Shaheem: Hajj trips can be priced at MVR 30,000 if Hajj Corp. is developed

Former Islamic Minister, Dr Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed, speaking at the PPM campaign rally held in Fuvahmulah City on August 26, 2023. (Photo/PPM)

Former Islamic Minister, Dr Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed, states Hajj trips for local pilgrims can be priced at MVR 30,000 if Maldives Hajj Corporation is developed. 

This year, Islamic Ministry set a maximum of MVR 76,000 per person for Hajj trips. Some groups, however, at the last minute, charged their customers between MVR 100,000 to MVR 150,000. 

Speaking at a campaign rally of opposition PPM-PNC coalition's presidential candidate Dr. Mohamed Muizzu held in Fuvahmulah City last night, Shaheem briefed on some of the policies utilized in former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom’s regime to develop the Hajj Corporation. He noted that if these policies had been implemented as planned, a hotel, for Maldivian pilgrims, who have been developed in Mecca. 

“If the Hajj Corporation is properly developed, it will be the way for Maldivians to be able to go for Hajj for MVR 30,000,” Shaheem said.

If a Zakat House is established and part of the Zakat received is invested in the house under the supervision of the state, more than the MVR 3000 is presently awarded to the poor annually, can be awarded to them. 

“Poor people without a house will have a house. They will not have to opt for loans,” Shaheem said.

Speaking further, Shaheem explained the real reason for his absence in the political arena, noting some people raised questions as to whether he has made a deal after time away from politics. 

On this note, he detailed he had spent all his time caring for his father who was hospitalized after suffering a stroke. He said he has returned to the political arena, to partake in Muizzu's presidential campaign, at the request of his father after handing over the caretaking responsibilities to his sibling.

Opposition Coalition's presidential candidate, Dr Mohamed Muizzu with his wife at the campaign rally held in Fuvahmulah City on August 26, 2023. (Photo/PPM)

“How can I stay at home? I cannot stay at home because of what Dr. Mohamed Muizzu is announcing in different islands,” Shaheem said.

Highlighting some of the pledges in Muizzu's manifesto, Shaheem said facilitating free Hajj trips to 1,000 low-income individuals, developing the country and creating opportunities for youths are feats no other candidate can achieve. 

Noting the need to develop institutions related to Islamic religion in Maldives to conform with times, Shaheem said that this can only be achieved by establishing an academic leadership capable of doing so.

He said he is supporting Muizzu and joining the opposition coalition's presidential election campaign because he knows Muizzu very well. Shaheem also added that Muizzu was more education compared to other candidates. 

He detailed Muizzu has a PhD from abroad and has been endorsed by former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom so there is no reason to speculate further.

Praising Muizzu, Shaheem said that he does not doubt Muizzu’s capability and that the only way to free former President Yameen is to ensure that Muizzu is victorious in the upcoming presidential elections.

“This will be the last chance for the people of Maldives to restore the national sovereignty of Maldives,” Shaheem said.