As part of its social responsibility, the State provides assistance to many categories of people in our society, such as the widows, divorcees, the elders, housewives, the disabled and others.
The generosity has exceeded the limit and large sums of money are given to a citizen who is willing to work in the private sector rather than work in a relatively secure and comfortable position in the government.
The State also grants loan without interest to those who wish to marry, in addition to a KD 2,000 gift. The State budget contributes generously towards housing rent for those who have no property or business. The government also subsidizes foodstuffs, electricity and water, and even animal fodder in addition to other subsidies which cost the States billions of dollars annually.
The nature of our people is that they are deeply religious. In the midst of this the State failed to educate the citizens the right way although we have a ministry which we insist to call the Ministry of Education.
Because of the ‘original customs and traditions’, these subsidies and grants have become part of the population and it’s a great deal of this part whatever its size is in the hands of the forgers and professional fraudsters.
Hardly a day goes by without the newspapers publishing reports about staunch religious people who are involved in forgery, fraud and cheating in every part of the country.
The number of people with disabilities in the State has swelled to tens of thousands, and this has depleted the resources of the State. It has also hindered the process of distributing aid to the deserving people.
There are those who submit forged medical certificates to benefit from the government grant but we have never heard the name of a doctor who was reprimanded for issuing disability certificates, instead some of them have been promoted to a higher level, some of these have even become spokesmen for the ministry.
Therefore, it is not wrong to say these grants and aid have contributed to the deterioration of public responsibility, the promotion of a culture of easy taking or the legitimacy of theft of public funds.
Then came the health insurance system for retirees, which gives them the right to receive free treatment and medicines at private hospitals and medical centers. This automatically created a different kind of fraud by some irresponsible medical authorities.
Some of these authorities exaggerate prescriptions for the retiree, and ask him/her to perform unnecessary laboratory tests to benefit from the insurance companies. We advise the retirees to call 1811110 if he/she feels he/she is being exploited.
The reason for the increase in fraud, circumvention and manipulation cases is because the society is drowned by the religious wave due to the lack of moral sense in its comprehensive meaning.
We may indeed be good and honest people, but only with each other. We may be honest but we know there are limits for our honesty.
The meaning of morality is much broader than we try to define. To be ethical, we need to be transparent and transparency requires the best solutions to the problems of the society.
As international companies have participated in the mega construction projects, we are required to involve the world insurance companies in insurance projects for the retirees and not limit it to local companies. What is important here is the interest of the retiree.
Note: I will stop writing for some time due to holidays and my travel plans.
I wish you all the best.
By Ahmad Al-Sarraf