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The new government, headed by the youthful His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah with the support of His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, conveyed a clear message that the past era has gone forever. The government is now serious in combating corruption and every aspect of misadministration of State affairs that went on for years.
Maladministration put Kuwait at the bottom of Gulf countries. Although we boasted about our advanced democracy, it is strange that our democracy has become one of the major reasons behind the spread of corruption as it allowed the corrupt to steal without blinking an eye or without fear.
We were happy about the recent steps taken by the government as part of its new policy; including the suspension of public institutions which spent millions of Kuwaiti dinars, while remaining silent over the overspending of the corrupt.
Only the outdated radical and extremist parties ignored the approach of the new government, as they started showing off their power by declaring the document of utmost social backwardness to agitate the people of Kuwait. They named it the ‘Document of Values’, while Al-Qabas daily named it the ‘Expansion of Intellectual Terrorism Document’ on Sept 12. The daily pointed out that the document violates State laws, and contradicts the open and tolerant nature of the Kuwaiti society. The daily added that those behind the document have appointed themselves as the parallel authority which suggests laws and imposes them on citizens.
The contents of the document are like the ideas and beliefs of the Taliban, DAESH, Nusra and others. These groups have adopted obsolete doctrines and beliefs, which were buried a long time ago. Radical parties in Kuwait want to say, “We are here”, through their attempt to accept such doctrines. They want to say that they are capable of controlling the people — from children to the elderly — by closing all open spaces. With the help of the previous government, radical parties contributed to pushing Kuwait back to the era of backwardness, which has not been witnessed since the establishment of the country four centuries ago.
Kuwait has always been an open country, compared to its sisterly and neighboring countries. I want to highlight the statement of Al-Jarida daily about the document on Sept 15 — that the document violates the Constitution and laws. We have to analyze the opinion of the new and wise government, considering its members will be part of the National Assembly and they will vote on the Taliban-like document in the form of bills.
This issue will define the credibility of the new government, because it concerns all citizens and it could push them back to centuries ago. I do not mean this affects my trust in the new government, but we all need to hear the position of the new government on the document of backwardness, which is aimed at limiting the freedoms of citizens and expatriates. Otherwise, we will never trust the promises of the new government. It has been said that: “Seeing is believing.”
In the beginning, I was glad to hear the word ‘values’, because I thought it meant the suggestion of some candidates to form a parliamentary committee of values to regulate the behavior of MPs. I failed to push for the passage of the bill on forming a parliamentary committee for values in the mid-1990s when I was an MP. In fact, only the National Assembly of Kuwait lacks such a committee.
Later, my happiness vanished as I realized the truth about the document of backwardness; which is aimed at destroying the civilized values in our country, which has been tormented by corrupt MPs and irrational governments.
By Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli
Former Minister of Oil