Concerned citizens protest 1800 percent increase in MP salaries since 2004

A group of concerned citizens, many of them also members of local non-government and civil society organisations, protested outside parliament today against the recently proposed increase in parliamentary committee members’ allowances, and lump sum back payments of Rf 140,000 (US$9100).

Leaflets scattered across parliament grounds highlighted that MPs were earning Rf 82,500 (US$5350) a month in 2011 compared to Rf 4500 (US$290) in 2004, an effective 18-fold increase.

“Parliament members already have a salary of Rf62,000, and to give them more money in this way is not necessary,” said NGO Transparency Maldives Project Coordinator, Aiman Rasheed. “We feel that giving this allowance for a whole year, and during months when Parliament isn’t even in session, is unacceptable.”

Police had blocked roads close to parliament this morning, and were waiting when protesters appeared at 1:15 pm. Approximately 25 citizens attended the protest, and were quickly penned into a side street away from the building.

Protesters waved poster boards and passed a megaphone for rally calls. However MPs avoided the protest by leaving the building through the back door.

Rasheed said Transparency had been told that if 39 of the 77 MPs refused  the allowance, the Public Accounts Committee, which proposed the raise, would submit a motion to reconsider the proposal.

“Most of the people we’ve spoken to have said they would not accept the motion,” said Rasheed.

Local NGOs and CSOs protested the raise near the tsunami memorial last Saturday, August 27. Assembling at 4:30 pm, representatives distributed fliers showing the steep rise in MP allowance rates.

“MPs do not need to be paid more money to do committee work!” read the flyer. “It is the duty of MPs. It is one of the most important responsibilities that has to be carried out by MPs.”

Saturday’s protest made use of Male’s nightly motorcycle circuit of the city to reach a large percentage of the population.

Today’s significantly smaller turnout may be a side effect of the end of Ramadan and the start of Eid, which begins tomorrow August 30. Reports say that many boats have already left Male for other islands.

The deadline for voting on the proposed allowance is 6 September. As of today, 17 MPs have said they would not accept it.

They include: Mohamed Gasam, Ibrahim Rasheed, Hamid Abdul Gafoor, Mariya Ahmed Didi, Mohamed Nazim, Illyas Labeeb, Mohamed Aslam, Ahmed Sameer, ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik, Hussein Waheed, Alhan Fahmy, ‘Colonel’ Mohamed Nasheed and Eva Abdulla of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) along with Speaker Abdulla Shahid and Independent MP Mohamed ‘Kutti’ Nasheed.


4 thoughts on “Concerned citizens protest 1800 percent increase in MP salaries since 2004”

  1. It's no wonder that most MPs were against personal taxation, since they'd be first in line to be the target of personal taxation with most of them earning more than MRf 85,0000 per month!

    This is a ridiculous situation that has got to stop. As the protestors are saying, it's completely wrong and unconstitutional for them to pay themselves more money just to do part of their job!

    There is no other person in this country that can award themselves more money, for turning up to work. This latest trick by MPs is illegal on this basis alone, i.e. they are profiting from illegally using their Parliamentary privilege as law makers.

    I hope this is challenged in front of the Courts for a start. If this is unchallenged, the sky is the limit as far as the greedy pigs in Parliament are concerned. As the former Attorney General said, these are real blood suckers of the people.

  2. It is such a pity that only 25 people turned up. The whole of Maldives should turn up for this daylight robbery by the members.
    These people do not represent the citizens anymore but are blood sucking vampires that need to dealt with immediately.

  3. @manik: i agree.
    where is unity among the maldivians?? where are the people when they are needed?? When the football team returns after a match, tens of thousands of people are found on the road waiting to greet them and cheer for them. while it is definitely important to show solidarity with our national team, it is become not just vital, but a necessity to show the same solidarity towards these ruthless and shameless MPs. where are all the people who filled the streets in 2008 demanding Maumoon's resignation?? more than half of Male and an equal amount of people from islands thronged the capital, with their desperate need to free themselves from the clutches of the dictator. it's time that the people of maldives realize desperately that the same solidarity is required in freeing the nation of these MPs. where are the educated youth of the nation?? is this the time to be laid back? it's in our hands and we need to raise hue and cry and force the uppermost authority to listen to our combined voices. I respect the present president, and i call upon him to respect us and to act upon the many injustices that the citizens of your country are going through.


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