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Mobile phone traffic guys … mobile phone customs ladies

Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli

PEOPLE are fed up of talking about corruption and stealing of public funds being perpetrated daily by government officials or weak-minded small and big thieves including those who monopolize government tenders exclusively with multiple inflated costs, coupled with delay in the execution and horrible errors that small expatriate contractors would not commit.

We don’t know why our law has not been amended to cancel the condition that foreign companies should have a local agent, with this rampant occurrence from our local companies and traders. This is because we have discovered that a local agent is the source of the disaster. On the other hand, our GCC brothers who deal directly with renowned foreign companies, whether from Asia, Europe or America, do things easily and simply.

This is not our subject for today. Our main subject is the traffic situation in Kuwait that has been worsening ever since we opened our eyes and consciousness to life in Kuwait and other countries. We used to mock the traffic situation in a big sisterly country, but we have been competing with that country in wrongdoing.

Motorists no longer respect the speed limit except where cameras are installed. Sometimes, cars are driven at night with the front and rear lights turned off or burnt. The emergency lane has become a competition track, especially for huge 4WD cars driven by the youth nowadays. Vehicles are parked for hours in the middle of roads where there are “No Parking” signs, without the owners being held accountable, or the vehicles being monitored or towed away!

We now remember the good old days of former traffic chiefs such as Fouad Musaed Al-Saleh, Abdul-Hamid Al-Hajji and Mohammad Al-Muhanna. We wish the current Minister of Interior, who is extremely occupied, has enough time to appoint a well-known disciplinarian and strong-willed officer like Abdul-Fattah Al-Ali to head this sector.

The sudden wakeup of the General Traffic Department lately has delighted us especially with the issuance of a decision that prohibits its officers who patrol the roads from playing with mobile phones. We hope to see serious and decisive implementation of this long-awaited decision. It is better late than never. Here we are waiting on God so that the decision will not be just a mere ink on tree leaf!

Few days ago, I returned from a long trip to a European city. I went to the immigration counter for the stamping of my passport. The queues were extraordinarily long at the old airport (T1 terminal). I went to the luggage-inspection area after collecting my luggage, but I was shocked to see that a young expatriate was the one to decide whether a luggage would be checked or not!!!

What pained me more was that three veiled Kuwaiti women were in charge of watching the inspection cameras, and the one sitting in the middle was busy playing with her mobile phone! It was a shameful sight to behold in all perspectives, especially since majority of those waiting for their turn in front of the inspection belt were foreigners. What will they be saying about the government employees in Kuwait, Peace be upon the Holy Prophet!?

Dear officials who are in-charge of those customs officers, we want to tell you that you have, by Allah, disgraced us for failing to monitor your staff in such sensitive places. We believe that this dereliction of duty on your part has made even your salaries and allowances that you are collecting from the public funds illegitimate!!!

e-mail: ali-albaghli@hotmail.com

By Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli

Former Minister of Oil

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