‘We need to restore public trust in government’

PM visits Kuwait University, says happy to visit my alma mater

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KUWAIT CITY, March 6: His Highness the Prime Minister Dr. Sheikh Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah says the biggest challenge facing the government is restoring the confidence of the people in the government’s ability to reform. In a speech on the sidelines of his visit to Kuwait University in Sabah Al-Salem University City in the presence of the Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr. Adel Al-Adwani yesterday, he affirmed that the state is capable, through its children and its people, of correcting everything that has gone awry.

Prime Minister Sheikh Dr Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah

Sheikh Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem said, “I am happy to be with you. The College of Administrative Sciences is the place where I became involved academically after I returned from studying abroad. Therefore, I am very happy to see that my colleagues worked together and went through phases, some of which were difficult and some of which were easy, especially with the difficult phases being immediately after the liberation. I will mention how this university, particularly this college, rose and restored life, not only in Kuwaiti institutions, but also at the Arab and Middle Eastern levels. We are proud that Kuwait University is a pioneer in the field of education in the Gulf region. Likewise, the reason for the leadership of Kuwait University are the distinguished faculty members who make very valuable contributions not only in the field of teaching but also in the field of research and development. I feel proud to be at Kuwait University today. When I was studying in this college, I used to talk about the experiences of countries, because theory is one thing and applying it is another.

Country It cannot be more eloquent than for a person to come up with a real life model of a country that was very rich in a depleted resource but the misuse of this depleted resource led to the country falling after having the highest per capita income in the world in 1991-1992. Today, it is said it leases its land as prisons for refugees around the world. To this degree the economic situation has declined, as it is the island of Nauru. This is not a comparison with the State of Kuwait, praise be to God, but one can take lessons from the tragedies that countries and societies experience. The American President Roosevelt, after the depression in 1929, gave his famous phrase – There is nothing that fears us except fear itself. Therefore, we are not afraid, but we must take lessons, but not from a standpoint of fear, but from a standpoint of optimism in order to avoid the situations that other countries have fallen into. Before I was assigned to head the Council of Ministers, I was one of you, listening, criticizing, and seeing, because I was outside the executive authority, so I had this luxury of “must, must” and other expressions that we always use. It was perhaps the most noticeable and common thing in the previous period. Many citizens have questions about the situation in general, as they read about the level of corruption here and Kuwait’s ranking rates in the global index. They viewed Kuwait as having a low position in the fight against corruption. They saw that there were a lot of forgery operations. For example, we in the university institution are talking about forged certificates, forgery of official documents, and others. This was creating a kind of anxiety among the youth, especially about the spread of drugs, human trafficking, and many issues that our society talks about, especially the youth, and in scientific institutions and popular gatherings.

HH the Prime Minister Dr. Sheikh Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah with teachers, officials and students

There are many theories stating that there is an inverse relationship between the degree of anxiety in a citizen and the time period in which it is achieved. If his anxiety increases greatly, the period that he plans for becomes short. If he becomes extremely anxious, he says, “Follow me today, I don’t know what will happen tomorrow”. The first challenge for the government was to restore confidence in state institutions and the ability of this state to correct the deviations that occurred previously. This country is capable, with its children and its people, of correcting everything that has gone awry. This was the first challenge, which was to restore reassurance to the people of Kuwait about our ability to reform. Therefore, it is reassuring that there is a real application of the law to everyone.

The corruption file, for example, was the first action taken by the government in presenting the largest corruption case currently being discussed, which is the issue of the Army Fund. The government submitted a new report on how military offices around the world used to attack public funds. We will not stop at this matter. The report was submitted and its procedures were taken to the Court of Ministers. A group of young men, who are your children, were assigned to work to recover all the money that had been seized. One of the tasks of this team that was assigned is to file cases in a group of countries to recover what was seized and the message from this is that we are serious about the issue of combating corruption. No matter his position, it is not a big deal in the face of justice and fairness, on which the values of Kuwaiti society were built over time and were framed in a constitution that we are all proud of. Kuwait’s score in the Corruption Perceptions Index rose 17 points, which was recorded by the Anti-Corruption Commission. It is a development that we are all proud of, as we were in one situation and moved to another situation such that we ended up on the ladder of the international anti-corruption index.

Regarding forgery, His Highness the Prime Minister highlighted the level of forgery in university certificates, saying the Ministry of Education has been reviewing the certificates from the year 2000 until now and working to verify the certificates that have been submitted to the official authorities and approved. He stressed that it is a practical, effective and legal measure in combating administrative corruption. His Highness the Prime Minister said, “The most asked question at present is where we are going. This is what is repeated everywhere, so I am happy to tell you, with all confidence, that we are going to a better horizon, through the vision of His Highness the Amir of moving Kuwait to a better state. The New Kuwait 2035 vision depends on building an economy parallel to the oil economy, because of our dependence on a vibrant resource, that is through our vision of the experiences of other countries that were dependent on it, such that they obtained the highest sources of income and then fell to the lowest at present, and reached the stage of poverty.”

Sheikh Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem praised the Kuwaiti people’s awareness about the need for building a new economy that does not depend on oil, but rather depends on human energies and the ability to innovate, adding that, “This matter is historic for the people of Kuwait and is not new”. He explained that the triangle that existed between Kuwait, India, and North Africa regarding trade routes was what protected Kuwait from famines. Many immigrants arrived in Kuwait as a result of famines in half of the Arabian Peninsula and Najd. Kuwait did not go through a famine the same as what other countries went through, because it is considered a supermarket for the Gulf countries, thanks to the trade in which the people of Kuwait were creative.

Kuwait has a distinct geographical location that is close to major human and economic centers such as Iran and Iraq. It is also considered a part of the Gulf system, and is the base that provides reassurance due to its proximity to the countries of the Cooperation Council. It is considered the link for the Gulf group and the broader expanse in the north of the Cooperation Council. His Highness the Prime Minister revealed about the railway network between the GCC countries, explaining that the trains will start from Kuwait and head to the countries of East Asia, passing through the countries of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, and linking all roads to India. This road is also called the Silk Road and it is on railways. It is also possible that it will extend north from Iraq, passing through Turkey and then to European countries.

This network aims to maximize the benefit from the geographical location of Kuwait. All of this network will be in the northern and southern regions of Kuwait, resulting in a new Kuwait, with the presence of a distinguished logistical center that provides necessary logistical services to countries neighboring the geographical area. It provides financial, banking and capital markets services as well as distinguished services in the field of education by providing opportunities for international universities to open branches in Kuwait.

By Abdul Rahman Al-Shammari
Al-Seyassah/Arab Times Staff

This news has been read 2329 times!

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