Mohamed Shahyb, the government’s chief spokesperson, has been transferred to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the President’s Office has confirmed. This move comes less than a month after he was appointed spokesperson, raising questions about the reasons behind this sudden transfer.

The reassignment followed a formal complaint against Shahyb submitted to President Mohamed Muizzu by local media outlets last week. However, the President’s Office has so far not commented on the circumstances surrounding his abrupt reassignment.

Shahyb, now listed as a State Minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the President’s Office website, was appointed the Chief Spokesperson 19 days ago. His tenure as the spokesperson was marked by criticism from the local media, primarily due to his track record in previous roles. Journalists had voiced concerns about his conduct during press briefings at the President’s Office. Following his reassignment, Shahyb’s name and photo were removed from the spokesperson’s official X (formerly Twitter) account.

Shahyb previously served as the chief of the Maldives Broadcasting Commission (MBC) during the tenure of former President Abdul Yameen Abdul Gayoom. During his time at the commission, he came under intense criticism for the fines imposed on certain TV stations, seen by many as an attack on media freedom. He resigned from the MBC when parliament decided to remove him from his post.

Despite the controversy, Shahyb is known for his contributions to journalism over his three-decade-long career, particularly in training emerging journalists.

Shahyb began his government career in 1987 as an attaché at the Maldives’ High Commission in Colombo, Sri Lanka. His career includes a stint at the foreign ministry and a position at the National Centre for Linguistics and Historical Research.

He later joined the local newspaper ‘Haveeru,’ serving in various senior roles. With the launch of ‘Haveeru Online,’ Shahyb took on the role of editor and also edited ‘Huvaas,’ the sister magazine of Haveeru. In 2020, he launched ‘Adhives,’ an online magazine.