Fighting corruption a must
Fighting corruption is very important for developing countries. We have to deal with this menace effectively not only because it is an international demand but also because it is necessary for our future progress and prosperity of our nation. It maybe a huge challenge but it is not impossible to fight corruption. We just need a comprehensive plan to deal with corrupt practices.
As a matter of fact, no country is free of corruption but in the case of developing countries, the impact of corrupt practices becomes manifold. It is a major barrier to progress due to its negative economic consequences.
Corruption in a society also negatively influences the people. It demoralizes upright members of society, an issue, which is very difficult to address and takes a long time. Corruption promotes injustice, which leads to frustration among those who want to pursue their goals or dream without violating any laws of the land.
Corruption discourages people to make investments within their own countries. And foreign direct investments also are affected because of rampant corruption. In order to boost investments – local and foreign — a country needs to introduce economic reforms and implement them in a transparent manner.
One of the most important criteria to show eagerness of investors to enter (or reject) a market is corruption index, which reflects the strength of law and regulationsIn countries like Peoples’ Republic of China and India, both countries have linked their growing economic powers to effectiveness in fighting corruption. Chronic corruption in some countries has assumed the form of a culture and become a legalized practice under different names. With laxity in fighting corruption and its continuation in certain communities, it appears to be a lawful practice.
Countries, which find respect from other peoples and communities are those which are giving utmost care to integrity and make it a value in society with major role of government bodies to curb the hands of spoilers.
— By Aiman Al-Hammad, Al-Riyadh
Saudi women and AIDS
About 80 Saudi women were diagnosed with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in 2014.
They were all married and never left the Kingdom for any foreign country. However, they were infected with HIV virus by their husbands.
The head of the AIDS Program at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Sanaa Filimban, uncovered this fact.
The Kingdom registered the first AIDS case in 1984 but the number of patients reached 21,761 cases by the end of 2014 of which 6,334 were Saudis and 15,427 foreigners.
Based on the latest data released by the Health Ministry, all of the Saudi women were infected by their husbands. However, this serious report did not raise any resentment in the Saudi community.
Ironically, some of the men travel abroad and indulge in immoral acts under the cover of religion by marrying prostitutes for a limited time. Such man may be exposed to many sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs).
Though the disease is under control in the Kingdom, all community members, notably the Ministry of Health, have to bear responsibility to adopt suitable and effective means to curb the disease through intensified awareness and protective programs.
Preachers and mosque imams have a leading role to warn against the disease and its negative impact on families, particularly innocent wives.
— By Ruqiah Al-Howairini, Al-Jazirah
Step in the right direction
THE Ministry of Education’s decision to withdraw and ban books, which promote extremist ideas, from school and university libraries is indeed commendable. It is one of the most important steps in the ongoing fight against extremism. Though, it came a bit late it is a step in the right direction.
It is very important to strike at the roots of extremism. This is a very basic step. Our youth should be protected from certain individuals’ personal interpretation of the Qur’an. This decision will help our new generation to focus more on science and technology instead of explosive belts and misinterpretations of the Islamic concepts of Jihad and martyrdom. We need to take strong action against all those so-called preachers who mislead our youth to promote their selfish agendas.
We may have withdrawn these suspicious books, which promote hatred and anarchy but there is a great need to educate those who have already been influenced by such literature.
However, those who read these books and teach them to our sons and daughters will not be satisfied with this step and, instead, will double their efforts to instigate youths more than what they were previously doing.
Unfortunately, our sons gained nothing from these books but, rather, they have been killed or killed others in regional or international crisis areas under the name of Jihad (holy war).
Naturally, the elements who promoted these books will make efforts to undo the impact of this decision, so we need to counter the situation very tactfully. Fighting terrorism and extremism needs concerted efforts by all ministries starting from education, Friday sermons and streets. We all need to take steps to fight this menace. It is not just the responsibility of the government to fight the deviant ideology. We have to help our government in this fight by staying away from demagogues. The withdrawal of books is the blessed beginning that will put the Kingdom to the road of lasting peace and safety.
— By Saud Al-Fouzan, Al-Sharq
The approval of the Council of Ministers of a new law for the establishment of civil societies and organizations represents a positive gesture and optimism if the system is properly implemented.
These organizations, if established without bureaucratic obstacles, would allow individuals express their ideas within the framework of social and civic work that will, presumably, bring about a remarkable social change.
Civil societies, in this context, are meant for voluntary activities undertaken by a group of citizens. Under this concept comes non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as professional societies, cultural and scientific organizations, charity societies, or even sports clubs.
On the other hand, civil society organizations have a distinctive role: They join a group of persons together who share a common concern, be it cultural, professional or charity works.
These organizations will allow birth of new ties in the society that will, theoretically at least, have nothing to do with sectarian, regional or tribal affiliations.
Therefore, civil society organizations can help citizens get out of their narrow affiliations and integrate them with one another.
— By Badr Al-Ibrahim, Al-Yaum
Power of social media
The abduction and return of Jury Al-Khalidi, the two- and-a half-year old girl, remained one of the hottest issues on various social media platforms in the Kingdom. This case has once again highlighted the importance of social media in this part of the world.
Many criticize the social media for exaggerating certain issues but the role of this new form of communication cannot be ignored. In the case, the social media helped security men ensure safe return of the innocent child.
In this context, a question can be raised: Are social media outlets pure good or pure evil?
The most important element, in my opinion, is the impact of content of social media on the public and not on the intellectuals or elites. Video clips or information on security operations, which go viral on social media have an influence where most information distributors know nothing about them. If so, we are required to stop dealing with such items unless cleared by competent authorities.
Meanwhile, there are some items, which are published on different sites, be they service or company sites, but needed by people. However, if these items will benefit citizen and the state, their publication becomes positive as long as the publisher is committed to accuracy.
— By Adil Al-Jihli, Al-Eqtisadiah
Candidates have launched their campaigns for municipal elections.
The campaigns represent a good season for media and advertisement firms to boost their incomes. Some of the election campaigns have been assigned to one person or teams engaged on social media to carry out campaigns for the candidates.
Despite the fact that these municipal elections are not the first of its kind in the history of the Kingdom but they coincidently come after a wave of rains, which exposed poor planning in some major cities of the Kingdom.
The ultimate goal of the municipal elections lies in the expansion of community participation in national development because development is not attainable unless citizens closely monitor the quality of projects.
The municipal election is very important for the government, as it will ease its burden of planning and following-up of projects. The citizens will be in direct contact with their representative in the municipal council.
Accordingly, it is not a surprise that most election programs bear routine slogans centered on reforms, change, fight against corruption, or unrealistic promises to capture votes that will allow a candidate to have a seat in the council.
— By Shakir Abu Talib, Makkah newspaper