‘Time to pro­mote tourism’

‘Di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion vi­tal in oil fall’

Arab Times - - LOCAL - — Com­piled by Zaki Taleb

“THE Vi­sion of 2035 as de­scribed by the Min­is­ter of Amiri Di­wan Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad con­cern­ing de­vel­op­ment of the Kuwaiti is­lands is more than unique and dis­tin­guished,” colum­nist Has­san Al-Had­dad wrote for Al-Anba daily Mon­day.

“Sheikh Nasser has sug­gested so­lu­tions for the de­vel­op­ment of the Kuwaiti is­lands, given the eco­nomic slump which cur­rent pre­vails in our coun­try vis-à-vis other na­tions and the fact that this slump has in­stilled fear in us over the fu­ture de­vel­op­ments.

“But the most sig­nif­i­cant as­pect about what has been said by Sheikh Nasser is that it actually drew my at­ten­tion when he laid em­pha­sis on some points link­ing the eco­nomic is­sues with the se­cu­rity.

“This is some­thing what we call ba­sic and sig­nif­i­cant, par­tic­u­larly since we know that our coun­try in view of its lo­ca­tion is in im­per­a­tive need of such mea­sures and this means we have a dis­tin­guished eco­nomic thought that is ca­pa­ble of cre­at­ing a state of se­cu­rity in ad­di­tion to another source of in­come be­side the oil rev­enues al­though oil con­trib­utes to as much as ninety per­cent of the State bud­get.

“Apart from the above, Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad re­ferred to another sig­nif­i­cant is­sue when he said af­ter four years the oil rev­enues will cover only the stipends of govern­ment em­ploy­ees and this is some­thing very dan­ger­ous be­cause this state­ment is is­sued by a se­nior State of­fi­cial.

“More­over, this state­ment must open the eyes of the govern­ment and the lat­ter must take it se­ri­ously be­fore it is too late. If this hap­pened the govern­ment jus­ti­fi­ca­tions will fall on deaf ears and will re­volve around hold­ing for­mer govern­ments re­spon­si­ble for the prospec­tive im­passe.

“How­ever, what has been said by Sheikh Nasser can be seen as nat­u­ral and likely to hap­pen af­ter four years par­tic­u­larly fol­low­ing the drop in the oil prices and since the cur­rent deficit in the State bud­get is cov­ered by the Fu­ture Gen­er­a­tions Fund.

“Mean­while, the warn­ing that has been is­sued by Sheikh Nasser lay­ing em­pha­sis on his de­sire to solve the com­pli­cated prob­lem and main­tain the cur­rent state of lux­ury through the de­vel­op­ment project of Kuwaiti Is­lands in part­ner­ship with a foreign in­vestor.

“This is in ad­di­tion to the open­ing of the door to con­clude new part­ner­ships with neigh­bor­ing coun­tries to build and de­velop Kuwaiti is­lands with­out pay­ing any at­ten­tion to freak at­ti­tudes tinted with ha­tred and not keep­ing in mind the good of the coun­try.

“In other words, we have to take the ini­tia­tive and take mea­sures which re­flect ef­fec­tive eco­nomic men­tal­ity that is ca­pa­ble of tak­ing into ac­count the needs of the fu­ture and has­ten to brighten the am­bi­tions of the fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. If this hap­pened, then we shall cer­tainly re­al­ize the im­por­tance of link­ing our econ­omy with our se­cu­rity.

“In this case we sug­gest bring­ing the 2035 vi­sion into the plenum of im­ple­men­ta­tion by giv­ing our bless­ings to both the ex­ec­u­tive and leg­isla­tive pow­ers by sur­mount­ing all ob­sta­cles and sim­pli­fy­ing the re­lated pro­ce­dures for foreign in­vestors. If this hap­pens, then we shall know there is a se­ri­ous in­ten­tion to achieve the tar­geted ob­jec­tives.

“In this con­text, we say we have been dream­ing about this sce­nario since the 1980s, but un­for­tu­nately this dream re­mained only a dream and ink on pa­per.

