Cor­rup­tion, a ma­jor is­sue

Kuwait Times - - FROM THE ARABIC PRESS -

The prime is­sue the new young par­lia­ment is fac­ing is cor­rup­tion at var­i­ous state bod­ies. This does not mean that there are no other wor­thy con­cerns, but cor­rup­tion is our ma­jor con­cern. It is a deep­rooted dis­ease that has been un­der­min­ing the state’s foun­da­tions and has very strong con­nec­tions with in­flu­en­tial pri­vate sec­tor es­tab­lish­ments and in­di­vid­u­als. Fight­ing the cor­rup­tion ghost ought to be a ma­jor con­cern for law­mak­ers who still be­lieve that Kuwait is more than just a source of money from which they wish to get as much as they can.

Ac­cord­ing to bribery prin­ci­ples, cor­rup­tion does not only mean deals worth bil­lions or mega con­tracts that are tainted. It goes far be­yond and in­cludes the whole chain of com­mand, from small em­ploy­ees who get paid with­out do­ing any work to the top of the ‘mis­ery’ lad­der, and min­is­ters who ad­just ev­ery­thing with the help of spe­cial ad­vi­sors who push their own in­ter­ests. The cy­cle end­lessly con­tin­ues from up to down and vice versa. Cor­rup­tion also goes be­yond fi­nan­cial is­sues and pre­vails in the leg­is­la­tion and mon­i­tor­ing ma­chiner­ies that keep re­flect­ing end­less ugly im­ages.

Cor­rup­tion is also op­press­ing free opin­ion. Peo­ple with opin­ions are haunted by the laws and peo­ple are chased out of the coun­try and forced to leave, which is the worst in­tim­i­da­tion. They are not only de­prived of ex­pres­sion, but are also forced to say what the string­pullers want them to speak, even­tu­ally, join­ing a large flock that does not dare to speak about cor­rup­tion in pub­lic. Th­ese sheep con­tinue liv­ing with­out notic­ing the butch­ers wait­ing at the cor­ner of the near fu­ture.

This state of in­dif­fer­ence and get­ting over-in­dulged in daily con­sump­tion habits is our real dilemma. We are on the verge of an eco­nomic dis­as­ter un­der a com­pletely in­com­pe­tent po­lit­i­cal ad­min­is­tra­tion that still runs things by old meth­ods and lim­ited men­tal­ity, which re­sists change and fears fac­ing chal­lenges.

For now, the new par­lia­ment doesn’t need to file an in­ter­pel­la­tion to ab­sorb pub­lic anger and gain more pub­lic sup­port if it goes be­yond any red­lines. Pub­lic aware­ness is what the coun­try re­ally needs right now. We are fac­ing se­ri­ous chal­lenges at the border. The re­gion is chang­ing and mov­ing fast into the un­known while ‘they’ re­main the same. Keep up to what you have been en­trusted with. A cit­i­zen ac­cused two per­sons he knows of dam­ag­ing his brother’s flat be­cause of pre­vi­ous dis­pute. De­tec­tives are work­ing on the case. A woman in her twen­ties trusted a col­league of hers who promised to marry her, and went with him for a ride. But when they were alone, the man sex­u­ally as­saulted her so she jumped from the car and ran away. The woman went to a po­lice sta­tion and filed a re­port. A cit­i­zen ac­cused a doc­tor of caus­ing the death of his 51-year-old mother due to a med­i­cal er­ror. The case was re­ferred to de­tec­tives to in­ves­ti­gate the doc­tor’s cre­den­tials and treat­ment. A cit­i­zen at­tacked a young man who was ha­rass­ing his wife. The at­tacker was ar­rested and the young man was taken to Mubarak Hos­pi­tal and placed un­der guard.

— Trans­la­tions from the Ara­bic press

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