Masses Tired Of Rhetoric On ‘National Unity’

People Want Decisive Action, Tangible Accomplishments
By Amer Al-Hilal
Reprinted from Arab Times (6th July, 2006)
Elections are over. The people have spoken. The new Parliament is an opposition one in the true sense of the word. The reform movement is as formidable as ever and its main defenders in Parliament have returned imbued with a sense of energy and determination.
Even with 25 Constituencies and unlimited resources, the government and its supporters could not extinguish the flames of reform and the vociferous spirit rallying against corruption. Last minute “yellow journalism,” interviews with tainted Ministers and empty talk about “national unity” could not dispel how people felt both about corruption and the aimless, unproductive role the government has played during the last few years. Infrastructure problems such as the water shortage issue only augmented people’s frustrations at the government, a government that has failed consecutively to advance Kuwait into the 21st century.
The ball is in the government’s court now. The people and the Parliament have demanded that certain individuals do not return to a new cabinet and that the government take a heightened stand against corruption – prevalent in all of Kuwait not just government bodies – which taints everything it touches whether it be housing, social issues, technological upgrades, among other issues. Corruption is no longer a symptom of a failed society; it is now an ailment which not only menaces all of Kuwait but renders it impotent.
If the government is serious about privatization, upgrading Northern oil fields, improving health care and the environment, tackling unemployment and creating new jobs, then it needs to listen to the Kuwaiti street. Nevertheless, we want things done right, if the government upgrades or privatizes, we want a transparent mechanism that benefits the Kuwaiti citizen, not some Tom, Dick or Harry who is “close to the inner circle.”
The government cannot blame Saddam or Iraq for the lack of progress and development in Kuwait. There are no more internal problems within the branches of the Ruling Family impeding progress. Oil is not at $7 a barrel. There are no more scapegoats.
People want decisive action and tangible accomplishments. They are tired of rhetoric concerning ‘national unity’ and ‘navigators steering the Kuwaiti ship safely to shore’ and all the other useless jargon the public has been spoon-fed the last quarter of a century.
If the government is serious about reform, it will help pass 5 Constituencies (or even one Constituency) it will eradicate corrupt elements from future cabinets, it will work on a plan to upgrade Kuwait’s infrastructure and seriously analyze the needs of the young Kuwaiti men and women coming of age who need decent jobs, security and prosperity to help build this country.
However, if the government chooses the defiant route ignoring the will of the people, then we all tumble into another political abyss the results of which will not be pretty and the government will not be able to blame its incompetent performance on “internal elements hurting Kuwait’s national unity.”

One thought on “Masses Tired Of Rhetoric On ‘National Unity’

  1. Nice article Amer, But It is my belief that corouption will not go away even if we get the 5 districts or 1.
    The Gov. will try really hard to go along with what the people want, but those MP’s will not be satisfied with the Gov. and will label it as a ” PLOY, etc..”
    Everybody wants to be a “hero” in the parliament, and that will only make our lives harder.

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