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POSITIVE signs have started appearing regarding the reform of the political track announced and pledged by the new Prime Minister His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Al-Nawaf after taking the oath before His Highness the Crown Prince.
This trend started from the historic speech of His Highness the Amir, which was delivered on his behalf by His Highness the Crown Prince, and the steps that followed it.
There is no doubt that this reform is necessary after the lean years that Kuwait witnessed and the heavy price it paid during those years.
However, the matter must start from the right place, which is the fight against corruption that thrives in many institutions, especially those specialized in sovereign and economic funds. This is because any radical measure without addressing the scourge of looting and encroachment on public money, favoritism in appointments, and turning a blind eye to “wasta” will lead to a new form of corruption that will be difficult to combat.
At the outset, we must admit that this scourge is not a product of the moment. It has existed for four decades or more, but it has spread horrifically in the past years to such an extent that it has become a norm, and the law adheres to its deviations.
Meanwhile, the forces of political and financial reform contributed, through their parliamentary tools, to enact laws that prolong their control over institutions, and thus use public money to buy loyalties and cronyism.
In addition, these forces sought to close the country in order to monopolize what could lead to an active economic movement, and worked in this context to reinforce the discriminatory and racist tendencies against others, to prevent people from entering the country, and to establish backward systems in this regard, or by closing all entertainment outlets and limiting them to certain places that serve the monopolists.
This reflected negatively on the lives of citizens and residents, who quickly flee outside the country whenever there is a holiday in order to practice their lives freely without any inconvenience.
Take as an example the exit of more than 600,000 people during the last vacation, and the spending of about KD 400 million, equivalent to one billion and 200 million dollars, during the past few months.
Kuwait lost all this money, thanks to the strict and outrageous closed mentality of others, which imposed special norms on society that have no basis at all, through parliamentary pressure on the concerned ministries.
In the past years, people almost lost hope of any reliable reform, especially after the many political setbacks due to the unhealthy relationship between the Cabinet and parliament; let alone the parliamentary dominance that was exercised over most of the institutions.
However, optimism has begun to return to them during the past 50 days that followed the historic speech and the new government’s resolute actions. It must accomplish a lot in a few weeks to prove that reform is not impossible.
On the other hand, eyes remain focused on His Highness the Crown Prince, who was entrusted by His Highness the Amir with some of his powers in order to accelerate steps in the path of political, social and economic reform. This is because time does not wait for anyone.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times