LAST week, Italy’s former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi appeared on the streets of the magnificent Sardinia Island. This signals his return to the political arena after four years of being stripped of his political rights when he was convicted of tax fraud through his mega media company ‘Mediaset’.
I was more impressed by one of the forts of ‘infidels’ as described by our religious extremists; given that in the past, Italy and its people resembled the third world nations in terms of administrative, financial and other types of corruption.
However, it is baffling and worthy of appreciation and admiration that an Italian media mogul and billionaire was stripped of his political rights despite being a tycoon, an outspoken politician for almost four decades, founder of Italy’s political party Forza Italia (FI) and Prime Minister of Italy in four governments.
I sat to imagine about our country having a similar law through which we will get rid of many political faces in the executive and legislative authorities where we hear and learn everyday, especially through social media platforms and ‘Diwaniyas’, several stories about administrative and financial corruption worth hundreds of millions from the public wealth.
Nonetheless, majority of the culprits in such crimes continue to dominate the political and economic arenas in the country. I mean many wealthy individuals in the private sector participate in corruption through ‘multi-million’ tenders for projects, goods or services which they deliver in pennies.
In our country, horrible crimes are committed daily – worse than the crime of Berlusconi – by those we mentioned earlier in both the government and private sectors. Such crimes are committed without a sense of shame or even fear of accountability.
Recently, social media amused us with the value of real estates owned by some members of the Parliament, including those who owe Kuwait Credit Bank some money – loans granted to them to build their dream houses. All this happened before we were tempted by them.
After I mentioned the level of infl uence possessed by one of the current MPs, a former MP told me that this MP always brags to his colleagues saying he does not accomplish the transactions of his constituents through ministers, adding that some ministers have issues in taking decisions.
Instead, this MP has an infl uential employee in each ministry or government circle whom he pays a handsome monthly salary.
In return, the employee completes his transactions in majority of State departments and ministries without breaking a sweat. We also heard about the relative of a senior government official accused of embezzling millions together with a non-Kuwaiti.
Suddenly, the name of this relative was removed from the embezzlement case filed against the non-Kuwaiti who, as usual, already left the country. We say to our brothers in the executive and legislative authorities, and also the owners of multi-million companies: “What you are doing to the dignity of our beloved Kuwait embarrasses even Berlusconi.”
By Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli Former Minister of Oil