Just Rewards?

17 May, '07

Gardener’s loyalty rewarded
Generocity bestowing her gifts painting

DUBAI: Dubai’s ruler has awarded a 63-year-old Pakistani gardener 50,000 dirhams ($13,600 or BD5,125) for always showing up to work on time during the 28 years he spent working there.

The bonus Mohammad Nazier received was the equivalent of 49 months’ pay from his job with the state’s municipal authority.
GDN :: 17 May 2007

A guy lives in a country for 28 years. Foresaking home, kith and kin. Appears to work without fail for 28 years, and all he gets is a meager fistful of notes?

If that was me I would have thrown that money back were it came from and demanded my right as a human being to get naturalised in the country I have literally toiled in for twenty-eight years of my life. The country would have been much more than just a place of work for me had I been given the opportunity to get the honour of its citizenship.

TWENTY-EIGHT YEARS and all you get is US$13,600? And that equates to forty-nine monthly salaries in a country that is supposed to be one of the richest in the world? US$280 a month? For twenty-eight years?

Man Dubai is the place to be!

What generosity!

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Comments (18)

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  1. Yam is Here says:

    عزيزي محمود
    على الرغم من أني أتفق معك تماماً على أن مبلغ المكافئة يعتبر ضئيل جداً مقارناً بمدة الخدمة و خصوصاً الانضباطية في العمل و التي تفتقر إليها كافة شعوب العالم العربي دون أستثناء، الا أني أتعارض معك في الرأي بأنه يجب أن يحصل على الجنسية الاماراتية فقط لأنه خدم 28 سنة في الأمارات؟

    لا خلاف على التجنيس، كان في البحرين أو دبي أو أي مكان بشروط وجود معايير واضحة للتجنيس .. الا ترى المطب الذي نحن فيه في هذا الجزيرة الصغيرة .. بتجنيس ما هب و دب .. أنا أتفهم لو كنا دول صناعية أولى و لدينا الدستور و النظام و القانون الذي يضمن الحق للجميع كنت أنت و جدك التاسع مولود هنا في البحرين أو في كراتشي، و لكن دولنا العربية الان أبعد ما يكون عن ذلك

    شكراً لك على هذه المدونة الرائعة بكل ما تحمله الكلمة

    أخوك: يوسف – بونواف

  2. mahmood says:

    Thank you Yousif for your thoughts. My premise is that any country which needs foreign labour to run it must have a bilateral arrangement with those people it depends on, and just getting money for job done is not enough.

    If you get a work visa for instance in Europe (and you will only get that if your are really special and have talents not readily available within that country) then you will be eligible for naturalization within 5 years in most circumstances.

    That’s the stream I am alluding to here. We should either really start depending on ourselves, or have just and proper naturalisation laws which benefit our countries. This will allow us to always get the best of the best to aid our development and depend on ourselves for the major development push.

    There are a lot of prerequisites of course; education and proper legal structure are just two, but we have got to start somewhere.

  3. F says:

    I am visiting Dubai these days and enjoying the change.

    Lots of developments going on in Dubai and certainly attracting
    people from all over the world. Culture shows, property development, themed parks, monorail, expanded industrial area,
    etc., etc. Bahrainis should apply for jobs here.

    Downside here is that many of laborers live in horrible conditions. Of course, that is not all. There are other areas where Dubai really needs to work on- like the one you mentioned. I am sure they will certainly look into those issues in the coming future. They have a good, merit based, Think Tank and the Ruler here certainly LISTENS to their advice.

    Each country has good and bad points.

    Like Bahrain, we have our great accomplishments and areas that we needs to really work on. Recently, I read about the Exhibition Center in Bahrain being expanded and a comment was added that they would take a slice away from UAE. I can ass,re you that that will not happen. Facilities here, in ALL areas, will outweigh any country in the region.

