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A Clear Goal - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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The political movement within Saudi Arabia is pointing in a new and exciting direction. Weeks have passed since the important legislative decisions and the bold cabinet reshuffle [undertaken by King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz] pumped new blood into the heart of the Ministerial framework, as well as into the Legislative Shura Council. There is great hope and expectation [with regards to these changes] and consequently the desired results must completely fulfill them.

Perhaps the new Education Minister, Prince Faisal Bin Abdullah Bin Mohammed is aware that he is dealing with an extremely important, challenging, and complex file, namely the “enrichment” of the future of Saudi Arabia. The Prince will be well aware of this, and so will be calling for small and quick victories in order to gain the public’s confidence, and be able to break the cycle of frustration that is incapacitating this vital and important institution.

The new Justice Minister, Sheik Mohamed Al-Issa is young, diligent and ambitious, and he is recognized as possessing the competence, wisdom, self-composure and maturity to cope with even the most sensitive issues. There are great hopes [with regards to his appointment] following the infirmity which has paralyzed the judicial system throughout the previous long years due to the lack of necessary development and reform required to the capabilities, apparatus, and efficiency of this service. This is a department which at the very least, can be described as a vital and essential service.

It is important to focus on the qualitative aspects of the developments and reform to the apparatus and system, but the quantitative aspect [to reform and development] must also be addressed with the addition of a number of eligible Judges and assistants [to the Judicial sector] to meet the mounting daily pressures.

There is no country in the world that does not desire to have a well-developed education system that meets the evolving needs of the labor market, and keeps pace with global developments. Not to mention a judicial system that is applied effectively and without exception or disruption.

In addition to a health care-system that provides health care, both curative and preventative, at the highest level, effectively and inexpensively. The difficult task of reforming the health sector, which has deteriorated in recent years with the emergence of new administrative problem and medical difficulties has been placed upon the shoulders of [the new Health Minister] Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah. The emergence of these administrative problems, and medical errors, are extremely disturbing, and cannot be considered to be within any accepted “ratio” for medical malpractice. When dealing with the Health sector, citizens should feel a bare minimum of safety and confidence with regards to the health service provided to them, rather than feeling afraid or humiliated, which is completely unnecessary.

Mohamed Al-Jasser, the new governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, has called for the “personalization” of this service, so that the people can personally appreciate the value of what is on offer through the banks they deal with on a regular basis. He gave the example of a complaint filed by a foster-mother who was not able to open accounts in the names of her foster-children. The community at large, and Shariaa Law trust these children into the care of this foster-mother, yet her bank refuses to allow her to open accounts in the names of her children. This is warped logic that must be amended.

People are betting that the Shura Council will be more dynamic in response to their demands and aspirations, but the challenges are large, and expectation is rife, and so the actions of the Council must keep pace wit this. All indications are positive with regards to the benefits of the recent changes [and reform], and now all are eagerly awaiting its results.

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Mr. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al-Takreer on Al-Arabiya, and in 1995 he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his BA in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

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