Comment: Parliament is laughing at you

What a laugh the Majlis is having at the people’s expense. If voting to give themselves the extra MRF20,000 (US$1300) was like spitting people in the face, having the pay cheque backdated is like rubbing the polity’s face in the MPs’ bejewelled excrement.

For what is this money being rewarded? For emotional distress caused by having to bend to the people’s will for eight arduous months? Has life really been that tough on MRF60,000 US$(3900) a month that MPs need financial redress for their suffering?

It really must have been difficult coming up to Ramadan, having to forgo one or many of all those pre-Ramadan MP necessities. No pre-fasting trips to Bangkok, no spiritual rejuvenation trips to Sri Lanka, no shopping trips to Malaysia, no tri-annual holiday abroad for the parliamentary off spring.

Having had to endure a month in which the prices from fish to furniture have gone beyond the common man’s reach, the collective empathy of the people are no doubt with the Majlis.

Kudos to the 17 who have said they do not want the allowance.  Most fascinating, though, are the 16 who abstained. Would the allowance have been possible without them?

How complex and nuanced a question is: do you think you deserve the MRF20,000 a month at a time of grave national debt? It requires a simple yes or no answer – you are either with the people or you are not. Sitting on the fence on this question is even more self-serving than those who voted to keep the allowance – at least they were honest.

And then there are the MPs who are speaking out against the proposed income tax. On the grounds that it applies only to a small percentage of the population! Taxing the small percentage of the mega rich who have this country in a stranglehold, and letting the poor escape the burden – that is the purpose of it, one would have thought. In some MPs’ books, taxes should be equal – this is some people’s understanding of democracy, alas.

The avarice in the parliament is widespread, and its connections to big money are many. On the day of the salary vote at the Public Accounts Committee, its Chairman Ahmed ‘Jangiya’ [Panties] Nazim was in court for allegedly embezzling money from the public coffers to the tune of US$400,000.

If MPs stuck the polity’s face in their excrement, the Criminal Court’s decision to ban the media from MP Nazim’s court hearings buried the public in shallow graves dug in the same matter.

The accused is the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, the man who chairs the meetings at which decisions are made on how public accounts are to be balanced. He stands charged with fraud. If this is not a matter of public interest, then what is?

And what does the Criminal Court’s justification for the decision to ban the media even mean? Article 42 of the Constitution, to which the Court referred in its decision, says courts can only exercise their discretion to exclude the media if doing otherwise would disrupt public order, public morality or national security. None of these issues are at play here.

If the Criminal Court’s decision to gag the media refers to ‘other special circumstances where publicity would prejudice the interests of justice’ as said in Article 42, what the Court is effectively saying is that it is open to suggestion by every lowly hack out there.

The ‘democratic norms’, only according to which the discretionary powers in Article 42 are to be exercised, has long established that dangers of prejudice by media criticism arises where a jury is involved – not in cases where judges are sitting alone.

Unlike a jury of 12 ordinary people, judges – assumed to have achieved higher levels of education and higher levels of ethics and morality than ordinary people – are seen as above outside influence, and able to make a ruling based solely on the evidence before him.

By saying the court cannot come to a fair and impartial ruling because of what is being said in the media, it is clearly admitting that the judge sitting alone is easily influenced and cannot be trusted.

Perhaps balancing the people’s right to freedom of expression with an accused person’s right to a fair trial was not a module covered in the Sentencing Certificate?

The media should be in an uproar over this gagging order. Apart from a statement from the Media Council, however, there has been nothing.

Where is the Maldives Journalists Association with their usual indignation? Where is the Maldives National Journalists Association? Where are the highly paid members of the Broadcasting Commission? Where is the burgeoning ‘free press’?

Will the real Fourth Estate please stand up?

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29 thoughts on “Comment: Parliament is laughing at you”

  1. We bloody well asked for a change. Cried for a change. We begged and prayed for a change. We elected these MP's.

    Its our fault. I blame me for having prayed for a change and elected a swindler of an MP. I ask for forgiveness from my fellow citizens. I did not anticipate this would happen!! It will NEVER happen again.

