Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Accused of laziness: Saudis have been outraged by comments made by ministers describing civil servants as lazy and the kingdom as being on the brink of bankruptcy. During a debate on the 8 O’clock with Dawood television talk show, minister of civil service Khaled Al-Araj claimed state employees barely turned up to the office for an hour a day. Deputy minister of economy and planning Muhammad Al-Tuwaijri also warned during the show that the country faced bankruptcy unless austerity measures are enforced. Saudis expressed their anger at the statements on social media with several hashtags emerging on Twitter. Many stated that the one-hour workday comment was an exaggeration and a stereotype of government employees. Last week, workers at a municipality office in Madinah complained after a new punctuality system was introduced.