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THE main problem in Kuwait is the ivory towers in which the Prime Minister and ministers are, due to which they fail to see the reality for what it is through field work. The country is hence moving against time, and does not keep pace with the developments of the current era.
On the other hand, all the officials in the neighboring Gulf countries, from the rulers to the junior officials, work from the field.
This is due to the fact that the objective is to strive for a strong state that works according to what benefits its people, enhances social stability in it, and does not leave it vulnerable to advisors who tailor their reports according to their personal interests, and not based on what the country needs.
If these people consider the suffering of Kuwaitis over the housing crisis as beneficial to them, they would rush to convince decision-makers that the reason was the lack of sufficient land areas to provide housing for all citizens.
If they are among the beneficiaries of the continued exacerbation of the crisis of loans and dud cheques, and the imprisoning of people and investing in them in order to accumulate their wealth, they argue that it will cost KD 14 billion, but the truth is that personal loans, which are the cause of the crisis, do not exceed KD 1.9 billion.
This also applies to roads, health, education, and subsidies, given that a lot of public money is being stolen in these areas either through tenders for which huge budgets are allocated, because the costs are inflated to astronomically high numbers, or through trade in rice, tea, imported milk, and services such as electricity and water, from which real estate owners benefit.
All of this gives the beneficiaries hundreds of millions every month, and they will therefore not allow their cash-cow to be slaughtered.
A few days ago, newspapers published about the problems facing school students including the fact that there are no chairs or tables in some schools. The minister, instead of ensuring the needs of the learners are met, moved quickly to meet the request of three MPs and the university director, and submitted to their injunctions.
Although the law on co-education ban is difficult to implement, it has caused a crisis, protests, and sit-ins in the most important national educational edifice.
This happened due to the lack of ability to stand up to a parliamentarian, as if accountability is the end of the universe. The truth of the matter is that the absence of vision and submission to advisors led to this abnormal situation that Kuwait has been experiencing for three decades. Importance was given to the signal of an advisor, and his words became “the nail on a board.”
This is why we saw in previous national assemblies the way outdated laws were passed even though the countries seeking development abolished them.
Also, for years, real estate prices have been declining due to the decrease in the demand for them as a result of many residents leaving to work in neighboring countries. When observers advised the need to open up the country, people came out and said, “We do not want anyone to come to us… We want them to be sent away.”
Naturally, they do not realize the negative consequences of the country’s closure on the national economy, as well as on the quality of business.
On the other hand, there are those who raise the slogan of what is “halal” and what is “haram”. Based on their limited vision, they not only want to restrict those who will come to the country, but also set impossible conditions. A testimony to that is the proposal to prevent pregnant women from entering Kuwait.
Although the Minister of Interior canceled the above mentioned order, it indicates a pattern of thinking of some decision-makers in the country.
When the Prime Minister, ministers, and undersecretaries are on the field, they will realize the extent of the problems that people are facing. But when they remain behind closed doors and are content with their subordinates giving them military salutes, then Kuwait will not develop, and will remain an example of backwardness in the countries of the region.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times
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