  2. the journalists of the maldives only care about the executive. next they do some reports on the parliament sometimes, the judiciary is mostly off their radar.

    and check out suntravel shiyam's clever statement. he said he is going to spend the 20,000 on his constituents. remember, these guys took this up as a reason to get this allowance in the first place, to spend on poor constituents who ask for help. it was such a stupid reason and everyone was against it...but when suntravel shiyam said that, the sheep of the the country poured praise on him...he was golden heart shiyam. how stupid are these people? its hard not to think the people really deserve this...

  3. We are living in the end time of the world. All the world leaders are tyrants. They are hypocrites and atheists. These people do not really care about us. They care about them self. Their main objective to gain power. Power comes with money. They do not believe in god and a life hereafter. They do not believe that everything they are doing is recorded and they will be questioned and have to give a detailed explanation to god of how they have had spent their life in this world. They do not believe that there is hell and a paradise. They do not believe in the book of god that is QURAN. Well to believe in QURAN is to believe in what ever i have mentioned before. So there main objective to get what ever they could possibly get from this world and have a happy life. Money, power, competing each other, winning, girls, holidays, etc blaa blaaa makes them happy. I wonder how we are going to convince some people who do not believe in god that they are doing wrong. We might think ohhhh there are people who says that they believe in god. I would say they are hypocrites. The so called MUNAAFIGS. I wonder why i am writing this comment, since minivan news always gets the first place in criticizing Islam. The only true religion in this world. My dear Azraa Naseem your articles and your news is not helping to solve any political, social or economical issues. This is not making our life better. You are making it worse. I beg you not to criticize islam, since this is the only way we could get peace full life here. This will give success in this world and hereafter. These is no doubt. Face the truth.

  4. I too was outraged when i heard this issue. But like the majority of all Maldivians, I am too lazy to do anything. So after a couple of minutes, I went back to my usual daily routine. One man's outrage cant change a nation.

  5. Maldivian judicial system is a big joke! Most us believe that the judicial system do unjust
    Continuously. What do you expect when they are theologians as judges?

  6. this tells u something about the nature of maldivians..if u meet the minister of culture on official business he tries to promote his private business(High Life magazine), you meet the foreign minister he tries to cut a deal with you to pocket $$$!! the what a mess. what a disgrace.

  7. I have only myself to blame for being the idiot that i am. I allowed these idiots to get elected.

  8. Yes same with me, I have also been an idot who voted for these MP's. I will vote next but for a new face and be an idiot again

  9. Yes same with me, I have also been an idiot who voted for these MP's. I will vote next but for a new face and be an idiot again

  10. i think it would be better to start a campaign to boycott the elections. if the voter turnout of this country get extremely say 30%...that is sure to get the attention of world. it will show the world that the people are sick of the elected officials of this country...that people have lost faith in democracy. i can't believe there is a single mp in our parliament who is sincere...

  11. maldivians voted for their new system in a state of an illusion of responsible governance in a democracy. but it's worse now, since no single person could be blamed. in the past at least we know who the culprit is.

    with separation of powers corruption has become easier now - all one needs is make money by influence and blame it on the system (either the judiciary, or exec or the parliament). corruption is everyones business and that's no one individuals business in particular.

    next time be careful about what u ask for. it could be a monster dressed as mother Theresa

  12. This is a disgrace. I fought for democracy and multi party system in Maldives but now this whole thing has been hijacked.
    This is not the way the Maldivian or an Executive style presidency works.
    Maldives has an executive presidency yet work like a Westminster style parliamentary democracy.
    How many of you would work against the current lot when the next election comes around? I for one would never vote for Reeko Moosa Manik, no matter what.( I am from his area).
    If we can garner enough support to have a People's Power movement,we can get rid of these MPs or get them to change even now.
    We need a Maldivian Spring now as they did in the Middle East.
    Azra, you cannot let this lie down and the more we can keep this in the lime light the more people would be aware of the consequences on not controlling these MPs.

  13. few families like Universal, champa and cyprea own most of the wealth in this country. and this has been the case since nasir got them free islands to make resorts.. majority of maldivian are unware.. kinds of the rich are happy.. the rest will slave.. so whats the big deal here...

  14. you spend more time on the Court's refusal to allow journalists in the Nazim case and its implications on the freedom of the press (447 words) than frivolous spending of public funds by MPs (337 words) which is actually what relates to the title of the piece. It's a well written article though, with a lot of salient issues.

