Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Fighting corruption

The Bakhit government has so far initiated legal action over four major corruption cases. These are the Jordan Magnesia factory file, the Islamic Center Charity Society, the General Union for Voluntary Societies and the Ministry of Municipalities used garbage trucks and pressers case. The last case implicated the former minister of municipalities, Abdulrazzaq Tubeishat, who apparently authorized the purchase of used sanitary equipment to the tune of 4.5 million dinars. The specifications required for the equipment were not met, but the purchase was approved anyway.

The government, as all governments before, has vowed to fight corruption mercilessly. It seems to living up to its pledge. The prosecution of a former minister is noteworthy, as it has been quite rare that such high level officials be questioned about their actions. The notable exception was the former head of the intelligence service, Samih Batikhi, who was sentenced on corruption charges three years ago. According to local lore, he spent his sentence in luxurious house arrest in Aqaba, and is now in London.

In the last two days, a new scandal broke involving forged bank documents being used to give residency permits to Arab “investors”. Apparently, employees at the ministry of trade and industry were involved in allowing the use of bank documents from a fictitious bank. Again, the government is following up.

Jordan’s ranking in the 2005 Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index is 37 with a score of 5.7. The highest score of 9.7 goes to Iceland. So Iceland is over 50% more transparent than Jordan, according to business “perceptions”. I would say we still have a long way to go, although it can be easily argued that many countries are more corrupt than Jordan.

So, is the government gaining any credibility for its efforts? Many people think that there are bigger fish than Tubeishat who should be questioned. Ziad Abu Ghanimeh is skeptical, and relates a hilarious story about a past minister who wanted to help somebody by hiring him. So he hires the guy as a teacher, despite his protestations that he is illiterate. “Don’t worry”, says the minister. “I will hire you as a teacher but your job will be to be my office boy”. So, it goes well until one day the illiterate teacher/office boy shows up in a panic in the minister’s office. “It is a catastrophe, a scandal!”. “What is the problem” asks the minister. “The government is checking if all the teachers recently hired are qualified, and they have set up a committee to examine them all”, the guy franticly says. “We will be scandalized and disgraced”. The minister laughs. “Why are you laughing?” “Didn’t you hear?” responds the minister. “I have appointed you as head of the committee to examine the teachers!”

For me, I think that these prosecutions are important for scaring would be crooks. I smile with relish as I think of corrupt officials tossing and turning at night, wondering if they are next. Or maybe I am just another naïve soul. Only time will tell.

Labels:

6 Comments:

At 5:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

YEAH! STICK IT TO THE POLITICAL ISLAMIST OPPOSITION.

FIGHTING ALLEGED CORRUPTION WITH CORRUPTION.

THIS IS OFFENSIVE. THEY USE THE POPULAR ANTI-CORRUPTION SENTIMENSTS TO UNDERMINE THE OPPOEITION.

THIS IS HORRIFIC AND INDECENT BY EVERY STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION.

THIS IS LIKE WHAT THEY DID TO HAMAS, TRYING TO EXPLOIT OUR FEAR OF TERROR TO STICK IT TO THEM.

GOD, WHY US? DON'T WE DESERVE A GOVERNMENT THAT DOES NOT TREAT US LIKE MORONS AND IDIOTS? A GOVERNMENT BY THE POEPLE FOR THE PEOPLE? WHAT HAVE WE DONE WRONGE, GOD.

 
At 7:39 PM, Blogger Abu Shreek said...

It is obvious that “fighting corruption” is the new regime tool for keeping everyone “in check”, ESPECIALLY ex-parasites who run out of favor. I think you answered your own question regarding the seriousness of these shy (posing) attempts when you referred to the Samih Bateekhi story. You also know that corruption is institutionalized in Jordan, (not to say sponsored and encouraged) by the regime to assure loyalty to it.

 
At 9:02 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Anon: I am sorry, but I really can't figure what your point is.

Abu Shreek: It is not obvious that Tubeishat and his likes needed to be kept in check, unless he was a useful scapegoat. I hope that the state will realize that corruption is a danger to the existing order, and does little to "assure loyalty". The opposite is more true.

 
At 6:59 PM, Anonymous Batir said...

The way the reactions to Tubeishat case are going I think they should build a statue for him since I read many articles and comments describing him as the most honest man Jordan has ever produced. The facts should only and only be discussed and that will happen in the court.

 
At 7:49 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Batir: I would take the testemonials on Tubeishat with a grain of salt. I agree with the premise that legal proceedings should be conducted before judgement is passed, but I question whether the system in place is adequate.

 
At 11:25 AM, Blogger dghnfgj said...

Catch the wow gold star that holds your gold in wow destiny,cheap wow gold the one that forever maplestory money twinkles within your heart. Take advantage of precious opportunities while they still sparkle before you. Always believe that your buy maplestory mesos ultimate goal is attainable cheap mesos as long as you commit yourself to it.maple money Though barriers may sometimes stand in the way of your dreams, remember that your destiny is hiding behind them.wow gold kaufen Accept the fact that not everyone is going to approve of the choices Maple Story Accounts you've made. Have faith in your judgment.wow gold farmen Catch the star that maple story money twinkles in your heart and it will lead you to your destiny's path. Follow that pathway and uncover the sweet sunrises that await you. Take pride in your accomplishments, as they are stepping stones to your dreams. Understand that you may make mistakes, powerlevelbut don't let them discourage you.ms mesos Value your capabilities and talents for they are what make you truly unique. The greatest gifts in life are not purchased, but acquired through hard work and determination.maplestory mesos Find the star that twinkles in your heart?for you alone maplestory powerleveling are capable of making your brightest dreams come true. Give your hopes everything you've got and you will catch the star that holds your destiny.

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home