Tag Archives malkiya

Malkiya Restored

Malkiya saga - riot police protecting the wrong side!

It took two years of continuous struggle and hard work and only a few seconds for the Malkiya beachfront situation to be resolved. The king – yes, himself – intervened and ordered the illegal fish-traps removed. The traps of course were installed to prevent people from “trespassing” in the sea in front of a hardly used estate, and were erected in the first place to compensate for the huge loss of face suffered by the owner of said estate – Shaikh Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Khalifa, the king’s cousin – when he was ordered two years ago to remove a separation wall he again illegally built.

The papers have branded the removal of the fish traps a win for Bahrain. I don’t. I regard it more as the full highlighting of the complete disregard that some hold the laws, and an affirmation that laws in this country are applied selectively; more-over, the state itself provides the resources for some people to continue to trample all over these laws.

Why else are there riot police stations within the contravening estate hurling abuse at people and officials without and preventing an official work party from removing the traps? Are those “peace keepers” beholden to the transgressor in any way? Are they in his employ, or are they – as they should – in the employ of the Kingdom of Bahrain sworn to serve its people and protect it from harm?

Malkiya fish traps story in pictures

Why is it that after a week of the responsible authority issuing its order to remove the traps from the area their order goes unheeded and it takes the king to intervene in such a trivial matter?

They say that justice should not only be applied, but seen to be applied. Both situations – as evidenced by this debacle – are very far removed from our shores.

I wonder what trick would be employed next to prevent people from “trespassing” on what should be public property, my guess is that it won’t be too long for the press and people to be made busy once again with another brouhaha that would divert the country’s attention from more pressing issues.

UPDATE 070822: Municipal Councillor Yousif Al-Boori is a liar. Neither Shaikh Abdulla bin Hamad communicated with him in regards to the Malkiya fish traps, nor did the King intervene and Shaikh Khalid bin Mohammed, the fish traps owner, was the epitome of cooperation in getting them removed and did not hinder their removal. All this morning’s papers are saying so!

إلى ذلك، نفت الهيئة العامة لحماية الثروة البحرية والبيئة والحياة الفطرية تصريحات البوري الذي ادعى فيها أن رئيس الهيئة سمو الشيخ عبدالله بن حمد آل خليفة قام بالاتصال به شخصياً، موضّحةً أن مدير مكتب رئيس الهيئة هو الذي اتصل، مبلّغاً اهتمام سموه بإزالة جميع الحظور «المخالفة» بالمملكة بحسب البرنامج المتفق عليه.
الوسط – ٢٢ أغسطس ٢٠٠٧

So there!


Above the law

What’s the future like for our children in Bahrain when 95% of the land are in private hands. How did a country as tiny as Bahrain end up in a situation where a few individuals own the vast majority of the land mass? How did that happen?

How it happened is quite well known to us Bahrainis who have heard horror stories since we were toddlers of some “higher ups” touring the country in a pickup truck with a few Indians at the back and rolls of barbed wire. When that person spies a parcel of land which takes his fancy, he instructs the his Indians to hop off and start surrounding that plot of barbed wire.

There are also the other stories of another one of those higher ups colloquially called Mr. 3 bricks, because he’s a bit more advanced than the pickup guy where he builds a three brick high fence around the plots he “takes.”

This is mostly how Bahrain was divided into an almost medieval landscape; large plots of land which have been apportioned unfairly, then goes through some sort of sectioning and offered up for sale, hence the seller – who doesn’t legally own that land in the first place – becomes upwards of tens of millions of Dinars richer. And off they move to another “unclaimed” land.

How else did Tubli Bay get raped? It was at some point over 25 square kilometers of the most fertile fish and prawn grounds. Now its filled with sewage AND its reduced in size to between 11 – 13 square kilometers, and other than supporting a few stray flamingos, I doubt that any other fish than the hardiest (and uneatable) could survive there. How did it reduce in size though? The same “technique” as the ones described above. This time however, they dredge, fill-in, section and sell. Disregarding the hundreds of families’ livelihood gained from fishing, or the rich environment of that area.

And they move on.

A few weeks ago, the press reported that one of the “big hamours*” had sold THE SEA to the North of the main island, an area of several tens of kilometers to private investors. The figure gained? The rumour has it pegged at upwards of US$ TWO BILLION.

Is it then strange that we see another “up and coming hamour” trying a fast one on Malkiya’s coast? One that doesn’t give a shit about direct and repeated orders from the municipality and the ministry to stop building a wall that would cut off a whole village from the sea on which they depend for their daily lives and entertainment?

The wall being built in spite of clear laws and government warnings

The wall being built in spite of clear laws and government warnings