Despite crossing over to pro-government Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) last night, Fuvahmulah-mid constituency MP Shifag 'Histo' Mufeed has stressed that he was not persuaded by the influence of wealth and does not "worship money".
In his brief speech after signing for PPM during a special rally held in Fuvahmulah last night, Shifag referring to the people of Fuvahmulah said “even in that color I was serving the people” and “I would continue to serve the people even with the change in color.”
He noted that given the present political strife in the country, anyone could crossover for any desired amount, but stressed that he had not sought such riches from PPM.
“I’m not a person that worships money. I feel disappointed and embarrassed that such people exist in our party. However, I want to assure you all that no matter what color I am in today, I would continue to serve the people to the best of my ability. But I need the support and encouragement of all the people. In addition I need the backing of all the MPs of the other political parties and independent MPs of my constituency,” Shifag detailed.
Shifag who had won the seat in Parliament on a opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) ticket admitted to heavily criticizing former President and interim President of PPM Maumoon Abdul Gayoom earlier.
“I was born during the presidency of Maumoon. As I came off age and became aware of the situation around me, all my friends were singing a different tune. Hence I also came to believe what they said as I was very young and politically naïve,” Shifag said during the rally in the presence of Gayoom himself.
“I heavily criticized Maumoon at the time. But I had nothing to compare it with as I had not seen any other tenure. Our history had not been written down very clearly.”
During his speech, Shifag had also criticized former President Mohamed Nasheed and MDP.
To that end, Shifag claimed that Nasheed’s government had lost power when the political associates of the former President had “angered the people.”
“Their blow intended for the people had been unfortunately delivered to Nasheed,” he said. “They, the members of my party began to say that this was our rule, we can do anything we wish, we provide employment for people in our favor and anyone who was not of our party would be denied every opportunity available in this country,” pointing the reasons behind the fall of Nasheed’s government Shifag said.
He further claimed that such actions of MDP resulted in disappointing the people and hence they set their minds to bring about a change and an end to such views.
Shifag also said that he had not only criticized Nasheed when his presidency ended but had publicly voiced his concern when he had realized that the health care system in the country was being decimated.
To that end, he claimed to have called for the resignation of Dr Aminath Jameel who was the then Health Minister.
Furthermore, MDP had come to power with the aim of erasing corruption and disharmony from the nation, but had voiced concerns when the actions of the party had been to the contrary, Shifag claimed.
With his crossover to PPM, he has become the first elected MP on a MDP ticket to change affiliations.