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Why shouldn’t we hold to account those who charge us for the air we breathe

Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli

THE trending issue in Kuwait now is about a brave complaint lodged by a dear brother Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad to the Public Prosecution concerning financial violations that occurred in what is popularly called the “Defense Fund”, involving hundreds of millions of dinars misappropriated without ethical consciousness by the perpetrators.

The issue is being handled by the judicial authorities (Public Prosecution, judicial investigative panel and the Ministerial Court). We will not go into details, because we believe in the essential constitutional principle that says a suspect remains innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Yet, we hope the complaint lodged by dear brother, Bu Abdullah, includes the millions of dinars rumored to have been collected by some officials in the Ministry of Defense and certain businessmen in the procurement of ammunition for Kuwaiti army with inflated prices. This means that the difference between the real cost of procurement and the total sum exceeded, as we have said, hundreds of millions.

The amount was pocketed by Ministry of Defense officials and some businessmen in that deal alone. Public funds and the future generations’ fund or the conscientious citizens of the country will bear the difference. What some officials and businessmen lack is conscience and morality, which have been sold for few millions of dinars. The generations that will succeed those who got the misappropriated funds can’t finish it, because spending the money can’t save them.

The only ones from whom we have not heard any condemnation, protest or objection to the financial impropriety that happened lately are the fundamentalists whose tongues have been eaten by a bird in this serious case?!! The expression made by their followers on social media says: “The worst scenario is for the religious scholars (respected and appreciated) to find excuses for such actions or ask the people to accept it” … End.

There is a picture circulating on social media, which shows a group of those personalities smiling in Hajj robes!! The comment on the picture says: “Scholars of merger and prohibition of public offers, we want to hear your opinion concerning theft in the army fund” … End.

The talk about the Hajj fundamentalists opened my mind to the kind of catastrophe perpetrated by the Ministry of Awqaf during the last Hajj. It is known that the ministry is controlled by extremist fundamentalists from A to Z!!

The violations committed by the group in that ministry were recorded by the State Audit Bureau in its report published in the daily newspapers, including Al-Qabas daily, on Oct 29.

In summary, the violations included 9 hotel suites and 60 rooms that were booked without anybody occupying them. They bought 350 tickets for Hajj rite train even though members of the contingent were just 194. The Hajj Mission paid a real estate office SR137,000 for doing nothing.

The list of violations will shock whoever reads it, especially as it came from those who keep record of our breathing and interfere in everything about our lives. They have positioned themselves as protectors of the religion and societal ethics, but they are exempted – as they are only committed formally before others. Therefore, I insist that those who hold us accountable for the air we breathe should be brought to book!!

By Ali Ahmad Al-Baghli

Former Minister of Oil

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