Saudi anti-corruption body probes appointment of minister’s son

Updated 28 October 2016
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Saudi anti-corruption body probes appointment of minister’s son

JEDDAH: A citizen has sent a complaint to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC or Nazaha), calling for investigation into an alleged case of corruption involving the appointment of the son of Civil Service Minister Khaled Al-Araj to the post of project manager for a monthly salary exceeding SR21,000.
The complaint came soon after the minister stated that the typical Saudi employee does not spend more than one hour a day to do real work, a statement most Saudis deemed offensive.
Saad Al-Thuwaini wrote a complaint letter to Nazaha President Khaled Al-Muhaisin, claiming abuse of power on the part of the minister.
Al-Thuwaini asked that the matter be investigated and that the minister’s son undergo an examination to establish his credentials.
He took issue with the salary earned by the minister’s son, which is rarely obtained by regular Saudis working in whatever specialties and holding whatever qualifications.
The minister insists that his son was not shown favoritism when hired.
The NACC took the complaint seriously, acting promptly.
The anti-corruption body’s spokesman, Abdulrahman Al-Ajlan, said the commission monitors media and Internet news and takes action to ensure the implementation of the national strategy to protect integrity and fight against corruption.
He said the commission is monitoring regularly the social network postings regarding the hiring of the minister’s son.
“I would like to remind all that Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman said that the Kingdom does not tolerate corruption of any sort and that no one is above the law,” said Al-Ajlan.
That matter was not discussed by the Nazaha alone, but also by Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) President Prince Sultan bin Salman, who said it is not right to say that citizens do not work and that Saudi Arabia lacks expertise in various fields of work.
A video circulated on social media shows Prince Sultan saying that “the country’s development and achievements over the past years are fantastic and quite difficult to believe ... we cannot say that the citizens do not work and there is no development.”
Prince Sultan said: “Who built this country? Who united it before the discovery of oil, and before economic prosperity? Those who accomplished this were the citizens who trust God Almighty, who stand side by side, who always support their state, who believe in this state, in this place and its future.”


Clean sweep: Marine waste targeted in Red Sea tourism program

The program for eliminating marine debris will play an important material and moral role with the support of the residents of areas surrounding the seafront. (SPA)
Updated 22 September 2019

Clean sweep: Marine waste targeted in Red Sea tourism program

  • Debris major cause of death for marine life
  • Disintegration of plastic waste threaten human food resources

JEDDAH: A beach cleanup program targeting marine waste has been launched by the Red Sea Development Co. (TRSDC), the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The firm, which is behind the development of a luxury seafront tourism destination in Saudi Arabia, is already developing a range of environment-friendly policies such as zero-waste-to-landfill, zero-discharge-to-the-sea, zero-single-use plastics, and achieving 100 percent carbon neutrality. On Saturday it launched the Marine Debris Beach Clean Up Program as part of the Red Sea Project. “Eliminating marine debris is receiving increasing attention from the media that it has become a global cause, urging us to participate in protecting our virgin environment for which our seafront is known,” said TRSDC CEO John Pagano.
“The program for eliminating marine debris will play an important material and moral role with the support of the residents of areas surrounding the seafront. It will also shed light on the importance of reducing the use of nonrecyclable plastics, in addition to encouraging the disposing of these substances in a safe and sustainable manner.”
The TRSDC will continue to explore ways for recycled materials to be a source of employment opportunities for the area’s residents, he added. 
TRSDC is an official partner of the United Nations’ initiative to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the cleanup program will initially support two SDGs: Life Below Water and Life on Land. It will expand to support other SDGs, including Responsible Consumption and Production, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Decent Work and the Growth of the Economy, Ending Poverty, and Quality Education.

HIGHLIGHTS

• TRSDC is an official partner of the United Nations’ initiative to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the cleanup program will initially support two SDGs: Life Below Water and Life on Land.

• It will expand to support other SDGs, including Responsible Consumption and Production, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Decent Work and the Growth of the Economy, Ending Poverty, and Quality Education.

• Institutions or individuals wishing to take part in the beach cleanup program can find more details here: www.act4sdgs.org/partner/TheRedSeaProject

Dr. Rusty Brainard, chief environment officer at TRSDC, said: “Marine debris causes significant damage to the environment and is a major cause of death for many marine organism species, which may ingest these substances. Moreover, the disintegration of plastic waste into small pieces that penetrate into the food web base may also threaten human food resources. Our program for eliminating marine litter is a long-term project that includes ongoing monitoring of environmental health, as well as periodic intervention to clean up any waste in the Red Sea Project.”
TRSDC has teamed up with leading academic institutions in the Kingdom, such as King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and the University of Tabuk, on a number of educational initiatives, added Brainard.
The partnership between TRSDC and KAUST has led to an international competition — “Brains for Brine” — that encourages academics, scientists, engineers and the water industry to find solutions for managing the disposal of brine, which is a waste product of water desalination, in a sustainable and commercially viable way.
KAUST has also helped TRSDC with marine spatial planning for the Red Sea Project.
As part of the planning process, major environmental studies were carried out to ensure that the area’s sensitive ecology was protected both during and after completion of the development.
The final master plan, which preserves around 75 percent of the destination’s islands for conservation and designates nine islands as sites of significant ecological value, required several redesigns to avoid potential disruption to endangered species native to the area.
Institutions or individuals wishing to take part in the beach clean-up program can find more details here: www.act4sdgs.org/partner/TheRedSeaProject