    I think Bahrain needs to stop comparing itself to Dubai. For, if you do, then you are comparing apples to oranges. Our country needs to look at developments that are happening all over the WORLD. Then IMPLEMENTING them. The slow pace should change upwards to a medium pace. At least then we can then catch up and become a World leader in the true sense.

    Back to enjoying my week-long holiday.



  4. can we talk says:

    lets put this into perspective. 49 salaries is a lot of money. i wouldnt mind getting 49 salaries. and before you respond that his salary was peanuts, he must have felt it was worth his effort staying there, since he stayed that long.
    a housemaid working for relatives has been here for donkey’s years, still a housemaid, yet she is treated like royalty when she goes back home, because she is the rich benefactor back home. she has educated and married off all her sisters and children and has built two huge mansions (her words) for the whole family to live and to rent out.

    citizenship should not be a reward for hard labour, or for long hours. as wrong as we are for offering it to the undeserving of that honour and witholding it from those who have invested their whole lives and fortunes into this country, it would also be wrong to dole it out to every employee who shows up on time, no matter how long he does it for.
    that is even assuming that he wants citizenship. many asians dont want to give up their own nationalities because it is too much hassle when they need to go back, even for a visit. i bet you, given a choice between citizenship and 49 salaries, he’d choose the second without hesitation.

  5. nibaq says:

    He gets a bonus for just Being There?

  6. Sara says:

    If you havn’t noticed regular attendance is a rather amazing in Bahrain (& most likely in other GCC countries too) when it actually happens. People are entitled to 15 paid sick days, 15 days at 1/2 pay and another 15 without pay (they can use their vacation days) before an employer can consider canning them! What the hell is this! If people are really sick this system is great but we people out there beating up doctors to get a sick leave note so that they didn’t have to drag their lazy asses out of bed that day! So, yeah I would say the guy deserved to be rewarded for his excellent attendance record over the years.

    The excuses for the pitiful wages given to both foreigners and Bahraini’s are getting really old! Who the hell can live off of a BD 200 minimum wage that can’t actually be enforced in the private sector? This salary scale by nationality crap has to stop if Bahrain wants to pull itself from the third world rung of the civilization ladder!!

  7. Nav says:

    I was quite shocked when I read that this morning. The gardener sure sounded happy with what he got. But still for 28 years of hard work (probably most under the sun) and something offered by a ruler…

  8. mahmood says:

    CWT I have a problem with the whole idea of paying people according to their country’s pay-scales while working in ours. That very fact is the reason why tens of thousands of our own compatriots are out of work. A so called businessman – with my complete reservation on using that term to describe someone who essential way to bottom-line happiness is mired in effectively the slave-like workforce and payment in like too, a more appropriate term would be a leach – will not exercise the ethics of society’s norms nor religious precepts to raise the standard of living of his workforce but would use them completely to raise his, exclusively.

    Fine. That’s the way the cookie crumbles, but that is one reason I am completely behind the crown prince’s new labour scheme in which surcharges on employing these foreign low-paid workers in order to raise the employment bar.

    I would have liked that some of that surcharge, if not all of it, be given to the worker. But that fight should and will come later because that scheme on completion would have raised the salaries in tandem with economic output and people – regardless of race – will have to compete for a job that they will be judged at by performance alone.

    Ironically, Bahraini workers will be hardest hit initially, not because of the fact that they will find employment, but once they are employed it would be easy enough to fire them, with justification of course, which will ultimately enforce a good work ethic and real competition for jobs, elevating everyone in the process.

  9. Butterfly says:

    This time I will look to the positive side of the story. Compared to some employers here in the Gulf who don’t pay their workers their salaries for six months or more, this ruler is an angel.

    Despite the law salary, serving somone for 28 years is an evidence of good treatment. No law or rule is forcing him to pay this man this amount of money and since he did I will consider this a positive gesture.

  10. Butterfly says:

    law salary = low

  11. mahmood says:

    Yes, but so is cheap theatre.

