President Abdulla Yameen and First Lady Fathmath Ibrahim departed this afternoon on an official visit to Malaysia in the first couple’s first official overseas trip since the September 28 blast on the presidential speedboat.
According to Ibrahim Muaz Ali, the president’s spokesperson, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak had extended an official invitation to Yameen, whose visit will mark his first official visit to the country since assuming office in November 2013.
Official discussions between the pair are due to take place tomorrow night at the Grand Hyatt in Kuala Lumpur.
The president and first lady – who were seen off at the airport today by cabinet ministers – are also scheduled to meet Maldivian students and families living in Malaysia at a reception tomorrow night.
The first couple returned from a brief unofficial visit to Singapore on Thursday night.
The Malaysia visit comes with both Yameen and Razak embroiled in massive corruption scandals that have rocked their respective administrations.
The Malaysian prime minister is accused of embezzling more than a billion dollars from a struggling state fund. Yameen’s former deputy is meanwhile on trial in connection with the theft of nearly US$80 million from the state-owned tourism promotion company – a corruption scandal of unprecedented scale in Maldivian history.
Both men have dismissed allegations of wrongdoing. Yameen insists that detained former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb is solely to blame for the unprecedented theft from state coffers.