This news has been read 58169 times!
BEFORE we begin, we supplicate to our Almighty Allah to bless and grant our Amir His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah a quick recovery and good health, and to bring him back to Kuwait to continue performing his activities with full vitality like we used to see.
We also pray to Almighty Allah to bless and be of assistance to the trustworthy Crown Prince and the Deputy Amir His Highness Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. It is to him we address these lines concerning what is in the minds of Kuwaitis and everything that makes their lives difficult.
Your Highness the Deputy Amir, with the medical treatment trip of His Highness the Amir of Kuwait, a great responsibility has been bestowed upon you. We have no one else after Almighty Allah to vent the troubles that people of this land are enduring.
The recent events witnessed in this country are exhausting and trigger more anxiety, especially with the revelation of a series of scandals, most of which affect national security.
Such revelation raises a big question about the reasons that led to those scandals, and why the oversight bodies failed to stop them from happening.
The country is currently sleeping on a scandal and waking up to a new scandal, making it seem as though the country is walking in a minefield. These scandals are everywhere – from the public works and roads sector to the electricity and water sector, the military fund, the Malaysian Sovereign Fund, the Bangladeshi fraudster, and Fuad of Iran and the money laundering network that he runs. There are scandals involving social media celebrities whose bank accounts ballooned overnight, as well as the Iraqi Bedoun and his network, and other files; if any of these files are opened, it will end up exposing more damaging scandals.
It is true that investigations are currently underway, and the corridors of the Justice Palace are crowded with cases and suspects. Despite all that, it is like no corrupt person falls without another one emerging.
The matter has reached to the extent that whenever one of them leaves his position, you see him activating a network of his retinue in the ministry or the institution where he worked or had interests in. This means he creates new relations with the new official, and hence, corruption continues to flow uninterruptedly.
Because of that, these cases of corruption that have been uncovered reveal the extent of the skewed morality and lack of integrity in some officials.
What brought us to this situation? Has the prestige of the ruling establishment been shaken? Or is it the persistence in breaking the law in the absence of any form of supervision or control?
In addition to the inconsistency in decisions, the COVID-19 crisis revealed the absence of proper management for realistic treatment. The leadership of the Ministry of Health imposed many measures that contradict one another. The total lockdown caused problems for young investors, but rather for the entire national economy, the government did not take any useful decisions.
In the stimulus plan, the confusion appeared in the clearest way. The Cabinet delegated the matter to the Central Bank of Kuwait, which threw the ball into the National Assembly’s court. While most institutions were bankrupt, this trio was entertaining slogans and exchanging accusations.
As for all other countries around the world, their governments set up plans for advancement and pumped money in the markets. They did not turn to either the Parliament or the central bank, but issued orders. Everyone had committed to implementing the orders. On the other hand, we have the solution for destruction and devastation, and people are shouting to insist that these treatments are incorrect, but no one listens.
Your Highness the Deputy Amir, no one denies that the palm and the dress of His Highness the Prime Minister are clean. However, this is not enough if it does not translate into serious work.
Since we see His Highness veiled with a mask such that only his eyes are seen, we do not know if he is comfortable or angry. We do not feel anything but a slow movement, as if there is no major crisis in the country, at a time when the wrong measures led to a reduction in Kuwait’s credit rating.
There is no doubt that fixing all of this is possible by a historic Amiri measure that prevents further collapse. You are today witnessing the ongoing fights in the Parliament, as the Minister of Finance says with his mouth wide open that there will be no salaries after two months, while the MPs are accusing him of lying. We may understand that those lawmakers were taking advantage of this current situation to win more voters. However, the mere talk of deficit in paying salaries is a very dangerous matter that must be subject to review in order to find out the reasons that led us to this situation.
Everyone knows the misfortunes of overseas treatment, as there are currently claims sent by American hospitals to the Kuwaiti Health Office to the tune of about $800 million. What if these hospitals filed lawsuits and won a ruling? Would they not seize the embassy and other Kuwaiti assets in the United States? This is just the start of the flood of foreign claims that could come from Germany, Britain, France and others.
Your Highness the Deputy Amir, there are decisions issued by the executive authority which are not considered and are against the interest of Kuwait. So how will our country become a global financial and commercial hub in the year 2035 if it closes itself and prevents investments? Have we reached a situation that makes us dispense with expatriates? Are they not an added value for this country? Is reforming the demographic structure ensured by expelling those who have reached the age of 60, while they are investing in the country, or spending all their income in it? Why not learn from neighboring countries, which have a much higher percentage of immigrants than citizens?
In Qatar, the population is 2.8 million, of whom only 300,000 are Qataris. All of them work and spend their money on real estate, consumption, and loans. They are the ones who built modern Qatar and all the sports facilities for the 2022 World Cup.
In the United Arab Emirates, smart planning has made it an investment haven both economically and touristically. Its population is 9.7 million, including 2.7 million Emiratis, and the expatriates there are responsible for all the major projects, turning the country into a global tourist attraction where 20 million tourists enter annually. Dubai Airport receives 70 million passengers, and it did not set the prohibitive conditions that our officials invent while sitting behind their desks, not knowing what is going on outside, and being controlled by racist delusions.
In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, there are 12 million expatriates. The treatment for the demographics has been smart and bold, and it reaped the harvest.
The government in Saudi Arabia has not set prohibitive laws but instead imposed a set of fees. Those who can pay them remain in the country, and those who cannot must leave. This has revived its economy without bringing itself to crises.
Your Highness, the Deputy Amir, the recent decisions in circulation will lead to disasters at all levels, starting from the real estate sector, passing through the consumption market, to the financial movement in the country. This means all the measures that are taken are against the interests of Kuwait, and those who make the plans do not understand the ABC of planning and reading the future.
The truth is that Kuwaitis are tired; they can not bear this any longer. We have great hope in Your Highness. Everyone knows the extent of your piety, asceticism and justice. So please save the country from being tampered by the abusers and issue your orders with better rational decisions.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times
This news has been read 58169 times!