Todays standards of a complete Man includes owing a car, to drive a car one needs a license. So when i came to Jeddah in November 2007, among the first things i required was a license. The procedure to get a license in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia is very simple, there are private driving schools authorized by government to conduct driving test and if some body fails its required by the person to take driving lessons from the same school.
So in November 2007 after getting all documents ready, getting my permission from my sponsor and clearing the physical, I gave the driving test. The examiner(who was from Saudi Police) gave me rating 'D'(after i just perfectly drove on a straight road for 2 minutes only) which meant i need to take lessons for two weeks, but when i applied for admission the schedule i was given was after three months (too many Failures and good opportunity for money making), any way i couldnt do anything so i waited got my classes in April and unfortunately failed again got more classes after a delay of 2 months and than more bad luck failed again and repeated the same procedure. To cut short i failed twice, took total 4 weeks of classes and paid around 1200 SR to driving school. But in the end i had my license which felt like an achievement, my family celeberated like i just graduated again. The only problem in the whole process was it took almost 1 year for me to get the license, i applied in Nov 2007 and got my license in Oct 2008.
Everyone just cannot afford to wait 1 year only to get license like me , so there are other ways fast and expansive to get your self a legal license, thanks to the co ordination between Bengali cleaning staff and Saudi Police authorities taking test.
The procedure is you pay some amount to Bengali guy and he will make sure that the examiner will pass you regardless of your performance.
to pass the computer test, fees is 1000 SR.
to pass the driving test, fees is 1000 SR
and if you wanna pass both then the fees is 1500 SR.
well it was around what i paid in 1 year of classes and tests.
Any way this is not my problem, well in fact this is a big problem, but what disturbs me is when people use this illegal channel of bribe and even suggests others to do the same.
I have this guy working in Accounts department at work, He prays 5 times a day, in his car instead of songs he has Quran cassette playing and i have seen him reciting darood shareef and reading quran in his free time at office, all in all he is a very religious guy, one day he came to me and asked me how much did i pay during my driving lessons. I told him the figure, he laughed and said we paid only 1000 and his brother got license in 1 month, my instant reply was"but mine was through a legal channel and didn't involve any kind of bribe"
and Now it reminds me of his bribery act whenever he comes and asks me to go and pray. The problem is not the existence of these people with authority who accept bribes and make things easy, but the problem is when people claiming to be good Muslims use these people and help this system survives and on top of that does not even acknowledge it to be wrong. Praying five times a day is the basic requirement but to be a good Muslim we need to work on these minor details. And each Muslim should work on these smaller basic day to day things other wise the situation will stay the same and who knows in time of judgment saving some time in getting license may get you a little closer to the fire.