A traffic police chief in Saudi Arabia has apologised to the residents of Islam’s second holiest shrine over a remark in which he likened its drivers to the mouse Jerry in the famous TV cartoon series 'Tom and Jerry'.
Brigadier Siraj Kamal, head of the traffic police in the central town of Madina, said he did not mean all the drivers in the city but the children who are allowed by their parents to drive although they do not have a driving license.
“What I said in a previous statement is a slip of tongue…I strongly apologise to the city’s residents and assure them that I did not mean any one of them,” he said in remarks published by the Arabic language daily 'Alwatan'.
“I am well aware of the sanctity of the city and the great ancestors of its people…no one has the right to make this disgusting resemblance.”
Kamal said he had meant by his remarks those “children who are crowding our streets and driving cars with the blessing of their parents.”
“The parents are putting us in an embarrassing position when we arrest these children…these children’s place should not be behind the wheel but at home watching television…their parents are only endangering their lives.”
'Alwatan' said Kamal offered apology to Madina’s residents after his previous remark triggered public anger. Some people described Kama’s remark as “insulting and abusive against the city and its people,” it said.