Campaign against committee allowance violates privileges, say MPs

Parliament today debated a motion proposed by Vilufushi MP Riyaz Rasheed claiming that a civic action campaign against controversial Rf20,000-a-month committee allowances approved last year violated MPs’ special privileges.

Presenting the motion without notice, Riyaz Rasheed, the sole Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) representative in parliament, contended that the campaign by the group of concerned citizens was intended to bring MPs into disrepute and undermine MPs’ honour and dignity.

Riyaz said he proposed the motion in protest of the activities against the committee allowance because “no one has said anything while they’re putting up pictures of MPs all over Male’.”

A loose association of concerned citizens and members of local NGOs launched a campaign in late August after parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) decided to issue a lump sum of Rf140,000 (US$9,000) as committee allowance back pay for January through July this year.

“The chapter on rights and freedoms in the constitution guarantees right to [respect for] private and family life [article 24],” Riyaz continued. “Therefore no one could try to defame us. We have not betrayed the public. We have done things for the benefit of the people.”

Riyaz proposed that parliament should officially ask police to investigate the activists after the Privileges Committee reviews his motion.

After the motion was presented, MPs voted 16-3 with nine abstentions to open the floor for a debate.

Honour and dignity

Most MPs from both the ruling and opposition parties supported Riyaz’s motion, criticising the methods employed by the social activists, which they argued incited contempt towards MPs.

Several MPs claimed that they had not received any complaints or angry phone calls from constituents demanding that they refuse the allowance.

MPs also alleged that unsuccessful candidates for parliament were behind the campaign, which was motivated by “personal grudges” and a desire to diminish the standing of sitting MPs in a bid to defeat them in 2014.

Moreover, several MPs argued that unlike government ministers and judges, MPs did not have office space, staff or state vehicles.

While MP Ali Waheed characterised the campaign as “a military attack,” MP Ilham Ahmed criticised the activists for misleading the public into thinking that the “unborn allowance” had already been given.

Ilham alleged that activists in the campaign were “three or four kids that Ibra [President’s Advisor Ibrahim Ismail] sends out,” adding that “making my wife’s ID card number public” went beyond the right to free expression and protest.

Other opposition MPs criticised the NGOs for not launching similar campaigns or protests against the government’s contentious decisions, such as refusing to reimburse civil servants, floating the exchange rate or not handing over the state broadcaster to the parliament approved Maldives Broadcasting Corporation (MBC).

“The main intention of the people who are protesting is to bring Majlis into disrepute among the public and violate privileges,” claimed Independent MP Ahmed Amir, backing Riyaz Rasheed’s proposal to investigate the campaign and take legal action.

MP Ahmed Rasheed of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) meanwhile revealed that the activists met him to discuss the allowance and he had declined to refuse it.

“I am saying very clearly, these people who have come out in the name of civil society organisations are working with the hope of contesting and winning a seat in the 2014 parliamentary election,” he claimed.

MP Ibrahim Muttalib, who recently signed for the Adhaalath Party, meanwhile said he had pledged to decline the allowance if the activists would agree to join him in protesting “on issues of national importance.”

Muttalib repeated claims by other MPs that former MP Ibrahim Ismail was orchestrating the campaign.

“I don’t believe that the constitution of this country was sent down in a revelation to the chairman of the drafting committee [Special Majlis MP Ibrahim Ismail] by the Vatican city,” said MDP MP Mohamed Musthafa, adding that he would decline the allowance only if President Mohamed Nasheed asked it of him, but the President had not done so to date.

MP Ahmed “Redwave” Saleem, who recently signed for former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s Progressive Party, implied that Ibra lost the use of his legs as “a punishment from God.”

“He [Ibra] says I’m the one who drafted the constitution, tomorrow he might say I’m the one who drafted the holy Quran,” said Saleem.

MP Ahmed Mahlouf, who submitted a resolution to scrap the allowance in June, criticised the social activists for not defending or backing him at the time when he was accused of self-aggrandizement.

