The State’s Withdrawal

By Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Mon 4 September / Sep 2017. 11:00 PM - آخر تعديل في Wed 6 September / Sep 2017. 12:11 AM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

How is the state planning to pass these amendments to the Income Tax Law, one of Jordan’s most important and sensitive laws, if not the most sensitive, without engaging the public?

Income tax lies in the core of Jordan socio-economy policies; in the heart of Jordan’s national philosophy.

So, if the government is actually convinced by these amendments, why not address the public directly and explain these changes?

If, at all, these amendments should prove viable, then by addressing the public, the government could build a popular platform to support the bill in parliament.

Instead, the government withdraws from confrontation; why?

Is it fear? Inability? Incompetency? Or is the government simply just not convinced by the very bill they just submitted?

So far, it’s all leaks, and I am not about to discuss what was circulated of it.

What I am talking about goes beyond the content and detail of a government decision. It extends to address the current “political vacancy”.

No one is talking to the people, telling them what’s going on; informing them.

It seems like our officials would rather stay silent than get involved in public debates and dialogue, as though it is going to save them the trouble of engagement.

If anything, this vacancy only leaves people suspended in speculation, both in regards to domestic and regional affairs.

To be clear, this isn’t an isolated case.

So much has happened recently, wherein the government has either been too late to make a statement or media-wise non-existent. From the recent Rusaifa incidents, through various events over the last two years or so.

In all of the major events and incidents in these last two years, the state’s media-political message was near oblivious and lacking. As if what we need today is an absent, silent government, shying away from confrontation.

Is the government scared of making a mistake, or maybe slipping the wrong word or statement, in order to avoid a media storm?

Should that be the case, which probably is, then we’re facing a major problem.

When the state itself is too scared to communicate its views and messages, in the absence of statesmen with the courage to face the people, how will our media convey these mysterious message? How will the people take it?!

Why don’t our politicians and officials defend their policies?!

To me, it is a clear case of phobia, and this isn’t something you’d want in a government.

Officials must overcome their fears, and break out of their seclusion.

Meanwhile, we shouldn’t tighten the noose for our officials as well; we need to encourage them to speak up.

Politics isn’t just about a statement here or there! It is more about the debate and defence of these policies than it is ever about the policies themselves!

If the politicians themselves are not convinced enough to face the public, how is the public going to swallow the government’s decisions?!

I’m not saying that public statements need to be uncalculated and improvised, on contraire. Formulating the official, public rhetoric and narrative is a very complex task. One which requires a high degree of professionalism.

It is as sensitive as it is necessary. But the alternative is not silence!

Instead, the state should develop its public communication channels, both domestically and internationally.

Jordan is undergoing major political, economic, social, and regional transformations which more than ever requires the skills and vigour of a ruthless, engaging politician.

More so, this phase requires integration and a collaborative political-economic team.

The cowardly officials who consider themselves mere technocrats, while operating in complete isolation, cannot serve the best interests of the states in this precise stage.

A technocrat can be an administrative official at a ministry or a government body, but a minister is a political figure, and politicians do not hide!

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

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