, Science and Technology will not be the solution for lowering the price of internet in Maldives.

While giving the oppositions response to the presidential address for the year, MP Saleem said that it takes a government which knows how to implement their promises to carry out such tasks and that removing Minister Maleeh would not bring a solution to the matter.

MP Saleem also added that cheaper and more reliable internet was key to developing Maldives further through utilizing modern technology and innovative products. He also added that people have been left hopeless due to the fact that government has not been able to fulfill their presidential pledge of lowing internet prices until now.

He also pointed out that students have been facing difficulties due to high price of internet and low service quality as their studies were changed to online modes after the Covid-19 hit the Maldives.

The Parliamentary Group (PG) of the leading governing coalition party, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) voted in favor of moving forward with a no confidence vote against the Minister of Communication, Science and Technology, Mohamed Maleeh Jamaal, after a PG group meeting held to discuss the matter on November 22, 2020, thereby 14 members signed the motion.

The motion states that, during Minister Maleeh’s two years in office, he has not made any policies which are mandatory according to a Telecommunications Act, through the communications authority.

The Telecommunications Act mandates the formulation of policies which are essential to regulate the Maldivian telecom infrastructure. The motion also stated that each passing day these policies fail to be made is a great loss to the people and the government.

The motion also noted that efforts made by individuals in the political positions of the ministry and other employees to create these polices did not gain Maleeh’s support and that there is evidence that he hindered these efforts.

The no confidence vote against the Minister came following his comments aimed at the PG group of MDP, in which he said that the Parliament members cannot dictate how the government should do it’s job and that no such policy can also be formulated. Since then many pro government MPs have criticized Minister Maleeh on various social media platforms.