Lame excuse by the municipality


Okaz newspaper

SOMETIMES a person feels happy when he reads the comment of government officials in response to an issue that was addressed in a newspaper or by an opinion columnist. The comments by officials are usually an explanation or a clarification of the issue addressed that the writer and the newspaper were not aware of or did not have any knowledge about.

Some of these responses used to be aggressive against the column writer or the newspaper itself. Such responses indirectly expose the wrongdoing in the department concerned, no matter how hard they try to damage the credibility of the writer and the newspaper.

The response by the Jeddah Municipality to two articles I wrote previously on the municipality›s negligence provoked me. The services in Taibah district in Jeddah was supposed to be completed in 2005, but the situation in the neighborhood remained chaotic.

In the first opinion column, I called on the Jeddah mayor to visit the neighborhood and see for himself the bad conditions there. Since the previous mayor did not bother to visit the neighborhood and see how his department was so neglectful, I renewed my invitation to the newly appointed mayor, Saleh Al-Turki. I also extended the same invitation to the deputy emir of Makkah, Prince Abdullah bin Bandar, so he can see for himself the terrible conditions and enforce tough decisions on the service departments to improve the situation of this neighborhood and other similar neighborhoods.

Lately, the municipality published their response in Okaz newspaper, commenting on the two articles I wrote about this subject, in addition to another article by a colleague. The best way I can describe their comment is, «It›s nonsense».

It looks like the Jeddah mayor did not read the response that was sent to the newspaper on the three articles, or he did not read the articles in the first place. The municipality›s failure to provide the essential services and not reading the articles is only a proof of their negligence.

If the mayor wanted to challenge what I said, then I renew my invitation to him to visit this neighborhood and six other neighborhoods, which are in quite a bad shape.

The neighborhood did not have a paved street at the time the municipality was talking about how clean the streets were? Since the municipality›s response was written inside an air-conditioned office, the person who wrote it filled it with nonsense without actually knowing what was happening on the ground.

Dear Mayor, this is my second invitation to you to visit the neighborhood and see the negligence with your own eyes. In your last speech, you talked about eliminating all the ugliness in Jeddah. As a man from Jeddah, I have seen many places that are ugly.

There are streets that big trucks are finding difficult to cross. Does the municipality consider such streets clean?