Parliament accepts bill potentially banning pork and alcohol from resorts

Parliament has narrowly voted to accept a bill that would potentially ban pork and alcohol completely from the Maldives, requiring resorts to cease serving haram (prohibited) products to foreign tourists.

The proposed amendment to the Contraband Act was initially submitted by Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Nazim Rashad, who after the vote praised MPs’ “willingness to serve Islam”.

When presenting the bill, Nazim argued that the import of these products violated article 10(b) of the constitution which states that “no law contrary to any tenet of Islam shall be enacted in the Maldives.”

“We often hear rumours that people have alcohol at home in their fridge, available any time. We’ve heard that kids take alcohol to school to drink during their break. The issue is more serious than we think, it should not be ignored,” Nazim told the media, presenting the bill last week.

The vote was level with 24 MPs voting to accept the bill, and 24 to reject it, while 11 MPs abstained. Speaker Abdulla Shahid cast the deciding vote, in favour of accepting the bill.

The bill will now be sent to Parliament’s National Security Committee, which will assess it and potentially forward the proposal to parliament for a final vote on the matter.

Regulation permitting the sale of pork and alcohol in tourism establishments was passed by the Ministry of Economic Development in 1975. Parliament did not reject the regulation on the sale of pork and alcohol in 2009 following the introduction of the new constitution, thus allowing it to stand by default.

However the 2008 constitution explicitly states that no regulations against a tenet of Islam may be passed in the Maldives, in apparent contradiction of those laws allowing the import and sale of haram commodities.

After being asked in January for a consultative opinion over whether the Maldives could import pork and alcohol without violating the nation’s Shariah-based constitution, the Supreme Court unanimously rejected the case on the grounds that the matter did not need to be addressed at the Supreme Court level.

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Mariya Ahmed Didi this week told Minivan News that the issue of alcohol needed to be “clarified” and “addressed”.

“If this is a religious issue, that is if Islam bans sale of alcohol, it should not be sold in the Maldives as we are a 100 percent Islamic nation. If the sale is allowed, then the question to ask is whether alcohol is needed for the tourist trade to flourish,” she said.

She added that if alcohol proved to be a vital element in the tourism sector, then the sale of alcohol should be allowed for “registered places” to which a permit is given to accommodate tourists including resorts, safari boats and guest houses.

“If the objection to the sale of alcohol is on [religious] grounds, it should not be sold in places where Maldivians reside. But Maldivians do reside on resorts as employees. If we deny Maldivians the employment opportunities in the resorts, then the income from resorts will be restricted to those who own resorts, that would give way to increase in expatriate workers and foreign currency drainage,” she explained.

Jumhoree Party (JP) MP Abdulla Abdul Raheem – who voted in favour of accepting the bill – was reported by Sun as stating that as alcohol was banned under Islam, it was illegal in the Maldives to create laws and regulations concerning it.

The JP is headed by local resort tycoon, Gasim Ibrahim, who owns the Villa Hotels chain. According to customs records for 2011, those properties – including the Royal, Paradise, Sun, and Holiday Island resorts, in 2011 imported approximately 121,234.51 litres of beer, 2048 litres of whiskey, 3684 litres of vodka and 219.96 kilograms of pork sausages.

Gasim abstained on the vote, as did fellow resort owners Abdulla Jabir and Ahmed Hamza. Resort owner ‘Sun’ Shiyam voted in favour of accepting the bill.

Dhivehi Rayithunge Party (DRP) Leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali voted against accepting the bill, as did Independent MP Mohamed Nasheed and Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) Parliamentary Group Leader, Abdulla Yameen.


54 thoughts on “Parliament accepts bill potentially banning pork and alcohol from resorts”

  1. its impossible to ban pork and liquor in the Maldives; no way. Gasim and Champa and all tyrannic resort owners will jump at this and bribe Adhaalath.

  2. this is Bill was never meant to pass by the Mjalis and it is done because Anni want to show his power in Parliament and want to show adaalth that they are trying to bring true Islam to the country and win the hearts and minds of those guys.

    I suggest Anni followers to drag the country into 15th Centuary and then make Maldives as your slave trading property.

    Its not Gasim and Champa and other business people who are getting benefit and the benefit goes to all Maldivian with then taxes that these guys are paying.

