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Saturday , October 24 2020

Your Highness the Prime Minister, this is what Kuwaitis want

Ahmed Al-Jarallah Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times

SEVERAL issues raised on social media platforms and media outlets are about the daily concerns of Kuwaitis that they expect to be addressed in full, or at least, in part.

They are waiting for His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah to work on the basic aspects of the government action plan. Feeling the pulse of people, the incoming Council of Ministers should not repeat the error committed by its predecessors in order to avoid carrying unnecessary burdens and loads.

Kuwaitis have long been making fundamental demands known to all citizens. These are rightful demands in terms of shape and context. For instance, housing has become a difficult issue due to lackluster attitude towards realistic execution of the plan as officials in charge use the plan to serve personal interests or convert it into an electioneering bazaar; thereby, adding to the burdens of the State and causing social problems to many families.

Without a doubt, this issue is linked with other cases such as infrastructure and appropriate planning for new areas which should not be executed with the mindset of a contractor who strives to make profit at all cost while tenders deplete public funds through bribery, nepotism or self-interest. A tender worth KD 1 million should not be awarded for KD 3 million while discovering during execution that it does not satisfy specifications, does not follow the architectural plan or variation order becomes basic in everything.

Everybody is aware that there is no development without contemporary laws which are required to change Kuwait from consuming to producing nation. This is done in neighboring and advanced countries where nothing is above the law, so there is no compromise in the promulgation of laws. The situation here is different as the legislative authority has almost been transformed into a club for deals by approving draft laws which impede growth of the country, shut down society, vexatious or against expatriates in a manner that Kuwaitis will end up paying the price for them. Advanced countries make things easy for expatriates to ensure they spend their money in these countries with the feeling of stability, so they boost the economy and do not bleed these countries through huge remittances abroad.

Add to this the useless method of employing Kuwaitis, because it makes many of them redundant since they rely on steady income from the manpower support without exerting any effort; whereas the reason for establishing the fund is to encourage them to work and make inventions. It should be spelt out here that many Kuwaiti youth who are very creative need real investment in various aspects, but it is unfortunate that they lack the right legislation and management.

Throughout the past years, many reform plans were laid down to address the lopsided population structure issue; but it is unfortunate that they were impromptu to a large extent as the real need is encouraging reduction of expatriates through organized replacement rather than spontaneous action. This is why the studied plans should not lack scientific facts; and refrain from using them as a response to the whims of lawmakers, serving the interests of visa traders or due to the fear of grilling.

Several draft laws are kept in the National Assembly drawers although they are valuable to the economy and development. They do not consider these draft laws because they do not serve certain interests – that of influential figures in or outside the legislative authority. Instead, lawmakers were busy clashing and muscle flexing with ministers over personal issues. We have seen how entire parliamentary rounds were completely wasted due to such messy struggles.

All these issues necessitate fixing the relationship between the two authorities while changing the approach through an appropriate government and parliamentary administration. An authority should not overwhelm the other or interfere in the other’s affairs as it has always been for many years. We are not watching a game between them, so they must complement each other in serving Kuwait.

This can materialize only through a Council of Ministers that does not succumb regardless of the height of threat waves. The situation around us – in Iraq, Lebanon, Iran and others – entails that we should ring the alarm bell, so procrastination in solving the problems will not become a problem itself.

Today, His Highness the Prime Minister will meet the editors-in-chief of media outlets. We hope His Highness will respond to these and other questions which will be raised by colleagues who report about the people’s pulse.

By Ahmed Al-Jarallah

Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times

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