AL-QABAS newspaper never had an editorial as sad and disappointing as the one published on Jan 26. The topic was about Kuwait being ranked as the worst Gulf country in terms of corruption.
It is very difficult to hear such news about Kuwait especially since it used to be called “The Pearl of Gulf” and was known for its relatively deep-rooted democracy.
Kuwait has deteriorated by 20 degrees within just one year. According to the International Transparency Index, this is the worst performance of any country in 2016.
With some reservations, I dare to reveal my knowledge about the widespread corruption in all state bodies, as I have dealt with them throughout the 50 years of my career and my business. Not a single official body is devoid of corruption. However, the spread of corruption in state bodies is of different degrees.
What makes me sad most of the time is that, every time I talk about this with honest officials who occupy top positions, they express their sorrow over their helplessness in front of this invisible monster called corruption. Imagine how difficult it is for them to resist the temptation of corruption when they see their colleagues voraciously swallowing as much as they can from the state money.
Strangely, respected international organizations have ranked many countries, which do not have as many monitoring bodies as Kuwait does, higher than Kuwait in their reports about corruption.
Those countries have better ranks despite lesser monitoring and fewer religious tendencies, which were recently represented in Kuwait by the Cabinet’s decision to construct 12 Quranic centers at a time when we have been complaining about the spread of moral deterioration.
The only hope for a serious initiative to confront corruption lies in the bold attempt made by MP Riyadh Al-Adsani who announced his intention to reveal the names of the 13 MPs involved in the scandal of the multi-million-dinar deposits. Apparently, these 13 MPs received KD 35 million each; it was Al-Qabas newspaper that had exposed the scandal.
In my viewpoint, this step will be the first of the 1,000-mile journey for fighting corruption. If the names of those 13 MPs are not revealed, we will continue to stay in the same box while corruption will drive us around in a fast vehicle.
Note: His Highness the Prime Minister recently submitted his asset declaration to Kuwait Anti-Corruption Authority. We wish to thank him for taking this important step and we urge him to push other Cabinet members to take similar steps.
By Ahmad Al-Sarraf