IF THE average tenure of a minister in any ministry is about 15 months, sometimes less than three months; this clearly indicates stalled productivity in vital institutions which are sinking into chaos, in addition to pressure groups using ‘wasta’ (influence) and nepotism.
This is also a clear indication that we are not in a country of institutions; where rhetoric, irrespective of its glamour, does not negate the miserable reality which the country is enduring.
It is a no-brainer to realize that Kuwait is one of the countries mostly suffering from ministerial instability, especially in the ministries of services. This makes such ministries financial and administration burdens on the State.
This is due to the fact that the minister does not work. His administration agency is continuously unstable as he is preoccupied with side issues, such as responding to parliamentary queries. Sometimes trucks are needed to deliver the documents required in responding to these queries.
Unfortunately, the responses and the time consumed in preparing them end up in the bin because the inquiry objective of the MP is to irritate the minister or flex constitutional muscles since the minister in question refused to endorse an illegal transaction or failed to satisfy the whims of one of the MP’s followers. In other words, such inquiries have nothing to do with reforms and accountability.
Majority of the interpellation motions submitted to the Parliament in the past two decades were malicious, up to the extent that the decision to cast a vote of no confidence is taken even before listening to the response of the targeted minister.
This has prompted many ministers to take a stand to protect their honor and integrity. After that, they end up resigning and distancing themselves from political work. In fact, they refuse to take up any ministerial job.
Parliamentary blackmail of ministers is met with legislation apathy, procrastination and underperforming MPs; hence, bills piled up in the Parliament’s cabinets gathering dust for years. No relevant party is reviewing such bills.
However, whenever a bill is endorsed, it either serves a parliamentary interest or pushes the country into commercial and economic isolation as if it is outside this world and not affected by the experiences of every other country across the globe.
The latest in this series is the interpellation of Minister of Commerce and Industry Khaled Al-Roudan, listed on the agenda of the parliamentary session scheduled for March 19.
Given that the interpellation is stuffed with rhetorical items, and all that is just the tip of an iceberg; the past two decades taught us to always look into reasons why a lawmaker decided to declare war against a minister. The next day, the same MP praises the same minister; obviously after his needs, mostly illegal, were catered to.
Visionary Minister Al-Roudan presented a set of ideas and bills which matched the aspirations of the international community in Kuwait in a bid to improve commercial relations with this community.
The MPs did not look into what the minister has presented, because their eyes focused on their welfare, not the wealth of the country and its people; or else, they would have endorsed the bills.
They should have advised him and monitor his performance. If the minister does not explain his intentions properly or fails to respond to their queries adequately, they could resort to grilling; yet everything is about parliamentary frivolity.
In the entire world, the ministries which provide services to the public are usually stable and the minister in charge is held accountable in case of underperformance, except in Kuwait where the MPs create a dummy issue to humiliate the Cabinet and its members whenever the latter do not bow to their under the table transactions; hence, the country is moving backwards.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times