Sunday, November 25, 2007

A new government

The new government was sworn in today. There is a new prime minister, Nader Dahabi. But for some odd reason, it looks very much like the old government. Eight ministers were held over from the previous government, including the ministers of interior and finance. Also held over is Nasser Joudeh, who was somewhat upgraded from the position of spokesman to the position of “Minister of state for media and communication”, whatever that means. He is joined by another son-in-law of Prince Hassan, Ala’a Bataineh (minister of transport), who is doubly qualified, being the son of a former minister as well. This places him at an advantage over Sahel Majali, who is only the lowley son of Abdulhadi Majali, who once carried the same portfolio of minister of public works and housing.

Of course, nepotism isn’t the only criterion. Some were recycled from previous governments. Salah Bashir academic background will make him a perfect minister of justice trade and industry foreign affairs. And engineer Muzahem Muheisen will be a perfect minister of labour AGRICULTURE! These multi-talented people also have an advantage over Raed Abu Saud, who held the ministry of water in the past, and does not seem suitable for a different task. Maybe this time he will make more of a mark. If you at first you don’t succeed…….

There are a few new names that I haven’t heard of. I am looking forward to reading about their backgrounds tomorrow. Nobody seems to be in a hurry to talk about it.

20 Comments:

At 8:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The whole thing is a joke, I recommend that we cancel all this and run the country from the Royal Hashemite Court

 
At 8:51 PM, Anonymous Abu Ganweh said...

With the quality of the MPs and most of the ministers, I think Anonymous is right in calling to run the country from the Hashemite Court. At least people there do have a vision.

 
At 9:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot imagine Prince Hassan's sons in law are in the cabinet because of nepotism. Surely, that should now be a negative for them ?

 
At 10:20 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

I don't believe in coincidence.

 
At 11:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you sound just a little 'sour grapes-ish'. It is as unfair to discriminate against a person because of whom their father or father in law is, for good or for bad.

 
At 9:42 AM, Blogger Rambling Hal said...

I think you 'sarcasm' is well founded ya3ni...this charade we're forced to play along with is quite nauseating.

 
At 9:58 AM, Blogger Lina said...

I found it surprising that after all Maha Khatib's experience in community development, she's given the Ministry of Tourism!!!

That said, I think Hala Lattouf is very qualified for Social Development and has had a record of actual achievement with the World Links Project.

 
At 12:27 PM, Anonymous bakkouz said...

And what does the first thing the new PM does? just after hours of being sworn in, he pledges to encourage foreign investment, this of course sets the tone for his policy, I wish he had pledged to reduce poverty and decrease living costs, to help the citizen in this time of hardship, to make life easier for the general public.

That clearly, is not a priority for Mr. Dahabi, What is apparent that his policies, will only lead to more taxes being imposed on the average citizen, and living costs going up more and more.

Basically what Mr. Dahabi has pledged is to enrich the rich people more and more and squash the poor people further down, which is without a doubt, going to happen.

 
At 3:25 PM, Blogger Masalha1 said...

Khalaf,
Once again geography and connections play a major roll in shaping our government, if Sahil wasn't the son of abdel Hadi would he be a minister? if Mzahim wasn't from Tafilah would he be a minister? we had ministers who sat in office for more than five years ( Khalid Toukan ) what did he accomplish?? we have 13 new ministers the rest either kept their posts or been ministers before, remind me of one accomplishment for any of them??.
Ministers get appointed by way of contacts if you know some one in high places your chances of becoming one are big, the so called ECONOMIC team been there for ever and look what they did to our economy, and our assets, Mr. Dahabi pays a visit to Al Basheer hospital, well, His majesty did that before, I wonder if they ever fixed that elevator?.
Any way this is a new government we have to give them a chance to see what they can do, and if its Same old practices then honesly His Majesty should just fire them all and save us their salaries and fringe-benefits and run the country from the royal court because they the only people seems to be working.

 
At 3:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Khalid Toukan, accomplished a great deal during his ministry. He changed the curricullum making is more secular in scope. Not an easy job. Credit where its due! A.N.

 
At 9:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no doubt that regional, tribal and social demographics play too large a part in how Jordan is run, and until changed will always handicap the appointment of a new government, but I still maintain that to say that all the new ministers are a waste of time or there because of nepotism is unecessarily harsh. After Khalaf's remarks about Prince Hassan's sons in law, I looked at their cv's and asked some questions. ( I am not a Jordanian, but lived in Amman for a period of time in the 80's and have contacts there still). I am told that both men are well qualified and experienced in the areas they are responsible for. If it were sheer 'wasta' where are all the other Royal sons and daughters in law ? Sure, these men are born into the elite of Jordanian society, have had an elite education and interestingly, both their fathers ( both previous ministers and senators) are graduates of foreign universities, at a time when few Jordanians were educated in the West, so yes, they are clearly privileged, and probably move in the sort of circles that made it possible for them to meet their wives, all of which must make them seem unduly lucky to some eyes, but should not be held against them. I am also told that both men are truly bi-lingual in Arabic and English. No accent or incorrect grammer or speech in either language.

 
At 1:58 AM, Blogger Fadi Malian said...

