WE have heard and seen with our own eyes the phenomenon of some former and current MPs becoming wealthy suddenly.
However, we are yet to wake up from the shock of the fact that several current MPs participated in a real estate auction in the middle of the city with amounts exceeding KD 60 million, and one of them won the auction and bought it for a sum of KD 67 million.
Even just a few years ago, these parliamentarians were not wealthy. They did not inherit any substantial wealth from anyone. They did not engage in any business or any kind of trade. They did not invent anything to benefit humanity and then sell it for millions. They were not even lords of narcotic business – God forbid.
We are thus filled with bewilderment, shock and curiosity to know where this sudden wealth came from. The only response we can come up with is that it related to the public funds, which continues to suffer from unprecedented deficit exceeding billions of dinars.
Nonetheless, our bewilderment continues amid the presumption as to how the public wealth ended up in the pockets of the parliamentarians.
In fact, we are forced to believe that the government with its current “flimsy” performance is the one that exhausted the public wealth to buy the support of some of the parliamentarians in order to counter the stubbornness of other parliamentarians in using the constitutional tools at their disposal against the ministers and His Highness the Prime Minister.
Several interpellations have been presented, and other “tasteless” interpellations are being prepared by parliamentarians who have mastered the art of presenting such motions that would never solve anything in this beloved country where many things are bent in an unprecedented manner in our history.
This ranges from weak accomplishments of infrastructural projects to “parachute appointments” of undeserving people in positions that they probably never dreamt of holding and end up not carrying out any productive work in those positions, to increase in the number of people holding fake academic certificates, and to the formation of unnecessary institutions. This is in addition to the unnecessary governmental and parliamentary trips and missions that are merely aimed to show off, and bribes that are needed to complete transactions in the government, and many other things which elude the parliamentary oversight on the government.
And with that, the government, which fears the parliamentarians more than it fears its shadow, goes on to buy the support and will of some parliamentarians in order for them to stand with the government to foil interpellations and their outcome if they reach the point of submitting vote of no-confidence.
All that is not for free; everything has a price. The government thus is forced to fill the pockets of some parliamentarians and shower them with money that they never dreamt of having.
This, in my humble opinion, is the most important way for some of the parliamentarians to gain sudden wealth, because, O’ my esteemed reader, dinars do not fall from the sky.
By Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli
Former Minister of Oil