Why do Saudis have a complex about Westerners?

Why do Saudis have a complex about Westerners?

Talal Qashqari
Talal Qashqari

Talal Qashqari

IN the Saudi private and public sectors, there is still a complex about Westerners. Some employers recruit Westerners and describe them as global experts in their fields. Of course, these experts have blue eyes and blonde hair and wear jeans with a shirt and a tie. Usually, they are given big responsibilities. Do we not have Saudis who are as competent and qualified as these Westerners and are able to perform the same duties with a salary that is lower than the one given to Westerners?

We also have a complex in relation to hiring external consultants. Although some government agencies have in-house consultants, perhaps more than enough, some insist on signing contracts worth millions with external consultation companies to perform the duties of their in-house consultants.

Let me give you an example to illustrate this point. Recently, Al-Madinah daily published a story that the Jeddah Municipality signed a contract with a legal counseling firm and paid more than SR9.5 million for the contract. The firm will handle all legal cases that are pending, in process or are to be filed before courts. The municipality has a big legal department; nevertheless, it went ahead and signed the contract. This means that its staff will relax and enjoy their time and receive their monthly salaries while the law firm will take over and perform their duties.

I know authorities that are larger than the municipality that have not signed similar contracts with external law firms and allow their legal departments to handle legal cases. I do not understand why the municipality did that. Does it have too much money? If it does, then it should use it to fix Jeddah’s streets and end traffic congestion. Apparently, the spending mechanisms within the municipality need to be reviewed.