Tuesday, 14 November 2017 13:15 WIB |
A week after an unprecedented crackdown on some of Saudi Arabia™s wealthiest princes and businessmen, foreign governments and investors are still trying to answer basic questions about a round-up Saudi authorities describe as an anti-corruption drive spearheaded by the Gulf kingdom™s crown prince.
Is 32-year-old Mohammad bin Salman set on a power grab to ensure his succession will be untroubled when his ailing father dies? Or is he what he says he is, a reformer determined to modernize a kingdom infamous for a sclerotic system of governance that™s weighed down by the demands of different branches of the extended royal family?
Rumors abound in the Saudi capital that the purge is not yet finished and more arrests in the coming days are being predicted by Saudi-based foreign diplomats, who remain stunned by the scale of the crackdown.
Young middle-class Saudis, long frustrated by graft and the hidebound ways of the kingdom, are applauding the crown prince™s purge, but foreign investors are cautious, fearing Mohammad bin Salman may have bitten off more than he can chew.
Long viewed as a stable place to do business, the latest purge saw an estimated 500 people arrested, including the country™s richest man, Prince Waleed bin Talal, the billionaire businessman who co-owns the Four Seasons hotel chain and until recently was a major investor in Rupert Murdoch™s worldwide media empire. He was arrested at his luxury desert camp.
Source : VOA