This year we have seen a rise in racist and hate speech in the Maldives. This does not only happen amongst ordinary people but also amongst key political figures.
One of those such situations occurred in parliament when two politicians from the ruling party argued over the difference between Male’ residence and local islanders. Such hate speech was instigated by Henveyru Dhekunu constituency MP Hussain Shaheem (Adhun Hussain) where he compared Male’ and islanders with Israel and Palestine. Which lead to a heated debate between Dhaandhoo MP Yagoob Abdulla and several other MP’s. The comparison amongst Maldivians has not ever been debated on the parliament floor in any administration. The result of this had lead to MP’s like Saudhu Hussain of Gaafu Alifu Villigilli to treating to split up the country.
Even though the argument amongst MP’s has been resolved. This heated argument has reached local communities where people are going on social media to spread hate speech with Maldivian society. This hate speech was ramped up by due to COVID-19 outbreak which led the countries economy took a huge hit creating a huge loss in income of house holds.
The current government whom have come to power prior to COVID-19 was voted in to tackle such issues. Yet since then many major issues still remain. The country has now faced more lost with the outbreak creating job losses and economic downturn. This has made losses to as people face eviction and foreclosure on their properties as they are unable to pay loans and rent.
Although the government has promised aid to locals none of the following efforts have come through as of now. With the poor getting poor and middle class stuck in a worst case situation hate speech has raised with years of failed government policies bumping up and putting pressure on people.
Even though the government has anti determination bill the following has not to be acted upon people unless for a political gain. In this current situation, this is sad to see that one politician act could stir up hate speech amongst locals.