09/05/2005

Crackdown on corrupt step in right direction

Vol XXVIII NO. 50 Monday 9 May 2005


By Amira Al Hussaini


I would like to applaud Interior Minister Shaikh Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa for having the courage to call a spade a spade.

In an unprecedented move, he has called for a full and thorough investigation of misconduct and criminal activity at the General Directorate of Traffic.

Now the allegations are not the usual ones we hear about, like someone having influence over someone else to change traffic accident reports, or cancel violations before they are entered into the computer system, or even to pass someone who should have failed the driving test.

No, they are much more calculated crimes, involving heavyweights with the influence and means to abuse their power and look like the innocent flower, while they are the serpents under it.

Shaikh Rashid has ordered a probe to investigate a string of car thefts, involving traffic officials and other influential people.

They have allegedly created a web to steal cars, change their number plates and chassis numbers in traffic records, register them in the names of foreigners who are living here or have left Bahrain and then resell them in the market!

Wow! That's a cracking plan - a great one had it been masterminded by the Mafia and not by the very people employed to safeguard people's rights and protect them from such criminal activities.

It is the fact that those people were entrusted with the responsibility to protect law and order that hurts most.

Who are we to turn to next time our car vanishes from outside our home? You see, not everyone is privileged enough to have a garage with a top-of-the-range security system.

Personally, I wasn't the least bit surprised when I heard about the scandal.

What has surprised me is that the Interior Ministry has actually announced it and is taking steps to stamp such practices out once and for all.

This is a step in the correct direction and corruption should be exposed to set an example for others that such unscrupulous behaviour will not be tolerated in our new democracy.

Just as the crime was announced in public, I hope that the results of the probe will also see light in order to bring respect to a ministry whose main job is to protect law and order.

There will always be certain individuals who are corrupt and who will abuse their positions no matter where you place them, just as there are people who respect themselves, their jobs and their uniforms.

I hope that the purge against corruption at the Traffic Directorate will be extended to cover other directorates at the Interior Ministry which have not moved with the times and are not ready to embrace the doctrines of this new era!

I also wish other officials would show such resolve to stamp out corruption in their ministries.

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