HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak was decisive and straightforward during the Government-Parliament meeting, particularly in his description of the financial crisis remedy. At the same time, he set the economic wagon rolling on the correct path.
The parliamentary attempts to pressure the government into backing down on its decision to increase fuel prices were futile. Even the solicitation attempts by some members of the legislative authority did not work because if you allow emotions to play in such cases, the disease will spread and the pain will intensify.
Sheikh Al-Mubarak said it clearly: “The government is more bitter than whoever pushes it into bitterness; the ‘nonpopulist’ decisions which the government is taking will be in the interest of the citizen in the long term.” This is what we hoped for from the executive authority.
Perhaps, this is the first time the government is taking a decisive step without succumbing to pressure from the Parliament, beneficiaries and those keen on serving personal interests. The situation no longer allows falling for hearsay or gush of aimless accusations like theft and squandering without evidence.
Today, we are at a crossroads. Given that many people warned about it in the past, we either continue as we are until we become bankrupt or we take decisions that will change the course of our economy and give it a new lifeline.
Several international research establishments started to warn some countries — Arab and non-Arab — on the consequences of continuing with irresponsible spending as these countries will find themselves without money flow in five years. Did those who are screaming look at the studies and researches to realize the risks posed by the current situation? Countries go through ups and downs.
It is for the wise leadership to take audacious decisions to guarantee the continuity of the country, not those taken due to pressure from people with narrow and selfish interests, especially in a country like Kuwait. Parliamentary politics in Kuwait hijacked the country by subduing its politics, finances, economy and even society.
This led to crippling of development and limiting economy; in fact, corrupting and spoiling everything in this country. This is a country where series of crippling laws were endorsed by previous National Assemblies, such as those related to liberties-up to a point where insults, slander, defamation and assault became the prevailing language.
As a matter of fact, it extended to violation of the Constitution, transgression of the top authority in the country, use of constitutional tools to block vital projects like the northern oilfield and Dow Chemical deal, and suspension of the housing plan as well as the maintenance of infrastructure or improvement of the remaining State institutions. All this has to stop in order to start rectifying faults and improving the country in a manner that will maintain a reasonable level of luxury and wellbeing for the citizens and for the coming generations.
A citizen should fulfill his duties to the State which has safeguarded his rights, before demanding him to contribute in bearing responsibility during difficult times. Citizens, as John F. Kennedy said, should “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Kuwaitis should change their perspective on issues. They should change the perspective cemented by owls croaking for disaster.
They should see opportunity amid difficulties as Winston Churchill said to the British during the Second World War: “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” If we want Kuwait to be outside the ring of bankrupt countries, we ought to see the opportunity in difficulties. We have to stop milking the country until it dries off, because nothing will remain for milking apart from blood and regret.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times