Former opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Ali Waheed, who recently joined the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), has just won a beachfront house for Rf4.6 million (US$300,000), bidding Rf3020 per square foot.
Local newspaper Haveeru reported that Ali Waheed’s wife had also won a house from the 36 beachfront residential plots on Hulhumale, bidding Rf 3020 per square foot, for Rf 4,749,651 (US$310,000). Waheed and his wife were the third highest bidders for the property, under the Hulhulmale Development Corporation (HDC)’s housing programme.
Waheed’s former opposition colleague, MP Ahmed Nihan, questioned Waheed’s ability to afford such a property on his MP’s wage. Waheed, he alleged, “was quite a poor boy when we first met him as a DRP MP – that’s why we spoke with a friend and arranged him a house for rent that did not require an advance paid upfront,” said Nihan. “There was no way that Waheed could afford to buy a house in Hulhumale’ for Rf4.6 Million unless there was a hand of corruption in it.”
Nihan claimed that Waheed “earns a little more than Rf 60,000 (US$4000) a month like other MPs, pays Rf 25,000 (US$1600) in monthly rent for the apartment he currently lives in, and has to spend the rest on living expenses and helping constituents and travelling to islands to attend meetings and stuff – where did he get the Rf 4.6 million?” Nihan questioned.
Waheed, who was dropped to parliament every session by a fellow MP, “now owns a Mazda 3 with a driver”, Nihan added, further claiming that the MP had paid an advance for his apartment in US dollars.
“Since he joined MDP he always seems very happy and contented. He now has a Mazda 3, has paid the advance payment of his rented house in US Dollars – the payment we delayed for him because he wasn’t wealthy and the landlord was a DRP supporter.”
If Waheed got all the money genuinely by being a MP, “Why does no other MP get to buy a beachfront house in Hulhumale’ for Rf4.6 Million? I cannot afford that,” Nihan claimed.
“MDP MPs are not only fortunate enough to win houses, they also have been winning reefs, uninhabited islands and resorts as well,” he claimed.
Waheed was not responding to calls at time of press.
Aside from Ali Waheed, President Mohamed Nasheed’s brother Dr Ibrahim Nashid and two children of Human Rights Ambassador Mohamed ‘Go Go’ Latheef also won bids for houses in Hulhumale’.