Further to my article of last Wednesday, in which I hoped, perhaps without hope, that the proposed committee set to look into the causes for the decline of Kuwait’s position in the Global Corruption Perceptions Index 2017 and to rectify the situation before we slide further into more deterioration, I submit to His Highness the Prime Minister the following proposal:
First of all, let me introduce myself to you. My name is Ahmad Abdullah Jassem Al-Sarraf, a Kuwaiti citizen. I am more than 70 years old, and I am still very active from the mental point of view and the evidence is crystal clear since I pen articles for the newspapers everyday, I run a business, I enjoy good health and walk every day almost for kilometers.
Over half a century I have gained good experience in the banking industry and from a small employee in 1964 I reached the topmost rank, resigned from my job and once again was involved in banking activity, but this time through the Board of Directors. During this time I have presided over the most important bank committees and also headed a number of joint stock companies in London, Dubai and Kuwait.
I have a license to do business and I have been writing a column for the Al-Qabas newspaper for almost a quarter of a century. I have not been convicted in any case by a court in Kuwait for moral cases or cases of ill-repute.
During the invasion and occupation of Kuwait, I managed with respected brothers the affairs of tens of thousands of Kuwaiti refugees in and around Riyadh. The government in exile gave me a cheque for $80 million to pay for the ‘expenses’ of Kuwaiti citizens. I believe I did the best possible thing I could do and the then ambassador in Riyadh, Abdulrahman Al-Bakr, and others are witnesses.
I was also one of the founder members of the Society for the Protection of Public Money, and I refused to assume its chairmanship. I was given the post of treasurer of this society which I later passed on to others.
I have made enough money for me and my family and I do not need anything from anyone – money or otherwise. I am not a party to any team. I do not belong to any party, political or religious, and I have no affiliations. My loyalty is to my country and HH the Amir.
I apologize, Your Highness, for this somewhat lengthy introduction, but I had no other choice to convey to you what I want to say to you, because I felt my entire personal life may be is not known to you.
There is no doubt that you are the head of the Executive Authority, which is dominant in all its capabilities. You resent the dangerous level of rampant corruption and our shameful decline on various world indices.
Your Highness has commissioned government agencies, some of them not concerned about corruption, while others accused of it, to consider the causes of corruption, and this is not accepted by many.
Some have also considered your mandate as Anti Corruption Authority (Nazaha) to consider how to deal with our situation globally, as a blatant infringement in the independence of the Authority, which should not be subjected to the wishes of the Government, not to mention other objections.
In order to show the credibility and seriousness of knowing the reason for our decline in indicators of corruption, I propose an optional idea, of choosing me or any other person who Your Highness sees as better than me, such as Professor Jassem Al-Saadoun, for example to be members of this committee because of the duration of our work in accounting and expertise in the area of financial issues, our financial and political independence.
This proposal, Mr Prime Minister, may be a challenge, and from the point of view of our sportsmanship, we hope to accept the challenge.
By Ahmad Al-Sarraf