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Honeymoon's over as voters call on MPs 'get serious'

10710 Views 37 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  B-Patriot

WHEN Bahrain's voters went to the polls three years ago, they expected their future MPs to voice their concerns at the highest level.

But some Bahrainis feel that their elected representatives have let them down and hope that next year's polls will bring major changes.

Jawad Business Group chairman Faisal Jawad feels that the fledgling democracy has a long way to go before it meets the standard set by Lebanon.

Inexperience and inappropriate priorities are distracting parliamentarians from the key issues facing Bahrain, he remarked.

A key problem is that MPs here and in other GCC states don't really understand their roles, says Mr Jawad.

"I believe that the idea never sank in the heads of many MPs, be they in Bahrain, the GCC or even Egypt," he said.

"Proper education is a very important element.

"This is why we see our MPs in disarray over little things and unable to control themselves when it comes to listening to each other.

"Education will teach a person to listen, think and then react, not think about what to say while the others are talking. No brain can think and listen at the same time."

The MPs found getting into parliament all too easy and voters did not demand that they had the appropriate qualifications or qualities to carry out the role, he says.

"Our MPs may be forgiven in that they had an easy access to Parliament during the elections," continued Mr Jawad.

"I say this because only just over half the population voted. This allowed individuals who knew nothing of democratic process and with no significant education into the doors of Parliament."

The result is that Bahrain is paying a high financial price for democracy, with very little to show for it, he said.

"Personally, I don't think very much of our MPs," said Mr Jawad.

"Bahrain is worse off now. The country is supporting two chambers, each with 40 members and 40 salaries, BMWs and other privileges and they have not benefited Bahrain at all."

MPs need to get their priorities straight.

"We now have more holidays, which is not good for business and veiled women driving," he said.

"We will soon have religious police’ questioning citizens. All this is thanks to our MPs.

"Every time someone is questioned by the police and security, MPs make a fuss.

"Our roads are not safe anymore because the police are probably scared that some cousin of an MP might be in that car!

"They are in fact a menace to society. If they cannot get what they want inside the Parliament or from the government, they go to the King. This is not good for the parliament and not good for the government."

The wages paid to MPs could be better spent and raising everyone's standard of living should be at the top of their agenda, says Mr Jawad.

This means paying more attention to the infrastructure and facilities available for all the public to enjoy, from street lighting and roads to parks.

"Our MPs have not shown us so far that they are worthy of the salary they receive," he remarked.

"Anyone who is good for the public must not take money from the public.

"The money MPs receive could have gone to public use.

"They may have stopped the poor from paying certain taxes and have asked for money to be given to the poor during Eid, but I think that is all the MPs have done so far.

"But what makes the poor better than the average citizen?

"As citizens in one country, we must enjoy the same standards."

Mr Jawad suggested that in future representation should be made more proportionate.

Constituencies are currently based on area, rather than population density.

"We have a situation whereby we have one MP representing 500 citizens and another MP representing 20,000 citizens," he observed.

"Something is wrong here, as these two MPs have equal voting rights inside parliament."

Mr Jawad admits that he didn't vote in the first election, but he will certainly be casting his ballot in the next one.

"I was not very happy about who represented my constituency and about the allocation and divisions of the constituencies," he said.

"I was wrong. So I will definitely vote next time.

"Bahrain is at a crossroads today and MPs and citizens must have one thing in mind and that is to put our country's achievements to work, convince the government to put the right minister in the right ministry and be accountable to the people of Bahrain."

Gulf Saatchi & Saatchi chairman and managing director Khamis Al Muqla feels that the MPs have been a disappointment for voters.

"Most MPs are not fulfilling their election manifesto promises," he said.

"They are good for the public provided they represent their interests and protect their legitimate rights.

"They should really avoid wasting time on trivial issues and concentrate on core areas of unemployment, housing, education, healthcare and issues of importance to the general public.

"When it comes to our economy, the MPs should contribute towards revitalising the economic sector by creating an environment that would encourage both local and foreign investment."

Housewife and mother-of-three boys Mahrokh Shafiee believes that Bahrain's MPs have done nothing for the public.

"I have to say that there are some good MPs, but most of them are not qualified," she said.

