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Monday , January 30 2023

Wake up before it’s too late

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THE preliminary signs of a state that is about to fall into chaos is when flattery and false praises prevail, and the voice of truth diminishes. The authorities entrusted to officials get disrupted while idleness overshadows everything; hence, corruption overwhelms all aspects of life.

True are the words of the third Caliphate Omar Ibn Khattab who said, “There is no good in you if you do not say it, and no good in us if we do not accept what is being said”. This is due to the fact that the pursuit for the truth is a constant endeavor. Whenever the truth is available, it is incumbent for its seeker to adopt it.

From this point of view, once upon a time a poor man was witnessing a royal parade. He shouted the name of the king without the titles of glorification of the monarch. In the blink of an eye, the royal security manhandled the poor man, reprimanded him for calling the king by his name, and asked him whether he was addressing his uncle or the king!

However, the king forbade them and said, “Let the man speak”.

The man said, “Did you get angry because I called you by your name, that I call the king of the kings by his name, and I say, O Allah, and he does not get angry?”

The king said, “Come close to me and advise me, for I am tired of the poems of praisers”.

The poor man said to the king, “I know that if the kingdom lasted for others, I would not have reached you. Look at the two sides. These are their palaces and these are their graves.

Indeed, when the world settles for someone, it disappoints. How many graves have been dug but we haven’t yet repented? How many sick people have we visited but none of them came back to life? How many kings have been praised but they died when they became comfortable in their seats?”

The lesson in this advice is for the public interest and reassurance. Here the truth must be said without any ambiguity in order to be within the reach of the decision makers.

For the first time in Kuwait’s history, not since independence but rather 400 years ago, the country witnessed a vacuum crisis at all levels. Neither the executive authority is working nor is the National Assembly exercising its role, but voices are rising from all sides, calling for decisiveness either by going to early parliamentary elections, which is based on the demands of the popular majority that brought in the current MPs but were disappointed by their practices, or by assigning a new figure to form an effective government in order to end the stalemate that Kuwait has been experiencing for nearly three years.

There is no doubt that our situation is different from Iraq and Lebanon where political chaos disrupted the constitutional institutions for a year or two. We do not have those parties that cling to illusory, sectarian or ethnic representation, and a de-facto power that they exercise over decision-makers.

Therefore, the solution to the current crisis is very simple, and all that is required is a firm decision coming from the decision makers.

It has been the norm in Kuwait that no crisis lasts for long, even in 1964 when the crisis raged between the government and the National Assembly. Democracy was still nascent at that time. The late Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem rushed to solve the crisis within days by dismissing the government and bringing in another one that was more capable than the previous one, to exercise its role.

The same was the case in 1976 and 1986, and even during the time of invasion. There have never been a void in the decision, even though the government and all constitutional institutions were in exile. However, there was always a decision in play, and the ruler faced the people, reassured them, and dispelled their fears.

What is currently happening indicates that Kuwait is left to its fate. There are numerous rumors that increase the anxiety of the people who no longer know whom to believe.

Will His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled return as the Prime Minister? If that is the case, then the effort applied is zero.

Will the parliament get dissolved and the constitution suspended? With that, the tune of the “Monday Diwaniyas” will return, similar to that in the 1980s which complicated the crisis.

Will the parliament get dissolved and an early election be triggered, letting people exercise their responsibility to choose their representatives?

The current situation does not bode well at all, as all institutions do not work because the vacancies in the administrative authority are sweeping the majority of ministries, and the daily transactions of people, such that the slogan “come tomorrow” has become the mouthpiece of all officials.

All this has negatively affected the economic movement that is currently struggling as a result of the regional and international events that caused disruptions of supply chains. How long will this situation continue?

The failure to take a decision has prompted the abandonment of most of the newspapers that supported the government, as they can no longer compliment and flatter the officials who are not making moves. This is because it seems either they are incompetent and unfit for their positions, or they are not responsible, and hence they practice their role with a kind of arrogance to cover up their failure.

This negatively affects everything in the state. This is why we are sleeping over a financial scandal, and we wake up to another security or political one, which made Kuwait reach a worrying situation on all levels.

There is no doubt that anxiety generates anger. Given that a person in need is desperate, it is not possible to leave things as they are without a firm decision. It is a matter in the hands of the seniors who have to wake up before it is too late, rectify the matter, and turn their ears away from poems of praise that put poison in honey.

By Ahmed Al-Jarallah

Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times