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ISN’T it time for Kuwait to get out of the cycle of crises caused by the government — both the prime minister and his Cabinet members — that see nothing in the position but prestige, or a ticket to squander the public wealth, and prioritize private affairs over everything else?
This prompts us to ask several questions — Was what happened in the past ten years aimed for the benefit of the country, the people and the state? Or were the institutions employed to serve certain individuals until it reached the point of us sustaining this frightening deficit in the state budget, and paralyzed most productive sectors, as if we had entered the era of administrative desertification?
When some ministers in the government of His Highness are accused of corruption and bribery, no one should be surprised by the imprisonment of a minister or undersecretary for looting the institution that he was entrusted with.
In this regard, when the Prime Minister does not exercise his role to the fullest, and leaves the “thread and needle” to advisers and junior employees, there is no doubt that Kuwait will deteriorate to a worse state.
This is unless they are convinced that by disrupting state institutions and wasting hundreds of millions of dinars through exposed corruption, they are making historical achievements at home!
Kuwait has gone through ten lean years as a result of the practices of the former prime ministers Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak, and the outgoing Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled. During their tenures, the number of corruption cases increased, the private sector was paralyzed, public sector projects were obstructed, the status of health, public works and education declined, and the crime rate rose to a rate that cannot be tolerated. Therefore, getting out of this vicious circle has become a crucial necessity.
In this regard, we turn to His Highness the Amir and his trusted Crown Prince to put an end to all that the country is facing, as it is locked in an unenviable situation from all corners.
I remember during the era of the late Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad — both at the time of his premiership and in the head of state role — he worked on increasing the sovereign money, and had personally supervised the investment sector and its deals.
I recall well how he refused to sell Kuwait’s share in the “Mercedes” Company. When the country needed liquidity during the liberation, he asked to take measures without giving up its shares in successful international investments.
The savings of the Future Generations Fund at that time amounted to about $600 billion, and its revenues were about $ 40 billion annually. Therefore, at that time, Kuwait did not borrow from anyone during the Iraqi occupation … rather, it spent its own money to care for its citizens abroad. After liberation, it worked on compensating for what it had spent during the invasion and reconstruction, and even managed to enhance those savings.
When the price of a barrel of oil fell, Kuwait recorded the highest historical deficit in its budget. At the same time, the Gulf countries were not affected by this matter. Instead, they launched development projects, while we here celebrate the opening of a street, or spreading of asphalt on the road even though it does not take long before gravel starts flying to destroy people’s vehicles.
In the face of such a crisis that is much smaller than the invasion — I mean the COVID-19 pandemic -, all the measures taken by the government turned out to be mere confusion and unjustified waste of public money, in addition to the absence of responsible remedies at all levels. All this is happening at a time when the region is going through major and fateful changes, due to which we need statesmen in every sense of the word.
Indeed, Kuwait needs a prime minister who is well aware of his mission. It needs ministers of specializations that would qualify them to carry bows and arrows as experts.
O our leaders, Kuwait is in dire need of a radical change in the Council of Ministers. The motto “No one in this country but this boy” never builds states … in fact, it destroyed great empires.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times
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