Expatriate Mafias, Saudis, Corruption and Me…

Palestinians, Lebanese, Pakistanis, Indians, Africans… list goes on and on. Communities in KSA. Millions of people who will never leave this land. Though the Saudis would like to believe that one day they will, they will not. Mark my words. I don’t care how strict policies get , how much Saudization happens.. the number of expatriates will not decrease. They WILL settle down here and one day DEMAND to be citizens.

Why do you think there are still so many people looking for jobs? Why do you think there are so many defaulters of bank loans amongst Saudis? They never have consistent jobs. Lazy people? No.. this old ridiculous story is fake.

Here is what is going on. There are Mafias in every corporation. Depends on where the head is from. These mafias consist of lower, middle and upper management people who are not only looting the company they work for , but the country they live in.

Recently, I was with my Saudi associate. He is the CEO of a multi-million dollar setup. When I went to his office, he seemed disgusted .. even though he greeted me in his usual way, a smile.. Hala Abu Ibrahim.. sit.. BUT, the smile was forced. So I asked him. What happened that he was so distressed. At that point his secretary walked in and said something about the Maintenance Manager. Thats when this man blew up. ” Tell that dog to walk and not look back, I do not want to see his face again!”.. he shouted. The secretary said, YES SIR.. and left.

So , I asked him who this “dog” was.

He looked at me and said: I am the CEO of this company. I work from 6 AM to 9 PM. This man is our Maintenance Manager. He is from Lebanon. All he has is demands about his office decor. Coming at his own time. Bossing people around.. and ya shaikh, he drives a 450,000 Riyal car. Brand new. How has he done this?

Well, maybe he does other work too. Maybe he has a business. I thought out loud. But then, too many question marks. We both knew this was not a good explanation. There was a lot going on.

It has become common practice that you get contracts by bribing managers that decide. If you do not give them “commission”, you do not get the business. And the recipients of these commissions are usually people of the same community or country. Makes sense. It all stays home. Everyone is ruthlessly holding on to what they have, uncaring of who gets hurt. The fear of loss and uncertainty, covered with the veil of “professionalism”.

These groups, or Mafias are dead against hiring Saudis and thus play “professional” games to prevent Saudization. Deportation and penalties wont help. In the long run, a definite change in policy will. But before that, law enforcement officials need a HUGE rise in pay and benefits. Before that, a balance has to be set.

I was sad to read from an editor of a newspaper that an officer of Jawzat even said that the cases of Huroob were too many and out of control and most of them are innocent people. Again, mafias manipulating sponsors to take actions against people , using the system and its flaws to cause damage.

Then we have the Saudis. The majority are simple people who want to live on their land in peace. Some of them have chosen the path of crime and theft. Why? I have written about this in other blogs. Desperation.

Remember, once upon a time not so long ago , I wrote extensively about how the sponsorship system should be banished. I wish it was that same day. Because the longer we wait, the worse it gets and it will come to a point where  these communities will go out of control. Spreading corruption in the locals. Causing changes that WILL Happen no matter how much who tries to prevent it.  In fact, it is already happening.

A whole generation of people who have grown up in this society where prejudice and discrimination based on Nationality is open and exercised, continue to live here and influence this society. With a lot of resentment in their hearts and anger in their lives, what kind of influence do you think they will have on society?

Many Saudis feel like they are not “home” now. They go work in a company that is totally controlled by any one community and they feel lost and isolated instantly. Is this good? No, it is not good for the country, the communities, the Saudi people.. Not for anyone. Because resentment generates resentment and it can soon turn into rage and rage can cause a disaster. Shall we wait for it, or shall we prevent it now?

For the past 7 years, I am running a business with a whole bunch of “agents”. Agents that sponsor me. Why? If I am willing to hire Saudis, bring in investment, spread positivity around me.. then why does the Government of Saudi Arabia not say: Here Ali Shah, here is your commercial registration ( Don’t say SAGIA), here is your permanent Residency, or Citizenship and Welcome to KSA ( where you were raised anyway but heck we never noticed because you are just another iqama number with a “profession”). Why?  Shall I pay salaries UNOFFICIALLY? I cannot have a business bank account, so shall I play hide and seek? How do I register the Saudis that NEED to work with me? How do I do what I MUST do? Depend on my sponsors and agents? What if they have “OTHER” plans?  Though I will say that I have the most reliable sponsor and agents to whom I have come after losing a lot of money on corrupt agents.

A business created by ME, can only be run by ME. Otherwise, the business will seize to exist.

Come on Chamber of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and all other government persons: give me an answer?

Should I just pack and leave and do my work in Islamabad and forsake my relationship with KSA? I can do that. But, is that ALL KSA can offer me?  Leave your friends.. move your business.. stop caring for KSA.. forget your roots.. re invent yourself. Really not on.

How is closing down companies, turning away old residents that care, saying no to investment and total disregard of contribution so far helping Saudization, Saudi Arabia and everyone else? How is allowing Mafias to operate under the banner of big brand names helping KSA?


Pretty gloomy scene , right?  It is. And it will get gloomier still..

Come on guys.. lets clean this mess up.. we can.

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