Servants of the Nation: They want privileges
I just wonder why and when everything started to go so wrong. In such a magical country one may dream to live and prosper. Sadly, drugs, abuse, rape, killing and corruption is running high. The nation is small vulnerable and at the risk to be wiped out from the map totally with global warming. The takers take whatever they can in their turn from the country and from the silenced population. The people selected them with trust and in hope to build the nation but they demand privileges.
The members of parliament do not need cars to get around in the small island Male'. Yet, a car, they want with a chauffeur to take them around in an already congested, tiny island, Male', the capital of Maldives. They are only interest in the short term advantages rather than a long term benefits for the citizens. Their vested interests are leading to more corruption and discrimination. They serve by creating division among families and seeding animosity among friends. The division they exercise through power divide the nation and inhibit development of human resource.
They cunningly use the weak to obtain their wants before they even think to serve the country. They want much return before they serve the country when the people selected them with hope and in good faith. For, example, a state car must be given for Supreme Court Judges with a car allowance Rf 6500.00, a drivers salary Rf1800.00. They request another Rf 1,000.00 for the petrol money plus Rf2,808.00 as annual fee, repair and maintenance money with car insurance money plus monthly running cost. They want a car to show that they are above other citizens of the country they serve. A symbol of status!
MP's want to make sure they are provided forever. They want the privileged to receive 30% of a salary as pension if one completes a single term (5 years), 45% of a salary if one complete (10years) and 60% of a salary if one complete 3 terms (15 years). The current salary is just Rf42,500.00 per month. Based on this salary 30% would get Rf12,700.00, 45% would get Rf19,125.00 and 60% would get Rf25,500.00 The young members could retire at 30 and receive a pension of 12700.00 per month for serving 5 years as a MP. This is just unfair in the larger picture of the Maldivian population who serve in the public sector. There is so much discrepancy and corruption that the leaders of Maldives need to address the public systems in the light of providing better services to the Maldivian citizens.
Be warned. One will get a fine of between Rf1000.00-Rf50,000.00 or may get a prison sentence for 6 months to 2 years for criticising or violating any of the privileges listed for the MP's. Only few individuals raise these issues. Others make fun of the dire situation that leads to no substantial benefit to the country.
The people are scattered among the islands. Most of the islands have less then 600 people with few islands with a population more than 3000 people. Most of the population are literate is what the leaders say but unfortunately not educated enough to think for themselves and raise their voice. They create loyalty without question with small favours done for influential people in the islands. They develop a cult in the name of democracy.
Yes, the powerful elites is ruling the population of 350000 thousand people. One third of the population are kids and youth. Some of them addicted to drugs and lost in the dark to distinguish between right and wrong. Youth are bored. Getting a job is proving hard with employees hired from overseas. Youth believe they have to get a white colour job to have dignity. The education system has been geared for unemployment for too long. They live off from parents who are hard working silent survivors. Others belong to gangs and they are manipulated and used by the corrupt elites.
Peace and harmony will be possible if people unite and think deep, reflect without prejudice and take action without vested interest. Maldives, need brave, honest and leaders with compassion. It holds abundance of natural beauty and we need to match it with peace and harmony.
This article is part of a writing assignment for Voices of Our Future, which is providing rigorous web 2.0 and new media training for 30 emerging women leaders. We are speaking out for social change from some of the most unheard regions of the world.