Comment: The strange case of Dr Hassan and Mr Saeed

Dr Hassan Saeed is an educated, articulate man. The Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) leader, former Attorney General and one time Presidential hopeful has penned a series of articles in a local daily, in which he outlines his vision for a democratic future for the Maldives – although one could argue that much of it is various justifications for getting rid of President Nasheed ahead of 2013.

He was launched into the national limelight by former President Gayoom – along with Dr Ahmed Shaheed and Dr Mohamed Jameel – as the reformist, camera-friendly face of his dictatorial regime.

Perhaps to Gayoom’s detriment, the media savvy Dr Hassan Saeed was perceived as collaborating with various agencies to actually implement those reforms – efficiently working within the system to lay some of the groundwork for the historic 2008 elections that he would contest himself.

As Attorney General in 2005, he was the first to file complaints against Abdulla Mohamed – the Criminal Court ‘Judge’ who was detained by Nasheed’s government earlier this year leading to the national crisis that ultimately led to its downfall.

Hassan Saeed, who would later campaign vigorously for the Judge’s release, had highlighted serious cases of Abdullah Mohamed’s misconduct, including misogyny, obstruction of justice, and perhaps committing child abuse in court by making children enact their own molestation in front of the actual perpetrators and the rest of the court.

While one cannot legally defend the unlawful detention of any citizen, Dr Hassan Saeed’s efforts certainly gives one some moral ammunition to combat the country’s broken judiciary and the vile characters at its helm.

There is much to admire about Dr Hassan Saeed.

On 14 November 2012, Minivan News published a leaked letter written by this gentleman to the Indian Prime Minister.

In the letter, Dr Hassan urged the Prime Minister to make Indian infrastructure giant GMR terminate its contract to develop Male’s international airport, on the basis of a range of serious allegations – from the Indian High Commissioner not knowing his job, to massive bribery allegedly being carried out by GMR.

Failing this, Saeed warned, the Maldives would become a ‘fertile ground for extremist and nationalist politicians’.

Dr Hassan Saeed’s warnings are absolutely correct, as any observer of Maldivian politics over the last few months would agree. The extremist, nationalist rhetoric has reached a feverish pitch, and never before in modern times has any Maldivian political party taken to abuse regional neighbours as a political platform.

Having said that, the same observers would also notice that it is Dr Hassan Saeed and his allies who best embody this nationalist, extremist threat.

Will the real Hassan Saeed please stand up?

It is a bewildering metamorphosis that Dr Hassan Saeed undergoes between his clashing personalities, playing Jekyll and Hyde with staggering ease.

“Nationalism and extremism in India’s backyard is not good for India or our small country,” said the reasonable Dr Hassan in his letter.

But the same Dr Hassan Saeed was present on the podium on 23 December 2011, where he joined other parties in rallying thousands behind extremist, nationalist demands – including the closing down of ‘massage parlours’ and preventing the landing of Israeli airlines, thus saving us all from the impending Zionist invasion that exists primarily in Sheikh Imran’s imagination.

On one hand, he has co-authored a book titled ‘Freedom of Religion, Apostasy and Islam’, where he academically and emphatically argues for freedom of religion within the framework of Islam, while making the case against capital punishment for apostasy.

On the other hand, he has published a series of pamphlets, including one titled ‘President Nasheed’s devious plot to destroy the Islamic faith of Maldivians’, pouring vitriol on President Nasheed for ‘fostering ties with Jews’ and failing to support medieval practices like flogging in the Maldives.

Dr Hassan Saeed extends copious platitudes to Dr Manmohan Singh in his letter, even thanking India for defending the country in 1988 against armed terrorists.

But how does he reconcile this with the fact that he – through his minority Dhivehi Qaumee Party pamphlets – is the primary source that has poisoned the airport debate with harsh anti-Indian rhetoric?

On one hand, he warns against India bashing and how unhelpful it can get. On the other hand his only representative in Parliament vocally defends the willful public slander against the Indian High Commissioner by Abbas Adil Riza, the spokesperson for the Waheed Regime.

So then, one wonders, who is the real Dr Hassan Saeed?

Is he the democrat who pens numerous articles extolling the virtues of democracy? Or is it the man who candidly acknowledged that the controversial February 7 transfer of power that he was involved in was a ‘unique coup’?

One Hassan Saeed brought up ‘legitimacy issues’ of the Waheed regime in private, calling the former Vice President “politically weakest person in the country“. Another Hassan Saeed publicly lauded the Waheed regime, giving it a generally favourable report card.

