It’s time for change in Bahrain!
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
The time has come for Bahrain to change.
Challenges are there.
However the key here in converting those challenges into opportunities.
No matter what, the change is inevitable for Bahrain to come out strong and take advantage of the global recovery, whether its economy, judiciary or government work.
The talks His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa held the other day focused on these and more.
The meeting was also the first extensive briefing session of HRH Prince Salman after accepting the responsibility as the Prime Minister of the Kingdom.
The path-breaking discussion established new directions for the Kingdom to advance and flourish.
The wide-ranging talk also delivered a much-needed relief to the general public reeling from the pangs of the Coronavirus pandemic.
For, HRH Prince Salman had said that the Kingdom is expecting to see the start of its recovery from pandemic by the middle of this year.
“Whilst the pandemic has presented the Kingdom with unique challenges, the success of the National COVID-19 Taskforce has positioned Bahrain favourably to benefit early from the global recovery. We expect by the middle of this year, we will have turned the tide and be well on the way to recovery.”
But, it is not the end of it.
The kingdom is all set to capitalise on the numerous opportunities that would present itself in the post-COVID era.
For this, HRH said, “We will pursue an open and free economy. An economy that consolidates the rule of law to stimulate output while protecting and preserving the fundamental rights and security of our people.”
HRH also made clear, “Protectionism is not the answer to economic recovery. Treating our economy as if it needed protection from competition and market forces would be a far cry from unleashing its full potential, built on competition, innovation, adaptation and growth. What needed is converting the “unprecedented economic challenges into “opportunities.”
HRH added: “The world is facing unprecedented economic challenges, and we must convert these challenges into opportunities.”
Bahrain, HRH Prince Salman said, is prepared to foster an open, competitive environment, with “access to the global economy that rewards creativity and excellence.”
For which, the Kingdom also need an “effective, efficient and appropriately sized government.”
“We will seek an effective, efficient, and appropriately sized government that meets our genuine future needs,” underlined HRH Crown Prince and Prime Minister.
However, the economy is just another aspect of the bigger picture.
Nothing is complete without identifying the “social make-up and diversity”.
Prince Salman said: “Bahrain’s social make-up and diversity are a source of strength, not weakness, and the government appointments must reflect that diversity, based on competence and loyalty to the nation.”
HRH said: “Future cabinet composition should be more based on competency and further aligned with the age profile of parliament, which reflects the will of the people.”
The move received a rapturous round of applause from lawmakers, ministers, top Bahraini officials and prominent citizens.
Prince Salman also made clear that next upon on his list is the overhaul of the “legal and judiciary system.”
“We will continue to develop our legal and judiciary system, reinforce our integrated human rights system and expand our alternative sentencing programme.”
HRH Prince Salman strongly urged to make “conclusive forensic evidence” as the basis of the law and order system.
“It is important to move beyond reliance on confessions before the court and shift towards requiring the use of conclusive forensic evidence,” HRH the Crown Prince and Prime Minister stressed.
The Crown Prince also said that the Kingdom would adopt programmes for reform centres and prisons.
“We are looking forward to developing open prisons to help protect the social fabric of our community, as well as adherence to the rule of law.”
Interior Minister already clarified that the ministry is fast-moving with this project and is learning from others experience.
HRH, however, said that the cornerstone of all these reforms is regional stability.
“The GCC is an essential cornerstone in maintaining and protecting the region’s individual and collective interests and must remain central to any negotiations regarding the security and stability of the region moving forwards.”
Prince Salman highlighted the pivotal role of Saudi Arabia in ensuring regional stability and strengthening cohesion among Arab and Islamic nations.
HRH the Crown Prince made clear that the Kingdom is looking forward to strengthening its ties with “the US and UK to combat terrorism and provide enhanced stability for the region”.
“We will work closely with the Russian Federation, the People’s Republic of China and other nations to further our relations in areas of common interest.”
On Qatar, HRH Prince Salman said, “Any improvement in relations with Qatar must have individual and mutual respect at its core. A successful outcome can only be achieved through the genuine protection of the interests of all concerned.”
HRH Prince Salman also stressed the importance of “accountability and responsibility” in government work.
“Evaluating the progress of this journey will be measured through delivery and results, not intentions. We must work in the spirit of one national team, so that Bahrain can consolidate its rightful place as a standard-bearer for security, stability and opportunity in the region and beyond,” His Royal Highness added.