Independent MP Ibrahim Muthalib has forwarded a no-confidence motion against Education Minister Dr Musthafa Luthfy to parliament.
MP Muthalib presented a petition to forward the motion against Education minister, which was signed by five independent MPs, three Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MPs and two People’s Alliance (PA) MPs.
On May 19, MP Muthalib announced he would file a no-confidence motion against Education Minister Dr Musthafa Luthfy over the ministry steering committee’s recommendation to make Islam and Dhivehi optional subjects for grades 11 and 12.
A crowd of people who did not claim to be representing any political party or NGO conducted a series of protests over the decision outside Education Minister Luthfy’s house.
Luthfy told Minivan News that he had not officially received the news yet.
”I also heard that a such motion was presented to parliament, but the parliament has not affirmed it,” said Luthfy.
”I heard that there were three issues highlighted in the petition, ” he explained.
”The first issue they claimed was that Kulliathul Dhuraasathul Islaamiyya school was dissolved, which is literally not true,” Luthfy said. ”The school was not dissolved, rather we planned to place it under the Maldives College of Higher Education when it becomes a university.”
Luthfy said the second issue was a claim that it was his fault that Arabiyya School’s walls fell down.
”The third point was because the Education Ministry has decided to make Dhivehi and Islam optional at A-Level,” he said, ”but this was just a suggestion made by the ministry’s steering committee.”
Muthalib recently said that if the education system implemented the steering committee’s recommendation, students would be moved away from religion and their mother tongue.
”I cannot support such a curriculum that discourages the use of our own culture and language,” he said.
The government meanwhile launched a spirited defense of the Education Minister.
“This is a part of DRP’s plan to pick off ministers one-by-one,” he said. “First they plan to try and bring down the education minister, and if that succeeds they will then go after other ministers. This no-confidence motion is a shallow attempt to destabilise the government and the country,” said the President’s Press Secretary, Mohamed Zuhair.
“The DRP is claiming the government is trying to ‘undermine Islam,’ because an Education Ministry has floated the idea of making the study of Dhivehi and Islam, along with all other subjects, optional for school grades 11 and 12,” he said.
“DRP, led by its dubiously elected leader Thasmeen Ali, has demonstrated time and again that they will do and say anything to try and damage the government”, Zuhair said.
“There are some good, intelligent and responsible people in the DRP. Sadly, under the current leadership, these people have been marginalized and the hot heads have taken over the party.
“The DRP have no policies; they have no vision; they have no substance. It seems their sole guiding principle is to oppose anything and everything that the government is trying to achieve.”
He further accused the concerned parliamentarians “of using Islam as a political tool.”
”I think despite being an Independent MP Muthalib acts in the parliament with the spirit of an opposition MP,” he added.