This evening I was in Hulule to receive our Chairman arriving from Singapore. I met a friend at the airport while we were waiting at the arrival terminal. While we were waiting an expatriate came through the arrival gate and was warmly welcomed by a group of his countrymen who were waiting anxiously for his arrival. They strode off joyfully and with a lot of excitement.
My friend pointed out that Male’ has become a home for quite a number of expatriates who lead a decent life in it. He said that almost all the companies in Male had expatriates who filled most of the jobs which paid anything over 500 US Dollars. I could see a sense of resentment towards expatriates in his tone.
The enormous economic development that has taken place in our country has been made possible by huge foreign investment – directly and covertly, and through the contribution of thousands of expatriates who have worked and continue to work in our industries including tourism and construction. We owe much to them. However, for political reasons they have always been displayed as the reason for much of the vices in society that we have had to face due to the tech explosion that hit us unawares.
At the same time, what my friend said also have a certain truth to it. We failed to build a generation capable of enjoying the fruits of the economic development that came over us for no reason or effort of ours. I am sure most people would challenge this statement. But when we look at the current situation we cannot say that there was any foresight or direction to the development which we enjoy today. Much of it has been "God Given" like the state of affairs we are in today – as we are made to believe.
We have a nation who believe they themselves are responsible for nothing, yet would demand the maximum benefits of their nationhood!
Mohamed Shihab / Smile and Let Smile