  12. Sara says:

    A major part of the problem here is that people and business owners continue to compare salaries and the treatment of employees to other people and business owners. Here’s an idea, set a precedence by treating your employees fairly. Pay them what they are worth in Bahraini Dinars. It is shocking how my employer in particular is unwilling to offer his employees anything that is not required of him by law and/or that is not the norm in Bahrain. What these greedy bosses don’t realize is that neglecting their employees’ and thinking they are doing them a favor by giving them a job just ends in low morale which equals poor performance and low employee retention. To hire a new people costs a company a considerable amount more than just keeping your existing employees happy. A smart person could easily understand this but greed usually blinds many employers.

    Mahmood is right when saying that once a standard minimum wage is set, regardless of nationality, then the unemployment problem in Bahrain will start to shift in a positive direction. What employer would go through the hassle of sponsoring foreign employees when they can hire a Bahraini at the same wage??

  13. can we talk says:

    we people out there beating up doctors to get a sick leave note so that they didn’t have to drag their lazy asses out of bed that day!

    yes, and we also have a lot of hard working locals who drag their not-so-lazy-asses out of bed no matter how sick, because the job must get done. we also have people who work on weekends and days off to meet deadlines. generally, i would guess that these are the better paid ones who feel appreciated and are more motivated.

    what IS getting really old is this “Bahrainis are lazy” nonsense. we’re not. most of us are very very hard working and it is insulting and unfair to keep being told we are lazy.

    So, yeah I would say the guy deserved to be rewarded for his excellent attendance record over the years.

    by all means. 49 salaries is a fitting reward. citizenship wouldnt have been.

    Who the hell can live off of a BD 200 minimum wage

    nobody who has to pay for food/ clothes/ their children’s education/ housing/ miscellaneous expenses inside this country.
    and the poor bahraini doesnt even get a measly ticket at the end of two years.

  14. M says:

    “citizenship wouldnt have been. ”

    Why not?

  15. Salman says:

    I do not have much to say regarding this matter, but i truly admire how these brave and hard working people live off 60BD and still manage to send money back home. Yet, i cannot live off 100BD per month during my summer holidays, and i spend 200 hours of the month at work (unpaid work).

    They deserve a lot better than what they are given. They have built our country, they clean our roads, and they treat us like royalty and respect us. It is time they are treated the same.

  16. docspencer says:

    Mahmood, someone is beating off right onto the top of your shiny head. Rub it in quick. You will be able to write things that make more sense.

  17. mahmood says:

    Ah, the twerp is back I see. And one that is supposedly working very very hard at increasing knowledge and inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue.

    Excellent! Keep drinking that good stuff doctor, it might, just might, one day show that it has done some good for your departing intellect.

    Until then, go crawl back into the hole you came out of.

  18. ukhti ninja says:

    Hmmm 13 grand usa. for some thats alot, for others that peanuts.

    a comment about passport and nationality.. thats something in my head. my father has worked all over arabia for 27 years, hasnt been offered a passport from anywhere but the one he got when he were born in uk.
    my siblings( oldest being 26) and i (24 yrs old) have all been raised in khaleej, again no invite for a passport. I personnaly dnt think governments are dishing out passports to people even if they are hard workers, its all about the “wasta and the money”. “fee wasta fee helwa, mafie wasta, mafie helwa. aii baba sahih.” yes its true. even some locals in khaleej are saying the same thing from uae to saudi to oman. the men and women (locals to their lands) in khaleej who pour their sweat and blood mashAllah.Sadly some of them are treated as 3rd class persons others as if they are rulers of the world. sick and sad to see. Islam says no social class etc , wasta and money says ” fee social class baba.”

    maybe if we sniff hard enough we will smell the faloos with the wasta trailing a lil behind it. Allahu alim.

    Alhumdulillah kul hal. im waiting for the akhira for the faloos and as for the wasta, well inshAllah ill get it with the duaa and be granted to jannah. Allahu alim.

    hiyyak Allah

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