“Now is the time to take the first step par­tic­u­larly since we know that many coun­tries have ex­pressed their de­sire to work in part­ner­ship with us to de­velop the Kuwaiti is­lands.

“Given the above, we have to take the nec­es­sary ex­ec­u­tive mea­sures for the sake of con­clud­ing part­ner­ships with these coun­tries and this means we have to fol­low the ex­am­ple of Dubai and Sin­ga­pore be­cause they have shown the much needed in­sis­tence and a strong de­sire and sup­port from the spe­cial­ists who love their coun­try and not per­sonal gains at the ex­pense of the project.

“In the mean­time, we sug­gest the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the vi­sion of HH the Amir — we pray to Almighty Al­lah to pro­tect him — must be given pri­or­ity in­stead of play­ing cour­tesy games. It is no se­cret that ‘cour­te­sies’ are the cause of fail­ure of many projects.

“I am pos­i­tive Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad will be in a po­si­tion to trans­late this dream into a re­al­ity — the dream of ev­ery Kuwaiti who sin­cerely strives to serve his/her coun­try.

“We say the above be­cause we are con­fi­dent since the projects which were car­ried our re­cently un­der the su­per­vi­sion of the Amiri Di­wan were im­ple­mented as swiftly as pos­si­ble and with­out any ob­struc­tion.

“As a mat­ter of fact many peo­ple hope all ma­jor projects in the coun­try are car­ried out un­der the su­per­vi­sion of the Amiri Di­wan. More­over, Sheikh Nasser is known as a dis­tin­guished econ­o­mist. We hope Sheikh Nasser will be at the fore­front in the de­vel­op­ment of the Kuwaiti is­lands.”

Also:

“The State of Kuwait be­came in­de­pen­dent on June 19, 1961, and to­day is the an­niver­sary of its in­de­pen­dence. June 16 is one of the cru­cial days which con­sti­tuted a new phase in the coun­try’s con­tem­po­rary his­tory,” colum­nist Ab­dur­rah­man Al-Awwad wrote for Al-Sabah daily Mon­day.

“This date is of sig­nif­i­cant value for the Kuwaitis and shall re­main an eter­nal event in their mem­o­ries be­cause on that day the late Amir Sheikh Ab­dul­lah Al-Salem Al-Sabah held con­sul­ta­tions with the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Kuwaitis and in agree­ment with them con­cluded the Pro­tec­torate Treaty be­tween Kuwait and Britain in 1899 al­though it is no longer valid. Hence, the dec­la­ra­tion of the coun­try’s in­de­pen­dence be­came the sole choice on the ba­sis the coun­try hav­ing many in­de­pen­dence con­stituents.

“This blessed mea­sure was fol­lowed by another mea­sure rep­re­sented by the sign­ing of Kuwait In­de­pen­dence Doc­u­ment which was duly signed by the then Bri­tish High Com­mis­sioner in the Ara­bian Gulf Sir Ge­orge Mid­dle­ton on be­half of the then Bri­tish govern­ment.

“Fol­low­ing this de­vel­op­ment, the Pro­tec­torate Treaty be­tween Kuwait and Lon­don, was sub­sti­tuted with a Friend­ship Agree­ment be­tween the Kuwaiti and the Bri­tish govern­ments.

“This cru­cial event actually changed the face of the State be­cause it is then that the prepa­ra­tions for fu­ture Kuwait kicked off ac­cord­ingly. Post in­de­pen­dence, Kuwait was ruled by con­sec­u­tive lead­ers from the rul­ing fam­ily and dur­ing their reigns Kuwait actually oc­cu­pied its po­si­tion among the ad­vanced na­tions.

“In this con­text, we say the fa­ther of the Kuwaiti Con­sti­tu­tion Sheikh Ab­dul­lah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, we pray to Almighty Al­lah to rest his soul in peace, spared no ef­fort to boost the in­de­pen­dence of Kuwait and his suc­ces­sors pro­tected the in­de­pen­dence of their coun­try by al­ways striv­ing sin­cerely to put Kuwait in its ap­pro­pri­ate po­si­tion in the ef­fec­tive and de­vel­oped world.

