Mission Possible: Mulqi

By Jumana Ghunaimat

تم نشره في Sat 19 August / Aug 2017. 12:00 AM
  • Jumana Ghunaimat

In the midst of the intensifying debate on the second bundle of financial and tax reforms, the Prime Minister, Dr Hani Mulqi, decided to make a public appearance on television, to go over the highlights of the government’s plan for the upcoming months.

During the interview, conducted by our colleague Abir Zibn, the Premier portrayed the government’s achievements in this past months.

Regarding the decisions to come, Mulqi stressed that they shall entail wider reforms in various sectors, including redirecting finances to support reforms in education and health.

He said that a significant amount of the funds allocated from financial reforms will be redirected to advance reforms in other sectors, including Jordan’s most sensitive sectors.

Here lies the heart of the matter.

If the government were to somehow overcome the hurdles of economic reformation, then they would have laid a solid foundation for the milestones to come.

Above all, the government would have also made serious amends to restore the people’s trust.

For so long, with every painful economic decision, our governments have made a habit of sedating people with endless promises to better the quality and level of services provided.

None of them met their promises.

More so, the quality and level of services, mainly health and education, have been in regression for a while now.

Not to mention the deteriorating quality of life and the erosion of income, the overstuffed bureaucracy is chocking the public sector.

 

It seems, more or less, that Mulqi’s government has actually begun real reforms in the spheres of education and reforms.

Nothing is more pressing for the Premier than to reform the public sector.

Sadly, though, his government has not yet compiled a comprehensive plan to reform this sector, save for the e-government project, which is still at its very beginnings.

Moreover, so long as salaries and subsidies comprise 86 per cent of the Budget’s current expenses, it becomes even harder to envision any major breakthroughs; be it in reforming the public sector or expanding capital expenditures and projects!

The public have very little faith in the state institution, due to the governments’ recurrent failures to meet their needs. This much the public knows, and there’s no denying it.

In fact, this is probably the most decisive factor when it comes to in the public’s declining trust and perception of the many governments which have come and gone.

As their incomes decline and their lives harden, it is only natural that the people would end up with an overwhelmingly rising sense of disappointment, desperation, and disloyalty.

The government must be aware of this; that changing the public’s opinion, and raising the people’s morale can only be done by improving their lives. Without tangible enhancements to the public’s everyday lives, their opinions of the government will not change.

People must see it, and feel it, for that matter, in order to believe it!

Such changes entail, typically, developments in the quality and level of governmental, municipal, and public services, including law enforcement.

Tying taxation to better services is the magical formula to restoring citizenship and the values of loyalty, work, and achievement.

As Mulqi said, this can only be attained by directing the people’s funds to serving the people’s interests, their security, protection, and welfare.

Mission possible, as Mulqi would put it.

The government has, indeed, the necessary qualifications and capacities to advance such endeavours and aspirations forward.

For a long time we have hesitated, but we have finally put together a comprehensive plan to reform education; all we have to do is implement it.

Soon, we’ll have the same sort of plan for the healthcare sector, and hopefully too, we’ll have another comprehensive strategy to develop the transportation sector.

The point is that we need to put these plans into action as soon as possible, and keep the public informed of the milestones achieved, so that the people would feel the difference.

No doubt, the government’s decision to establish a unified project financing and employment fund is a good idea; the sooner the better, because the current state of affairs is a failure!

 

The Prime Minister has inaugurated the launch of the upcoming phase with a structured interview on national television.

Now, this communication and the messages beyond it must be taken forth to the next level; interactive dialogue with society’s elites and activists in the public sphere, as well as social media!

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

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