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PEOPLE of Kuwait lack any basis for economic stability, which is the source of the state’s strength. This is because they simply handed over the backbone of their existence as an independent state to officials who did not realize from the beginning that the blessing of oil is temporary; in fact, it is a curse if not invested productively and properly.
People are living in a bubble due to the state’s commitment to cater for their needs from cradle to grave. According to everyone, all is well, even in light of crises that afflict the country from time to time.
This painful reality has become more severe today because of the financial and economic crisis, and because successive governments have worked since 1962 on spending without fear, as they were under the impression that oil revenues will bring more.
There is no plan in place to diversify the sources of income, especially in the last three governments when the oil crisis was met with a lot of indifference. The crisis of plunging oil prices was handled with a lot of indifference by them, as if these governments had chosen the Nauru economic system for Kuwait, and not that of Germany or even Rwanda and Norway for sustainability and development.
Diversification of the sources of income is neither a luxury nor a pastime talk, nor a slogan needed to increase the number of words in government work programs. Rather, it is the basis for continuity. If it is not taken very seriously, our fate will be of a poor and helpless country, suffering from the weight of uncontrollable debts. The public debt service will exceed the national income.
This is the result of subjugation to MPs and political components that took control of the legislative authority by the force of moral terrorism and their adherence to “bubble” and absurd spending. The governments lost the least elements of immunity in the confrontation, so they handed them with “thread and needle”, starting with abolishing co-education in schools and universities, passing a series of laws and ministerial decisions that have further closed the country socially, and blocking all investment outlets.
Such governmental subservience brought the MPs in the 2014 parliament to the point of interfering in the foreign policy, and their attempt to restrict the donations made by His Highness the Amir of the country to countries through a law that has many flaws and defects, and does not indicate any political prudence, given that it directly affects the powers of the head of state, and even infringes on the authority of the emirate.
This is happening in a country that is supposed to have learned from the experiences of other countries and the lessons of the past. It should be working seriously to avoid the fate of countries that have fallen into prohibition because of corruption and dependence on a single source of income. Many opportunities have been missed, and continue to be missed as we speak.
There is a fear among a large segment of Kuwaitis that the same scenario will be repeated with the future government. This is because of what is being reported about the consultations conducted by His Highness the Prime Minister-designate. As per these reports, the distribution of positions is not based on choosing the right person for the right job, but rather on a promise to appoint incompetent people in sensitive jobs to serve certain individuals or to seek a truce with the National Assembly, or the benefit of favored people, which, in a clearer sense, means the continuation of corruption and waste.
This confusion has led all the Gulf nations to joke about Kuwait, which has reached this level of indifference to its fate because of executive officials, ministers and the prime minister who seem to have no idea of what they represent.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times
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