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YOUR Highnesses, the recent elections have closed a dark chapter that Kuwait endured through the years, characterized by maliciousness in almost every aspect, chaos and neglect as a result of the absurd conflict between several parliaments and governments tainted with weakness and surrender.
Now that this dark chapter is being closed with the Cabinet submitting its resignation, a new one opens, whose title has been known since June 22 through the Amiri speech entitled, “Correcting the Path and Advancing Kuwait”. This was done by treating a series of diseases that almost killed it, the first of which is corruption – the result of quota system in almost every aspect where competency was never considered a principle.
The effort to form a new government has begun, and much is required of it. Therefore, it is imperative to be cautious when selecting its members, such as abandoning the policy of loyalty over competency, which has been ruining the country for more than four decades, as well as believing in competency and good performance that affirm loyalty to the homeland, not to people.
For this reason, it is necessary to study the file of each candidate for a ministerial position, as the case in most developed countries around the world, and to eliminate all those with suspicious curriculum vitae or biography.
There shall be no nepotism of any kind, or even favoritism based on tribal or sectarian affiliation, and no discrimination on the basis of financial prestige; due to the fact that all these miscalculations mean exacerbation of illness in the national body.
Kuwait is going through one of the most difficult stages internationally, regionally and locally. Before anything else, it needs a solid economic infrastructure in facing fluctuations in the prices of oil, commodities and strategic materials. This can be achieved only by diversifying the sources of income, which should be a priority; not a slogan swept away by the winds, as we have been doing for six decades.
At this point, there are several agencies whose strategies must be reconsidered; including the investment and social security authorities. The first is the secondary source of income, which must work with a smart investment methodology. The second secures a source of income for about 140,000 citizens and their families whose number increases constantly. It is assumed that this authority has high efficiency in managing investments and financial solvency. It does not suffer from continuous actuarial deficit.
It is well known that the sovereign funds of states are managed by highly qualified and honest people, and they are also subject to the supervision of heads of states.
Therefore, the first steps toward the State’s financial reform should be taken by these two institutions, such that they are under the direct supervision of the ruler; while qualified experts – Kuwaitis and non-Kuwaitis – are sought.
It is not a shame for foreign minds to work for us; but majority of countries around the world seek help from non-nationals in many fields, including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain.
If the issue is in the ‘ghutra’, ‘iqal’ and ‘dishdasha’; then ask the foreign experts to wear our national dress.
For more than half a century, there have been calls to diversify sources of income, but no one listens, and if it is heard, it is not implemented, and if it is implemented, its implementation is like bread crumbs.
Hence, the first task of the next government, which Kuwaitis hope will not be engulfed in disputes and conflicts with the National Assembly, is for Kuwait to return to its first course by putting economic and financial efficiency on top of its agenda of vital issues facing the nation.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times