Strict enforcement of laws a must for country's integrity
A country is a home, it is a sanctuary that a non-member must seek permission to enter and when allowed must abide by its rules and respect its traditions.
As I indicated in my previous article, the Saudi society has to follow the empathetic Islamic worldview and the dominant materialistic one. Practically, the first perspective often outweighs the second. One can observe this in the enforcement of laws by relevant government organizations.
Take for instance, roads and streets where both citizens and expatriates have the opportunity to meet and interact with each other. In fact, road is the place where they get to know each other in terms of their behaviors and manners.
As Saudis, we have bad driving habits. This is the first impression a visitor or a resident may get about our adherence to laws in general and the traffic rules in particular. Soon, expatriates pick up our bad driving habits by emulating us. Needless to say that majority of them get to drive their first vehicles in the Kingdom because most of them are manual workers who usually come from underprivileged socioeconomic backgrounds.
A lack of strict enforcement of traffic laws contributed to bad driving habits in the country. Traffic officers have the discretion to be either strict with those who violate the law intentionally or be lenient with them. However, it appears that they choose to be lenient most of the time and that takes away the deterrent effect that action against the violators may have had.
The laxity in the enforcement of laws has affected our entire society. For instance, because of the lenient attitude toward enforcing laws, many locals work as front proprietors for businesses that are practically owned and ran by expatriates, which is a punishable crime. Moreover, the same law prohibits non-Saudis from engaging in business activities. Thus, the weakness in the enforcement of laws allow such practices to continue.
Approximately two months ago, a 35-year-old Saudi woman was interviewed in a TV show. She claimed that a 45-year-old expatriate engineer raped her at the age of 14, kidnapped her and then smuggled her out of the country. She lived with his first wife and children, who abused her and made her work as a maid. After over two decades she managed to escape from the abductor’s country.
Here appears another delicate issue, which is the social stigma that such transgression brings to her family, or any Saudi family for that matter. Neither the woman nor her family has reportedly pressed charges against the alleged rapist yet.
In fact, the social stigma is a national dilemma. It is widely known that most Saudis take into account that social stigma, especially when they travel abroad and as a result they always try to avoid involving the authorities in such cases. For this reason some people of the host country exploit Saudis knowing that both the Saudi authorities and culture do not encourage the idea of opting for legal recourse outside the country.
Recently, a foreign lady principal of an international school in Jeddah terminated the contracts of seven Saudi female teachers for no legitimate reason and forcefully kicked them out of the school without abayas. The incident shocked the entire country.
Universally, women are treated with considerable care and respect. Consequently, treating those Saudi women in such a manner is a sheer disregard for the values and culture of the host country and its people. If an expatriate is not able to abide by the laws and traditions of our country, then he/she must be shown the door gracefully or otherwise.
We have to be the role model by respecting our laws and traditions to maintain our integrity, respect and strength.
On the other hand, the rule of law is an international language that does not recognize any particular worldview. Therefore, the fair application will make everyone content and ultimately bring order, harmony and unity among the entire population.
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Arab News' point-of-view