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WHAT is happening in Kuwait? It is worsening everyday. The country is at a standstill, as there are many conflicts either between parliamentary blocs or between members of the ruling family. On the other hand, some come to us by proposing laws titled “Shut your mouths, and cover your ears,” and provoking fear.
Is this the Kuwait that seeks to be a global financial and commercial hub? Is this the country that used to be a beacon of knowledge, creativity and freedom of opinion in the region?
One time a minister proposes a unified media law with enough repression to make the media content themselves with “he received and he bid farewell”. Another time, the government announces a tender to restrict people through the so-called Kuwait Electronic Portal. And then another time, it proposes exceptional salaries for ministers and some parliamentarians.
Given that the scientific reports indicate faltering investments or a decline in some of them, we are even ashamed to say that our country will one day become a financial and commercial hub.
While the world is opening up to each other, and cultures, arts, and sports are flourishing, we are closing in on ourselves more and more everyday. In fact, the world is getting bigger but we are getting smaller.
When international conferences such as “BRICS” are held, we distance ourselves from foreign policy to the dream of obtaining a Schengen visa.
Indeed, this has become our utmost ambition. While industries expand in various countries east and west, we still depend on oil for 95 percent of our income.
What kind of affliction have we been afflicted with, as it is causing confusion of ideas and words to prevail among us? What future can we expect from a country that refuses to move forward, and prefers regression and backwardness over progress and civilization?
As soon as the formation of the government is announced, some ministers submit their resignation, as if they only want to carry the title of “former minister,” and they do not care about Kuwait and its fate, or that those who chose them found them not worthy of this national mission due to which he pushed them to resign.
This is confusing, and it gets even worse. This is why it is not surprising that the Kuwait Investment Authority gets assigned to the Minister of Oil, and when another minister gets appointed, it returns to the Ministry of Finance. The fear is that in the future it will be assigned to the Minister of State for Municipal Affairs, or as we said a previous time, to the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs!.
In the whole world, there are specialists and experts. There is also a societal culture that cannot be deviated from, but we see that all of this has been ignored, and whims, desires, and illusions have become prevalent.
While a minister wants to arrest the ideas of Kuwaitis, and comes up with tender, another one presents a law that, to say the least, takes away the lives of Kuwaitis, and a third wants to prevent criticism of MPs, or else, imprisonment and a fine of KD 20,000 would be the punishment for whoever commits this “weird” crime.
Isn’t there a rational mind among us who can understand the risks arising from all these suggestions? Is there no one among you – ministers and parliamentarians – who can foretell what will happen to Kuwait if these laws are implemented?!
For Allah’s sake, is it reasonable for a government to pay money to a company to monitor social media, as well as those that sell citizens’ information to the world? Have we reached this point of implementing impulses that are, to say the least, childish?
Haven’t you seen the scandals about referrals to anti-corruption, the corrupt people, the systematic looting, and the stealing in projects that cost many times their real cost? Haven’t you heard about the social violence that has spread in Kuwait? Are you all focused only on forcing people to “gag their mouths”?
A thousand salutes to MP Jenan Bushehri, who stood with the Kuwaiti women, and for the integrity of her patriotic sentiments in the face of this scourge, which some want to be the cause of the disease that is devastating society.
We miss the beautiful times when our country was truly a beacon, because today we are all concerned with the question asked by every Kuwaiti – “Oh Lord, where are we heading?”
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times