How much you pay?

12 Jul, '06

When the only metric that you consider when evaluating a job is the cash you can stash rather than any other factor which should be considered, especially if that job is in the service of your country, then you are not worthy of that job, regardless of its pay and benefits.

Take for instance our dear moronic Chairman of the Council of Representatives, when he spews forth this gem:

«انا لا أطمع في الحصول على منصب وزاري، لكن لو عرض علي هذا المنصب لما كنت قد قبلت به لأن راتبه غير مجز»

Translation: I do not covet a ministerial position, but if such a position where to be offered to me I would refuse it as its pay is not worthy.
الوسط :: 12 يونيو 2006

That reminds me very distinctly of an article I have written a while ago in which I discussed the mindset of the typical (entry level) Bahraini job seeker, the surprise is that this person, who calls himself the Chairman of the Council of Representatives, follows the same rule in evaluating a job as does the office janitor!

Obviously he has no concept whatsoever of public service. And he conveniently forgets that every single minister in this government, including the prime minister, would regard that pay packet as lower than normal pocket money; that every one of them is a multi-millionaire, and every one of them probably owns huge tracts of land, houses, farms, boats, etc and that they really don’t need this particular monthly check… especially as the law being discussed to peg ministerial salaries is void of all the other hidden benefits they receive (talk in the press previously of each sitting minister with portfolio gets BD100,000 a year as an annual bonus during Eid, while the ministers without portfolios receive BD50,000. I have a hunch that there are a lot more of these gifts that they get, but are not declared for the national budget or any other transparency device.)

I agree that in other countries that ministers may get a lot more in their pay packets, but the guarantee is probably that they (1) have to declare their wealth at assuming office, (2) subject themselves and their families to regular audits, (3) not allowed to have another job, (4) no conflict of interest, and a myriad of other laws and regulations that they have to abide by which I should only be too happy to apply to our own ministers and higher government officials. If they agree to these measures, I would have no problem whatsoever of quadrupling their monthly salaries.

But then there is this other thing: a person does something for the love of one’s country, rather than just the love of one’s bank account. The latter’s succinct example is none other than this construction company owner who has been pre-ordained to the position of the chairman of our elected parliament.

And he has the temerity to actually state that he is not only standing for re-election to the parliament for the next term, but also standing for its chairmanship too?

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Comments (9)

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  1. zara says:

    solution: pay politicians the minimum wage??

    i saw this a little while ago and thought it was pretty funny but also has some merit –

    http://joeandkari.blogspot.com/2006/06/rich-vs-poor.html

    maybe then parliament would spend less time talking about satanists and panties hanging out to dry in muharraq balconies, and more time working on job and wealth distribution, education, a better standard of living for all (and not just ministers) … + finally agree on actually having a minimum wage!

    and “I do not covet a parliamentary position, but if such a position were to be rewarded to me I would work for minimum wage for parliamentarians” = )

  2. mahmood says:

    not at all Zara, my point is that pay them as much as possible to keep them from corruption etc, but do it transparently and they should not be allowed into any conflict of interest situation; ie, they should divest themselves from private businesses before they get into government/parliament.

    as it happens now, conflict of interest is not even considered in parliament nor government

  3. tooners says:

    These ppl are spoiled here. Here, if I’m not mistaken, the Minister’s aren’t supposed to have other jobs but they do. I know one, in particular, that has tons of other companies but has them in his wife’s name and daughters. Personally, they’re given way too much and do way too little!

    And… let’s not even get into corruption! Money disappears but nobody has to pay. hmmmmmmmm…….

  4. i love how not only are the parliament members interested in beefing up their own remuneration packages, but they’re also interested in making sure the ministers get the right salaries.. let me tell ya, these guys are all heart..

    You’d think, that for the recently reinstated parliament, the members would actually want to do some good for their country – leave behind a legacy, where people would mention their names with pride.. The parliament came into our lives to proove that democracy in Bahrain wasn’t a mistake, that we are capable of reform.. instead, we’re left with a disgraceful and pathetic group of bandits, excited only by their own narrowminded views and their occaisional bare knuckle fist fights…

    I’m depressed, i need to stop writing..

    dammit mahmood, can’t we go back to a post about flowers..

  5. zara says:

    oh no mahmood i was joking, its hard to read things the way they are said on blogs —

    i really do think they should be paid like normal people and i think a minimum wage would give them a better idea (teach them a lesson) about what work needs to be done to improve the country !

    i was saying its a ludicrous idea but i kind of like it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I read today in the GDN that the PM gets over B.D. 5000 a month ($13,000) X (12 months) =$156,000 a year.

    Do any of you honestly think that that’s all he’s making? I agree mahmood, let’s have an auditor go to PMs business(es) and do some serious auditing. Or have him declare his networth! That’ll be a real eye-opener.

  7. mahmood says:

    I wish Google Earth was around 4 years ago, then we can compare these MPs’ and ministers’ pads then and now.

  8. mahmood says:

    dammit mahmood, can’t we go back to a post about flowers..

    but people complain when I do that! anyway, it’s summer so there’s nothing much to write about gardening, though I’ll let one slip in once in a while.

  9. M says:

    “The parliament came into our lives to proove that democracy in Bahrain wasn’t a mistake, that we are capable of reform.. instead, we’re left with a disgraceful and pathetic group of bandits, excited only by their own narrowminded views and their occaisional bare knuckle fist fights… ”

    Sounds like the US Congress except for the fist fights (they use guns here); maybe you are further ahead down the road of democracy than you think!

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