In a country that is awash with multi-billion dollar projects and where these kinds of projects are announced almost on a daily basis, we get a front page snippet advising us that 98,000 individuals in Bahrain – most of them probably representing a family each – will be receiving a monthly stipend of BD50 (US$132) from the government as an aid to allay the effects of sky-rocketing prices of basic goods and services in this country.
Can you believe this? What is this country coming to? Isn’t the government responsible to every one of its citizens to provide them with adequate housing and jobs as is enshrined in the constitution? What does it mean when we are faced with pictures such as this in the national papers?
Is this picture not a resounding notice of the abject failure of the government in its various duties? And are these alms they are giving fully one fifth of our Bahraini population – most of them indigenous I should think – enough to raise their standard of living and allow them to surmount the poverty line they have been living under?
Things like this and the various “makramahs” or Royal Gifts, although very welcome I am sure, should never be the modus operandi of a government. It surely should enshrine and inculcate basic rights to its citizens and be prepared to be held responsible for failures such as this. Giving out a stipend such as this should not absolve it of its basic responsibilities.