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THERE is a Kuwaiti proverb “Whenever he pronounces it, he pronounces it crookedly”, which means that all moves that are taken are wrong, and they can safely be applied to the executive authority of Kuwait, where its worseness manifests itself in politics and economy.
There is not a single problem that the country faces that is not addressed poorly, either in terms of the relationship between the two authorities – the legislative and the executive – or in the administrative decisions that caused an increase in inflation and confusion in institutions, in addition to the frustrations in the management of major projects, and many other things that the country suffers from.
In fact, Kuwaitis do not know who is making these decisions that worsen the financial and economic situation, as well as the social situation, which is in turn reflected in the political situation.
This has clearly manifested itself that it is managed by some parliamentarians, parliamentary committees, influential people, and stakeholders who put their interests ahead of the country’s supreme interest.
On the other hand, you hear nothing but sayings that indicate failure, including “all is well” or “we are different”. Whoever seeks to advise officials will find someone telling them, “Don’t worry about it… This is a joke”, while people’s complaints about the poor living and economic situation increase daily, but on deaf ears.
Today, those owning a plot are screaming about the high wages of workers, which has increased from KD 7 to KD 30.
This is the tip of the iceberg of problems facing small or large projects, because there is an employee who issued a decision according to which he prevented residents who have reached the age of sixty from renewing their residency.
When the Public Authority for Manpower came out to sugarcoat that decision, it issued a worst one, as it imposed annual fees of about KD 900 on those who wish to renew their residency.
New conditions were placed on workers coming from abroad. This will undoubtedly add to the cost of urban projects or other craft work, to the point that Kuwaitis have to now wait more than two months for a dishdasha to be stitched and so on, from the simplest to the biggest problems.
When we say that expatriate workers are an added value to the national product, we are not exaggerating.
For instance, the United Arab Emirates has about two million citizens, and more than nine million residents, who are the ones who build major projects, roads, bridges, and infrastructure. They are the ones who occupy the markets and increase consumption.
This also applies to Qatar, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Bahrain. None of them announced that anyone who wants to visit them must have a university degree, and meet other conditions that do not exist in any country in the world except Kuwait.
Capricious decisions continue to harm Kuwait in light of the lack of awareness of what could serve the country, the latest of which was caused by mismanagement of the university, and the creation of a crisis, protests and sit-ins. This was also seen in the Directorate General for Civil Aviation, and by workers of cleaning companies, employees of the Ministry of Electricity and Water, and many other protests.
It is true that there is a deep state that controls the institution. Because there is no one to thwart its actions, it continues to mess around. Because nature does not accept a vacuum, and as long as there is an absence of administration, there will be those who benefit from that, use the institutions for their benefit, and tamper with the social, economic and even political and security aspects of the country.
A few days ago, the Minister of Finance announced more than once his intention to increase the fees for some services. This is good. However, he must first consider imposing taxes on those with high incomes, and not spread this increase to all people, as those with low salaries are groaning from the poor living conditions, loans are inflaming the backs of citizens, and inflation is crushing everyone.
All of this is due to the absence of an executive administration that serves the interests of the state, because the matter has been left to the profiteers. Therefore, the state’s institutions are worn out, and they are on the verge of becoming a place where everyone does whatever they want.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times
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