Category Archives: Civil Service
Civil Service Commission & Literacy
The Road to Anarchy: Part One
The CSC on 23 July instructed the President’s Office to take appropriate action against Mundhu for violating the civil service law by being a delegate in the DRP’s India visit, reported Minivan News in its article “MDP, DRP Seek Indian Support“.
The Civil Service Act is one of several legislation introduced by the Maldivian Parliament to clip the wings of the President of Maldives and to make sure that he cannot be a dictator to his own people. They had only one very noble intention, if we cannot get rid of Maumoon, we will deprive him of his ability to perform. For the Maldivian Parliament (and all the other key players in the political front) the person of Maumoon became synonymous with the Head of State and the Government of Maldives. They had to make sure that he would be so fed up with heading a government that virtually ran through smaller independent agencies which had no control from the President elected by the people to head the government. They were effective in doing this through legislation and the new constitution that the Special Majlis adopted when tasked with revising it to enable a liberal democratic Islamic state of Maldives.
Our politicians lost sight of the big picture and the future of this nation. They displayed typical Maldivian heritage of our passion for living for the day and leaving our tomorrow in the Hands of Almighty. The irresponsibility and lack of character in the upcoming new constitution and the fast-track (baseless and senselss) legislation recently introduced by Parliament has left the country in a state of absolute confusion created by “first-class, five-star” legislation for a third-world people.
The Civili Service Commission set up by the President as required by law, gave hope for a professional body that would regulate and oversee the Maldivian Civil Service. Since their inception they seem to replicate the part of the ex-Monster they represent (the Public Service Division); only far worse. They seem to want to involve themselves directly in minute day to day matters of administration, when that is actually not their business.
The CSC seem to have lost the capacity to differentiate between the Commission and the Civil Service. The instruction given to the Permanent Secretary of the President’s Office by the CSC clearly shows this.
Ofcourse, the situation arose in the first place because of the creation of an Almighty Commission by Parliament. The CSC seem to have put themselves above the law by going against the law that created the Commission, in their appointment of Permanent Secretaries; and no one even dared raise the issue or take them to task. I know you will challenge me on this, because I am not literate in law. But I believe I can read Thaana fluently and understand it as well. The law requires in very clear language that the appointment of staff to the Civil Service should be first on academic merit. The CSC seems to think that it is not practical and therefore decided to overlook Article 5 (e) on page 3.
The Civil Service Law says that it should serve the people, when in actual effect it should serve the government. The CSC should be accountable to the government and not the other way around. They should enable the government to serve the people through the creation of a professional Civil Service for the Government of Maldives. The CSC ensures a professional civil service; it is not the institution that runs the government.
Just like the two recent first-class five-star budgets of the government, the first-class five-star institutions created by short-sighted legislation is edging us closer to Absolute Anarchy! Atleast, that is what came to my mind as I read the Minivan News article by Emily.
Police Training: Need for a value based culture!
Minivan News reports:
Photographs of what appears to be the humiliation of a police officer have emerged from the mobile phone of a fellow officer.One photograph, obtained by Minivan News, depicts a young man tied to a chair in bright sunlight as what appears to be a food substance has been thrown over him. A second shows him covered with a garland of tin cans. Read the full report here
The incidents showing a culture of premeditated abuse which can infact amount to toture, within the rank and file of the Police Training School in Addu is quite alarming indeed. The evidence is quite revealing and leaves little room for contradictions by the authorities. I am not quite sure whether the matter will fall within the mandate of the hibernating Police Integrity Commission.
If such cases of gross abuse and misconduct can pass the watchful eyes of the senior officers responsible to upkeep law and order throughout the nation, the effectiveness of their watch on the vast terrain of the nation is open for speculation.
It is important that all responsible state institutions including the Parliament, the Home Minister, the Police Commissioner and other agencies of the state should act immediately to root out this culture of violence, intimidation and torture. However, little can be expected where incidents are used for the purpose of attacking individuals to gain political leverage rather than attending to issues in the best interest of the nation.
The root cause is a loss of basic human values, in my opinion. The unique Maldivian culture of sadism and humiliation for entertainment is the devil. What has been reported is not prevalent in the Police Academy, but in the Maldivian everyday life – including picnics and in tea boutiques! The magnitude and the culture differs from place to place.
I pray that we will be a civilized society that is respectful of the individual, one day soon!
Comments on the Teachers' Strike!
I just couldn’t help but wonder the goodness in the majority of us, reading the following 2 comments to Nasheed’s blogpost on the Teachers’ Strike.
The expression of the respect for teachers is so awesome! I can now understand the sentiments of the 12 year old child from Iskandhar and where it came from: from the heart! The child knows the love the teachers have for them even when they are going for a strike. I too thought for a minute that this strike would set a bad example for the children. Now, I understand that it did not and it will not! Children know their teachers better! Teachers love their students in more meaningful ways than we can understand! Wow!
Why has the President maitained a Silence over Teachers' Pay
Usually our President or any President of a People for that matter speaks to express himself/herself in times of national jubilation and also in times of crisis. The media (including the state media) has reported the ongoing industrial action and please by the teachers for a revision to their salaries, to be an occassion of the highest national importance. However, the President who spoke to the nation live on TVM last night, at the inauguration of DhiTV, refrained from even hinting on the issue. His official website has no mention of it.
Only one question went through my mind as I watched a part of the live coverage: Why does the President continue to be silent on the plea by teachers?