    From where the hell government is earning money and 80% of the earnings are from tourism taxes . These tax payers money are using to pay the salary of civil servant and national development .

    Every politician use these business people as a tool to fool the public

  3. Insane!!! one step closer to destroy the already fragile tourism industry.. Who would want to travel to a already overpriced holiday destination if there is not even alcohol available.. You guys should also put a bill banning Spa's, bikinis, music and disco's on Resorts as they are haram too!
    Also don't forget to throw out GMR to make sure that no foreign investor will ever invest any money in Maldives again..

  4. If this ninsense stays alive for even a couple more days, I'm cancelling my annual Maldives trip in February and rebooking for the Seychelles. Aren't there any grown ups in charge down there?

  5. There is something very sinister going on here.

    For sure, this bill was never meant to be passed. So, this is just to drag their feet over something else.

    What is in the agenda that is so damaging to the tycoons, that they are willing to halt the country?

  6. liquor and pork to all or none... permits to all or none.. why should we just wait see the Oligarch's get fatter and fatter.. after all, most of the resorts owned by tycoons near Male or around the airport were given away by President Nasir to his family members... and then later Gayoom did the same ... they don't; deserve these properties for life. they should compete..

  7. Lets also out a ban on tourists as they are kaafaru and they do kaafaru things. Banning alcohol and piggy meat and not banning all the meat laying on the beaches? Lets also make sure we put a mullah in each resort to see all kaafaru stays away. We can give these mullahs a virgin to keep compan. Oh that's another story for another time

  8. Maldivians will continue to go to Sri Lanka to drink as much as they like without hiding or showing their passport...Who wants to ruin this beautiful country by using religion as an excuse to ban alcohol for expats and tourists?
    Tourists will think twice before spending their holidays in Maldives!!!
    Good expat workers who enjoy a drink the weekend at HIH or other resorts near Male will leave over the years.
    We will find ourselves with empty resorts and a lazy workforce!!!

  9. May be you better start banning all kafir from entering the country.

    To live the real life of the prophets times a bann on all TV-installations, electricity, mobile phones, motor cars etc must follow urgently and close the airport.

    Just make up your minds fast, so I can cancel my next years holiday in time.

  10. Why are the Maldives so intent on killing the only industry they have?. I (12 times visitor) shall certainly be cancelling my holiday if either alcohol or pork are banned in resort hotels.These products are available in hotels all over the world including 100% Muslim countries

  11. Only the Hijab should be worn by women when in the Maldives. Men should be asked to grow their beards. Resorts should build walls segregating men and women. All staff and guests should be forced to pray 5 times a day. During Ramazan the tourists should also be forced to stay hungry during the day and should be provided with three small dates at sunset. All rooms should be checked regularly checked by mullah force for immoral activities. Unmarried couples should not be allowed to spend time together in the Maldives. Any tourist found dressed indecently should be flogged in public. No one should be granted an entry visa until they accepted Allah as God and Mohammed as his messenger.

  12. Where Islam creeps, human becomes living dead Zombies. Good luck with Republics of Corals. Life is already worthless in this infinite nothingness and now falling to black whole. The only purpose for these earthlings to crawl on the face of earth is death, emptiness, darkness, lifelessness. They want life, sex, entertainment, wines, and delicious foods in death: The followers of Cult of death. You can’t expect anything from such dangerously infected people anything better.

  13. I believe this is a brillant political move that will remove the funding from the resort owners enabling them to bribe government policy in their favour. It is also a final stand off to once and for all put religion at the centre of politics or remove it altogether. It's time to make your minds up folks,Islamic country or secular because you can't pick and choose selected parts of the Quran for the benefit of the wealthy amongst your population.

  14. Lies!! a fake bill that will never pass.. just to waste time in Parliament.. but what a weird headline for a worthless news..

  15. Hilarious mess stirred by the Embrace Islam on day last December. The coup regime do not like being treated in the same way they treated the MDP when they were in power. Brilliant move MDP and just deserved.

  16. ahahhaaahhhaaaaaa! Ibra, the fool has gone rabid. Probably describing his own sh*life because this is what actually alcohol does to ones life when you get addicted.

