President: We must build both structures and minds

Dr. Mohamed Muizzu takes his oath as the 8th President of Maldives at the Republic Square on November 17, 2023. (Photo/Infinite Moments/Mohamed Shathiu Abdulla)

The two most important tasks ahead for national progress is to build both structures and minds, says Dr. Mohamed Muizzu, the newly inaugurated Maldivian president.

Muizzu took his oath of office before hundreds of invitees, including dozens of foreign dignitaries, at the Republic Square in Male’ City on Friday evening.

In his inaugural speech, Muizzu said he will make it a priority to take the path that the Maldivian people want, when it comes to national development.

He said that the goal is to construct a master plan for national development for the next 20 years and give it legal power to build the future that the people desire based on their proposals.

A state’s security, its power and its prestige, is built on two main types of development—structural and human development. Countries can build houses, defensive towers, roads, bridges, and office buildings. A country can also build a moral society; a people of sound minds and good discipline,” he said.

Muizzu said that the moment marks the first time in ages that the Maldivian people set sail towards “the Maldives of the Maldivian people.”

He said that building the country’s land and minds is crucial to upholding the country’s might, power and independence.

“The policies that my government will pursue, will be driven by these two key fundamentals. We will seek to balance these two types of development. Knowledge and skills. Morals and religion. Behavior and craftsmanship. We will strive to harness these values and skills in our children. Such values will help the Maldivian society to achieve greater level of prosperity and progress,”


Muizzu said the Maldivian economy was in need of emergency treatment, and that it was critical to find ways to urgently generate revenue.

“For that, I hope to complete the mega project of expanding the Velana International Airport and opening its modern new terminal, very soon. This will bring an enormous boost to the tourism industry. It will help in increasing the number of tourists arriving in the Maldives exponentially. We will also find innovative ways to cut costs. We will overcome this situation without mortgaging government buildings, their roofs, and their gutters,” he said.

Muizzu noted that tourism is one of the key pillars of the Maldivian economy, and said his administration will therefore give high priority to the tourism sector.

“We will further expand and facilitate introducing new innovations to the industry. We will protect the rights of those working in the sector. We will ensure that adequate housing and other amenities are available to them,” he said.

Muizzu said that as he assumes presidency, the Maldives’ debt is at MVR 119 billion.

“We are currently facing the highest level of public debt in our history. But I remain hopeful and confident of overcoming this enormous challenge. We will be taking bold, strong, and swift actions to put the Maldivian economy back on track,” he said.

Muizzu promised to be fair and just.

“The policies of the Maldivian government must be based on the interests of the Maldivian people. I am a Maldivian. For me, Maldivian citizens come first in the list. The very first. People of any other country will come after that. I will be just. I will be fair. And I will be friendly with nations. I will not harbor enmity or jealousy. I will respect our neighbors and other countries,” he said.