A society without rules is a society on its way to havoc. It would be a society striving to exist, only to fail time and again. To overcome such adversaries, the Maldivian government decided to implement its first constitution back in 1932 – being the first country in the region to do so. When the Maldives embraced its first constitution on December 22, 1932, Maldives was under a monarchy, fighting for its independence from the colonial powers of the world. The transition from a constitutional monarchy to a parliamentary system was not easy, but was made possible due to the capable Maldivian youth of the time. One of whom went on to serve the nation within the parliament for as long as 43 years of his lifetime. The youth in question was the Late Honorable Uz. Abdulla Hameed.
Being elected to the parliament as the member for Kaafu Atoll at the age of just 22 years, Hameed went on to represent the constituency for two more terms. Apart from Kaafu atoll, Hameed also represented Baa and Faafu atolls in the parliament respectively – the latter of which he represented for two terms.
Hameed remains ingrained in the books of history as the only parliamentarian who served the longest in the position of the Speaker of the Parliament, during the 83 year long history of the parliamentary system of the country. He was elected as the Speaker of the Parliament for three terms, however he did not complete his last term. Yet, he served in as the Speaker for 13 years – a feat which is yet to be topped.
He also served as the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament for two terms, as well as the President’s Member for two terms. In addition to that, he served as the Speaker of the Parliament during the National Assembly – all the while being a member of the assembly as well.
Hameed’s parliamentary services are bound to go onto the history books, for numerous reasons. He played an essential role during the transitional phase from the “blue” constitution to the “green” constitution. He was also the Speaker of the Parliament during the Coup D’etat’ in 1988, which took the small island nation by surprise.
During the National Assembly which commenced on July 19, 2004, Hameed also made a national and perhaps a world record. The assembly included 3 of his family members; his son and Raa atoll MP, Shaheen Hameed, his daughter and Presidential MP Dr. Fathin Hameed and his son and Cabinet Minister in the Parliament, Hamdhoon Hameed. With him, the assembly included four members from the same family thus making it a national record.
Witnessing a parliamentarian as good as Abdulla Hameed may not be in our luck, but drawing inspiration from his work is definitely possible. Hameed is, without a doubt one, of the greatest sons our nation ever witnessed.