Security top priority for Bahrain’s youth
Manama, June 15, 2011
Security and a good standard of living top Bahrain youngsters' wish lists - according to a new Facebook and Twitter poll.
They are more than happy with their government and have rejected the need for change, the survey said.
Results of the survey will be sent to the National Unity Gathering, political societies and parliament.
The object is to project a uniform vision of citizens' demands to be included in the agenda of the national dialogue commissioned by His Majesty King Hamad from July 1.
Topping the list of demands by youngsters covered by the poll, in which more than 1,000 citizens took part, was a call to reject any constitutional amendments, particularly with regard to power rotation, stressing the need to keep electoral constituencies unchanged.
The youngsters also stressed the importance of enforcing law without exception in all religious, security or other matters. It was also emphasised that leading positions in government ministries and agencies should be retained by those who were not proved to have demanded the fall of the regime.
There was also absolute rejection of appointing any minister or government official as a token of favouritism to any political or religious society.
Demands also included the need to rectify conditions of ministries and government corporations to stop wastage of public funds on non-benefiting projects or programmes (as stated in a Financial and Administrative Control Bureau report), and to seek appropriate solutions to address administrative and financial corruption.
Following matters related to living conditions must be considered:
• Adjust employee salaries and retiree pensions to match rising cost of living and raise wages of private sector employees;
• Develop realistic plans for the housing problem and change such laws and regulations that had deprived a large segment of citizens of benefits of housing services;
• Discuss ways and means to provide job opportunities for unemployed people, particularly university graduates;
• Standard of education and health need to be improved to cope with progressing living conditions; and
• Increase attention to the youth sector by providing scholarship programmes and missions, forming and training youngsters to take up responsibilities in ministries and utilising their energy to fill leading positions.
The list of demands included a call to review and amend the naturalisation law and give parliament more powers to help upgrade the democratic process.
A larger budget must be allocated for the media, with focus on foreign information by opening new foreign-language channels and appointing competent staff well-qualified and well-trained in talk show management.
Demands stressed the need to develop well-articulated plans to upgrade tourism and end prostitution and alcohol.
It was also proposed to form a national crisis management committee comprising public figures recognised for their political expertise and social acceptance.
The panel's functions are to bring closer viewpoints, monitor the overall political situation, make early interventions through managing dialogues and offering solutions acceptable to all parties concerned.
Demands contained a call to enhance the Civil Service Bureau's role in:
• controlling jobs and sect- based distribution of jobs;
• adjusting existing ratios in view of the detrimental effect of sectarianism on state organisations and institutions;
• monitoring job gradation; and
• selecting national scientifically qualified and competent staff.
There were also calls to the Foreign Ministry to:
• appoint national competent staff that must play a significant role in projecting the real image of Bahrain.
• strengthen relations between diplomatic missions and the media in the host country. – TradeArabia News Service