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IT is very difficult a country to transform from a pioneer in various fields to an arena for the outbreak of many maladies. Sadly, that is what Kuwait has become today.
At the beginning of the modern state, it worked to stay ahead in everything, despite the obstacles. This is because its first governments, after elections in the early 60s, devoted themselves to make it an icon of Arab development, culture, art, economy and even politics.
Indeed, there were political struggles between two authorities, with the governments on one hand, and the opposition on the other. However, everyone in both sides was focused on the welfare of Kuwait, which was the reason for the ability and success in overcoming the two most critical crises at that time – the Cabinet-Parliament standoff in 1964, and the rigged elections in 1967.
Irrespective of these crises, Kuwait did not stop its movement towards development and cultural radiation, which turned it into a true message in the Gulf and the Arab world.
The competition between the ruling house and the opposition stemmed from striving for the best for the country and its people. It was a country of openness, and welcomed all the people who contributed to its renaissance in all fields.
After 43 governments, hundreds of ministers, and a great democratic experience, it should have reached the age of political maturity and become a beacon of civility in the region. However, it instead fell into the hell of bickering and polemics, and disagreements over certain positions.
Also, the parliamentary interpellations should not have turned into a tool for blackmail, because in the past, it represented a process of correction and reform, and involved a sophisticated language that expresses the essence of Kuwait.
Why was all this different in the sense that it turned the country into a battleground between governments and the parliaments, in which all unwelcomed tools by the people and the country are used, including culture and arts, education, health, housing, and all the way to the roads?
Why did the positions end up being aimed for profiteering purposes where a person is appointed as a minister, and when he resigns, he walks out with the benefits and privileges that comes with the title? In many instances, jobs and positions are tailored to serve nepotism and favoritism. No concern is given to the integrity of those who fall victims of such settings.
There is no doubt that something has changed, as it is not possible for a country that has such energies and minds to be afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease, forgetting its history and experiences, and being dominated by political puberty. It is also not possible for wise men and visionaries to be absent in seeking to fix the imbalance, unless there are bats that started spreading their fatal viruses to people.
Unfortunately, if the state of the country continues in this manner and no one moves a finger, it will become the biggest problem, given that the executive authority cannot be suspended for about five years as a result of fabricated crises, but a government in Kuwait does not last more than a year, and some even less than a hundred days old. When this happens, how will the renaissance be made?
Everyone complains about the dire situation that the country has reached, and officials throw accusations at one another. The minister takes it to the undersecretary, and he refers it to the assistant, and the latter refers it to the director, until it reaches the driver.
Wasn’t there a time when a cleaner in one of the official departments was accused of negligence just because the officials were too reluctant to point fingers at one another?
Today, this country is on a free ride because there is no decision or an iron hand that strikes the sources of corruption and incompetence. On the other hand, in other countries, an official does not sleep if there is any problem.
In the United States a few days ago, a bank went bankrupt. The next day early morning, President John Biden held a press conference to reassure the people, and make his decisions based on a study.
As for Kuwait, everyone disavows responsibility, as if the country was left to its fate. All this is because no one is deciding on our affairs.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times