Corruption of the sons of the King of Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, is escalating amid widespread public anger, given the severe economic decline in the country.
In the latest pictures of the royal family’s corruption, Nasser bin Hamad bought a horse for more than three million dollars, which sparked activists’ condemnation on social media.
The tweeters wondered what if these millions were spent on some of the poor and needy of the country, or building housing units, or providing jobs for the unemployed?
They criticized the purchase of palaces and horses by the sons of King Hamad with the nation’s money and the pursuit of personal entertainment when the citizens were dying of hunger.
Corruption is manifested in its clearest form in Bahrain, where the extreme wealth of the Al Khalifa family and regime officials is compared to the extreme poverty of citizens.
In the kingdom of wonders and contradictions, wealth is restricted to members of the authority and the regime so that the people will remain only crumbs.
At any crossroads, the citizen’s pocket is the first target, and on the rubble of austerity, palaces are built, and yachts are bought.
In return for reducing spending on the health and education sectors and increasing taxes on the poor, the ruling family enjoys all forms of privileges and extravagance.
To buy a new yacht for the sons of King Hamad bin Salman, taxes and fees for citizens will be increased, housing budgets will be reduced, the retirement system will be changed, schools and hospitals will be stopped, and tunnels will be built.
This happens in light of the involvement of the pillars of the Al-Khalifa regime in large-scale corruption cases without the presence of any parliamentary oversight.
According to International Monetary Fund data, the overall fiscal deficit in Bahrain rose to 18.2% of GDP last year, from 9% in 2019, while the public debt rose to 133 per cent of GDP from 102 per cent in the previous year.
Despite this, the ruling Al Khalifa family in Bahrain is involved in widespread corruption, including unlimited lavishness and plundering of wealth, without popular or parliamentary oversight.
Hamad bin Salman has two yachts, one called Al-Rayah and the other Al-Waeli, worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
For his part, Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad acquired billions of dollars in fortunes as he buried the sailor of Bahrain and then sold it and his yacht called Al-Salama while spending millions on his favourite car racing hobby.
The crown prince has pumped about half a billion dollars into the British high-speed car maker McLaren to save it from bankruptcy.
His brothers, Khalid and Nassour, scattered the Bahrain budget to satisfy the inferiority complex.
Nassour thinks he is a miracle, and Khaled wants to catch up with his brother even by forming a failed football team bearing his name that drained five million dollars from Bahrain’s budget.
Amid this squandering of the country’s wealth, Bahrain is groaning about the weight of the external debt, which has exceeded $30 billion. Those who pay the price are the people with high unemployment, burdened with taxes, and violating retirees’ rights.
In parallel, the country’s debt rises to exceed $37 billion by the end of November 2021, which raises several questions, why does the authority not sacrifice some of these privileges for the public interest? And why should the citizen always pay the price for the corruption of his rulers?