Just saw this on today’s Al-Wasat:
العاهل يستقبل عائلة بن رجب
استقبل عاهل البلاد جلالة الملك حمد بن عيسى آل خليفة بقصر الصافرية أمس عائلة بن رجب، وذلك للسلام على جلالته، وقد رحب عاهل البلاد بالجميع وتبادل معهم الأحاديث الودية.
وأكد خلال اللقاء أن مملكة البحرين حققت الكثير من الإنجازات في مختلف الميادين، وذلك بفضل عمل وعطاء أبناء الوطن ودور عائلات أهل البحرين الكرام وتكاتفهم لخدمة وطنهم.
وقد أعرب أفراد عائلة بن رجب عن شكرهم وامتنانهم لعاهل البلاد، داعين الله أن يحفظ جلالته.
وخلال المقابلة ألقى عيسى حسن بن رجب قصيدة شكر لعاهل البلاد نيابة عن أخيه محافظ الشمالية جعفر حسن عبدالرسول بن رجب بهذه المناسبة.
Al-Wasat Newspaper – 3 Aug 2010
Briefly, HM the King received the bin Rajab family who extended their wishes to HM and one of them read out some poetry in praise of His Majesty.
Very strange. Because, that big guy sitting closest to His Majesty is none other than ex-minister Mansour bin Rajab who is supposedly under investigation and house arrest for corruption, money laundering and even purportedly assisting the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in the bargain too. So seeing this news-piece and his personage in the presence of HM only suggests that he has been exonerated with the charges against him dropped!
It can only be perceived that he was not found guilty and he’s a free man. So what happened? Has bin Rajab’s name been cleared? Can he now take everyone who slandered him to court (as he likes to do!) Where’s the truth in all this?
An intriguing situation to be sure and I am mildly interested in how this drama will continue to unfold…
Woke up this morning to this:
للمرة الأولى في البحرين
القبض على وزير بتهمة غسيل الأموال
علمت «الوقت» من مصادر خاصة أن جهاز الأمن الوطني قد أقدم يوم أمس الخميس ألقى القبض على احد الوزراء والتحقيق معه بتهمة غسيل الأموال.
وقالت المصادر إن الوزير قد تم استدعاؤه عصر أمس من قبل جهاز الأمن الوطني، حيث رافقته عناصر الجهاز من بيته إلى مكتبه الذي تم إخضاعه للتفتيش»، مشيرة إلى انه «تم الطلب منه استدعاء موظفيه الذين حضروا إلى مكتبه وتم التحفظ على أجهزة الهواتف النقالة الخاصة بهم».
وأوضحت المصادر أن «التحقيق مع الوزير تم أولا في مقر جهاز الأمن الوطني ثم تمت إحالته إلى قسم مكافحة الجرائم الاقتصادية التابعة للتحقيقات الجنائية بالعدلية، وباشرت عناصره التحقيق مع الوزير»، إلا أن المصادر لم تكشف عن تفاصيل أخرى تتعلق بحجم الأموال التي تم غسلها ومصادرها، كما لم تكشف عن عدد الذين تم التحفظ عليهم.
يشار إلى أنها المرة الأولى في البحرين التي تقوم فيها أجهزة الأمن والتحقيقات الجنائية بالتحقيق مع وزير لايزال على رأس عمله.
and from the GDN’s front page:
Official held for fraud
An official accused of running money laundering operations in Bahrain and abroad was arrested yesterday following investigations by the Economic Crimes Directorate. Interior Ministry assistant under-secretary for legal affairs Brigadier Rashid Bu Humood said the ministry discovered the fact early last year and closely monitored in secret the official’s activities in Bahrain and abroad. His contacts and meetings with his aides and parties he was dealing with abroad were subjected to strict control after taking all required legal measures. He has been referred to Public Prosecution.
Wanna guess who this minister is?
They don’t mention him in the pieces above of course, but according to various online forums it appears to be my friend Mansour bin Rajab!
Well this is a turn of events isn’t it? If it is indeed the Right Honourable Minister of course.
Don’t know, but maybe it’s a combination of factors:
- the government is signaling that they’re serious (again) about combating corruption
- they want an improvement in their CPI
- the cookie jar is being depleted too fast
- same with the goat bank (Islamically correct form of a piggy bank)
- discovered this expeditious method of reducing staffing levels
- enacting the corruption article of the Labour Law saves termination fees
or any other number of factors.
Whatever it is, like the rest of Bahrain I’ll wait for clarifications and an outcome of this case, if any.
One thing I will guarantee you though: watch this situation being played with sectarian notes.
Municipalities and Agriculture Affairs Minister Mansoor bin Rajab
– who had been accused of financial, administrative and constitutional irregularities – was cleared by a parliamentary committee yesterday.
Cabinet Affairs Minister Shaikh Ahmed bin Ateyatala Al Khalifa had always denied keeping Bahrain’s population explosion a secret.
However, he was let off the hook yesterday by a parliamentary committee, which decided no action should be taken against him.
