(possible) Good News

26 Jan, '06

It looks like we’ll finally be shot of him (arabic).

Good News< ™>!

What did he do in his single year (assuming that he will in fact be kicked out of the cabinet in the next few days):

1. Nothing substantive that would have elevated this country’s reputation in the world.

2. Closed down alcohol-serving establishments during Ramadhan and penalised those which did not during their busiest times. The initial closure decision was not given to these businesses in a timely fashion so that they would make alternate arrangement for a whole month’s closure. I have no problem with bars closing, of their own recognizance, in Ramadhan as that would show their sensitivity to the local culture; although from a freedom of choice point of view I oppose it. People know where the mosques are as well as the bars. It’s up to them to make that decision. The important thing in this fiasco is that he demonstrated unequivocally that he is no businessman nor does he care about the private sector, thus damaging Bahrain’s tourism reputation, well, the minute part that’s left in any case.

3. He inappropriately said that some of those MPs, who supported the bars penal closure, do imbibe. That got him landed in hot water, and with tail firmly between legs, was made to apologise to them. As he should have. That outburst of his demonstrated his neophyte status in politics. I shudder to think of the faux pas of his as a Minister of Foreign Affairs, which is another position he holds!

4. He is a proponent of restrictions of freedoms of expression, of course. It is under his unwise leadership that one of his departments, specifically the press and publications office (aka heavy-handed censorship dept) brought out that brain fart to force all local websites to register with his ministry. Demonstrating his major disconnect with the ways of the Internet, digital publishing, and economy, business and citizen journalism. That was of course not implemented; however, it was not rescinded either, which is the worrying part as it demonstrates that should he or his officials know that they have done wrong, they won’t come clean and apologise for their mistakes and move on.

5. The radio and television stations continue to flounder under his leadership. The post of CEO of that organisation has been vacant since Khalil Al-Thawadi was turfed off to the ambassadorship of Egypt. That was over a year ago. The minister apparently suggested three new CEOs for that vacant position which were rejected. A major snub by the powers that be.

It’s good that the Ministry of Labour’s excellent employment scheme is still going on, and soon they will open the doors for the unemployed of any age to register in one of the 15 or so registration centres to receive re-training to enable them to secure a job commensurate with their skills and education levels. Dr. Abdulghaffar might not have to queue too long to put his name down, and with his university qualification, he will be assured of a minimum of BD300 per month salary. Not too bad, eh?

What else would an unemployed ex-minister need?

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Comments (21)

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  1. anonymous says:

    Re(1): (possible) Good News

    ehem …

    Mahmood, I am afraid you would have to OUTBID me for that position! hehe

    Silly Me 😉

  2. anonymous says:

    Re(2): (possible) Good News

    Whoever is chosen, let’s hope that the person holds some sort of round table discussion (or a number of them) to consult with local people about their opinions on the ministry and way forward. And by local people I mean a broad spectrum – business, social, and Mr and Ms Average TV watcher/news paper reader etc. No one expects all to be pleased, but a coherent and organised brain dump (not fanfared as democracy in action, but just sensible, low key consultation) would surely be a good first step to what will be an ENORMOUS challenge. Makes me shudder to think about what the new person will be taking over, talk about daunting, but whoever it is should be given at least two years, and the full support of the powers that be in that time, otherwise its just going to be another mess-up (in my ever-so-humble opinion) 🙂

  3. anonymous says:

    Re: (possible) Good News



  4. anonymous says:

    Re: (possible) Good News

    I apologise for not signing the above!

  5. anonymous says:

    Re: (possible) Good News

    No wonder then that he was given this portfolio to start with, a Minister of Disinformation indeed!

  6. [deleted]0.95776700 1099323586.392 says:

    (possible) Good News

    [quote]Mahmood: “It is under his unwise leadership that one of his departments, specifically the press and publications office (aka heavy-handed censorship dept) brought out that brain fart to force all local websites to register with his ministry. … That was of course not implemented; however, it was not rescinded either, which is the worrying part as it demonstrates that should he or his officials know that they have done wrong, they won’t come clean and apologise for their mistakes and move on.”[/quote]

    A standard tactic of tyrannical regimes is to enact so many laws that the average citizen must disobey some or all of them simply to survive. By criminalizing the entire population, the tyrants solidify their control. Now they have cause to arrest anybody at will for their own political reasons with perfectly legal justification.

    If every blogger neglects to register his/her website, then any blogger can be arrested at the whim of the government.


  7. anonymous says:

    Re: (possible) Good News

    And there’s more where that came from. MERIP published [url=http://www.merip.org/mer/mer200/stork.html]an article[/url] by Joe Stork (author of the 1997 HRW report) about alleged human rights abuses in 1996. (Ambassador) Dr Abdulghaffar sent a rejoinder which was printed in the MERIP journal defending the government and vilifying the Opposition. Among the things he wrote was:

    They [the Opposition] would impose archaic rules and regulations that are completely contradictory to the continuing development of a modern society and to our relatively open and tolerant culture.

    — chan’ad

  8. anonymous says:

    (possible) Good News

    This is a huge opportunity for Bahrain if indeed the gentleman leaves his post, one which, if grabbed, could potentially do more to change the internal and external perception of the Kingdom than any other event in recent times. Fingers firmly crossed that the Ministry of Cheese finally evolves into a force for good, change, entertainment, national pride, et al

    Who do you think will take his place?