Just a quick point on some of the comments especially anon and masalha, there is nothing wrong with considering regions and tribal factors in government and other positions, you can find qualified people everywhere in Jordan so that is not the real reason for weak governments. How people are picked from the different regions might be a problem, and the concentration of positions in some regions over others might be as well.

 
At 7:11 AM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Anon: According to Al Rai, Mr. Joudeh has a bachelors degree from Georgetown in "International relations, law and international organizations", whereas Mr. Bataineh has a bechelors degree in electrical engineering and a masters in management information systems. I wouldn't deny that they are educated or even qualified. I would say that there are hundreds if not thousands of Jordanians who are equally if not better educated or qualified. I invite you to walk through the University of Jordan and listen to how many people speak English, correctly. You will be surprised to learn that it is not such a unique skill.

 
At 8:24 AM, Blogger Masalha1 said...

Fadi Malian, anon,
My problem is not in appointing ministers from rural areas or different parts of the country on the contrary I think a government should be a mix of Jordanians, however we keep bringing the same faces to represent these areas, Mzahim is Tafeely, he was a minister before, Abdel Raheem Ekoor from Irbid he was a minister before, Kamal Naser, Salah Bashir and the list goes on, 14 previouse ministers were appointed to this government accomplished nothing during their first time so why appoint them again?? can't these areas produce new faces that are just as qulafied?.
Qualification is not measured by how many degrees you have, you can have all the master or PHD degrees and you still don't know what the hell you are doing, so you set in an office for two years and you fail miserably, and no one will hold you accountable, but who cares if you have good connections you'll be appointed to even higher places.
As to Kalid Toukan accomplishments well if taking a few verses of the Quran that talks about Jehad and Jews do you call that an accomplishment? how many schools were built during his rein? how many times they changed the Tawjihi testing system? what happened to Jordan universities reputations?.
We have thousands of graduates from US and UK with proven records, who wouldn't dream of becoming ministers simply because they don't have the right connections.

 
At 9:23 PM, Anonymous Ahmad Al-Sholi said...

The main problem of our economy is the one way communication that was given at the time when it was annouced and people were notified rather than consulted or taken as partners.
As for selling the assets, it looks bad from a national patriotic point of view. But what matters most is having a vibrant economy that creates business cycles with cash flows and employment opportunites, to sustain an economy with massive infrastructure and market exposures. All our previously state owned companies were semi functional, defected or drawing back major losses on the state: JTC, JPMC, APC, JoPetrol, RJ, JOMAG... JPMC itself had to sign many long term sales agreements without sufficient income to cover capital expenses required on the long term to sustain business appeal as it was the mining sector leader and its profit were to cover CBJ and Ministry of Finance.
My point is: yes we are in a shitty situation on an economic level, but the problem is not the model we are following as its the only way to the future expecially the energy and water issues as corners of sustained economy. The problem is agenda enforcement, corruption, people engagement and political (internal/external) sphere.

 
At 12:07 AM, Blogger Shifaa said...

Bakkouz,
inviting investment to the country is the way to get rid of poverty. Most people think that it is the other way around.

 
At 9:47 AM, Blogger Masalha1 said...

Ahmad,
Although I am a strong believer in the private sector and its ability to run businesses much better, however you can't privatize every thing even in the most capitilist countries, HEALTH, EDUCATION, and PUBLIC TRANSPORTATIONS are still owned or partly owned by the government, how many hospitals were built in Amman in the last 50 years?, how many universities were built in Amman in the last 50 years?, University of Jordan and Al Basheer hospital and P. Hamza, private sector is in the business to make money other wise they will not servive, but what if I can't afford to go to a private university or hospital??, you have to give an alternatives to the poor and Middle class, free health and education are protected by the contitutions, but every day our constitutions get violated by the government which suppose to protect it.

 
At 3:12 PM, Anonymous Ahmad Al-Sholi said...

yes, government should allocate health, water, electricity, and academic education/technical education. If they can not do it due to confirmed bearucracy or lack of funds, then they should extend all facilities for private sector to do it with affordable prices or a social security comprehensive system. The model we are following will lead us there but we are too unfortunate to handle this grace period.. maybe we need like a transitional program till we reach the estimated plan.

 
At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Alurdunialhurr said...

This government like the previous ones are nothing but rubber stamps for the rigeme,it's main required task or objective is to implement the so called privatisation of Jordanians national assets.
Some free Market enthusiasts think and even believe that to solve Jordan's economic crisis to to sell our assets to some local ( who are the local ,god knows maybe Abu Ragheb will tell you who are those locals "investors") and off course, foreign ..
if we look at countries that took the path of privatisation ,we will see very grime picture, take look at Argentina ,Mexico ,Brazil ,India ,Indonesia and many more ,we can see that their unemplyment is very hight ( in some cases the ratr of unemplyment exced 30%) ,price are all tine high ,inflation is sky rocketing and off course huge accumulation of external debts.
Here is a lecture I like to share with you on the question of privatisation and globilisation and investments

 
At 10:41 PM, Blogger Tallouza said...

The timing is great. If the role of parliament (lower house in particular)is to ratify (not sure what the exact word is - give confidence) to any newly appointed cabinet (government), then it remains to be seen how effective this new parliament will be in playing its role of checks and balances. Conflict of interest and nepotism are no way to set an agenda that calls for reform and fight of corruption. As for economic growth...might be..the question is whose growth??????

 

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