“For the time be­ing, the State of Kuwait ruled by the Leader of the Hu­man­ity, HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad who still hon­estly and sin­cerely works to place the State of Kuwait on the world map as one of the ad­vanced na­tions.”

“A fort­night ago, we woke up in the morn­ing to the news about the sev­er­ing of diplo­matic ties by Saudi Ara­bia, the United Arab Emi­rates, Bahrain and Egypt with Qatar. This is the worst cri­sis among the GCC coun­tries since the coun­cil was es­tab­lished in 1981,” Prof Ab­dul­latif bin Nakhi wrote for Al-Rai daily.

“I was sur­prised by this weird move. I be­lieve ev­ery­one else was also sur­prised by the se­ri­ous es­ca­la­tion of fric­tion be­tween broth­ers.

“The strate­gic ex­pert ret Ma­jor Gen­eral Dr Yousef Al-Mulla told me the night be­fore the an­nounce­ment of the boy­cott that he felt things were des­tined to cut in relations. Re­gard­less of how as­sured I was by the ac­cu­racy of the anal­y­sis of Abu Ab­dul­raz­zaq based on pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ences, I did not ex­pect the sev­er­ing of ties to go this far.

“On the other hand, the hu­man­i­tar­ian po­si­tion taken by His High­ness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah came as no sur­prise to me or to any Kuwaiti, Gulf or Mid­dle Eastern per­son. He adopted a Gulf rec­on­cil­i­a­tion project to pre­vent fur­ther deep­en­ing of the rift.

“Al­though many prom­i­nent po­lit­i­cal an­a­lysts ruled out the suc­cess of the mis­sion im­pos­si­ble when it was an­nounced, signs are be­gin­ning to show chances of suc­cess, es­pe­cially af­ter the United States of Amer­ica and the Euro­pean Union an­nounced their sup­port for Kuwait’s me­di­a­tion ef­forts.

“In con­trast to the Euro­pean Union’s fear of the reper­cus­sions of the Gulf cri­sis on the world, we find that the Na­tional Assem­bly of Kuwait con­cluded the first term of its ses­sion with­out al­lo­cat­ing a ses­sion to study the cri­sis.

“It is also un­likely that the par­lia­ment will hold an emer­gency ses­sion on the cri­sis dur­ing its sum­mer break. I felt the par­lia­ment should have played a piv­otal role in par­al­lel to His High­ness the Amir’s ef­forts to con­tain the cri­sis.”

“It is ob­vi­ously not pos­si­ble to have a plan of un­known struc­ture. It would be an ir­ra­tional plan as it is not pos­si­ble to imag­ine an un­known and ob­scure fu­ture. How­ever, that is what we have in our dreams of “New Kuwait” and “sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment” about which the govern­ment has been singing,” Khalid Ahmad Al-Tar­rah wrote for Al-Qabas daily.

“Our govern­ment is adopt­ing poli­cies that are easy to sing about but their con­cepts are un­re­al­is­tic and aim at the un­known. Some in­sist on sail­ing with­out a ship in the mid­dle of an ag­i­tated sea.

“One of the hot files in this coun­try is the one about rec­ti­fy­ing the aca­demic out­put of our ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions. For this pur­pose, the govern­ment in 1997 had es­tab­lished the Man­power and Govern­ment Restruc­tur­ing Pro­gram (MGRP). This was aimed at rec­ti­fy­ing the flaws in the la­bor mar­ket and chang­ing the em­ploy­ment cour­ses in a man­ner that will ren­der the pri­vate sec­tor to be the big­gest em­ployer of the na­tional man­power.

“Is it ra­tio­nal that the MGRP since 1997has not been able to find so­lu­tions to en­sure an ac­cept­able em­ploy­ment rate of the na­tional man­power in the pri­vate sec­tor? Is it ra­tio­nal to be­lieve that the main task of MGRP is to in­crease the num­ber of cit­i­zens work­ing in the pri­vate sec­tor when, in re­al­ity, the cur­rent statis­tics shows the op­po­site even to the ex­tent of see­ing the num­bers drop?

