Silver LiningActions ot talks [Archives:2005/866/Opinion]

August 8 2005

By Mohammed Hatem al-Qadhi
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I read a funny news story in al-Thawara last Friday. It was about some directives given by President Ali Abdullah Saleh to the government to start implementing an austerity policy. This is fine so far and this is what we all are looking for. But, the news report also said that the directives included also stop of acts of theft of public and private properties including pieces of land belonging to endowment by some high ranking officials and other influential guys. It also said that these people should not drive fashionable cars so as not to hurt the feelings of the ordinary citizens. It also pointed out that the medical aid given to big officials to go abroad should be stopped and that they have to support their claim for such an aid with “real” medical certificates not fake ones which they easily get from some doctors.

The content of such directives is a real condemnation to the political regime and a concrete evidence on its leniency with corruption. How come that they know that some big guys take by force the properties of the state and the people while they are silent and mute. They also know that there is corruption in the medical aid given to the officials and just close their eyes. I know that the big guys and tribal leaders do not have to go around to get any money from the public treasury.

But, talking about these practices in such a way means that they are not serious about it and just to strike the ego of and fool the ordinary citizens.

I believe there is no need for the president and the government to publish a news report in al-Thawara that some officials should avoid driving fashionable cars just to show respect to the poor who are not able even to make ends meet. Mr. President, I think to keep the hearts of the poor unbroken is to hold corrupt thieves and crooks accountable, not requesting them even through the media to avoid driving their lavish cars and hold extravagant ceremonies, spending millions on them.

What about the military cars that are of different colors and hues?. The first model of any car produce goes immediately to the security and military personnel. I believe the government spends through its nose on buying cars for these institutions. It is these people who drive in a crazy way, passing over all traffic rules and regulations without any care to the people in the streets who feel disgusted whenever they see a military or security car, symbol of snobbery and heedlessness. Most of the time, drivers of such cars are kids. What about the military guys who strip ordinary people their pieces of land and sometimes they rob their lives too when necessary.

The poor are fed up and do not need directives that never see the light of day. They just need turning such directives or orders into practice and a legal system with real functioning and power. These people need to receive full care and attention from the political regime and authorities all the time, not just at critical moments like those we are going through after the decision to rise fuel price. They want laws and orders that are enforced and concretized.