Change or mend?The important question “where are reforms?” (8) [Archives:2004/762/Opinion]

August 9 2004

By Prof. Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Tareb
For the Yemen Times

Since May 2004, the ambitions of citizens for reform and change have increased regarding the implementation of programs to achieve a higher growth rate, to decrease prices and inflation, and to create more job opportunities.
Will the political leadership allow the government to continue its two-year term, or is it determined to make changes in the light of the recommendations from the Tunisia Summit, and the outcome of the G-8 Summit?
The monitoring reports confirm deficiency, corruption, financial and administrative violations, the failure to implement projects, and setbacks aimed at curtailing the price hike on commodities and consumer goods, before even effecting the latest publicized pledge to increase wages.
Where is the change and what is the strategy on wages, which is considered an essential element of reform?
In the midst of that, there are calls for a new government to take up the social and political agenda and preparations for the next elections, while there is still sufficient time.
We need to crystallize the economic and political reform plan. And we need to activate the role of political parties and civic society organizations, to crystallize this notion, so that the change of the government would be a transition in accordance with what was agreed. The government would then form mechanisms and plans for the social, political, cultural and economic aspects. The four plans can then be combined to constitute a comprehensive reform program. The government would then be able to ensure the implementation of the reform program and at the same time begin preparations for the next fair, honest and just elections.
The people's approval of the President's speech concerning reforms and fighting corruption is by itself a referenda. The general public, burnt out with high prices, frustration and disturbed by what has happened of security incidents that hamper investment, is now waiting for something that is not an illusion to justify their hope. The general public hopes for the birth of a government that is capable of drawing the right paths for its long awaited future.
Will the state and its various corporations respond and react to the cries and demands of the general public? Or will it ignore their chanting and wait for the imposition of reform from the outside?
As I am writing, I wish from the bottom of my heart that the President would soon declare an integrated program to be implemented before the end of the current year. So that the year 2005 would, from the beginning, be the year of administrative reform and the year of fighting corruption and corrupts at all levels. I hope that next year will be a continuous workshop on translating and implementing reform programs and assessing their progress on a regular basis.
If I could humbly conclude this article by presenting the following foci that I hope would receive the attention and interest of the concerned authorities so that they may consider integrating them into the recommendations and proposed working agenda, to be presented to H.E the President of the Republic:
1- believing in the scientific methodology in life:
to have strong faith in knowledge and scientific research and that any construction not established or based on them would inevitably collapse, similarly to the collapsing of buildings that are not constructed on a professionally-engineered design structure.
2- believing in democracy, dominance of law and order, human rights, the peaceful transition of power and the governance according to the will of the people and by the people, not rulers.
3- to seriously commence translating words into deeds once and for all. Enough has been said of glorified slogans. Let's all truly begin and let bygones be bygones.
These are the three must-adopt foci, if we wish to be seen on the world's map. Yemen has the resource of manpower, which is willing to extend an assisting hand to a political administration that is not reluctant to accept change and reform.