The Minister of Health, Ahmed "Kerafa" Naseem, has praised MP Hon Qasim Ibrahim (Maamigili) as a "self-made business success". Kerafa Naseem had been active in the past in the early years of the Maldivian tourism industry.
Speaking at the Countdown for Golden Jubilee of Maldives Tourism, Minister Kerafa Naseem had expressed his concern that many Maldivians had developed disdain for millionnaires and business tycoons. He said that work must be done to change the peoples' perception of businessmen who had succeeded through hard work.
He further said that business tycoons had been "branded" in a negative light, even though they were deserving of deep respect. He pointed out Hon Qasim Ibrahim, and defended him from negative remarks made about him by the public; he pointed out Qasim's success as a business-man and cited it to be the result of his hard work.
"We seem to be completely OK with embezzlement, but nobody seems to value the fruits of hard work," said Minister Naseem.
"We need to change how we see such business tycoons. Don't speak badly of them. Support them," said Minister Naseem.
Pioneers of the Maldivian tourism industry, such as Hussain "Champa" Afeef and Mohamed Umar (M.U.) Maniku were also in attendance at the ceremony.