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It’s time to get to work

Abd Al-Rahman Al-Alyan

Abd Al-Rahman Al-Alyan

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah opened the 14th session of Kuwait's National Assembly yesterday, urging lawmakers and the government to control spending and diversify Kuwait's economy in the face of falling oil prices.

"Here again, we are witnessing another cycle of sliding oil prices as a result of economic and political factors hitting the global economy, which is negatively affecting the national economy," the Amir said. "I call on you, government and Assembly, to shoulder your national responsibility to issue the required legislation and decisions to safeguard our oil and fiscal wealth which is not for us alone but also for our future generations," Sheikh Sabah said.

The Amir is right. It is time for Kuwait to think of her future. It is time to put differences aside. To stop fiddling with the game of politics and look to where we want to be in 10 years, in 20 years, in the next century. Unlike many of our Gulf neighbors, Kuwait has become bogged down with the trivial and forgotten the fundamental. We have lost our vision and our drive. We have lost our place as the pearl of the Gulf and it's high time we reclaim it.

Echoing the Amir, the honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah also noted that the government needs "greater cooperation and an adequate atmosphere so that the Assembly plays its legislative and supervisory role to be a full partner in shouldering the national responsibilities" for the development of Kuwait.

Indeed. We strongly believe that battling corruption and a system with checks and balances within the legislative, executive and judicial branches is crucial for Kuwait's long term development. But there is no changing the past and now it is time for us to embody the Amir's call for unity and action to develop our beloved Kuwait.

As Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem pointed out, there are two paths we can now follow. We can choose to continue the tug-of-war disagreements that have so far only damaged Kuwait. Or we can do as the honorable speaker advises to take "the harder road" and build a tomorrow that we can all be proud of.

Whatever the price of oil, whatever the mega projects that need to get done, whatever subsidies that need trimming or budget surpluses that are better spent at home, let's get to it and start reviving Kuwait.

By Abd Al-Rahman Al-Alyan

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This article was published on 28/10/2014