Flood victims want grapes, not the head of the caretaker
Opinion One Kuwaiti man dies in flash floods
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times IN VIEW of the recent floods caused by heavy rainfall in Kuwait, we dedicate this story to His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak.
It was narrated that Al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf Al-Thaqafi, a statesman and governor of Iraq during the Umayyad Dynasty, ordered people to carry lanterns as they walk the streets of Baghdad at night. A nomad came to the city at night and while he was walking, he was arrested by police and in the morning he was charged before the governor’s court for not carrying a lantern.
In his defense, he told the governor that he did not know about the rule which he violated because he was not from the area. Although Al-Hajjaj accepted his reason, he did not exempt him from punishment in order to prevent people from saying that the governor is lenient and for the punishment to serve as a deterrent for others.
It seems this story is recurring in our community, but in a different form. After the downpour which exceeded expectations, calls for the government to step down and the ministers to resign started. Similar disasters occurred in neighboring countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, yet we did not hear such demands.
Instead, everyone embarked on the task of containing the damage caused by the rain. The concerned authorities determined the damage and went on to compensate those affected.
Indeed, no one denies the need for punishment or the search for the source of the problem to avoid it in the future. However, it is irrational to take advantage of any incident and disaster just to settle parliamentary scores or to instigate hatred against anyone.
Natural disasters occur everywhere in the world, yet we have not heard anyone telling the prime minister to go home or demand for the resignation of a minister. This is due to the existence of institutional culture and legal principles adhered to by the people; but in our country, we find some are scurrying to chop off the head of the caretaker and leave the grapes to rot.
In legal principles, there should be a clear and comprehensive insurance policy covering natural disasters, wars and even riots, in addition to compensation paid by the State. In Kuwait, there is sufficient fund to cover these disasters and compensate those whose houses, vehicles and properties
Follow me on:
By Ahmed Al-Naqeeb
Arab Times Staff and
KUWAIT CITY, Nov 10: His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah chaired an extraordinary session of the Cabinet at the Interior Ministry headquarters on Saturday to follow up on the repercussions of the downpour witnessed throughout the country.
A special ministers’ session was held to follow up on results of the torrential rain and closely examine the contingency plans for coping with the conditions throughout the country for safeguarding peoples and properties, announced the Deputy Premier and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Anas Al-Saleh.
At the onset of the session, His Highness the Prime Minister greeted the First Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense, Sheikh Nasser Sabah AlAhmad Al-Sabah, on his safe return following his recuperation abroad.
The ministers examined detailed reports on preparedness to cope with the extraordinary situation.
His Highness the Premier stressed during the session on necessity of following up on the preparations to deal with all prospects, in light of the persisting bad weather.
He has affirmed that any flaws or cases of complacency and slackness will be pin-pointed, emphasizing that officials, responsible for the irregularities or who have failed to fulfil their duties properly, will be named and shamed.
Instant interrogations of the slack officials will be held, he warned.
Minister Al-Saleh also announced that the Cabinet session will be an open one – to proceed till end of the extraordinary situation.
Minister of Public Works and Minister of State for Municipal Affairs Hussam Al-Roumi resigned on Friday following damages caused to properties of citizens and expatriates as a result of unprecedented heavy rainfall in Kuwait recently.
Al-Roumi, in his resignation, expressed “deep regret” for the damage of properties as a result of the heavy rainfall.
“I have submitted my resignation to His Highness the Prime Minister bearing my moral responsibility and in line with His Highness the Prime Minister’s accountability approach,” Al-Roumi said in a statement.
Al-Roumi expressed apologies for citizens and expatriates for the damage they incurred, and voiced gratitude for His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, his Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Prime Minister for their support.
He said he had exerted every effort to preserve public funds and fighting corruption as well as improving work in the ministries he held.
Al-Roumi thanked all officials in the government departments to dealing with this
First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence returned
home on Friday following an overseas treatment trip.