  9. mahmood says:

    Re: (possible) Good News

    I wish they would put me in that position.

    My agenda: Close the MoI within 12 months of taking office, and devolve all of its pertinent functions to the private sector, approve a modern press law that would even put the recent Kuwaiti one to shame, and close down any and all censorship functions.

    Sounds like a plan?

  10. anonymous says:

    (possible) Good News

    What do you say? Dr. Muhammad Abdul Ghaffar is a fundamentalist zealot? I thought he is just His Master’s Voice.

    Less than ten years ago Dr. Abdul Ghaffar was attacking fundamentalist zealots and extremists who were behind Bahrain troubles.

    In its report “ ROUTINE ABUSE, ROUTINE DENIAL: Civil Rights and the Political Crisis in Bahrainâ€?, [b]Human Rights Watch[/b], noted that Dr. Abdul Ghaffar, at the time Bahrain’s Ambassador in Washington, repeated denials by the government of Bahrain “that it sanctions torture or other forms of physical abuse in any manner”. In a letter to HRW the Ambassador assured the world that “The government (of Bahrain in 1996) also maintains that its policies do not in any way violate international human rights standards”.

    Further Dr. Muhammad Abdul Ghaffar, wrote : “[b]The allegations made against Bahrain originate from a very small, but skillful group of fundamentalist zealots and extremists, who are connected to terrorists in Bahrain…. They have disseminated their propaganda through manipulation of the media and of the international human rights movement.” [/b].


  11. anonymous says:

    (possible) Good News

    Mahmood, let him get bd 5,000 after he leaves. Most important thing is that they replace him with a credible person, and doesn’t mess things up like this one did eh?

  12. HMD says:

    (possible) Good News

    And another one bites the dust!!

    HIP HIP.. [i]*join in*[/i] HOORAAAAYY!!

    Drinks on me.

  13. Alireza says:

    More (possible) Good News

    Political forum to debate key laws
    Gulf Daily News 25 January 2006
    CONTROVERSIAL laws on public gatherings, anti-terrorism, civil societies and freedom of the Press will be discussed at a national political conference next week.

    Four separate papers will be presented on these major issues for deliberation at the event, which will be attended by representatives from the National Assembly, the government, Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry and unions as well as political and rights activists.

    Virtually every political society, including the boycotting group – Al Wefaq National Islamic Society, National Democratic Action Society (Wa’ed), Islamic Action Society and Progressive Democratic Forum Society – will also take part.

    Around 400 people are expected at the conference to be held at the Gulf Hotel’sGulf International Convention and Exhibition Centre on January 31.

    “Ninety-five percent of the political societies will attend and all of the important ones will be there,” said Wa’ed chairman and organising committee member Ibrahim Sharif.

    “The framework is one of civil and political liberties and specific issues have been outlined to reach a consensus among the societies and the community.

    “These four laws we believe infringe on the civil liberties of society and this is an effort to bring together one united front against laws and amendments which undermine our freedom.

    “We want everybody there, it is a national dialogue so it is important that we hear all points of view.”

    The conference was due to be held this week but was postponed to give delegates more time to prepare.


  14. Dan says:

    (possible) Good News

    The population of Bahrain is only a hundred thousand or so souls larger than Oklahoma City.(I live in Oklahoma City.) We have our fair share of religious kooks and ignorant politicians here but they do not get away with near as much here as they do in Bahrain. I view Bahrain as one of the nicer places in the Middle East but, SHEESH(!), can someone please change the law over there and throw some of those nutty politicos in the hoosegow?

    Here, all I have to do is fill out a piece of paper and I can address the city council at their next weekly meeting. (I have done this more than once.) This is a political body over a similar population to that of Bahrain. Is this allowed in Bahrain? Is the government there THAT far removed from the average person?

    ‘Nice blog, Mahmood. Please keep the info coming.
    [Modified by: Citizen Quasar (Dan) on January 26, 2006 09:50 PM]

  15. Dan says:

    (possible) Good News

    ….And by the way: Nice ads! Capitalism forever!

  16. mahmood says:

    Re: (possible) Good News

    You bet! Thanks Dan. Do you want to advertise? Please? Anyone? Anyone? :LOL:

  17. anonymous says:

    Re(1): (possible) Good News

    I would love too but those rates make my checkbook, wallet and credit cards SCREAM in pain!!!!!

  18. mahmood says:

    Re(2): (possible) Good News

    You can always do a button of 120×160 like the top left, or even the tower at 120×240 further down… haven’t put up the prices for those yet but will in the next couple of days.

  19. anonymous says:

    (possible) Good News

    A Minster refusing to obey with the highest authority order, it is something like I will not do it again, just one more time and I will not block any Bahraini website. Just one more chance and I will not insults the MP’s in there house and say in front of there faces “The MP’s who want to ban alcohol, they are the ones who DRINK!!!!”
    One more time……..One more time…….One more time……..



  20. anonymous says:

    (possible) Good News

    I think Ghada Jamsheer is a good person for the job. She is intellignet, out spoken, truthful, educated, law abiding and has the necessary tenacity required to bring about necessary change that Bahrain needs. Perhaps whe would make a better minister of social affairs than the Albalooshi.

  21. anonymous says:

    (possible) Good News

    a regiem that entrusted abdelghafar and his predeccers is incapable of chosing a beter replacement, press forward 2 years ahead…
    Abdelghafar is just a symptom of a bigger problem, its REGIEM

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