Freedom of expression

Only a few MPs, including MDP MPs Mariya Ahmed Didi, Imthiyaz Fahmy, Ilyas Labeeb, Eva Abdulla and Hamid Abdul Gafoor, spoke against the motion and disputed the notion that the civic action campaign violated MPs privileges.

Hamid proposed a comprehensive review by parliament of salaries and allowances for state employees, which was seconded by MP Mahlouf.

Mariya, former chairwoman of the MDP, said it was “regrettable” that criticism of MPs had prompted a motion claiming violation of parliament’s privilege.

Prior to the parliamentary election, said Mariya, her constituents had complained that the Rf62,500 monthly salary for MPs was too high.

“So I definitely accept that the people will criticise us taking an additional Rf20,000,” she said. “So when the people talk about it on the media, and even if they draw our cartoons, we have to accept it since we come here to advocate on their behalf and we live in the public eye.”


29 thoughts on “Campaign against committee allowance violates privileges, say MPs”

  1. Red Wave Saleem says:
    MP Ahmed “Redwave” Saleem, who recently signed for former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s Progressive Party, implied that Ibra lost the use of his legs as “a punishment from God.”


    Red Wave Saleem is unbelievable. what an idiot.

  2. Is this the kind of utter moron that should be sitting in the Majlis? Time we got rid of the weak minded fools who steal our money. Why should we let the people we voted in hold us to ransom and get paid for life for doing nothing. Exactly why do we need these MP's can someone remind us please?

  3. The photo's of MP in favor of unjust allowances. All this stems from ethically wrong preceding by certain parliament members, therefore there is no grounds for Vilufushi MP Riyaz Rasheed to say its in violation while he violated the general trust of the poor citizens who elected him.

    This further implicates you dear MP, Vilifushi daairaa citizens please take note.

  4. Mariya Mariya. You should have voted against the 20,000 in the first instance. Now it's too late to talk against it.

  5. "disrepute and undermine MPs honour and dignity,"

    So these parliament members seriously believe they have these respectable words surrounding them.

    Initiating this discussion proofs that, that if we elect Gaumee Party to run this country, we will see a worst dictatorship than that idiot Maumoon's time.

  6. Surely this multi faced idiots should know there are better things to discuss with the money looted from the public.

    I wish nude photo's of these hoodlums are pasted all over Maldives.

  7. The article says :
    "Most MPs from both the ruling and opposition parties supported Riyaz’s motion, criticising the methods employed by the social activists, which they argued incited contempt towards MPs."

    I think social activists are honest people, who are very concerned for the welfare of this country. They display contempt towards the contemptible actions of ignorant MPs like Riyaz Rasheed & co, because they deserve nothing BUT contempt.

    These MPs will continue to be viewed with the deepest contempt by honest citizens all over this country, and there is nothing they can do about it.

    These MPs have neither honour nor dignity to preserve because of the way they are raiding the nation's financial assets.

    Greed drives these men.
    It is the greatest misfortune of this country to have such people in positions of power.
    But this is the democracy we have at the moment and we have to swallow the bitter pill of having NITWITS in the Majlis.

  8. Riyaz Rasheed is an ignorant idiot. Parliamentary Privilege does not mean that they cannot be criticised. Frankly the whole lot should be hounded out of the Parliament and I wish and hope the whole population rebels against there people and kick them out.

    If it is Ibra behind this then for once he is doing some good for the country.

  9. The more I look at this guys photo, the more I tend to believe he is decended from monkeys! I can't find any other rational explanation for his idiocy!

  10. Stop this allowance once for all and give this money to teachers and nurses. If President Nasheed can talk the talk he must learn to walk the walk by promising to increase wages of teachers and nurses first. This will bring more capable women into these fields and increase the participation of women in our development.

  11. These fat cats deserve nothing. The MPs must ask their constituents to go to respective government departments for state benefits. They don't need this money to give to them. This is an excuse and nothing more. If President Nasheed cannot afford to pay state employees, these guys don't deserve this money.