"An MP has to have a solid background in many things related to the country's needs and most importantly the citizens' needs.

"They have to understand that they are expected to fight for the citizens' rights and improve the country's economy, to help it stand on its feet.

"This is what we need.

"Once the economy is improved, the citizens will have more job opportunities, a better standard of living and better wages."

Mrs Shafiee had high hopes when she went to the polls, but those hopes have been dashed. She even has doubts about taking part in next year's election.

"When I elected my MP, I thought he was the right person to fight for my rights because he had a big programme that listed most of our needs," she said.

"But now, when I watch their meetings, I get so disappointed that I feel sorry for wasting my time voting.

'What do they do in their meetings? They fight with each other and tease each other like children.

"They start with one subject, fight with each other and stop in the middle of nowhere.

"A very simple issue of a bonus for the people has taken so long that the citizens don't believe they will get it unless a miracle happens.

"The only thing they came out with is allowing the ladies to drive with their faces covered. I won't waste my time and vote for anyone in the next election, unless I see a well-qualified candidate amongst them."

Fellow housewife Sameera Ali said Bahrain's MPs were a disgrace.

"Honestly speaking I am not interested in what the MPs are doing or what they will be doing," she declared.

"I think they have deceived and misled the people. They have fooled everyone."

Ms Ali's main complaint is that MPs seem unable to address the real issues concerning their constituents.

"People here in Bahrain need serious topics to be discussed - topics about the daily problems that the majority of us are facing," she said.

"We should not give the MPs a second chance. They have failed to fulfil the needs of the people."

Maskati Group deputy chairman and Shura Council member Khalid Al Maskati said MPs were delaying proposals forwarded by the council.

"The council has forwarded more than 50 proposals to the parliament which have not been discussed yet by the members," he said.

"These delays have a bad effect on the interests of the public."

The MPs may even have threatened the future of Bahrain's economy, said Mr Al Maskati.

"They are discouraging local as well as international investors," he remarked.

"If we want to solve the unemployment problem the first thing we need to have is more business opportunities.

"The MPs' short-sightedness must be changed. They should think of the years to come and grab every useful and profitable investment opportunity which will help improve the living standards of the citizens, as well as the country's economy."

Executive secretary Mona Abdulla said parliamentary candidates should have been vetted more carefully before being allowed to stand.

"That is the government's mistake for not using the right criteria for such an important post," she said.

"In my opinion, the MPs have not done anything remarkable yet and because they don't have the power to pass their recommendations through, they unfortunately have not been able to benefit the poor and the needy."

They should use the influence they have to address key issues, said Ms Abdulla.

"The MPs should focus on fighting corruption, finding solutions for unemployment, better education, equality among citizens and stopping religious discrimination," she noted.

Hi-Tech Computers business development director Saeed Bader said the MPs' main problem was a lack of experience.

"They can't make proper decisions when it comes to the country's economy or political issues because they are not very qualified and lack experience," he said.

"So far they haven't done anything tangible and God knows how long it will take them to take one fruitful decision."

Mr Bader is very keen to keep up with their weekly sessions, but finds it frustrating.

"I watch the TV and read the newspapers, but unfortunately most of the topics they have highlighted are of no interest to the poor and needy - even the bonus issue didn't see the light yet," he said.
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Hey guys, i'm sure many of you have already come across this article in the GDN, but the reason why i started this thread is becuase i'm interested in knowing other educated Bahraini's feelings and sentiments vis-á-vis our hardworking MP's, lol....

