Al-Manai Expresses Concern over “Al-Maamir Residents’ Crawl towards his Factory” during Shura Session

2019-03-08 - 10:39 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): The citizens of Bahrain have at last heard the voice of businessman Darwish Al-Manai and were aware of "his presence" in the Shura Council. However, the absence of the speaker of the Shura Council Ali Saleh Al-Saleh, and his reluctance to exercise his role in responding to Al-Manai's comments, by only trimming the Shura session recording and cutting out an intervention during the session that very much triggered the residents of Maamir and underestimated their suffering.

Local newspapers and environmental organizations have documented the ongoing disastrous situation that the people of Al-Maamir are living in, but Al-Manai perhaps hopes to receive an apology letter from the residents for living next to his factory, instead of compensating them for the fact that a factory is located between their homes. For instance, he could support their charity fund, or hire unemployed citizens as a kind of normalization with the social environment, yet he complains about their homes and their presence near his aluminum factory. How egotistic is this?

Ironically, Al-Manai's factory, which specializes in the manufacture of aluminium doors, has existed there in Maamir for period of time less than that Imam Ali Elementary Primary school. Dozens of Maamir's residents have died from diseases caused by the contamination of factories built next to it, including Al-Manai's factory. It is unfortunate that this factory only hired one of Al-Maamir's residents and that's it.

During the Shura Council discussion, in its March 3, 2019 session, of the report of the Facilities Committee on a bill amending some provisions of the Leasing Act, which aims at giving greater protection to the families and the residential environment and its social cohesion, Al-Manai made an intervention criticizing what he described as "Al-Maamir village crawl [meaning march]" against the factories and workshops located in the area. The houses are now adjacent to factories and workshops. "Why are factory owners to blame for a failure they had no hand in?," he stressed.

As for the Shura Council head Ali Saleh Al-Saleh did not repeat how he responded to the appointed Shura Council member Fatima Al-Kooheji, at the VAT approval session. "This is a conflict of interest" Al-Saleh answered Fatima Al-Kooheji's intervention during the session, when she asked whether the VAT would include private education, and who would pay the tax, the private school or the parents. Al-Kooheji owns a private school. That's why Al-Saleh was blunt with her, but he wasn't so when Darwish Al-Manai spoke at the March 3, 2019 session.

Saleh Al-Saleh did not stop this intervention pointing out the blatant conflict of interest, since Darwish Al-Manai is the owner of Al-Manai factory for trade and investment in Maamir. Hence, Al-Manai has no right to speak in this regard. The Council head; however, chose another approach, instead of exercising his role as speaker, taking on the role of a censor. He let Al-Manai speak then cut out part of his intervention from the recording. Checking the Shura Council account on YouTube, the part on Al-Maamir has been omitted.

But whoever ordered cutting out that part of Al-Manai's comments did not cut out council member Ahmad Al-Haddad's response. The latter replied "the opposite is true, the factories crawled to the village of Maamir and its people. This region is being polluted and there are reports about this."

Journalist Hani Al-Fardan was able to document Al-Manai's entire intervention from a live broadcast, and air it via his account to show clearly to what extent members of the Shura Council have reached, drowning in their personal interests.

Former Municipal council member and president of Maamir club Radhi Aman, commented by saying: "Our friend owns factories in Al-Maamir, and his factory is among the harmful ones to the environment and he is required to adjust the situation. The area is originally residential and inhabited by people. There was no factory in the village, but, unfortunately, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry put its hand on large areas that were supposed to be housing projects, took them and rented them out. Al-Manai is among the tenants of some plots of land and the owner of others. Residents and environmental reports are still demanding the removal of these factories from the area and construction of housing projects for citizens."

The environmental activist who is known for defending the case of Maamir residents, Mohammed Jawad, commented sarcastically by saying: "Forgive us your excellency for our aggression and our crawl towards the factories." Yes forgive us Darwish Al-Manai, a whole village should be removed from existence for the sake of a factory in a country like this.

Arabic Version


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