Is Dr Hassan Saeed the enlightened academic that makes convincing arguments of a pluralist, modern, tolerant Islam? Or was that just a mask for the Jew-bashing, anti-semitic Hassan Saeed behind the feverish Islamist rhetoric that constantly destabilised the country over much of the last year?

Is he the reasonable statesman who understands the wisdom of maintaining close ties with a friendly neighbour like India? Or is the real Hassan Saeed the guy who publishes India-bashing literature? Is he the mild-mannered man who is married to a foreign lady, or the rabid xenophobe spewing nationalist rhetoric?

Could the Hassan Saeed that calls President Nasheed’s record in office “indefensible” also be the same guy whose party defends the bombastic imbecile in the President’s office who might very well lead us to war with India before lunch?

These are important questions to ask, because one of these Hassan Saeeds is an asset to the nation – an educated, intellectually sound, democratic, modern Muslim who can contribute immensely to salvaging what precious little is left of our democracy.

A democracy, one sadly notes, that was shredded with the connivance and active support of the other, irresponsible and much more unwelcome Hassan Saeed.

All comment pieces are the sole view of the author and do not reflect the editorial policy of Minivan News. If you would like to write an opinion piece, please send proposals to [email protected]


29 thoughts on “Comment: The strange case of Dr Hassan and Mr Saeed”

  1. Good article. Dr Hassan is a very confused man. But then again, when it comes to gaining political ground, I guess everyone's willing to go from 'moderate' muslim to salafi muslim aka the real muslims.

  2. His party is now on death bed. He is history. No future government will use him. He can find a safer place outside the country. His days are gone.

  3. What a brilliant article. But may I suggest an alternative conclusion: he is neither Dr Hassan or Mr Saeed.

    He is merely an opportunist (much like the President) - a weather vane that blows in the direction of whatever political currents are currently en vogue.

  4. Dr Hasan Saeed is a writer of no principles democratic or political. He is fond of writing on or in favour of how he wants it whether Islam or politics. His pamphlet against president Nasheed shows how confused he is on good or bad politics.

    Now, the letter he wrote to the Indian premier adds to his political and philosophical discomposure. He does not demonstrate the diplomatic protocol that requires direct contacts to be between equals and counterparts.

  5. Another nice article to deter the nemesis of GMR, he has been a torn in there side from the bigining. A man who fights for a just cause has many enemies.

  6. he who think is handsome (physically & intellectually) always forget his size in political arena. Be it Dr. Hassan or Mr. Hassan. He says he non when lead the investigation during Gayoom's time to find the connection between MDP & non-muslim advocacy groups. But later he says otherwise.

  7. This article is spot on. Dr. Hassan Saeed is most definitely a unique man!

    Incidentally there is another word that could sum up his Dr.Hassan and Mr.Saeed split personality in a more simple way - HYPOCRITE.

  8. There is but one glaring problem with this propaganda article that I feel must be corrected.

    The so-called "Coalition of 23rd December" called for the closure of brothels operating under the guise of spas in the capital city of Male and other population centers such as Addu. No mention was ever made of the professionally run therapeutic spas in resort islands which locals do not frequent and was never part of the discourse.

    Yameen is not misinformed of this issue but is deliberately using a lie, yes a blatant lie used by the failed Nasheed regime to attack their political rivals.

    What I still fail to understand is why Nasheed did not give in to the protesters demands then? What connection does he have to the cheap brothels operating in Male? Were they set up with his tacit approval? These are important questions we need answered.

  9. Great article! He is definitely the opportunist. If he has to be San Sae that he would be!

  10. Yes Dr. Raamee you are right.

    The funny thing about the guy is when he was advisor to Anni, he gave a copy of the advice to be given to Anni to the media, before giving the advice to Anni.


  11. @ tsk tsk

    of all the things going on in Maldives, THOSE are the important answers that you need? Way to set your priorities man

  12. 23rd Dec. people call to close the brothel that are running in Male' city and not the " Spa " which are running at the Resorts.

    The spas in the resorts are not brothel and they are trend in the health sector in the word. But Anni want to threaten the resorts operators and owners to get him support and then bow thier heads to him.

    23rd Dec, gathering call for a different issues but Anni use those in different context and use as tool against all political parties and business community thinking that he will be able to get the full backing from entire business community in Maldives .

    When people call to remove the idol that is placed in Addu to remove Anni said that he had never seen them there while this idiot was the first person to take the photo in front of those idols.

  13. I am a monumental asset to this country regardless of whatever political positions I take. This slandering of me must stop.

