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Exaggerations of Al-Ali
June 24, 2013, 12:25 pm

By Ahmad Al Sarraf

Traffic Department Director Maj Gen Abdulfattah Al-Ali, the man responsible for the ongoing traffic crackdowns in Kuwait, recently said that Kuwaitis topped the world when it comes to obeying the law, and argued at the same time that the main problem his department faced was with the expatriate drivers.

If I were the Interior Minister, I would have relieved this man of his duties not only because of his unfortunate use of words, but also because of his inaccurate and prejudiced statements.

First of all, there might be more traffic violations committed by expatriates than those by citizens – though I am not entirely sure about that since the Major General never mentioned statistics to support his claims. But even if we assume that this was true, perhaps the senior ministry official is ignoring the fact that the expatriate population is now more than double that of Kuwaitis, and therefore it is only normal to have more traffic tickets issued against non-Kuwaitis.

Secondly, foreigners did not come to Kuwait sneaking their way across our borders. They came because we invited them and provided everything they needed to carry out their jobs.

Is it fair to now start haunting them and holding them accountable for the increased number of traffic violations, allegedly committed by expats? And the third point is that the expatriates need a driving license more than Kuwaitis do because they carry out all the jobs that we refuse to, such as driving taxis, buses, bulldozers, tractors, and water tankers (let’s not forget to mention sewage tankers, of course).

Maj Gen Al-Ali repeatedly argued that expatriates deported for traffic violations had a record of repeated violations of a serious nature such as jumping the red lights. If we take an extra look into the profiles of these drivers, we would probably find out that most of them were assisted by senior officials from inside or outside the ministry to obtain their licenses without necessarily passing their tests.

Why only hold an expatriate driver accountable for traffic violations while ignoring the fact that many of them paid Kuwaiti employees to ‘pass’ their driving tests? Also, we cannot be the world’s most law abiding people as Maj Gen Al-Ali suggested when we fail to honor the law in all aspects of life. It is just illogical to say that someone completely honors traffic regulations but breaks the law in other aspects of life.

Besides, we cannot claim to be law abiding when a majority of us do not even know what the law is. And we certainly cannot be the best in honoring the law when corruption and bribery still flourish in the state departments.

Therefore, I believe that Maj Gen Al-Ali deserves to be awarded a hypothetical Nobel Prize in Exaggeration for his statements, because honestly speaking, we could be the world’s top people in overspeeding, reckless driving, parking in parking spaces reserved for the disabled, swerving and driving on the street’s shoulder.

On top of all that, we are asked to vote in parliament elections more often than any other people around the world.

Source: Al-Qabas


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