The ruling party’s parliamentary group leader purchased an MVR4.7 million (US$305,000) luxury apartment in Hulhumalé for his 18-year-old son, it was revealed Thursday after the civil court scheduled a hearing to conclude the sale.
Responding to criticism and corruption allegations from the opposition, MP Ahmed Nihan told newspaper Mihaaru that he paid for the Platinum Residence flat with “halal funds” saved from MVR8.5 million earned as income over the past nine years as a lawmaker.
The majority leader said he also took two bank loans worth MVR5.2 million and urged critics to lodge complaints if they suspected wrongdoing.
In February, the anti-graft watchdog was asked to probe the purchase of two Rehendhi apartment flats for MVR9 million by MP Abdul Raheem Abdulla, the ruling party’s deputy leader.
Lawmakers earn a monthly salary of MVR79,000.
Several senior government officials purchased Platinum Residence flats last year, including Legal Affairs Minister Azima Shukoor and India ambassador Ahmed Mohamed as well as an environment ministry coordinator, a state minister and the wife of Economic Development Minister Mohamed Saeed.
In October, NGO Transparency Maldives relaunched a campaign urging the public to pressure lawmakers to disclose their personal finances.
Only six out of 85 MPs publicly declared their assets after submitting financial statements to the parliament secretariat, which refuses to make them public.