EVERYONE talks about administrative corruption and its heroes among the employees of our rational government. The corruption in Kuwait Municipality is so much rampant and is present in a very shameful way. It is the corruption that our late Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad (May God rest his soul) had described as “Municipality corruption cannot be carried by camels”. To that I add, “O Bu Nasser, the corruption of our government employees cannot be carried even by trucks, not just camels”.
The problem is that the top officials in the government, starting from His Highness the Prime Minister to the ministers, undersecretaries and senior employees to whom independent organizations with budgets of millions have recently been assigned, watch corruption as if it is happening in other places.
In other words, it seems the matter does not concern them. The evidence of that is that no senior official is behind bars so far, except in some rare cases. The tangible evidence is the number of rare cases that the Kuwait Anti-Corruption Authority has dealt with or that it just chooses to watch corruption – no difference. It informed us about the number of corruption stories which are less than the few it has dealt with since its inception until now.
That is why we were enthusiastic on December 5 to go to the elections and choose those who would represent us in terms of oversight and legislation, hoping that the wheel of corruption would perhaps stop turning. However, it seems our hopes turned into vapors and our dreams into ashes.
The people we elected on that day have not yet held a single productive session due to the government’s absence in light of the threat to His Highness the Prime Minister to be grilled by the majority of the MPs. We looked at the members of the committees, in which the government participated in terms of selecting some of their members from the “Yes, Sir” category, to surprise us with desperate decisions and suggestions.
A few days ago, the Interior and Defense Committee refused to lift the immunity of an MP who won membership through legally criminalized by-elections under the pretext that there is no evidence of committing the crime except the investigations of the detectives. We, our rational government and the whole world watched him in both audio and visual form receiving congratulations for his criminalized victory, which means the crime was documented in the act. So how were the members of that committee not convinced of his committing that illegal act?
Five MPs belonging to the two fundamentalist parties – Muslim Brotherhood Group and Salafi Movement – have suggested increasing the reward for Kuwaiti muezzins and imams. Such an increase is meaningless in light of the financial deficit that the government had been repeatedly talking about day and night. In addition to that, it is assumed that these young people are graduates from the unnecessary College of Sharia and Islamic Studies and are supposed to take over the work in mosques as muezzins and imams in pursuit of pleasing Allah. So how do these huge rewards meet that noble goal?
This came from some of the MPs during the parliamentary session held after a month and a half of their membership in the Legislative and Supervisory Council. It proves that they are as far as the earth’s distance from the sky when it comes to legislation and oversight, but are efficient in increasing corruption such that trucks cannot carry them, as I had earlier described.
By Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli
Former Minister of Oil