August 2007 Archives

A Row Over Migrants

That is in a tiny country of 300,000.

Immigrant Workers May Be Withdrawn: Bangladesh High Commission;

Bangladesh’s High Commissioner has told the government he will pull out his country’s 25,000 expatriate workers if the Home Ministry cannot guarantee their security.

Bangladeshi Castrated In Haa Daal Horror Death;

A Bangladeshi worker has been found dead, with his penis chopped off and stuffed up into a black bra strapped around his groin.


Vote Fraud of the Century?

Government Claims Huge Win For Presidential System;

With all results now in, 93,042 Maldivians have voted for the presidential system advocated by Gayoom, and 57,109 for a parliamentary system....

But the opposition MDP are not accepting the results, and have lodged a protest with the Election Commissioner.

Principal among these is an unprecendented turn out of 150,000 of 194,000 eleigible voters.

MDP observers were placed at two thirds of ballot boxes, and counted 72,000 voters. From this the party believes actual turnout was closer to a 100,000.

Other complaints include the Election Commissioner's selection of island chieves to officiate at voting stations, and the distance party observers had to stay from the counting process.

The MDP has sent 147 separate complaints to the Election Commission. The DRP reportedly submitted a similar number earlier in the day

The opposition's point about the huge turn out appears legitimate- than on the other hand it may be that the census is wrong after all. There’s an easy way to check this- just make a list of all those who didn’t vote in the election.

Dead Men Do Vote

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The day after the Election Commissioner blamed Maldivians who fail to report the deaths of family members for inaccuracies in the referendum election register, it has emerged his own deceased mother is on the list.

KD Ahmed Manik’s mother, the late Fuhlaa Hawwa Fulhu appears as 6991 on the register, next to the name of the Commissioner himself

-Referendum Bulletin

Meanwhile the political campaigning for the form of government is in full swing. Listen to a local song in support of parliamentary system.

Stupid reasons why parliamentary system is bad

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The tiny nation of Maldives is going to have a referendum this month on whether to have a parliamentary or presidential system of government. Their president, Asia’s longest serving ruler, and who has been the world’s longest serving central bank governor and defense minister, wants a presidential system for the country. This is how one of his appointees in the parliament justified why the country cannot afford a parliamentary system;

“Out of the five hundred members in [the Indian] parliament, twenty nine members have physically abused their wives. Seven have been detained for bribery. One hundred are seventeen are accused of rape, murder or theft. Seventy one are now denied loans from banks, because they have not made repayments. Twenty one have ongoing court cases. Eighty four have been fined for various offences.”

“This is the nature of the people who will lead us in a parliamentary system of government.”

The Information Minister Mohamed Nasheed went to on to say, Indian MPs “are not able to deal with any issues,” because of “walkouts, peoples’ clothes being ripped off, [and] a woman’s sari being taken off.”


Maldives Rising

A documentary about the Maldives from Al Jazeera; Part1(above), Part 2, Part 3 & Part 4

I would highly recommed Part 2.

Quote of the Day

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I keep trying to remind myself that failure is as important a component to a free-market economy as success. But goddamn if it doesn’t sting like a sumbitch.


- pdb

Breaking News from Maldives

Police takes over the Justice Ministry and Attorney General's Office as Attorney General Dr Hassan Saeed and Justice Minister Mohamed Jameel resigned from the government;

I have had to approach members of parliament to put forward reform bills as private members,” Dr Saeed said. “It is a very sad thing for the Attorney General’s Office to have to go to an opposition MP to pass legislation.”

Jameel said, “the President has not done enough to control extremist Islam.”

“We submitted an action plan to control religious extremism, but the President has sat on it for six months,” added Dr Saeed.

Dr. Hassan Saeed is the brother of a prominent Islamic Scholar, Professor Abdullah Saeed, Director of Centre for Study of Contemporary Islam at Melbourne University.

It is heartening to see that talented people willing to sell their integrity are becoming scarcer in the Maldives- goodluck and best wishes to the two ministers. Dr. Shaheed when are you resigning?

For Comment; The Maldivians will be going to the polls on August 18th, to decide on whether a presidential or parliamentary system is best for the country- let us hear your comments on this. Is parliamentary or presidential system the better one for a small and culturally cohesive country?

Meeting New People

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With this blog, I have met so many amateur economists and aspiring economists and Ph.D. economists that I long ago lost count; I have "met" currency speculators and smugglers, exiles, soldiers, high school students, corporate executives, and of course, newspaper reporters.

Do you remember that I was in the Washington Times a few years ago? It's not something I think about regularly, but last week, this blog received a unique comment:

Kevin,

Can I have your email address (by emailing me)? I want to send you a request. Thanks

Warm regards,

Ali
Brunei

Definitely not spam. So I emailed him. It turns out that he's teaching Malay to undergrads in Brunei; they have a blog! As an exercise, he had them translate the Washington Times article into Malay, and debated whether blogging could improve writing.

A few years ago, I invited any person who wanted to blog about economics, regardless of training or experience, to join Truck & Barter. It was not an experiment intended to measure response, though I was happy with the number and quality of people who volunteered. It was not a well-crafted attempt at expanding my social network, though I've developed a network of some strong, but mostly weak ties from all over the world... I just wanted to meet eager and interesting folks, giving newcomers a somewhat established shop, instead of them having to set up their own.

Now I can say that I've met advanced Malay language learners. And I say to them that blogging is what you make of it. Treat it seriously, and your vocabulary, style, and grammar will improve; treat it as a chore or a game or a joke, and you will gain nothing.

For more of what I think blogging ought to be like, see my reply to the article you guys read.

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