What the Premier Did not Say!

By Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Tue 8 August / Aug 2017. 12:00 AM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

“The Prime Minister, Dr Hani Mulqi, stressed the importance of working towards constituting positive change in society’s culture, particularly regarding job opportunities in Jordan’s economic sectors.”

More so, the premier underscored that the government is pushing towards employment, as opposed to the culture of hiring, as in the empowerment of individual productivity.

He also said that the public sector has no longer the capacity to provide more jobs, save for the technical specialties and fields.

What the premier said, all of it, needs clarification. It must all undergo thorough debate and discussion, which may be one of the things the prime minister did not say.

The entirety of internal and external conditions, which have governed Jordan’s policies over the decades, have changed fundamentally.

The problem is no longer Arab regimes seeking to destroy us, nor the affiliated and allied powers within. Even Israel, when it comes to the major power, has shifted roles, and is no longer supportive of Jordan’s stability.

Our problem today is the decay of the regional system, the disintegration of surrounding states. And with their fall, the very national identities in these states and societies crumble.

The entirety of the official Arab position on Israel has turned under the building pressures of the Iranian expansion, in the region.

Naturally, this shift has encouraged Israel to revaluate its relationship with the Jordanian regime, on a fundamental level.

The Jordanian treasury has received zero direct aid from friendlies in the region, despite Jordan’s indispensable regional role, given the Kingdom’s geo-strategic, sensitive position.

Despite the hardening difficulties Jordan is facing, none of the promised aids or investments have been met, even though our neighbours know exactly what the Kingdom is going through.

The decision makers in Jordan are fairly convinced that the era of generous foreign aid and support is gone!

Domestically, the political challenges is no longer associated with ideological, party rivals, as it once was, nor internal threats arising from domestic affiliations to foreign agendas. The inclination towards radicalism and extremism, drugs, undermining the law, and petty corruption has become perhaps even more dangerous. Let alone the obsolete bureaucracy.

The very moral stand of the state is under threat, as public and university education recedes and is very well be at risk too!

Nowadays, the grand challenge is no longer building the state and the public sector.

Quite contrarily, as the premier said, this phase requires convincing the public that the age of state reinterring is gone, and that that the public sector will no longer be providing jobs. It is time the state drops the extra weight in the public sector, addresses disguised unemployment, and cuts down on the salaries and pensions which drains the budget!  

Projects like Phosphate, Potash, and the Royal Jordanian are not as profitable as they once were.

Due to mismanagement, myopic planning, and failing policies, their profits have caused humongous damages to the state’s financial position.

Today, we stand facing the phantom of unemployment, which is closing on to nearly half of our youth population; around 40 per cent of Jordanian youth, unemployed, and rising.

An abundance of university graduates pours into a limited labour market, in an economy enduring an indirect siege, with exportation stalled in almost every destination!

The job taboo culture is no longer an issue, as the premier put.

So many youths have broken it, working in factories, restaurants, coffees, and valet parking. The issue is the general culture of the state and the citizenry, alike.

We need a new political message, which addresses and clarifies the multitude of challenges and variable, to reformulate the public’s relationship with the state.

Priorities need to be rearranged, in regards to education, labour, legislation, and the market.

As soon as news like yesterday’s Finance Minister’s comes out, it would evoke a tide of outraged sentiments, which uncovers a loophole in the state-public communication dynamic.

Obviously, from the dozens of angry comments on AlGhad’s website, there is a hole in communication.

There is a deep vacuum disrupting the state-citizen relationship, and the communication dynamic.

We need to understand the fundamental changes in this relationship, and where it’s heading in the future, in order to convey a solid, coherent, convincing message to engage and win the public.

 This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.