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Saturday, May 6, 2017

How a normal citizen’s complaint led to the dismissal of a Saudi Minister?

Saad al-Thuwainy is a Saudi national who is a brave and intelligent young boy. He has done what none had done before. He has been able to dismiss the minister of civil services, Khaled al-Araj. This is the first time in the history that anyone had been able to overthrow a minister through a complaint and using social media campaign. Saad al-Thuwainy used the platform of twitter to create awareness that the Minister of Civil Services Khaled al-Araj had used his authorities to employ his own son in a high earning job. The son did not deserve as he did not meet the qualification requirements, yet he got appointed because his father was a minister. It is reported that Khaled al-Araj was able to secure the job for his son soon after he himself became the minister.



The brave boy, Saad al-Thuwainy did not remain quite like others. Rather he lodged a complaint against Minister of Civil Services Khaled al-Araj. He wrote to the Saudi National Anti-Corruption Commission (Nazaha). He says that the letter was uploaded on twitter and his followers helped him to produce a modified and the final version of it.  None could have thought that an action would be taken against the minister. Yet the letter was responded by Nazaha and the case was taken up. An official committee went through a detailed investigation of the matter.  Saad was being expected at the Nazaha office so much so that a staff member pointed at him on the reception. He reported to the office on 26th of October 2016.



He held a meeting where the complete discussions regarding his complaint was held. He was also called by the secretary of the president of the Kingdom. Being a responsible citizen Saad handed him down all the necessary documents. He informed the secretary that the documents are not his property; rather the people had sent him via twitter. He did not produce those documents, rather gave it as they would be helpful in the investigation. Upon Saad agreement, the case was filed by his name. Saad had reported that the secretary asked him about it and he willingly handed down his ID card so that his name could be mentioned for reporting the case.



Saad also had a meeting with Nazaha spokesperson. In this meeting, the legal steps were understood which were taken during the investigation. This gave Saad the strength that his complaint was being taken seriously. He was glad that he had taken the step while some people did bash him upon it. He was hopeful that Nazaha will cooperate with him. Saad became confident when 'Nazaha' sent a delegation to the headquarters of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs to investigate about minister’s son’s job. Khaled al-Araj has now been dismissed.



The young boy is surely courageous and a responsible citizen of the country. He rose his voice on twitter, informed public about the incident and then referred to the concerning departments. The Twitter campaign alone could not have been fruitful, it was helpful in informing people and obtaining required information. Yet it was necessary to inform the concerned departments through a legal process. Well done Saad! Well done Nazaha!



Khaled Al-Araj, minister of civil affairs who was relieved from his position under a Royal Decree on Saturday, may be handed 3-10 years in prison for charges of misusing his power.
Source: Al Arabiya

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