“In this case, the so­lu­tion is to es­tab­lish a Kuwait­istyle agency that will be in charge of restruc­tur­ing the MGRP, help­ing it from its un­known tra­jec­tory and turn­ing it into some­thing tan­gi­ble and clear.

“As for the cit­i­zens who are look­ing for work, pa­tience is the key. Our con­cept of hu­man re­sources de­vel­op­ment is dif­fer­ent from the un­der­stand­ing of other coun­tries … the same ap­plies to our con­cept of sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment.”

“Since our child­hood, we have been hear­ing that men are strong and women are weak. We grew up be­liev­ing this. Even the schools, me­dia and life in gen­eral have per­pet­u­ated that no­tion. Even­tu­ally, the so­ci­ety ad­hered to it, let alone the law and the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem,” Dr Aliya Shuaib wrote for Al-Rai daily.

“How­ever, as we grow up, we come to the re­al­iza­tion that the strength of a per­son is not de­ter­mined by the gen­der. In­stead, it is de­ter­mined by prin­ci­ples based on which an in­di­vid­ual’s per­son­al­ity has been shaped, start­ing from the fam­ily, school and the world in gen­eral.

“None­the­less, when you look at re­al­ity, the one thing that de­ter­mines the strength or weak­ness of a per­son is the level of sub­ju­ga­tion from one per­son to another. This causes our so­ci­ety to be scat­tered and un­able to with­stand any storm of change, re­newal or even trans­for­ma­tion.

“Men are sub­ju­gated by so­cial in­jus­tice and im­bal­ance, let alone hav­ing to live in the jail of monotony. Due to that, they di­rect their sub­ju­ga­tions to the women, who al­ready find them­selves sub­ju­gated un­der the need to ac­cept con­tempt and sub­mis­sive­ness. They are treated as sec­ond-class cit­i­zens with­out be­ing able to de­fend their rights which are guar­an­teed by the Con­sti­tu­tion. To add to that, they are forced to stay silent about the so­cial im­bal­ances and un­fair­ness they face.

“We need a re­gen­er­a­tive cul­ture that will re­move such hideous­ness in our­selves and will in­stead in­still en­light­en­ing beau­ti­ful thoughts that guide to­wards ac­cept­ing and re­spect­ing oth­ers and co­op­er­at­ing with them for the sake of the ad­vance­ment of the so­ci­ety.”

“Henry Kissinger, the for­mer US Sec­re­tary of State, said decades ago re­peat­edly ‘Seven oil pro­duc­ing coun­tries must be oc­cu­pied. The Jews should kill the largest num­ber of Arabs. The oil coun­tries, in­cluded the Gulf coun­tries, and cer­tainly those gripped in con­flicts Qatar on one side and Saudi Ara­bia, the UAE and Bahrain on the other,” colum­nist Fakhri Hashim Sayed Ra­jab wrote for Al-Kuwait­iah daily.

“We have seen the scenes of de­struc­tion in Libya, Iraq and Syria. Do you think we are go­ing to be the next? Are they plan­ning to desta­bi­lize the re­gion and deepen the gap be­tween the Gulf broth­ers who have lived in se­cu­rity, sta­bil­ity and pros­per­ity?

“The greed in Gulf oil will not end un­til our ter­ri­tory is oc­cu­pied by force un­der the pre­text of de­fend­ing eco­nomic in­ter­ests. If the dif­fer­ences per­sist and the Qatar’s air, land and sea block­ade con­tin­ues, the spark is bound to fly in our di­rec­tion.

“In the event of a war — God for­bid — be­tween the broth­ers, it will de­stroy ev­ery­thing. Here comes the United States to con­trol se­cu­rity and sta­bil­ity by force and oc­cupy our ter­ri­tory un­der the pre­text of pro­tect­ing Amer­i­can se­cu­rity and Amer­i­can in­ter­ests. Here we have pre­sented the Gulf coun­tries to foreign pow­ers on a gold plat­ter to con­trol us and our wealth, the first losers will be us.

“We are broth­ers in the Gulf coun­tries, so do not make our dif­fer­ences an ar­gu­ment for the West to in­ter­vene with our strength and our wealth.”

Al-Had­dad

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