KUWAIT CITY, Sept 29: The National Assembly members welcomed the resignation of Public Works, Electricity and Water Minister Ahmad Al- Jassar while calling on the government to reshuffle some ministers who are not performing well. MP Abdulla Al-Tamimi asserted the minister’s resignation is a step in the right direction due to the case filed against him and 14 other officials for the numerous violations and alleged embezzlement of public funds in the 2007 emergency electricity plan.
He asserted the resignation implies that the minister is responsible for the botched project which has been doomed to failure since the formation of the committee tasked to oversee it due to the concerned officials’ lack of ability. He appealed to the government to learn from this failure and prevent its recurrence, because corrupted officials will always grab any opportunity to serve their own interests. He hopes the next minister will be chosen from citizens who are known for their honesty and dignity, stressing the need to recover the public funds that were lost due to the scandal.
On the other hand, MP Rakan Al-Nisf commended the minister for shouldering his political responsibility and called on HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al- Mubarak to reshuffle the government in order to put it back to the right track. He stressed that reform projects necessitate the presence of officials with the ability to shoulder political and executive responsibilities while taking bold decisions in the midst of corruption in order to protect public money. He said some ministers have become a burden for those working towards reform and development. He pointed out many issues were raised in the last legislative round, leading to the discovery of the deteriorating performance of some ministers. “We hope the parliamentary recess will be an opportunity for them to return to the path of reform and development, but the recess is almost over and we have yet to witness a serious move,” he added. He warned against allowing the current Cabinet to stay as it is because he believes the absence of change will complicate the relationship between the two authorities and put them in constant crises, especially since more than one minister is on the interpellation list because of their poor performance.
Moreover, MP Yusuf Al-Zalzalah said, “The Ministry of Commerce has become a hotbed for administrative corruption and a venue for shattering the hopes of Kuwaiti youths who want to work in the private sector rather than the government institutions. He wondered whether the aim of setting up this ministry is to put obstacles in front of every Kuwaiti young man or woman who wants to engage in creative and innovative works in the private sector. He asked, “Does it make sense to take months to complete a transaction for changing the name of an estab-lishment under the pretext of upgrading the existing system?” He also raised doubt on the ability to transform Kuwait into a financial and commercial center, indicating “we have a failed government institution that wants to thwart the good plan for the youths who make their country proud.” He went on to say, “The current government has been given enough time to correct its mistakes and achieve development goals, yet it failed miserably. Therefore, we frankly say it is now time to carry out a comprehensive ministerial reshuffle. From now on, we will support the interpellation motions against ministers who ‘crippled’ the government and replace them with those capable of serving the interests of the nation and its people.”
By Abubakar A. Ibrahim and Ahmed Al-Naqeeb Arab Times Staff