The Chief of Staff of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, Ali Zahir, has recently made public statements against Dhiyares Media, a local news outlet known for presenting dissenting views about the government. In his statement, Ali Zahir mocked journalists of the news organization after they wrote an article about him citing confidential sources.
The article in question reported that Ali Zahir had requested that people not use the title "Sheikh" before his name, as he wishes to disassociate himself from the fact that he studied Islamic studies at the University of Medina. Prior to his appointment as Chief of Staff, Ali Zahir presented himself as a "Sheikh" or religious scholar.
Many people have criticized Ali Zahir for the way he mocked and made fun of Dhiyares Media and its journalists. Ali Zahir is known as the go-to person to get government deals and to get things done from the government through back channels. Despite this, he is one of the most trusted aides of President Solih.
This incident has raised concerns about freedom of press in the Maldives and the government's attitude towards dissenting voices in media. It also highlights the need for transparency and accountability in the government's actions and the role of its advisors.