  12. Gasim, agreed. But teachers and dctors wages must be paid in dollars or else we cannot retain quality foreign teachers we and doctors we need to provide the services.this issue is a mjor problem in outer islands

  13. The MP's deserve everything. We allowed them to loot the nation.

    The public deserve what we are getting. We elected these morons, under the pretext, 'Even a goat would be better than Maumoon'.

  14. Red wave Saleem, what a piece of crap this guy is. Has there even iota of dignity left with this idiot.

    I just wonder, if this man is representing the views of his people. If so, that reflects badly on the character, and ethical standing of the people of Eydhafushi.

  15. u know the more i think about it the more i feel we brought it upon ourselves... we elected these monkeys into parliament / government and we're surprised that they are behaving like monkeys?

    yep.. this is us getting what we deserve for our idiocy... Judiciary, Parliament and Government!

  16. The current performance of MPs is not acceptable. They public servants elected to their position by the public and it is the electorate's right to criticize them for their actions. I fully support the campaign against committee allowance for MPs.

  17. When a department of a company becomes untenable or living beyond it's means or the means to pay them, it has to go.

    These despicable creatures screaming for more money are simply pricing themselves out of the market.

    Any entity has to make sure it is productive enough to justify itself, or chow that in final analysis it represents good value for the money it costs in service. These people do neither. They have forced a psuedo parliamentary system on a country that clearly voted under the constitution rules for a presidential system. Those that do this skull duggery could be seen as traitors. Give us another referendum Mr President, let's restart the system before it goes truly into meltdown.

  18. What we need to do is reboot the system all over again. We need a new president, a new parliament and judiciary. The ones we have now are corrupted to the core. All these morons are sucking the blood of the Maldivian people.
    We people are struggling to pay high electricity and water bills. And our purchasing power is going down every day with new taxes, pension, high goods and services prices and daily rise in the dollar rate.

  19. Red Wave Saleems' departure from and return to the opposition, was compared by him to the Prophets' Hijra; he would not risk the wrath of God by making such an audacious statement, were it not true. Now he has got a divine message that Ibra is disabled because of his obvious sinful ways.

    This man is clearly a portal to paradise, how fortunate we are to have him here!

  20. " a civic action campaign against controversial Rf20,000-a-month committee allowances approved last year violated MPs’ special privileges ".

    Approved by who?


  21. Its time all the social activist got together to educate wider population so that they want elect morons like Riyaz Rasheed for petty gains.

  22. Social activism?

    Activism requires funds, facilitation and coordination.

    The general society has shown itself incapable of such an integrated effort.

    This so-called civic action is directed by a political agenda.

    Not that I do not support the intent of the citizens whose involvement comes from ignorance of the people behind this "social cause".

    Using state funds for rents and bribes in the form of wages has reached ridiculously high levels.

    I hope these "awareness efforts" translate into greater consideration for selecting parliamentary candidates based on their financial standing, merit and relative integrity.

  23. Mr. Red Wave Saleem, You dumb lunatic, Ibra would be a better person than you even without a single limb. I think this Saleem has syphilis in his brain

  24. "MP Ahmed “Redwave” Saleem, who recently signed for former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s Progressive Party, implied that Ibra lost the use of his legs as “a punishment from God.”

    Citizens this is the best and the brightest of PPM talking, good luck to our future generations if these Maumoonee's get elected to govern our country.

  25. Oh you fools, you don't have any honour and dignity when you asked for that extra Rf 20000 allowance. That money should instead be given to the poor ordinary maldivians who deserve it truly. So shut your smelly gob.

  26. I think there is more to this thing. Why is that the Government is also supporting this? I think the main reason is that if the MPs get all these funds, then the Political Appointees could also get an increase in their salaries.
    Otherwise MDP could have forced their members to vote this down in The Majlis yet they did not and this speaks a lot about their motives too.

  27. I am yet to meet someone more idiotic and shameless than Riyaz Rasheed.


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