Fathmath Thaufeeq, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), has been sacked. The Mohamed Muizzu administration, however, has remained silent on the matter.

The MMPRC is entrusted with promoting the Maldives as a premier tourist destination worldwide under the brand “Maldives” and the slogan “Maldives… The Sunny Side of Life.”

Thaufeeq’s dismissal came hot on the heels of the resignation of the chairperson, Ayesha Nurain Janah, and another board member, Rafil Mohamed. Both were key figures on the MMPRC board, with Mohamed representing the Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI).

Janah, the daughter of Mohamed Ali Janah, the Principal Advisor on Trade and Investment to President Muizzu, has only been chairperson since 27 December 2023. Her abrupt departure has raised eyebrows, as this upheaval could potentially impact MMPRC’s ability to carry out its mandate effectively.

The Maldives Association of Tour Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) has also expressed growing apprehension, stating that tourism promotion efforts are failing to match the sector’s dynamic supply and demand landscape.

In a report submitted with her resignation, Janah painted a picture of turmoil within the MMPRC, asserting that the board had been hindered from executing its responsibilities professionally and in alignment with corporate governance standards. She further argued that the MMPRC management, under Thaufeeq’s leadership, had chosen to disregard the counsel and suggestions put forth by the governing board, indicating potential governance issues within the MMPRC.

Janah also highlighted MMPRC’s mounting debt, attributing it to imprudent financial decisions made by the management. She revealed that certain foreign suppliers, to whom MMPRC owed money, had threatened to initiate legal proceedings.

Janah’s report also shed light on the management’s approach to dealing with sexual harassment allegations against a senior official. She contended that the investigation was mishandled and disclosed that management had declined to divulge the findings to the governing board.