    The bill itself is showing the dark and infested sides of these people. One day without alcohol and god knows what kind of pathetic lives they will lead.

    The MPs has done something worthwhile this time, at least!

  17. This is proof that in opposition, political parties in this country will go to any lengths to put the ruling party(ies) in a difficult position.

    This Bill serves two purposes.

    It creates bad press for the Maldives (score one for MDP).

    It potentially places pressure on resort owners to release their monopoly over the sale of alcohol for businesses who want to expand the alcohol trade to mid-market establishments such as guesthouses. On a side note liveaboards are already permitted to sell alcohol.

    I personally do not support Mariya's proposition. The cultural and geographic setup of the country does not allow for the model of tourism practiced elsewhere. We have developed a specific brand of tourism that creates isolated secluded spots for luxury tourists. Perhaps we can enforce a restricted trade of alcohol at say for example, Traders Hotel. However, how long before those who drink at the establishment come into contact with or clash with the local population?

    A tolerant multicultural society is a necessary precondition for the mid-market strategy to work. That society does not exist at the moment. The groundwork must be laid first.

  18. Thank you for that wonderful insight, Democratic Friend. These noobs just simply does not get it!

  19. This was not a sincere effort to ban alcohol or pork or anything. this is all dirty politics. MDP wants to show that the countrymen are bad and unrealistic people. so they pushed this bill through majlis. The foreigners will not understand this. for them it will be exactly as in the heading of this article. it will be read and understood in the west as "Maldives bans alcohol ..." etc.

    The solution to this problem is not regulation, but rather de-regulation. Guests shall be allowed to bring alcohol as much as they want, which will cut deeply in to the fat margins the resorts currently charge to guests. [currently they sell a redlabel bottle as much as 120$ per bottle which is 1000% of its real value. ] By doing this the government would have nothing to do with the sin of sale of liquor because they are not selling or dealing with it.

  20. So this is the MDP's last option to hit the nearest thing thay have to a nuclear bomb big red button. A master stroke as it cuts of the revenue stream from big business in the country. Everything goes back to 1972 and we start again. Maybe?
    When we start again we do not allow the business men to run the country as their own personal cash cow. If they have a declared business interest then they cannot vote on those issues. If they do not have a declared interest and are proven to have one, then they are banned from politics for 5 years.
    Will it work? I very much doubt it as it will take years to recover from the negative global press that this issue and the whole GMR fiasco it creating.
    Tourism is the life blood of our country unless we really do want to go backwards to a more "simple" life.

  21. Gasim, Yamin and Thasmeen not supporting a ban on alcohol? What were they on about on the 23rd of December 2011?

  22. ironically, 2 MP's have been arrested by the Police for having an alcohol-party.


  23. Since Maldives is 100 percent Muslim....this Pork Bill will enable the country to adopt a 100 percent Muslim tourist ....way to Go!!

  24. @tsk tsk.. this model you are talking about was created by the rich for the rich.. so that ordinary Maldivians without links to rulers and with financial backing from large clans can get into the tourism business. either way, the number of Maldivians working in resorts are often much more than what we call 'inhabited' islands, sometimes numbering only in 200 persons.. whereas a resort like Paradise or Kurumba can have close to 200 Maldivians working there throughout the year.. they visit families only for their annual leave of 20 days.. so what is a definition of an inhabited island to begin with?

    by refusing to allow mid market or budget guesthouses to stock and serve alcohol, we are only supporting the divide of the country; that of the rich resort owners and the poor Maldivian who have to slave to them ..

  25. squandering public funds, supressing public freedom, misusing the power and LYING is also baned (prohibited) in Islam. clearly stated in Quran, but thats exactly,it seems the only thing, what these politicians can do.
    am i the only one who sees things baned in Islam other than pork & Alcohol?

  26. LOL this is gonna be awesome

    economic collapse & the rise of gangs
    oh what fun time we have ahead

  27. @earthling, pork and alcohol are in fashion right now, along with beards and short pants. Smoking is all the rage though 😉

  28. Tell me, tsk tsk. How does it feel to step on the explosive mine that your paymasters have dug in?

    Does the traumatic amputation of your legs hurt? Sing your screams of agony to me.

