7th APRIL 2015 - Vol.XXXVIII No.018

How many of our MPs can use a computer?

IT was with bewilderment that I read reports that our esteemed MPs are drafting a request to grant themselves a laptop each.

All of a sudden our 40 elected members of parliament want to catch up with technology and have toys, which cost an average of BD600 each, at their disposal.

A total of BD24,000 to provide these expensive gadgets is no pocket money, but I doubt our MPs really care how much this scheme would cost as long as it isn't coming out of their pockets.

Of course the stated reason is to cut back on paper and ink waste and other expenses, which is a fair enough point.

But the questions racing in my head are: how many of our MPs actually know how to type or use a computer?

I am not sure I am reading this correctly, but aren't these the very same MPs who had no quibbles passing a law that will make it mandatory to cut one per cent off people's salaries to support the unemployed?

While they were at it, I don't see why they didn't ask for citizens who have blindly elected them to pay for their expensive toys - especially since they made sure their incomes aren't touched when it comes to cuts and paying for unemployment schemes.

For a parliament with an embarrassing record, which has lost touch with constituents and their plight, it really is a shame that they are collectively working on rubbing more salt into an open wound.

I would have expected those grownups to be working together to pass a motion to make computers available to school or university students, like in other civilised countries where a laptop for each child is becoming a reality as I type this.

But to see them squabbling among themselves to secure a laptop for their own personal gain is a real shame.

Personally, I am appalled as I just had to buy a new laptop after mine crashed last week. Although I use mine for both work and private correspondence, I did not have and will never have the courage to bill my office for a new laptop.

At this age and time, having access to computers and the Internet is a part of life and asking for handouts is humiliating to say the least.

I find it disgraceful that those MPs who already earn handsome rewards, plus a car each, for serving their constituencies have turned into gold diggers - adding insult to injury by asking for more perks.

But then I am not an MP and have no idea what it is like to be one.

Amira Al Hussaini currently lives in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

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