Let’s forget the ministers’ alleged culpability and mismanagement for a second, both of them, and let us just consider the issues of how they were questioned, how MPs themselves – the supposed defenders of the masses who elected them and that thing called the constitution – have unashamedly sided and sidled to their chosen minister and how the questions were chosen and framed.
To me, the questions in both cases were oratorical more than they were seeking to probe and find truths on which a decision could be based, or even allow the minister in question to realise that he does have people watching over his ministry’s actions and that he will be held responsible for its performance. The “facts” gathered by MPs were second-hand hearsay rather than damning evidence; and over and above these considerations, MPs positions was premeditated based solely on the whether the minister belonged to their sect.
Should we really be surprised that the emperor was proven – once again – to actually be naked?
Carry on chums!
Brilliant performance, and to hell with the country.
Now where did I put that countdown script?
Is a bastardisation of the translation of an Arabic idiom which is better transcribed in English as “Cleaner than a white thobe” at least – thobe being the Arabian traditional male garment – which might have taken away the derogatory insinuation given by the use of the word “dress”. This Arabic proverb is akin to the English idiom “pure as the driven snow”, but for reasons not apparent to me, the GDN decided in its own lack of wisdom to translate it as such in relation to the Bahraini minister bin Rajab’s declaration of innocence. My suspicion is that they are taking sides, we do not see the same skew in reporting when they talk about the other minister under investigation by parliament.
Not that it would make any difference whatsoever of course; parliament itself is skewed in its current make up, which is sectarian to the core. Am I at all surprised then that Attiyatallah himself was declared innocent of misleading the country by a committee whose members already amply declared their position, even before he was greeted and led to his plush seat in the investigation committee by beaming members of the investigation panel? Of course not. This is a foregone conclusion.
As is the matter of convicting bin Rajab for his financial and administrative irregularities. In that committee, Al-Wefaq’s has the numbers.
The downside for the future of this country is once again the affirmation of the cloud of sectarianism; one in which a person votes for his tribe and sect regardless of the guilt and culpability of the person or issue in question.
I am so gratified that we have visionaries in this society and am doubly so when I find an honourable member of the reigning cabinet extends himself even further by bridging the cultural gap that maatems traditionally play in society.
For instance, what is wrong with local maatems, like the ancient and quite famous Ma’atem bin Rajab, holding meetings to celebrate the healthy return of our beloved king? What is wrong with almost all the maatems in Muharraq putting up boards of welcome and well-deserved congratulations for our illustrious prime minister for receiving the honour of the UN Habitat Medal? Of course this is part of their mandate as they reflect the people’s views from the grass-roots up and their love of this country. It is – I understand – nothing to do with positional politics at all, but a clear and an unadulterated fiesta of gushing love to our beloved leadership.
I shall of course attempt to be present at this national festival of love and urge everyone to do their utmost to do so too.
I wish to congratulate the right honourable excellency Mr. Mansour Hassan bin Rajab for taking this very much needed initiative and pray God that that ancient area of Manama which embraces his family’s maatem not to suffer any electricity blackout during the celebrations and poetry recitals.
 Maatems: plural, religious halls of mourning frequented mainly by the Shi’a.
نعم يا بو حسن… من سيوف الحيدر لسيوف العرضى!
Another celebration took place yesterday in Rifa’a in honour of our PM’s UN prize, mounted this time by the central governate’s municipal council. I am very glad to see that the executive branch, represented by the Honourable Mansour bin Rajab, Minister of Agricultural Affairs and the Municipalities not only taking part in it, but leading the celebrations by participating in the traditional Ardhah dance.
The Right Honourable Gentleman is no stranger to the sword, him having handled it countless times in the Hussaini processions – the Aza – thus demonstrating his multifaceted personality and skills.
Excellent Good News™ your excellency.
And I am also undisappointed that once again I see his picture in the national papers, vying with the appearances of the Minister of Commerce whom he will soon surpass or tie with in the Guinness Book of Records for the “daily appearances in local papers” metric.
While I value the role of some members of the ruling family are doing in the development of this great country and their countless philanthropic activities which I know they are not waiting to be thanked for because they see these efforts as their duty, I have noticed that some ministers have started posting non-discreet “thank you notes” signing them with their personal names rather than that of their ministries at least; take this for instance:
I value His Excellency The Minister Mansour bin Hassan bin Rajab’s [Abu Hamad née Hassan] diligence in thanking Her Majesty the Queen for patronizing the opening of the Andalus Garden in Manama – which I am anxious to visit and benefit from in gardening ideas as a budding gardener myself – but my question here is: is it appropriate for His Excellency the Minister of Agricultural Affairs and Municipalities to sign such a thank you note personally? I’ve notice that His Excellency has done the same with thanking His Highness the Prime Minister in a road-side hoarding in Muharraq on the old airport road on which only The Minister’s name was present in “the credits”.
Unless of course he paid for these himself from his own personal funds, then I have absolutely no problem with it whatsoever, He is free to utilise his own money how He sees fit. However, if He used the Ministry’s funds to do so, I would have thought that there are rules and laws against that which might go into the mismanagement of public funds and position areas.