You’ve heard. The president of the Maldives is selling his yacht and even planning to turn the presidential palace into a university.
This guy has obviously not taken any lessons from Abrahams’ A Wreath for Udomo. I mean, the way to do it is to fight the system till it falls and then take over all the trappings and live an even grander life, right?
The new president Mohamed Nasheed was a prisoner of conscience under the dictatorship of Abdul Gayoom, who ruled the Maldives for 30 years. After being released and winning in a landslide, it is now surprising that he is shunning all signs of ostentation and living a seemingly Spartan life.
The GFC (according to Degstar on phone last night) or rather, as I came to learn it’s being called these days, the global financial crisis is forcing the Indian Ocean islands to cut back on their expenditure. Known as one of the top spots in the world where the rich and spoilt go to spend obscene amounts for a few days, the Maldives government realises that tourism, which is the backbone of the economy, may not support the country for much longer.
All that is noble and cool but what really got me was the reports that the president is considering buying land from other countries, notably, Australia because there are fears that the Maldives are sinking. There must be land to which to shift the population should that event come to pass.