It seems inevitable that in every private or public gathering with family or friends, the main focus is on complaints. And mind you, as we moan and groan, and many are quite right in doing so, we do not come up with solutions or remedies for the problems under discussion.
The list of complaints ranges from the attitude of immigration officials at the airport to the low-level services provided by the Municipality. Added to that are the traffic department and the courts where the main complaint is the absence of notary public officials and at times even judges. And then those in business bring to the table of discussions the zakat department, as well.
Listening to these views for years, I have somewhat shielded myself by hoping that things will get better. Let’s for a moment be optimistic. The services of the Ministry of Interior have improved tremendously. Exit/re-entry visa and passport services and some license procedures have truly become fantastic.
The services of the Ministry of Interior have improved tremendously. Exit/re-entry visa and passport services and some license procedures have truly become fantasticKhaled Almaeena
What then is wrong? Why the complaints?
The answer lies with people working in some government departments who are caught up in their own past practices and do not realize that it is time for them to get onboard the Saudi Vision 2030 train which has already left the station.
And this is what must be done: We need to launch business accelerators to boost the efforts of these government offices and unify their efforts to help resolve issues and problems. We also need to identify key sectors, such as economy, environment, education and the judiciary, and to establish key performance indicators and the evaluation of those in charge. The focus should be on innovation and productivity.
We have to immediately streamline laws, develop initiatives and set clear standards and goals. To do that we also need a judicial system that ensures fair litigation for everyone. We need a judiciary that has a high level of integrity and professionalism. The judiciary must ensure civil rights for all. In order to do that, they should also set a good example and lead by imbibing true Islamic principles.
I personally believe that if such business accelerators are put in place, the number of complaints will decrease and we can then focus on other subjects.
This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on December 25, 2016.
Khaled Almaeena is a veteran Saudi journalist, commentator, businessman and the editor-at-large of the Saudi Gazette. Almaeena has held a broad range of positions in Saudi media for over thirty years, including CEO of a PR firm, Saudi Television news anchor, talk show host, radio announcer, lecturer and journalist. As a journalist, Almaeena has represented Saudi media at Arab summits in Baghdad, Morocco and elsewhere. In 1990, he was one of four journalists to cover the historic resumption of diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Russia. He also traveled to China as part of this diplomatic mission. Almaeena's political and social columns appear regularly in Gulf News, Asharq al-Aswat, al-Eqtisadiah, Arab News, Times of Oman, Asian Age and The China Post. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter: @KhaledAlmaeena.