Do u guys agree at all with the article? How do u feel about censoring Billboards, veiled women driving, religious watchdogs, disallowing adult women leaving the country without their guardian or husband's consent!?
Ohh, and the most important proposal of all which i forgot to mention, banning 'scantly clad mannequins' lest they sexually arouse and corrupt our precious youth!
i hate those ediots, they think we are in saudi where you can implement such stupid rules. i think educated ppl in bahrain should do some thing about it
I think this is happening partly beacuase the real educated people who know whats truely good for the country and understand true progressive democracy boycotted the elections, and so only the religious extremists, and like backward uneducated people and villagers voted..
Bahraini Patriot said:
I think this is happening partly beacuase the real educated people who know whats truely good for the country and understand true progressive democracy boycotted the elections, and so only the religious extremists, and like backward uneducated people and villagers voted..
If those people you mentioned boycotted the first real opportunity to establish a proper democracy then im sorry to say that they do not fall under my category of "educated". If we were to construct a valid a reason to blame, then maybe we should look at these people who failed to capitalize on this opportunity. so now we suffer the concequences and boast of a parliment filled with a bunch of idiots. anyway my point is that this is our country and it is an obligatory duty for each and every bahraini to make his vote, no matter what background he or she comes from...
and maybe the government should demand and encourage more intense campaigns from each of the candidates. like here in the uk there is vast television coverage from political campaigning patries that really give people clear outlines of their respective aims and objectives....these means serve as a really good communication device that effectively reach out to the public enabling people to make justified decisions, instead of blindly casting their votes based on the local reputation of candidates.....

Well we don't exactly have political parties, they're not allowed, but we do have many new political societies, which sorta serve as parties, from which i believe many candidates come from...But the thing is these societies are new, this sort of democracy is new to us, soo candidates and their respective societies are not very established, and very often, apparently not well financed, which is why the honourable MP's have suggested that the government allocate some money for campaigns...
And i understand what you said about the 'educated' people and them boycotting the if they were truely educated they wouldn't boycott, cuz its like our duty to vote, thats partially true, but what you fail to realize is why they boycotted the elections in the first place...Its because our so called democracy has a long way to go...There are plenty of..whats the word......deficiences and major defects that undermine the efficiency of our parliment and national assembly...which is why you hear in the news every now and then about calls and demonstrations demanding amendments to the constitution and so on....
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I'm not saying that they were right to boycott it, but i guess they just didn't see it as "the first real opportunity to establish a proper democracy"
I was thinkin of starting a thread called "Opinions on Majlis Al Nuwab" after reading that article,but hey since you started it here, let's keep it rollin.

I dunno where to start besides sayin the followin (long story made short):

- get rid of those extreme Islamists who are retards, especially Jasoom Al S3edi, 7amood Khalid, Adool Al M3wdah, etc. Only a few members are doin their jobs properly.

- Khalifa Al Dhahrani as a president doesn't even have control over the clowns he's supposed to monitor.

- More than 2 years and not a single proper decision (embarg3t drivin cars, what nonesense, I can be underage and do that and drive). They take forever to even start discussing a topic. For example, the bonus.

- They swore to God to serve the country and boom, what do you know, they only worry about their own personal matters.

- They screwed big brother which brought $50 million in investment. Well if you don't like it, turn the channel off, and they say they support the democratic process.

- They always have fights about stupid stuff like opinions of what happened in Iraq especially that fight about Al Fallujah. With all do respect, that's nonesense.

- Most are uneducated and know nothin about economics or politics.

- No more singers in Bahrain cause of these idiots, so millions lost.

- They went into their respective jobs easily and ppl really didn't know what to expect, but now, all is clear, and honestly who votes for those idiots is an idiot himself.

- Waste of money and our time and basically that ink that goes into writing about them in the papers, etc.

- They need rules to restrict ppl who enter, you must be educated with a politics, economic/business, anythin related degree with relevant work experience.

I can rant the whole day about them, Ill leave it at this point for now and later I'll continue.

What needs to be done is the following:
- Businessmen/Businesswomen must enter this council, they've already done major things about this.

- This message must be clearly said: Seperate the state from religion, politics and economics don't work with religion properly (to a certain extent, some and the necessary religion aspects must be included).

- There must be a national announcement whereby these ppl are declared idiots infront of everyone and a waste of time and money, and let them know that we don't want them representing us.

- When a candidate applies with his "Am goin to do this" list, his record needs to be checked to see if he's achieved significant milestones.

- No one listens to their nonesense i.e. La 7aya leman ton2dey.
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To be hounset,

I dont find any possibilty for any..any sort of improvement coming from those MP's hands, they've taken more than what they given so far.

Maybe next group of MP's will be worse, because know , those who didn't participate in 2002 might come at the end and take us back to stone age.

About businessmen? they are theaves, yeah rubbed our pockets for ages, now we give them power to suck more of our blood??????

