Parliament has a year to prove itself ahead of elections

Posted on

Following the customary lengthy summer break, many of us were interested to closely follow this week’s parliamentary session; expecting MPs to come back with fresh energy and with a pile of pressing issues to get stuck into.

Instead we were treated to a session with few matters deserving of mention and circular discussion of issues which didn’t seem to go anywhere. For example, a number of MPs such as cleric Majid al-Majid took the time to praise the Government for rejecting a proposal which had been written discussed and agreed on by MPs during the previous year which sought to ban strike action by workers at the aluminium company Alba.

Time was also spent discussing proposals concerning the lack of car parking spaces in Manama, the increasing cost of beach chalets. Deputies also lamented the fact that the Government had repeatedly vetoed most of the private bills which Parliament had submitted, proposing additional spending on youth clubs, community centres and other suggestions. There was also a bizarre discussion led by MP Abdulhamid al-Najjar about what brands of cleaning products were used in mosques and why those leading the call to prayer should play a role in cleaning their own mosque. 

A rather more relevant discussion was had about wrongfully-dismissed employees. MP Jalal al-Kadhim raised the issue of 40 employees who had reportedly been dismissed by a company which had already been failing to pay them for four months. A Ministry of Labour official expressed sympathy but said that this was an issue for the courts. He disputed claims by MPs that poor enforcement of such phenomena was leading to an epidemic of wrongful dismissal incidents.

...
Hits: 470
Continue reading

“Ignorance is the enemy of peace. It is, therefore, our duty to learn, to share, and to live together, by the tenets of faith in the spirit of mutual respect and love.” - His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. 

The article appearing in the Washington Times, written by the King of Bahrain, sets out a fresh and new vision which we are not accustomed to hearing in today’s Middle East. 

From the outset, the King of Bahrain states: “Our noble ancestors began this Bahraini tradition of churches, synagogues and temples being built next to our mosques, so there is no ignorance about others’ religious rites or practices. We all live together in peaceful coexistence in the spirit of mutual respect and love, and we believe it is our duty to share this with the world. We believe ‘ignorance is the enemy of peace,’ and that true faith illuminates our path to peace.”

The King stressed the importance of the recent “Kingdom of Bahrain Declaration”. This Declaration is a remarkable document, affirming the importance of a tolerant, diverse and multicultural society. This vision was drafted in consultation with Jewish and Christian scholars, along with Shia and Sunni clerics. 

...
Hits: 357
Continue reading

The 2014 Bahraini Parliament resumed on 8 October, for its final year of service prior to the 2018 elections. Here’s a snapshot of views expressed by Bahrainis about what they expect during the last round of this existing Parliament:

“The economy - and only the economy”

“Bahrain is lucky to have one of the most progressive parliamentary systems in the region. But Bahrainis now have to see why this matters. Deputies will get more support from the public when it becomes obvious what deputies do for them… Bahrainis spend a lot of time moaning about their deputies, which is perhaps fair, but it’s also rather unfair because they moan and moan without bothering to find out what is happening;” said Mona, aged 33 from Riffa.

“Every year, life seems to get more and more difficult. Prices are getting higher and wages stay the same, and more young people don’t have jobs – even some of the best graduates. It’s not like ten or 20 years ago. Deputies should deal with one issue and one issue only – the economy and only the economy;” said Ali, aged 23, from Manama.

...
Hits: 381
Continue reading

Analysis: Why Bahrain is best for expats

Posted on

In a recent survey held by Expat Insider, Bahrain was ranked as best country in the world for expats to live in. Bahrain is known to be a country which caters to different segments of society, including expats who find it very comfortable to live here. Below is an analysis of why Bahrainis think expats prefer Bahrain to other countries.

“Levels of freedom”

“Many expats consider Bahrain as their home. The expat community in Bahrain lived alongside Bahrainis even at the times of political unrest. They even feel safer today as they were protected on this land even during the peak of security threats;” said Maryam, aged 28, from Isa Town.

“The levels of freedom enjoyed are key to the success of Bahrain in attracting expats. It is easy to create a safe and welcoming environment for people of different communities;” said Sarah, aged 28, from Muharraq.

...
Hits: 419
Continue reading