Yousef Mashal Not Only One who Despises Bahrainis, Many Naturalized Citizens Do So
2019-03-01 - 11:29 am
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): If the words of businessman Yousef Mashal were painful to hear, then the injustice of your own countrymen would even feel more painful.
The statements made by the king and the prime minister only a few weeks ago about the significance of Bahraini nationals in their country only left an adverse impact, as the likes of Yousef Mashal know that this talk is for media consumption only, and the bitter truth is that the political leadership of the country does not value Bahraini nationals at all. This could be seen reflected in the insults directed at nationals in their own country by the new Bahrainis.
Mashal gave himself the liberty to speak arrogantly and rudely, provoking outrage. He crossed the line when he decided to ridicule Bahraini citizens' demand to make their employment in the private and public sectors a priority.
Mashal tried to push the attack away from him by playing the famous game of accusing the opponents of his provocative comments of having links to terrorism and loyalty to foreign countries. It's the same discourse by which these naturalized people and mercenaries came between Bahrainis, dividing them and creating a social rift with the helping hand of the authorities. Mashal and people like him primarily couldn't bear hearing the Bahrainis unified voice, demanding to mainly limit the resources and riches of their land to them and not to others.
However, is this stranger, businessman, Mashal, only boldly speaking his mind? Is he the only one? Or do his words represent an opinion and a trend that exists in the private commercial sector as well as among those in power? With these questions in mind, one can listen closely to what lawyer Abdullah Hashim said on Saturday (February 23, 2019): "The employment of foreigners in the public sector is supported by another political decision-making position, and this is where there is a conflict and thus appeals will not succeed. The popular demand needs a political will."
Without beating around the bush, Abdullah Hashim is now working for Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman, who is dissatisfied with his setback keeping him behind the Crown Prince First Deputy Prime Minister. Hashim criticized and carps at the Crown Prince and his economic team, saying they oppose the unemployed Bahrainis having their right to be hired in the public sector, noting that they back the position of supporting the employment of foreigners. He even demands that the Crown Prince and his team, who began addressing the unemployment issue, to quickly announce their plan for solving the dilemma of unemployed Bahrainis: "If not announced this week, it is just a media [ploy] and stalling."
On the other hand, Mashal reiterates in one way or another what Labor Ministry Undersecretary Sabah Al-Dosari said in his statement, which perhaps was one of the most recent comments sparking anger among Bahrainis. On January 13, Al-Dosari said that "companies and institutions are not obliged to make the employment of Bahrainis a priority, since the economy in Bahrain is an open economy," adding that "the ministry is seeking, by persuasion not imposition and forces, to have jobs for Bahrainis."
If the comments of the naturalized Mashal were considered hurtful, then such comments coming from Bahrainis would be more so. Farid Hassan, a Bahraini writer for Al-Watan newspaper, wrote an article no less insolent than Mashal's attitude. On January 29, he wrote an article entitled: "Disadvantages of Hiring a Bahraini". He repeated the false stereotypes, such as that "the Bahraini is often enthusiastic at first but soon does not do what is expected of him, which the reason for his hiring was based on," and that the Bahraini "quits the job if he had the opportunity to be in a job with better salaries and privileges." He also goes as far as warning that "relying on emotion in the employment of the unemployed Bahrainis and those seeking jobs harms all parties involved, including their employment in the public and private sectors."
Returning to Mashal, it is evident in his articles, published in Al-Bilad newspaper which allowed him to write and preach the public opinion, that he is expressing a certain view shared by private sector businessmen and traders (the economic team). Mashal describes the government's previous employment of Bahrainis as "the implications of disguised unemployment," as if he's saying that's the reason for what the decline in the economy. He highlights in his article that "the accumulation of national labor in the government sector with the lack of production at the time did not lead to real development, but actually exacerbated disguised unemployment, removing these local workers from industrial and productive jobs, and excluding educated youth from certain professions, while opening the door for depending on foreign labor." Hence, he sees that hiring Bahrainis in the government accumulates disguised unemployment.
Mashal's vision and disdain for Bahrainis can be added to Undersecretary Sabah Al-Dosari and Farid Hassan said, without forgetting the statements of Minister Zayed Al-Zayani when he publicly said that "Bahrainis lack creativity" and bashed a Bahraini trader objecting to the Chamber's decision to widely open the market to foreigners, allowing them to compete with Bahraini traders without restrictions. "Quit that kind of talk," the Minister warned him.
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