A friend of mine who happens to be a well-known consultant doctor with a good reputation called me, saying he wanted to visit me for discussing an issue that was on his mind. I welcomed him because it was an opportunity to offer consultation to a person who usually offers consultation.
As soon as he sat down with me, he delved straight into the topic. He revealed that he wanted to contest the upcoming elections but he wanted to first hear my opinion and my stance. I told him I cannot advise him on something I do not accept for myself, and that he already knows my stance. He said his situation is different from mine, which is true; so I used a different tactic in an attempt to dissuade him from his decision to run for the election.
I told him the experiment will cost him a lot. He replied that he is thinking of collecting half a million dinars for his campaign and that a professional foreign company will manage the publicity and propagation aspects for him in order to make his campaign a success story.
I was shell-shocked because the amount that I had in my mind was lesser than that. So I said, if he can spend half a million on his campaign, it means he has millions. He nodded in agreement, revealing that he has more than what he needs!
I then told him, “You are not seeking riches by entering politics. You have no tenders and you know nothing about them. You do not have projects because you are not an expert in trade. You do not have buildings that you need to lease to government agencies. You spent most of your life between the walls of operating theatres. What is your goal then? Your fame is not less and you have a very good reputation as a skilled doctor! Do not tell me you are aiming at public interest?”
I then asked, “Does this unclear goal deserve spending half a million dinars on your election campaign? Why don’t you spend this amount to achieve the interests of the public in a better way?”
He replied that he has dreams he needs to fulfill and that he wants to serve his country by fixing the situation in the health sector, adding that he also has some other ideas that he believes are of great importance.
I told him his talk does not mean a lot in “Kuwaiti politics” which is of a special nature.
Let’s suppose he wins the seat. What can he do alone in a parliament where some members came through sectarian decisions and some others through tribal decisions while majority of them care more about taking back what they spent during their campaigns, benefitting materialistically from their position and then spending the rest of the time pleasing their sects, voters and tribes before pleasing their conscience or serving their country.
I told him there are tens of MPs from the past parliament whom nobody knows because they did not partake in discussing any law, knowing that the laws were enacted before they could even open their mouth to discuss! I asked him, “So what reform are you talking about and how are you going to achieve that alone?”
My friend suddenly stood up from his seat. Before leaving ,with a smile on his face, he said, “I feel relieved after talking with you. I will see how I can spend half a million dinars on a better project”.
By Ahmad Al-Sarraf