  15. majlis got this messy because of the 'barulamaanee' thing mdp tried to do when they were not in power. we do not need this barulamaanee system. if we need a system it the khaleefa system with full islaamee sharia. kon fonnye dhakaaka? thi dimokrasee hedhigen ulhuneemaa vanee vaki konche? bodu museebaathaka vejje mikantha. engaetho umarugefaaun when he assigned modern day equivalent of mayors to cities (at present time geographically will be same size as countries), he had them audited, and when they are relinquished from posts they (umarugefaanuge governors)would have to submit to another audit and any excess of the balances of audits goes straight to ppl's treasury. meaning politican's are not to profit from their jobs but to live in the service of islam and ppl. that is the kind of democracy we need. not this munaafig bunch of idiots who call themself izzatheri... grrrrrrrrrrr! rulhi gadha vejje.

  16. @Fromer Maldivian Athiest
    You probably should have stayed being an Atheist. More blabbering excrement from all that brain washing you have encountered.

    "I beg you not to criticize islam"
    I beg you to start using that little pea inside your head. What? Why bring Islam into this? This is about the Majlis dopey and the fact that they are stealing from the people. Give the rest of us Minivan readers, who incidentally are living this life in the real world, a quote or two from the archives of Azra's anti-Islamic writings. I for one have never read any anti-Islamic material. Please share with us.

  17. We need to make life difficult for these greedy bastards. We need to make it so difficult for them that they would leave.

    Of course, someone would even die for their seats. It won't be easy for them to imagine a day when they no longer earn that kind of money for such little effort.

  18. Any Maldivian, do you ahve a bright idea as to how to stop those MPs from getting that extra money?

  19. From the time I was born in the 1940s, and probably even earlier, Maldives has been one of the most corrupt and nepotistic countries in the world. We have a legacy of tyrants as rulers. We do not even admit we are a Third World country.We are not honest. We are not educated.

    What a Parliament do we have, and what selfish idiots as MPs?

    We are supposed to have had a Revolution recently. The Revolution has been betrayed.

    Was it necessary to name our Male International Airport after the late President Nasir? Nasir was no better than Gayoom, and probably worse.

    I am very sad and disappointed with the news coming out of Maldives.

    The whole of the present Parliament must be banished to Siberia for five years. That will teach them a lesson.

  20. This only shows that Maldives would be better off with a full Parliamentary system rather than a half hearted one which has mixed features and worse, which claims to be a presidential system. in truth it is neither this or that. In any case presidential systems only provides an unhealthy gridlock (look at how Wasington is broken), On the other hand parliamentary system can provide better political competition even if a little chaos. A little chaos is in parlimentary system much better than the total dysfunction of presidential systems

  21. @YUN > koba LOLLY JABIR , AAA GASIM???????DONT THEY OWN RESORTS AS WELL??????AND ALL TTHE FOREIGNERS OWN?? ppl always pointing fingers at same pppl but forget If they are yellow coloured and not paying bed rent to the govt.

  22. @ Ziyan. Follow the islamic Sharia. This is the only ways we could solve these issues. People this is our success. The people you called Wahaabees and shaihs are the most smart people in this world. They are having a peaceful life. And there is no doubt they will be the successful people. And remember it is not the dressing code that make us good muslims, it is the sincerity and fulfilling the commandment of Allah. Dressing code is a part of it, the most important thing is sincerity. Wahaabee or shiah if they do not have sincerity that is going to be a problem. Are we willing to apply islamic sharia here. I guesss its time.

  23. @jolly Sat; .. universal, champa and Cyprea are given free islands.. others have to pay for it.... and now second generation is out on the loose..

  24. "The people you called Wahaabees and shaihs are the most smart people in this world. They are having a peaceful life"

    Yes? Except when they're bombing and killing the 'wrong kind' of Muslims?

    Glad to hear that.

  25. I'd say vote. What is a letter after all; when the MPs have already made a stand by voting for the issue?

    Of course they'll laugh at you.

  26. Thank you Azra Naseem,
    You have said everything I want to! Agree with you 100%!

  27. Bravo Azra Naseem,
    One day MPs will never remember you though you absolutely need them.

  28. Who laugh last laughs best..So lets see what happens to the MPs who voted in favour, and especially those who were absents on the vote. Agree with the author they are far worse than who voted in favour of the allowance


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