Saudi Arabia’s Anti Corruption commission has warned that it will prosecute individuals who exaggerate in their praise of government officials, and those who overstate government accomplishments. The commission declared in a statement that inaccurately praising a government official, or overstating their accomplishments is a type of corruption, as it will first lead to vanity and to blurring reality, and subsequently great corruption in fulfilling tasks.
Alarabiya, a Saudi owned TV network, reported that this warning comes in the context of a campaign to educate both citizens and government employees/officials.
The Arab Digest has a few recommendations in this regard. Why doesn’t Saudi Arabia start with its own newspaper editors? For instance, Al-Hayat and Asharq Alawsat newspapers. Here is an example from the former:
Al-Hayat editor’s eulogy of late King Fahd, titled The Custodian of the Ancestry and the Architect of the Renaissance”, in which Ghassan Sharbel says that “Fahed Bin Abdul Aziz was one of the few that won the people’s medal of love and appreciation, completing the collection of many other medals”.
Sharbel wrote another eulogy for Prince Sultan, the former crown prince and defense minister, here is an excerpt:
His smile was his passport to the hearts of his countrymen and his visitors. A smile is a key, a thread of affability. A smile is a window, into the cordiality of a man, and his desire for amicability; into his ability for dialogue, for coming together with others and deeply listening to them. For building bridges of trust, spreading hope, and making the present full of promises for the future. It was as though his smile was his weapon. Neither could crises inhibit it, nor could calamities abolish it. It was as though it was his message, and his affirmation that the horizon is open to better days. The bodies of some great men may tire, but they may have smiles that never do. It is as though it has become the property of their admirers.
Another suggestion for the commission would be re-opening the BAE files.