MPs baulk at publicly declaring assets

Parliament yesterday reached an impasse on making MPs’ annual financial statements public after voting against a proposal put forward by the Ethics Committee.

According to Article 76 of the constitution, “Every member shall annually submit to the Secretary General of the People’s Majlis a statement of all property and monies owned by him, business interests and liabilities. Such declarations shall include the details of any other employment and obligations of such employment.”

Tasked by Secretary General Ahmed Mohamed in November 2010 to determine whether MPs’ financial statements should be released to other state institutions upon request, a majority of the 11-member Ethics Committee decided that the information should not be made available unless ordered by a court of law.

In a frenzied debate after the committee presented its report to the floor, MPs were however divided over the need for a public declaration of assets.

While several MPs argued that such sensitive information about MPs’ personal lives should not be made public at a time when “defamation and slander about MPs” were widespread in the media, others contended that the constitutional provision did not give MPs a choice in the matter.

“Some MPs have said the constitution does not say anything about making [the statements] public. The constitution doesn’t say that it should be released only if ordered by a court either, but that’s what we’re trying to do, and it is not acceptable,” argued MP Mohamed Thoriq of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), adding that the information should be published on the Majlis website and accessible to all citizens.

Hamdhoon Abdulla Hameed of the opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) urged MPs to consider that “if this information is not revealed or made public at all, the pointed fingers will be pointing towards all of us.”

Backing the committee recommendation, Minority Leader “Reeko” Moosa Manik said that while he agreed with the constitutional principle of publicly declaring assets and wealth, it was not advisable in “today’s political atmosphere.”

The MDP parliamentary group leader remains embroiled in an acrimonious feud with private broadcaster DhiTV, owned by business magnate “Champa” Mohamed Moosa.

Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) MP Riyaz Rasheed concurred with Moosa, claiming that parliament should be concerned about concerted efforts by some media outlets to “disgrace and humilate MPs.”

“This is not being done by DhiTV’s owner or its management, we know that now” he said. “But previously we believed that it was planned and carried out by the management there. But that is not the case.”

Echoing a claim made by several MPs in past weeks, Riyaz alleged that unsuccessful candidates for parliament and their family members or associates were behind hostile media coverage of parliament.

“In truth, when the financial status of MPs is made known, some MPs will be worried and others will embarrassed,” said minority opposition People’s Alliance (PA) MP Abdul Azeez Jamal Abubakur.

“That is, those who have a lot of money might be very worried and those who do not will be embarrassed. Therefore, at a time when our status is being revealed in the media, I don’t accept at all that these facts should be available to just anyone.”

Independent MP Mohamed Nasheed meanwhile argued that MPs should not shirk from their constitutional responsibilities by blaming the media. “We will answer in the media to the things said in the media,” he said.


At the end of the debate, the committee’s recommendation that financial statements should be released only if ordered by a court of law was put to a vote.

While the committee’s proposal was defeated 34 to 25, a motion proposed by Independent MP Ahmed Amir stating that financial statements should not be made public unless it was required for an investigation by a state institution did not pass either.

The MP for Kudahuvadhoo’s motion received 20 votes in favour and 38 votes against.

Since neither proposal was accepted, Deputy Speaker Ahmed Nazim declared the matter “void”.

“However, the Secretary General’s request for counsel on this matter has not been decided one way or the other,” he said. “So the Secretary General will go ahead with it according to the rules of procedure.”


11 thoughts on “MPs baulk at publicly declaring assets”

  1. Those who accuse others of corruption and shout out to make their private finances public now defend their right to keep their amassed wealth secret from the public, while the wealth is a diorect result of the elected office they hold. Freaks

  2. Damn hypocrites! Speak of the United States when they talk about their salary and perks but when it comes to accountability worse than countries like Afghanistan! :p Heard that Obama publicly declared his income this week.

  3. Scrap these so called MPS. What a waste of time and money for these clowns? Some idiots flattered calling them MPS? Do we really need these bunches of scavengers? We only need a legislative committee from lawyers association to review and propose bills. In a country people don’t know how and why they elect MPS; it is unnecessary to waste money and time to elect these clowns.

  4. bloody crooks! what have they to hide if they were innocent?

    Hey all Public servants in high office are required to be transparent in every democracy. If Government Ministers are required to submit their financial statements to the Auditor General Annual and are required to refrain from being involved in business activities, what right do there "peoples' representatives" to exempt themselves from financial disclosure?

    When the Constitution was drafted, these MPs exempted themselves from being barred from active business activities and now as if that itself was not enough, are now hell bent to defy the Constitution and refusing to disclose their financial statements!!

    They can choose. Either be in Public service and be subject to transparency of income and debts or continue their shady lives away from the eyes of the public. You can;t have it both ways.

    Many Members of the current Majlis will go down in history as one of the most corrupt to have served in the Majlis.

    The Public should demand that this Majlis is dissolved and a new Majlis elected.

  5. Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) MP Riyaz Rasheed concurred with Moosa, claiming that parliament should be concerned about concerted efforts by some media outlets to “disgrace and humilate MPs.”

    Well, you lot are a total disgrace by your own making! This must be the only time that Riyaz Rasheed and Reeko Moosa agreed on anything! When it comes to self interest, we can have total confidence in our MPs. Nice work guys.

    I think there should be a public referendum on this issue. MPs cannot be allowed to make rules that directly conflict with their own interests.

  6. The enemy is on your doorsteps. As steward you are charged with the defense of this city. THe ANni clan & its various affiliates will baulk at the thought of knowing we finally know them for who they are.. Very much human and easily given to greed. and corruption. THe worst of the worst brush shoulders with us, we our self citizens must n o w take charge of these dogs.

  7. every single one is corrupted. MPs to ministers and judicial. the only thing best for this country is to be wiped out of the world history.

  8. Very few of these MPs are without self interest. These dealers are scared to reveal their unlawful acquired money. We are taking note of these actions and will give votes based on it.


Comments are closed.