  14. Dr may be is described as a person of Dissociative identity disorder or multiple personality disorder.

  15. Yameen, i am sure those who call extremist were with Nasheed and in his administration. as you are well aware if we measure to pakistani standards, which american measure as extremist, surely we have not gone to that level. its a fact we all believe. but sad you are also a jew-bashing to defend Nasheed at all means.

  16. @ Yaamyn

    Most Important bit in your 1000 word article:
    "one cannot legally defend the unlawful detention of any citizen"
    The rest can be forgotten.

  17. @Dhunya Pagal Hari

    I say that the execution of a judge that uses his position to sexually abuse minors can be entirely justified.

  18. Why? What's the point in this stupid article. Islam will flourish with or without the both of you (Yameen Rasheed and Hassan Saeed). The Creator of Everything is with the believers. The Creator of Yanmeen Rasheed and Hassan Saeed.

    You call others extreme while the members of parliament have their nude photos and videos on the internet. Try writing an article praising that, if you will!

  19. @sanctum

    No Democracy can tolerate a leader who is with questionable morals & with connections to organised crime? At issue is the morals of a person who aspires to be the head of state. What more pressing questions can there be but the morals of a man who wants to be the head of state? In this light it becomes the most pressing problem to find out if any aspiring head of state is linked, sponsored or a party to organised crime. Organised crimes life line is sex, drugs and booze. 

    Perhaps now you see the relevance of Tsk Tsk's questions  given below for yr ease....
    { "What I still fail to understand is why Nasheed did not give in to the protesters demands then? 
    What connection does he have to the cheap brothels operating in Male? 
    Were they set up with his tacit approval? 
    These are important questions we need answered."}

    Dr Hassan Saeed along with Mr Gassim & Sheik Iliyas would go down in the History of Maldives as the "TROIKA" that brought utter ruin & destruction in the form of corruption in high office, violence, arson, thuggery and murder in the streets of Maldives by Endorsing and selling a member of a clan that has a history of violence etched deep in the ethos of that clan. -xPresident.

    Being an intellectual with a deep understanding of sacred texts he perhaps by his profuse writings is attempting to put right what he so short-sightedly did wrong in 2008. I'm one who was hood-winked in 2008 and so voted the greatest threat to Maldivian independence and it's way of life. I would like to thank Dr Hassan Saeed for his attempt to put the record straight by highlighting what a danger XPresident Nasheed represents to Maldives, it's beliefs and it's culture.

    I sincerely hope that by this labour of love for his nation; Dr Saeed's writings would help more people like me, who thanks much to his pen have realised what a fraud XP is. Judging from the concerted vitriolic comments here and in Social media networks targeting Dr Saeed, I can see that Dr. Saeed's writings has hit the target - BULLSEYE! The present confused article is proof that Dr Saeed's set objectives has been reached.

    The undeniable message out from Dr Hassan Saeed is that HE IS DR JEKYLL FOR THE GOOD AND THAT HE IS MR HYDE FOR THE EVIL. I do hope this clears some confusion in the mind of eloquent Yameen Rasheed.

    Well Done Dr! thank you and may Allah Bless You & Your loved Ones.:-)

  20. @T Unfortunately that does not explain Hassan Saeed's double speak on India, Islam, etc at all. A hypocrite or split personality??

  21. @Shanaa on Thu, 15th Nov 2012 11:56 AM.

    Be it any Hassan Saeed, he cannot be described better then you have said. Very true. He is a like the wind vane!

    Dr. Hassan Saeed, is a confused and confusing character needing psychiatric treatment!

  22. @ Dr. Hassan Saeed
    I am with you 200%!!!
    kind regards and many thanks for all the good you are doing to the Maldives

  23. Whatever the case, Dr Hassan played an instrumental role in bringing democracy to the Maldives. He played within Gayyoom government, resigned from Gayyoom government and finally changed Gayyoom government with Anni and Gasim. Later on, Anni acted the same way Gayyoom did. What would one expect in a country like this? We have great parliamentarians like Ali Waheed, Alhan and Histo. They do not even want public to know how they vote. Hassan Saeed tried his best to elect educated parliamentarians but he was only able to get 2 seats.

  24. I support most of the things done by Hassan Saeed except signing a coalitioin agreement with DRP headed by someone who does not repay loans.

  25. “one cannot legally defend the unlawful detention of any citizen”

    This is why Anni is the worst person after Gayyoom.

  26. the Article..development of psycho-technology is important for Dr. Hassan?Saeed?..!!


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