The bill addresses people with disability as "people with special needs", ignores the obligations of the state under the UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities signed by the Maldives in 2008, and essentially tries to wash its hand off PWDs with a monthly handout.
Maldives Dissent has learned that Husnu Sood paid students at the law school do draft the bill, an indication of the importance he gives to legislature of this nature. Sood's failure to background research the subject of disability, read international conventions signed by the Maldives, and consult stake-holders has resulted in wasting valuable time and resources and embarrassing the government.
MPs are no better. By passing the bill they've shown their own ignorance on the subject and their laziness to research the issue before going to parliament. And, as it has now emerged, their failure to listen to the concerns of people involved in disability prior to the voting, seriously raises questions about whether they are acting in the best interests of the people.
Vilufushi MP Riyaz Rasheed, who proposed the handout, displayed astonishing arrogance when he told TVM that the bill would remain unchanged and that the civil society couldn't do anything about it.
But it is heartening that Anni has chosen to listen to the civil society in this instance.
He must now have a chat with Husnu Sood to ensure that nonsense like this doesn't come out of his office again.