Parliament concerned that Teachers will Strike
Haveeru has reported that the Maldives Parliament consisting mainly of business tycoons, resort owners, land lords and the highest paid government staff, who add a contribution of an alleged 100,000.00 Rufiyaa a month to their wealth from parliament which is more like a part-time job for them in actual practise; have called upon the poverty stricken teachers not to participate in the strike called for July 1st by the Association for Teachers’ Link. The call came during the deliberations of a motion that was put in parliament today byHonorable MP for Dhaalu Atoll “ADK” Nashid who is also the chief promoter of the Jumhooree Party to be formed soon.
The teachers are to go on strike on the first of July to express their discontent at the “lethargy” of the Ministry of Education who have sat on a proposed revision to the salary structure of teaching professionals for a decade now. The Ministry of Education started work on the said revision after the 1996 April restructuring of government salaries which saw the beginning of the decline of teaching as a noble profession.
A motion discussed in parliament has no meaning in effect, and has the whistleblower effect at the maximum: it is lip service at the most.
Teachers to go on Strike
Hundreds of teachers in Male’ have decided to go on strike on the 1st of July, demanding the Government to increase their wages to meet the rising cost of living due to inflation, according to Haveeru Online today. Read the full article here.
The aim of the strike is to protest government negligence over salaries, to bring public attention to their cause, and to lobby for a salary and benefits that can provide teachers with an “honourable living”. However depending on the education ministry’s actions in the next few days, the strike could be called off, said Minivan News. Read the full article on Minivan News here.
When the state attorneys went on strike, the Attorney General met with them and went on public record in support of the state attorneys and their cause. She said that the voices of the state attorneys need to be heard and appropriate measures introduced to compensate for their workload and working conditions.
In contrast, the Minister of Education went on record condemning a possible strike by teachers, which is customary of the recent trends in the Ministry of Education, ever since a salary overhaul of the government staff which saw the declining of salaries of teachers since the mid 90s. The Civil Sevice Commission headed by the former Minister of Education and with former Deputy Minister of Education and other former senior officials of the Ministry of Education, which is charged with executing government policy went on the offensive against teachers. They implied that action can be taken against teachers who stepped out of line.
However, now the CSC has toned town its rhetoric and says that it gets its policy direction from the President through his cabinet ministers and is responsible for the execution of government policy. Its spokesman is reported to have said that the Ministry of Education is responsible for dealing with the strike.
The leaders of the newly formed Association for Teachers’ Link will definitely face the heat when things settle down, but the effectiveness of a possible strike is yet to be seen. The Parliamnent is also believed to have pulled ranks behind the government in a bid to disallow a possible salary rise for teachers, sighting fiscal issues. There is rumors that they will form a “Pay Commission” which legal observers say is not a mandate of the Parliamnet, as it would be an executive function of the government.
It would be interesting to see how this one is dealt with by the government and parliament. Any punitive action that is taken collectively against the teachers by the government or parliament is definitely going to have repercussions in the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections. Teachers can very well control about a quarter of the total vote in all constituencies outside Male’. They may not have the right to take part in political activism, but they definitely will exercise their right to be heard.
Sexual Child Abuse…
… is a Maldivian pastime.
Read more here
The Race for the Highest Remuneration Package!
The race to pay the highest remuneration package for state employees and commercial sector employees of the state owned firms has hit new records today. The President has introduced a new remuneration package to the atoll chiefs (his appointees in the atolls) to over 420,000 Maldivian Rufiyaa a year. In turn, the honorable Members of Parliament have passed a motion to pay themselves a remuneration package of over half a million Rufiyaa a year plus travel and medical benefits anywhere in the region for themselves and members of their families. The parliament has also proposed amendments to the salary of the Auditor General to be 1.2million Rufiyaa a year.
All this is in the backdrop of the recent race to have government agencies outside the civil service to accord the highest remuneration packages to their staff. The civil service is following suit and the Civil Service Commission has announced that it will be going into negotiations with the Minister of Finance for a pay rise.
The majority of MPs are big businessmen themselves and therefore cannot affort to live on the meagre remuneration they currently get. The top civil service officers themselves have their own second jobs as advisors or consultants or for freelance, which they execute mostly using state resources and neglecting their duties. In the absence of statistics that show the national averages for remuneration in various sectors, the civil service, the government and other state agencies are ripping off the public. The beauty for them is that they don’t have to earn a cent of what they demand and pay upon themselves.
All this in the backdrop of an upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections may teach a lesson to our politicians and bureaucrats! But then it will be too late.
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The Prosecutor General and the new Democratic Parliament
Miadhu News Online has reported that the first ever Prosecutor General has been appointed by the President on Thursday with the approval of parliament. Miadhu repots:
During the Majlis debate on Muizzu’s nomination many members said he is eminently qualified for the post in view of his very illustrious record of service professionalism and integrity. They expressed confidence in Muizzu and said they hope Muizzu’s appointment would greatly serve the purpose and objectives of an independent Prosecutor General. But one member expressed concern about his relationship with the President. Read more here
I was at home Thursday night and happened to watch the recorded session of parliament that day on TVM. What I saw was pathetic. Members of a certain faction in parliament went about recklessly to condemn and degrade Muizzu. They went as far as dragging his father unwarrantly into the debate on the Prosecutor General’s remuneration!
The debate was shameful as it was an unfounded attack on the character of one of the few decent people in this country and that by people whose dingnity and integrity is questionable. The bottomline I could derive was that the purpose of our new constitution and the spirit of the liberal democracy which we so cherished has been defeated in its tracks.
Posted by Smile Shihab on September 6, 2008 in Civil Service, Comments and Opionion, Majlis