Mahlouf resubmits resolution cutting Rf20K committee allowance, after MDP forces Mariya to withdraw it

MDP MP and Party Chairperson Maryia Ahmed Didi today withdrew a resolution to cut the controversial Rf20,000 (US$1550) committee allowance from the MP Privileges Bill.

Mariya told Minivan News today that she withdrew the resolution following a vote by the MDP Parliamentary Group.

“I was not at that meeting,” she said, “but I bowed to the party’s rules and took it out. However I told parliament that I did not want the Rf20,000 committee allowance myself and urged group members not to take the committee allowance. That got a good reaction from quite a few MPs.”

Mariya acknowledged that there was strong public sentiment against MPs receiving the committee allowance, including among the party’s own member base, which on top of their Rf 62,500 (US$4860) salaries would place Maldivian MP income on par with that of Sweden.

“The Rf 20,000 committee allowance was in the small print of a report from the monetary committee on the salary of all institutions,” Mariya noted.

Leader of MDP Parliamentary Group ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik was not responding to calls at time of press.

Following Mariya’s withdrawal of the resolution opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Ahmed Mahlouf resubmitted it.

“I was the first one to raise it before Mariya, but the Speaker [DRP MP] Abdulla Shahid went with Mariya’s changes, perhaps because of the factional fight [the opposition] is having. When Mariya withdrew it today I resubmitted it.”

Mahlouf’s submission means the resolution will go to committee stage which will debate the matter before submitting it to the floor for a vote.

Increasing MP salaries by Rf 20,000 would be a huge blow to parliament’s credibility, Mahlouf said, “as the public do not believe we are working to their expectations.”

He said he believed Mariya had been pressured by the MDP Parliamentary Group to withdraw the resolution.

“I decided this by myself. Nobody pressures me any more because I don’t follow DRP Leader Ahmed Thasmeen in parliament,” said Mahlouf, who has sided with the party’s dismissed Deputy Leader Umar Naseer and its Honorary Leader, former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, against Thasmeen’s faction.

The core issue regarding the salary increase, he explained, was the number of people petitioning MPs for money and assistance. This, he said, was the reason he had initially voted in favour in favour of the increase.

It was, he said, “very normal” for him to give away US$2000 (Rf 25,700) of his salary every month, “not only to constituents, but people from other parts of the country. People who are very poor come forward and ask me to please help them, and get very mad at me if I don’t.”

“At first I voted in favour [of the increase] because so many people were coming to me for help. This was something that was done for a long time back, and people now expect aid from parliamentarians. I was not a rich person before I was elected and I can’t give all my salary away, so that was the main reason I voted [in favour]. But maybe the next time somebody asks I can [justify] myself. When the general public are asking us not to do this, we should stop doing it.”


10 thoughts on “Mahlouf resubmits resolution cutting Rf20K committee allowance, after MDP forces Mariya to withdraw it”

  1. dont try to play smart. we still remember that you want to abuse girl children. so 1st withdraw that before you want any mercy.

  2. Mariya was pressured is nonsense. She tried to curb opposition to the bill just like President Nasheed did by granting pay rises to civil servants when they came out demonstrating against the bill.

    Thanks Mahloof. Hope your resolution will also block any duty free cars and hopefully reduce salaries as well.

  3. Nasheed, Yaamin and Nazim come regularly to me needing cash. Can you raise my salary a bit more than the rest of the members?

  4. Patronage needs to stop, rather than people beg for money a proper social services system needs to be setup where the poorest of the poor could turn to.

    These people are not gods this is not 'beyfhulu zamaan' anymore. They should also atop addressing each other 'izzatheri'- until they earn our respect.

  5. does anyone else notice that mdp parliamentary group leader never seem to be able to answer phone calls...? and he was backed by our "champion" of democracy for leader a second time. i never thought in my life i would see a hero rise up with so much struggle see him fall so fast like this...

    "'What if i'm not the Hero?, What if i'm the Bad Guy"

  6. Whenever you present a news related to the current activities in the parliament, or government or any other commission you would always say leader of MDP or DRP was not responding to calls at time of press. I think it is high time the press hold a rally to express their sentiments regarding MP's, commissioners and government officials not responding to press. I think its a right for the public to know accurate and fair information. Also the the press could become more credible.

  7. Mahloof says that he is giving away about 2000 US dollars a month (roughly 41) to constituents.

    So lets say this is the average amount every MP gives out in charity and do the Math

    2,000 x 77 = 154,000 US / 1,978,900 MVR @12.85/1$

    Add in the proposed 20,000 MVR / MP
    20,000 x 77 = 1,540,000
    =1,540,000 + 1,978,900
    = 3,518,900 MVR a month

    Add in the duty the government will collect for 2 cars @ 200% MSRP
    lets assume that the MP will be modest in their purchase of cars and would buy some thing like a honda city with MSRP of roughly 13,500 US$ / 173,475 MVR

    =173,475x2 (200% duty)
    =(346,950x2)x77 (2 cars per MP)

    Now if i am not wrong they are allowed to bring in two cars per term so lets spread that value over 5 years
    =53,430,300 / 5
    =10,686,060 per year or
    =10,686,060 / 12
    =890,505 per month

    if we add in the figures from the salary
    allowance and collection from importing of cars we get

    =3,518,900 + 890,505
    =4,409,405 MVR a month or
    =56,660,854.25 MVR a year

    Most charity run with a operational overhead of 10% so
    =56,660,854.25 * 0.1
    =56,660,854.25 - 5,666,085.425
    =50,994,768.825 is still available

    So why not set up a charity fund with the monies as above that can be transparently administered where 41% of MP salary plus what ever that is in this privileges bill be deposited into. after all this way the great unwashed masses will stop bothering the MP

    But it will never happen. The parliament consist of crooks, lairs, embezzler, rapists, gangsters, Idiots, Morons and greedy whores who are wealthier than 99.9% of the constituents they represent who used their ill gotten gains (which no secret) to bribe and buy their way into the halls of power and get their grubby hands on countries coffers.

    The so called charity these MP give out is no charity. It is in effect vote buying nothing else.

    This submitting and withdrawal of resolutions is just a shame. Nothing more

  8. Good Job Mahloof. Although I am a member of MDP I shall vote for Mahloof, come the next parliament elections. MDP parliamentary group is no better than DRP or PA.

  9. thank you Nash Rafeeq for that insightful comment. I was wondering the same thing :S y cant they divert that additional 20,000 for charity instead and also what has not one but 2 duty free cars got anything to do with charity ??? is one car not enuf also i still say if they need official cars have a fleet of 75 cars registered to Majlis under the Majlis budget and use it !!! just like evry other gov issued car

  10. Good job Mahloof. Thats what we are expecting from MPs. Other MPs should see Mahloof as an example


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