OUR rational government has filled our ears with screams because it is on the verge of bankruptcy to the extent of being unable to pay the salaries of the employees of the public sector. However, we see and hear every day about deductions that go into the pockets of some of its members through certain purchases and projects that are implemented under its supervision.
These purchases and projects amount to hundreds of millions of dinars, exceeding the value of the same purchases and similar projects in sister countries by tens of times. Of course, the difference goes into the pockets of its executives, some merchants and greedy businessmen who have their eyes on the public funds.
To be more precise, I do not need to write here about the thefts of hundreds of millions in the army and police as well as through vital projects such as the Jaber Bridge, which cost approximately $2 billion but which only leads to a barren desert. This resulted in the swelling of the pockets of those who approved it by more than KD 70 million.
There are dozens of examples such as theft in the Public Institution of Social Security; however the thief has not yet been punished because his sons or daughters threatened to reveal the names of his Kuwaiti partners who are among the most influential people in this country.
Let me quickly give two examples of the government’s carelessness towards the public funds that are spent on those who do not deserve. It is subject to the theory of “all is well as long as you are on our good side”.
The first example involves one of the fundamentalist wings in a ministry, which was handed over by the rational government just to avoid their evil on the basis of “feed the mouth and the eye will be ashamed”. This means “a bribe works miracles”.
On September 15, an article on Aljarida daily reported, “The Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs rewarded 200 of its employees who participated in its spring camp during the COVID-19 pandemic. This ministry, which is fundamentalist from head to toe, wasted the public funds in exchange for a fake camp and went against the decision of the Council of Ministers concerning adherence to the health measures. Among the rewarded employees, the ministry’s secretaries got the lion’s share.”
Have you ever seen such a farce from the ones who pretend to be religious through their long beards and short cloaks?
The ministry had denied this news, but Aljarida supported it with documents and concrete evidence.
The second governmental irresponsible action was highlighted in a news article published by Al-Rai newspaper on September 19. This article said, “Within the coordination of the leadership of the Ministry of Finance and the Kuwait Investment Authority, the capital of the Touristic Enterprises Company has increased to a quarter of a billion dinars, which is equivalent to four times the current capital.”
This came as a great shock. That is because for many years, we have not seen a single touristic project by the aforementioned company. Rather, the new administration closed several touristic projects that existed before. The biggest and most blatant example of that is the Entertainment City, which closed its doors years ago and has not been operating since then.
The sleeping Touristic Enterprises Company had only contracted with an Asian or American company to restore life in this vital facility that Kuwaiti children have been missing for many years without the company, which is responsible for it, moving a finger.
Do you blame us when we criticize our rational government, as it says one thing but does the opposite?
By Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli
Former Minister of Oil