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OUR conditions continue to deteriorate as if we have been under a spell for the past three decades. State projects have either been halted, subjected to deliberate obstacles or have been a mine of corruption and waste.
The laws that are being enacted continue to tighten the rope on the neck of freedom, which the Kuwaiti society has been proud of for hundreds of years; while corruption continues to spread and no one is holding the negligent accountable.
Is this the future we have been looking forward to since 1992, or have we gone wrong?
Indeed, there are delinquents, but who is holding them accountable? Isn’t negligence the basis of corruption?
Some are negligent, but no one warns them. If an employee is punished, the influential and the MPs lash out at the person behind such punishment or they take advantage of the incident to grill a minister. All this just because he wanted to rectify the situation; but more than that, the negligent becomes the boss and a stakeholder.
For years, people have been busy talking about the corrupt who either fled to where they could enjoy their loot or were acquitted because of loopholes in the submissions and executive procedures.
In fact, this has become an outlet for drug dealers and criminals, so there have been many offensive comments about Kuwait in international reports on corruption that is rampant in most of its institutions, and about the money smuggled abroad or laundered at home, until its international reputation has fallen to the bottom, but for how long? Prime ministers, ministers, undersecretaries and MPs have been negligent and involved in sabotage; but they were not held accountable.
In neighboring countries, there is no room for error. The official who is negligent is expelled immediately and then held accountable.
In Kuwait, the harshest step is to refer him to the door of retirement; only to return through the window of reward system with the rank of advisor and huge perks.
Currently, there is a wave of dismissals from positions. This is a good thing, but accountability is required; not only for those who infringed on public money and violated the law, but for all negligent people, no matter how high their heels are.
All this devastation that Kuwait suffers from is the result of the actions of the group that did not find anyone to hold them accountable.
I always try to highlight the positive aspects of societies and Gulf countries; which are similar to ours in terms of customs, traditions, culture, management and governance systems.
I assert that Kuwait is unique not just in the Gulf, but in the world as well. This is due to the fact that it operates on a free fall mode, as it is inconceivable that a country continues to suffer from devastation. Rather, you do not find anyone in charge of holding those who caused such suffering accountable.
Look at the Arab countries that have been devastated by corruption; their institutions were destroyed, while their people have fallen into the abyss of hunger and misery, because the one responsible is not worried about being held accountable and did not maintain honesty. Do you want us to reach this slope?
It is true that we are facing a new path, yet we have not noticed anything significant so far.
A strategy for building and advancement is necessary, as well as action plans by the custodians of the homeland; so the full belly does not go and the empty belly does not come, while we remain in a vicious circle.
We need an authority with nails and teeth, prestige, courage, modern law and openness. Yes, openness; not a state that is closer to the ‘Taliban’ in everything, because everything we are experiencing does not represent Kuwait at all. Do I need to say more?
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Time