Page added on September 22, 2010
To the Employment Minister,
If one asks me what time it is, I would say it’s time for us to check and screen the expatriate workers working throughout the country, and the expatriate staff doing tourism and fishing industry jobs that Maldivian young men and women could do.
And if someone asks me why we have to do this, I would say it’s for the sake of developing our economy, for the sake of repairing the country’s damaged social fabric, for the sake of not making our country famous for spitting here and there (the majority of the laborers working here do it as if it’s part of their life or habit).
Minister, it’s unbelievable that we see 300-400 expatriate laborers standing at various corners of the capital Male’ like a minor demonstration, and at the same time the country’s Immigration Department and the Employment Ministry keep quiet and silent, enjoying the art of doing nothing.
I agree that we have to recruit laborers for government and private construction projects and also an individual can recruit laborers for building a house. But it doesn’t mean that these laborers live here for the rest of their life. I think the reason why we see 300-400 expatriate laborers at various corners of Male’ are because the country’s relevant authorities do not work together for the sake of the country.
In Malaysia, I have seen Malaysian young men and women working in the shops and restaurants, but here we see expatriate unskilled laborers doing everything for us. In Dubai we see same scenario as our country but I think we better look at Malaysia for making our fragile economy better. I tried to get a job in Malaysia and Singapore and it was impossible, but here a foreigner gets a job much easier than a Maldivian.
A friend of mine living in Malaysia told me that if the government authority knows someone making even a boakiba (short eat) and sells it, immediate action is taken by the authority, and that no Maldivian could think of earning an income there.
But here we see expatriates moving like the nationals – they can prepare lunch packs in their rooms and make money freely. I think this is a problem to be solved for the sake of the country’s economy and the country to remain as an independent country.
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