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Your Highness, what kind of Kuwait do you want?

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IT is no longer a secret that His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled is facing difficulties in forming his fourth government. It has become known to all that those whom he offered ministerial leadership positions either humbly turned down the offers or believe that they will not last for long in their position due to turbulence that they will encounter sooner if not later.

Some of them are those who failed in previous ministries and were tested by the Kuwaitis. They will therefore not add anything new, and will be a disaster for the government due to the popular rejection of them. Therefore, the deliberate procrastination is due to the inability to find strong and specialized elements that are willing to cooperate with him.

There is no doubt that many of those who follow the performance of the designated prime minister are convinced that either he is unaware of the dimensions of the political and economic game, or he is not ready to make an effort to restore what his previous three governments had destroyed, or he is very afraid of the National Assembly, which is the product of a popular desire that brought these MPs. Hence, he seeks to cut the time with minimal gains, despite the high price that Kuwait pays.

This fact should have remained with Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled from the day he was tasked to appoint his first ministerial team. He should have asked himself, “What kind of Kuwait do we want”, and not see the position as mere prestige, as he bears the executive responsibility of the state’s administrative apparatus that trusts every employee in it for the interest of Kuwait, its people, and its future.

It was his duty to put a number of things in mind and work on them, starting with diversifying the sources of income and gradually weaning off oil as a major resource for the state, opening the country to local and foreign investments, and to all who wish to visit it, instead of making it an environment that expels everything.

He shouldn’t have allowed to be drawn to the populism of what is going on in some diwaniyas, or submit to the influential in the tenders game that consumes the majority of public money through corruption channels that are no longer hidden from anyone.

He should also ask himself, “What is the way to tackle the rampant corruption in the state? What are its causes?”, and then work towards treating them, instead of leaving the matter to the side of misleading in the torrent of bad performance and sweeping corruption that is destroying the foundations of institutions.

For years, Kuwait has been in “N” gear and mood in decisions, because it lacks advisory councils, both social and economic. All the countries of the world that rose from their stumbles had used councils of these kinds, formed with distinguished local and foreign experts. Their consultations were binding on the prime minister and ministers, and sometimes, even the head of state.

This is what China, France, Norway, Germany, and even some Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE did. On the other hand, Kuwait lives on slogans that tickle the feelings of a few citizens who applaud for any shiny object that is devoid of any content.

For those who do not know, the task of the prime minister is of a great responsibility. One of his responsibilities is to preserve the capabilities of the state, and not to waste them under any circumstances. It seems clear that His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled did not realize this.

It is necessary to search for personalities that are capable of carrying this trust so that the country does not keep going from bad to worse, and also to avoid going back to square one of obstruction and procrastination in which years of Kuwait’s life were wasted, and the price was very high and painful for every Kuwaiti to bear.

By Ahmed Al-Jarallah

Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times

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