EVERYONE has the right to follow up daily activities and news about public figures such as leaders of countries. Countries which have relations with other countries monitor news about leaders of the latter. Thus, when a public figure disappears from the media, rumors find their way to occupy the information vacuum caused by the absence; whether the sources of such rumors are agencies hostile toward the State or the general public that quickly falls into the trap of rumors spread by those benefiting from the information vacuum.
Also, there are wicked people who strive to destabilize the country to achieve certain objectives and disrupt the economy by weakening the stock market and other economic corridors. Due to this, it has become a tradition for leadership institutions to publish reports daily if the leader suffers from health problems or undergoes routine medical check-ups. After all, leaders are humans; they get sick just like everybody else and leaders have the right to take personal leave. In the past few weeks, Kuwait has been the subject of rumors and some social media platforms played a malicious role in what was published about the health condition of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
These rumors were squashed when His Highness returned to his daily activities, receiving senior officials of the country and attending meetings with visitors from other countries. However, public anxiety crept in at the time due to lack of daily reports. Naturally, many questions were raised on the role of the concerned institution and its slackness in dealing with the issue. To avoid such rumors, the statement issued last week by the Amiri Diwan regarding postponement of His Highness the Amir’s meeting with the US President in Washington was timely and well received by the people as it explained the reason behind the postponement – HH the Amir was undergoing ordinary medical tests at an American hospital.
Indeed, the people of Kuwait and everyone else received the statement well; because it foiled the attempt of malicious people to fish in troubled waters and disturb the peace and stability of Kuwait. Nevertheless, the Amiri Diwani should not remain silent. It should issue such a statement from time to time to reassure the public. In some countries, the activities of the president, even at the hospital, are usually broadcasted on television. This is a natural move to prevent rumors from spreading, as ambiguity and lack of explanation often instigate tension and even chaos among people.
Perhaps, some Arab leadership institutions are oblivious to this fact. This oblivion could be due to either ignorance in managing news and information or slackness. People just want reassurance regarding the health of their leader, especially the kind of HH the Amir, the Global Humanitarian Leader beloved by his people, master of open door policies and sagacious in handling regional issues.
It is vital for the Amiri Diwan to issue daily information to reassure the people of Kuwait about the health of their beloved leader. Negligence and obscurity open doors for the evil to do whatever they want. Such an issue should not be downplayed as there is no place for negligence or skewed presumptions in this regard.
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By Ahmed Al-Jarallah Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times