    This is only the beginning of decisive punishment for your kind's unprovoked attack on the people of Maldives. Tell your paymasters that their regime of decadence is coming to an end.

  29. "The only purpose for these earthlings to crawl on the face of earth is death, emptiness, darkness, lifelessness. They want life, sex, entertainment, wines, and delicious foods in death"

    Well said Ibra and I agree. A large percentage of muslims around the world, especially in the Maldives, live in poverty. Most of them live a hard life so they ease the pain by deluding themselves into thinking there's something better after they die. The reality though however, is if these people don't try to get the best out of life and hope they get it all after they die, then they would never have it.

  30. Remember what prohibition brought to America>>gangsters[Al Capone etc]and more 'unlicensed' alcohol than when it was legal..No alcohol and the Maldives tourist industry will die within months--a total your government..

  31. I disagree that this is a smart move.

    Clearly MDP is trying a divide and rule tactic here. But don't be naive. When it comes to big money players, even Adaalath will look at the other side.

    This bill could even back fire on MDPs face

  32. Get real people, there are many tourists living across Europe who read this website who will think twice about booking holidays in the Maldives if alcohol was banned. The Maldivian economy would die in months what will you do then?

  33. MDP is once again playing a dangerous game like they were before the coup. Trying to act all intelligent but this will backfire on them like it did the last time. They've been far too idiotic with their decision making and far too willing to plunge the entire country into chaos to achieve what they want. The results speak for themselves.

  34. No tourist goes to the Maldives because of booze and pork. But as a tourist I don't like to be patronized by a country that earns a lot of money with me spending two holidays per year there.

    So when you start to give me the impression of not being welcome in your beautiful country I'll have to go to Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Seychelles or La Reunion.

    For me it's just a thing of some seconds to book in an other country. For you it's the beginning of the end to loose loyal and frequent guests.

    It's a shame. Especially when taking into consideration that dozens of muslim tourist destinations in the world sell alcohol to tourists (Egypt, Algeria, Tunesia, Marocco, Indonesia, Malaysia and on and on ...)

  35. Very irresponsible of MDP to jeorpardise the country's only industry. Mi hurihaa party siyaasee aalaathun vegen mi gaumu indha jassaalaane verikamaigen stunt jassamun.....

  36. The Maldives is ungovernable under the current constitution. Secular reforms is the only way forward.

  37. The popularity of MDP with young locals is because they would like to feel free and see alcohol introduced even in Male'.
    MDP is playing a dangerous game and if Gasim & other resort owners come up and defend alcohol in the resorts MDP will lose a lot of support!!!

  38. Tourist on Thu, 15th Nov 2012 8:15 PM
    May be you better start banning all kafir from entering the country.
    To live the real life of the prophets times a bann on all TV-installations, electricity, mobile phones, motor cars etc must follow urgently and close the airport.
    Just make up your minds fast, so I can cancel my next years holiday in time. Let the entertainment begin !

  39. ah yes! banning pork and alcohol from resorts will make the maldivians better muslims! what a great idea! all the adultery and drugs will be forgiven as long as tourists cannot drink! and i thought suicide wasn't allowed in islam either..although that's what it looks like they are doing to the country now.

  40. MPs who spoke in favor of the ban on alcohol (Apart from Muthalib) were just farting loud. Just smelly gas, that's all.

    This bill itself was just a fart. The " gas" will disappear inside the Majlis Chamber and will not go further than that. Everyone knows. It will never become law.

    Unfortunately, foreign media and outsiders who observe the Maldives wouldn't know that this was merely an attempt by MDP to show themselves as "Islamists" to the public.

  41. This is great news for Indian Tourism!!
    All western tourists reading this should seriously consider INDIA and put GOA and KERALA on their itinerary.
    We have yummy locally made ham, bacon and sausages which you can enjoy at breakfast.
    We have an endless variety of locally made beers, wines, spirits and liqueurs which you can enjoy in your room or by the poolside.
    Ladies can wear a skimpy bikini on the beach if they so wish.
    Men can wear a skimpy mankini on the beach if they so wish.
    We have churches, temples, gurudwaras, mosques and synagogues for you to visit.
    In fact we have none of the silly religious restrictions that are become common in the Maldives.
    As a special bonus......our resort workers are cute and sexy.........especially our boys.


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