Total dissapintment in the MP's performance.....and down for businessmen seeking power in the house of representatives.
Yeah, i hate how we don't really have concerts in Bahrain anymore...I mean Mirage Promotions, i believe, has its headquarters in Bahrain, thats where it started...But most of the concerts they arrange are in Dubai, especially now....Its very sad really...I'm just glad their term is nearly over, and hope the next group of MP's will be smarter and less is good, but we have enough of it, we shouldn't force it on everybody, we don't need to become like Saudi...Bahrain and the Bahraini ppl were always known in the gulf for tolerance and openmindedness in general, but i'm afraid this tolerance might soon become a thing of the past if the MP's get their way...They should like make some sort of law against religiously oriendted legislation by MP's =S
Keep businessmen away,

Bring college doctors,attornies,AUDITORS,Bankers and former Large company's Managers and head would boost performance and will se higher levels for discussions and quality of output overall.
I honestly just want the normal educated ppl that are really loyal to their country, not a bunch of ppl with beards to their knees (no offense to anyone or religion) tryin to dictate rules just like the taliban's or from the dark ages, they're like cave men representatives.
Bahraini Spirit, i agree with you in every thing you have said.
we really should do some thing, otherwise bahrain will become like Afghanistan when Taliban took the goverment over.


ISLAMIC MPs hope to block a live performance of the Arab reality show Star Academy planned for Bahrain later this month. Al Menbar Parliamentary Bloc has called for urgent discussion of the issue during the parliament's weekly session on Tuesday.

The move is being backed by Al Asala Islamic Bloc, which also believes the show flouts Islamic values, customs and traditions.

But organisers have promised a 'decent' show, which would respect Islamic teachings and where the artistes will dress up conservatively.

Al Menbar member MP Shaikh Mohammed Khalid Mohammed, who is behind the call, said the reality show was far from respecting Islamic values.

The stars will perform in concert on May 19 at the Bahrain International Exhibition Centre.

"People who have seen the show on television say that it is full of immorality and disrespect - with young men and women hugging and kissing and joking with each other," he told the GDN yesterday.

"All GCC countries have turned down staging the show so why is Bahrain so keen on hosting it?"

"Bahrain is a country, which respects Islamic values and it should not be a stage for such disrespectful and shameful acts," he said.

"I don't know what makes such scum heroes great. Have they achieved or discovered anything?"

Shaikh Mohammed warned young men and women from being carried away by the show.

Bahrain's Murad Events Management director Mohammed Murad said the ministry had already given him the go ahead in writing for the show, after he presented officials with an agreement from Star System, which organises live shows and tours for the group.

"We have promised that the show would respect Islamic values, customs and traditions," he said.

"We have separate family areas which separate families from young men to ensure that nothing indecent happens."

Performers, said Mr Murad, will also wear decent clothes while performing in Bahrain.

"Performers have come here purely to entertain and nothing more," he said.

"This year, four finalists and four participants chosen by the academy's officials will be part of the live shows and tours." Mr Murad said that Bahrain's 20-year-old star Ahmed Salahaddin will also take part in the live show.

His place is assured because of his popularity within the GCC, he said.

Mr Murad said Bahrain would be the first country to host the live show for the group. Saudi Hisham Abdulrahman won the show two weeks ago.

A similar concert was lined up last year, but the Information Ministry refused permission.

Tickets are on sale at the Gulf Hotel for BD15 for young men and BD10 for families and young women.

They will also be on sale next week at the Seef Mall.

The event is sponsored by Al Hawaj and Batelco.
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Its crap like this that really gets to me, and makes me, at times, feel embarassed of Bahrain...I swear!!!! Soo annoying, just don't know what to say to bull like this...
Instead of worrying about tackling the main more serious problems in Bahrain like corruption, unemployment, education reforms, this is what we get! Godd!!!

Look, lol, its my family sponsoring the show..!
You know what would be interesting....organizing a demonstration calling for the current Parliment to be dissolved, and proceed with new elections asap...even if their session is almost over, i've had it with all their nonsense...
Bahraini Patriot said:
You know what would be interesting....organizing a demonstration calling for the current Parliment to be dissolved, and proceed with new elections asap...even if their session is almost over, i've had it with all their nonsense...
yes we should do that. so many people will be intrested in this demonstration
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