Thursday, 29 January 2009

I'm back...

Long hiatus from posting. I have this terrible habit of not sticking with things...I know that thats no excuse, and that the true blogger finds some time, any time to blog, but I just couldn't be bothered. To tell you the truth, I've always found it hard to be open about my life, and since interesting blogs are just that; the mundane aspects of life, I find it hard to share this with the world. How can the coffee that I drank today be of any interest to people, I think. But I digress. A new year, new beginnings, and here I am, back where I started last year.

I'm currently at the tail end of my holiday in the Maldives. This trip has been one of the best trips ever. Perhaps its because it was so short, perhaps because old friendships were renewed and new ones forged. Either way, my return to australia is tinged with sadness, because never before have I felt like I truly belonged.

I suppose these things are better in small doses. The Maldives has changed so much since I left back in 2000. Buildings are bigger, the shops are shinier, but at the same time, people are ruder. Its now dangerous to walk around at night by yourself or even with a friend. Drug addicts line darkened streets where the government installed street lights have been shattered by bricks, all so that shady deals can be done under the secrecy of darkness. Policemen, perhaps still burdened by some of the more absurd 'human rights' rules set by the previous regime remain unable to cope with the crime here in the capital. They saunter around trying to look in control, but more often than not can be found guarding places that are least likely to be trouble spots. Last night, on the way back from a late coffee with a friend, we saw a couple of policemen guarding...a tree.

The landslide election victory for the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) late last year made many people think that everything would change. Our tiny nation has never seen multiple parties before. So many choices, so many stances. Pro-westernisation, Pro-islam-extreemism, Pro this, Pro that. We heard it all during election time, and it seemed like everywhere where Mohamed Nasheed ('Anni') of the MDP went, there was an air of hope, a feeling that maybe this time, we would get it right. The previous regime had its time in the sun, but the problem, like with so many men, was that he didn't know when to step down. Nepotism, greed and sloth got the better of him, and instead of being a symbol of prosperity to us all, he is now our shame.

Unfortunately, 3 months into Anni's government, and nothing seems to have changed. Admittedly, this is not very long, but at least there should be talk of change. Instead, there appear to be broken promises.

1. A university to be situated within Theemuge, the presidential palace. Instead, 2 government offices have been moved into this 45M Dollar palace, build of marble and the sweat of expat workers.

2. Job security: Already, 1000 existing jobs in the Home ministry are being dissolved.

3. A 'new maldives': Anni's appointments to the cabinet seem random, as if they have been made without examining the appointees past experience. The minister in charge of The Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture is a previously practicing dentist. What is he going to do, check the teeth of the watermelons? The one obvious appointee is the Health Minister, Dr Aminath Jameel, who did her PhD in geriatric studies. Of course the one appointee that had everyone's tongues wagging was the man now in charge of our nations defence; the same man who sold us out back in 1988.

Time will tell, and for the sake of the Maldives, I really do hope Anni and his new government succeed. But for now, I remain skeptical.