Saudi Press Roundup
The recent changes announced by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman in the ministries and some government agencies mark the beginning of the successful implementation of the Saudi Vision 2030.
The first requirement for the success of the Vision 2030 is the availability of competent individuals at the helm of various ministries to transform it into a reality. Those individuals entrusted with the execution with this bold and ambitious plan should possess two important qualities.
First of all they should strongly believe in the Vision 2030 and its efficacy as a road map to put Saudi Arabia in a prominent position among the comity of nations. These individuals should utilize all resources and their capabilities for the implementation of these plans. In other words, those made responsible for the execution of these plans should be dedicated individuals.
Secondly, they should be able to understand even the minor details of the Vision 2030 and should adopt creative ways to implement the ideas.
The two qualities mentioned above will help skyrocket the progress of the Kingdom and will help lay the foundations of sustainable development in Saudi Arabia. All those who work for the implementation of the Vision 2030 should do so in such a way their successors could take off from the point they leave without any interruption.
— By Abu Lujain Ibrahim Al-Dahman
Promoting cultural activities
Culture and entertainment are interlinked and depends on each other. The Saudi Vision 2030 has covered all spheres of the Saudi life and culture and entertainment have also been covered.
Following the announcement of the Vision 2030, the decision to create two authorities, one for culture and another for entertainment, represents a step in the right direction. Officials of the two authorities will bear heavy burden to make a qualitative shift in these two areas to help show the civilized face of the Kingdom to the world.
They will be assigned to establish more cultural centers to spread culture and sciences and to cater to the needs of all segments of the Saudi society. These centers will embrace all cultural activities, awareness campaigns and training courses aimed at promoting skills of youths as well as theatres, lectures, movies, book fairs, drawings, and libraries.
Moreover, the centers will act as second homes to all male and female youth whereby they can spend their leisure time, entertain themselves, immunize their minds from deviant thoughts and keep them away from drugs, car drifting and wandering aimlessly in the streets.
These centers will attract intellectuals, writers and poets to meet with the youth, open discussions with them where ideas are exchanged and ties are strengthened and gaps between generations are bridged.
— By Bahira Mahmoud Al-Halabi
Transforming Health Ministry
One of the most important steps taken by the Ministry of Health for the improvement of its services is the computerization of most of its operations. This measure is set to transform the ministry along modern lines.
This will allow the ministry to monitor government or private hospitals and track their progress of work remotely.
This step heralds dawn of a new era where the ministry will develop from a medical-service provider into a supervisory and follow-up agency to ensure the quality of medical products provided to health-care beneficiaries in the Kingdom.
Easy electronic communication between citizens and officials in the Ministry of Health is said to have achieved considerable degree of fairness in the provision of quality health-care services.
In some cases, if a man fails to get free medical treatment in a government hospital, he is forced to spend his savings or sell his personal belongings to receive treatment in private hospitals, which normally seek profits at the expense of patients. In this context, citizens have expressed pleasure over the appointment of Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah as minister of health after his exemplary performance in the commerce ministry.
Perhaps one of the most important creative steps expected from the new health minister is the creation of a non-profit cooperative health insurance system that puts health care for citizens on top of its priority.
— By Sami Said Habib
Encouraging the private sector
It is an established fact that the private sector plays a leading role in the transformation of a country’s economy and its development. Saudi Arabia should offer more investment opportunities to the private sector.
All bureaucratic hassles should be removed to create an environment conducive to investments and laws should be enacted to encourage investors to take initiatives in various sectors. There are immense opportunities in the health and education sectors in the Kingdom and we just need to create an environment for investors to encourage them make investments.
It is a known fact that the private-sector firms in the Kingdom capture 95 percent of the total operating companies in the Kingdom, they have 50 percent of the non-oil gross domestic product (GDP) and employ 80 percent of work force.
More efforts are needed to increase the role of the private sector through the encouragement of local and foreign investments in health, services, municipality, housing, energy sectors under a flexible management and effective control.
This necessitates drawing up a national strategy for the development of the private sector resting on three major themes: Improvement of business environment for creative investors, provision of necessary finance and public and private sector partnership (PPP).
The three themes are of the great importance in the development and promotion of the private sector, which will have positive effect on the economic activity and will, in turn, achieve our goal of sustainable development.
— By Saad Al-Subaie
Negative media coverage
There are more than 10 million expatriate workers in the Kingdom, which means that there are at least one million Saudi sponsors, who are managing this huge work force.
The labor exporting countries are fully knowledgeable of the rights of their native workers in the Kingdom and, hence, protect them against alleged “brutal behaviors” of Saudi sponsors.
What is worse here is that the foreign media pass judgments on such false allegations and criminalizes the Saudi sponsors without giving them their basic rights to defend themselves.
On the other hand, we have to admit that there are some Saudi employers who are mistreating their employees, notably domestic workers.
However, this category (of mistreating employers) ranges between 10-20 percent of the overall Saudi employers. But it seems to some people this is the norm in Saudi Arabia due to the negative media coverage isolated incidents of maltreatment receive abroad.
But why do they ignore stories of good and fair treatment of huge number of Saudis toward their domestic staff.
What about the rights of 80-90 percent of good and just Saudi sponsors? Who will guarantee their rights? Who will compensate sponsors when domestic workers flee or abstain from work without any acceptable reason?
We suggest the presence of some guarantees that will safeguard rights of the Saudi sponsors and, at same time, ensure the rights of domestic workers who are keen to work in the Kingdom.
— By Bandar Al-Safir
Despite deteriorating political relations between Riyadh and Tehran, the Kingdom did not allow those differences to have a negative impact on a religious ritual that is supposed to reflect the unity of Muslims: Haj.
However, the Iranians insist on politicizing the annual pilgrimage. They are trying to convert this pure religious event into a political issue. Every year, more than two million pilgrims belonging to different sects, ethnicities and nationalities visit the Kingdom to perform Haj.
On its part, the Kingdom is keen that every Muslim country should get the right to make arrangements for its pilgrims in coordination with the Kingdom so as to ensure their safety.
Despite the huge numbers of pilgrims gathered in a limited space, the Haj season passes by as smoothly as possible. Last year, a stampede occurred, which claimed 750 lives, the majority of them were Iranians who reportedly went in the opposite direction in one of the narrow and crowded streets in Mina. Iran is trying to prevent its nationals from performing the pilgrimage this year by trying to impose certain conditions that may negatively affect the security and safety of all pilgrims. And unfortunately, Iran is trying to convince its people that the Kingdom is imposing conditions.
— By Aiman Al-Hammad
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Arab News' point-of-view