Jordan: A One Man Army

I have an idea…fellow Jordanians, tell me if you agree…

I say we take all the salaries of the ministers and the parliament members the everyone else that is supposed to be getting a salary from the government, then we give half of it to the king and fire everyone else because it seems to me in this country of ours there is only one captain at the helm and everyone else is just…taking up space. This way things will work a lot smoother and we can save a whole lot of money and not to mention hassle.

Let me rewind…

A few weeks ago there was a bit of a ruckus over the parliament’s decision to purchase bmw’s for it’s members, a decision that was met with opposition or rather rejection by about 15 parliament members part of the Islamic Brotherhood. People complained, the bmw’s were purchased, life went on.

Long story short, the King gets home and orders the parliament members to return the cars or purchase them with their own money. In addition, the BMWs that the Royal Courts use are now being sold for cheaper cars (what I believe will be pick up’s). This is also happening during a week when gas prices have just been increased as the government tries to balance the deficit (something which should’ve been done during the 12 years Iraq gave us oil for practically nothing).

In related news, the Al-Disi Water Project, one of the biggest projects to regulate water in Jordan to date, has come to a stop after the companies the DIPF (Development and Investment Project Fund the Jordan Armed Forces) contracted have failed to implement it. I’m guessing this failure is not something that just happened but has been noticeable for quite some time, at least enough time for the king to hold a meeting at the Royal Courts and order that the project be brought back to the Ministry of Water to be “refloated” to another contractor.

The questions which absolutely plague me are…

Why do we have virtually hundreds of government officials (from parliament members to ministers) receiving salaries and cars in the first place if it takes only one man to obviously do all the work?

Where was the parliament Thursday when the king ordered them to sell or buy their cars on Friday?

Where was the Minister of Water and his whole crew about 2 months ago when the King re-tooled the Disi project on Sunday?

I just don’t get it. I just don’t understand why newspapers will report that the King has visited such and such village in such and such a district where it’s inhabitants are so poor that they’ve never seen paper money. I don’t understand why I’m reading articles about the King planting a tree in such and such a place and then suddenly the government decides to plant the whole area full of them.

Why do all these people receiving salaries have to wait until the King does something in order for them to follow? I don’t understand the oath they take when coming into office…does it contain the phrase “Simon says”?

This is how Jordan works I think. You walk into a bank, the telephone company, a mobile shop, an ice cream parlor…one person is working and everyone is on break, or there are 20 people working but doing jobs that one man can handle alone.

This is why I, Naseem Tarawneh, hereby suggest we drop the chain of command down to one; whittle down middle management to one…and hey…think of all the money we’ll save…

sure, the King will have one big headache at the end of the day…but hey

at least well fix that deficit!


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