MP Ilyas accuses FSM of trying to cover up wrongdoings

Hulhudhoo MP Ilyas Labeeb. (File Photo/People's Majlis)

Hulhudhoo MP Ilyas Labeeb has stated that the video showing the destruction of papers believed to be documents of Fuel Supply Maldives (FSM) suggests that the company is trying to conceal its wrongdoings. 

Ilyas, at Monday's parliamentary sitting, referenced media reports of documents in some state-owned companies and government offices being transported to Thilafushi to be destroyed using concrete machines. 

“It is not advisable to destroy any government documents amidst this transitional phase. It should not be destroyed. The documents must be kept accessible if the next administration wishes to look into them,” said Ilyas, a member of The Democrats.

He stressed that when a government changes, documents should be handed over to the other administration faithfully. The documents should be accessible when necessary, whether it is for an audit or an investigation or to further develop the company, he said. 

"When they start doing that [destroying documents] right now, in the transition period, it becomes clear to us that there are reasons to believe that some wrongdoings have taken place and that they are trying to cover up those up. This is not acceptable to us,” Ilyas said.

Ilyas made these remarks while debating a motion moved by Imthiyaz Fahmy, North Maafannu MP, belonging to The Democrats, accusing the government of exerting undue influence and power over elections.

Responding to Ilyas, South Henveiru MDP MP Hussain Shaheem, underscoring Ilyas had been a member of the transitional committee formed in 2018, said he, back then, had also raised the issue of then-government burning documents. Pointing out that Ilyas was the chairperson of the parliament's Committee on State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs), Shaheem stressed that the matter was not investigated, particularly expressing dismay over the failure to investigate cases with respect to Southern Utility Company, which was established in 2008. 

“When it was probed who was involved, [Ilyas's] family members are also in the company. His brother was the MD. Then nothing that was to be done had been done right. Therefore, we should look into which government and in which year the offices ran out of money and came to standstill,” Shaheem said.

MDP has criticized the pioneer of The Democrats and former President Mohamed Nasheed for handing many important projects in Addu to the Southern Utility Company, which had not implemented these projects despite being paid large sums of money.

The FSM employee who took the video has been suspended following the release of a video showing a cement grinder destroying documents.

The video was taken by a technician of the company, Ahmed Anees. He said the company's head office regularly destroys unwanted documents, but he suspects something alarming this time around, as it is amid a transitional phase.