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A GOVERNMENT is defined as a political apparatus that consists of several ministers who manage the country’s affairs and its utilities in various fields under the command of the prime minister.
They are a team that manages the affairs of the country. Therefore, it must listen in order to govern, and it must speak in order for its message to reach the people. It must see the outcome of its actions, instead of acting on the principle of “I do not hear, do not speak, and do not see.” Unfortunately, the majority of our governments are like this. If they hear, it ends up being late. If they speak, they make matters worse. They do not see lest their eyes get polluted with the ugliest things left by their predecessors. With their weakness, they contributed to the country’s backwardness.
From the time after liberation until today, the majority of Cabinets seemed like they walked on burning coal because they know that there is no stability in their positions, even prime ministers. This discourages them from working, when in reality, they just have butterflies in their stomachs.
Kuwait has therefore been living in a vicious circle for three decades. Everytime there is an attempt to open a hatch, someone closes it quickly, as if the “cholera” infection is about to destroy the country.
It is known medically that chronic inflammation leads to a cancerous tumor if it is not treated quickly. This applies to many local issues that have been inherited for more than forty years, such as housing, which were resolved by neighboring countries within a few years through proper planning, elegance and aesthetics.
However, the confusion still persists with us. It burdens many families due to the delay in obtaining the dream house. It increases the cost of public money due to the housing allowance being paid to about 132,720 citizens. In seven years, this amounted to more than KD 1.5 billion – an amount that could have solved the problem ages ago.
This is not the only problem that the country suffers from, as there is the infrastructure. It is limited to a number of local contractors who share projects, according to one principle, which is to inflate the total costs of the projects.
It seems that the corruption nested in state institutions has become an essential norm, paving the way for systematic looting, something that the relevant state agencies have not been able to limit or cut off. On the other hand, all Gulf countries have allowed foreign contractors without the need for a local agent.
It is unfortunate that whenever we disclose a matter, the argument of the ministers and their chief, irrespective of who he is, is that “Kuwait is different”. But we are not sure what this “difference” is. Is this country on another planet? Is it ruled by aliens, or by humans like all humans? Our problems do not end there. They start with the educational sector, which suffers from ills that put it on the brink of an abyss, followed by the health sector, especially the overseas treatment program, which, as the general public says, is a mess. The economy is almost like running a grocery store, not the economy of a state.
These problems cause further problems that affect the general social situation. The living requirements put pressure on the public to the extent of insufficient income, and they are forced to borrow or fall under the sword of bankruptcy, and they find no one to help them. There is no doubt that there is negligence on the part of the state, which, instead of finding a solution, has turned all its apparatus into a collector for usurers and creditors, and holders of dud cheques. It prevents a citizen from traveling or completing his transactions due to a debt that does not exceed KD 1,000.
This begs us to ask – What kind of protection does the country provide, considering that the constitution guarantees care for the citizens? Is it reasonable that 120,000 Kuwaitis are banned from traveling, their transactions have been suspended, and some even being unable to register their newborn due to the presence of a “block”, all because of their failure to pay a certain loan? We reiterate for the thousandth time that in all countries of the world, simple personal and non-commercial debts do not warrant physical coercion. Rather, most countries have amended their laws and abolished everything that leads to that. Despite this, there are alternative solutions in the event that the state refuses to provide justice to the needy, such as extending the debt term, dropping interest and more.
Also, one of the problems that the country suffers from is the lack of a decision. While the Public Authority for Manpower issued its decision to stop the files of companies that are late in paying the dues of their workers, it forgot that the government did not pay some of its obligations to the companies about two years ago, so how will it pay these salaries? In another area, we do not know how long the country will remain closed, while the whole world is opening up to one another, which affects the investment and economic paths.
Therefore, we raise our voice to the leadership to pay attention to the social, economic and development paths, and to achieve social justice according to the correct foundations. Until then, the question remains – O leadership, where are we headed to? Where are we going?
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times