Kuwaitis are looking forward to the formation of the new government in light of the recent tensions that led to the end of the previous government. It is natural that people consider the new government as a new phase of hope, starting with the selection of a new prime minister, HH Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah. He is a Kuwaiti diplomat and politician who served in various ministerial posts from 2006 until his appointment as Prime Minister of Kuwait in 2019.
I think it is not surprising that people are hoping that the new ministers will present a government consensus to work as a team, set a new action plan, support the issues of citizens and address mistakes without hesitation. This is a heavy burden and will not be an easy job. But the fact is that the public needs solutions and is fed up from waiting.
Therefore, anyone who sees that there is a delay in the formation of the government should see this as a good start because the new prime minister seems keen to carefully choose his team in order to form a government that is capable of productivity and to work for outstanding issues for the benefit of citizens, especially in the absence of acceptance of some of the names that had been given the opportunity repeatedly without achievement for the benefit of citizens. At the end, the voice of the street determines the form of democracy.
Whether or not the new government attends the parliamentary session scheduled for Dec 10, what concerns me today is to talk about the wishes of the people in general, especially citizens and expats who wish well, and I will confine it to some of the issues that I see as fateful.
First, the most important question is what form of government the community needs? Do we want a technocrat government that includes specialized ministers such as ministers of justice and health, or ministers who have taken their opportunity repeatedly as they have experience in government work or formation, which is based on the distribution of quotas to satisfy the wishes of some? I think as the new prime minister enters the political scene, it is important to change this stereotype because the formation approach must modify to keep pace with the changes in society. I hope to see a government that takes into account the different trends and orientations in the country.
To succeed, this government has to come with a clear strategy and a program to resolve many issues, especially ones related to women, naturalization, health and education. Moreover, implementation of this program must be speedy, so that people witness the seriousness of the new government.
I believe that the requirements of the youth and the services provided to them is an urgent issue, because we are beginning to witness unemployment of young graduates, and should support fresh graduates to work in the private sector. According to the latest statistics of the Public Authority for Manpower at the end of Dec 2018, the number of nationals working in the private sector is 63,963. This means that the government sector is still bloated by Kuwaiti manpower and that the process of Kuwaitization in the private sector is still far from reaching its goal.
Another key issue here is that we have around three million expatriates in Kuwait. We have opened this country for them and some are facing problems because of the sponsorship system. Some companies delay their salaries, and there are many other issues that fall on the next minister of economic affairs’ shoulders and the Kuwaiti government in general, because these matters are related to the country’s reputation.
I have one last wish – that the ministers must act as ministers who have the power to make decisions and changes to implement the action plan, and not merely be senior officials, especially since the next stage needs everyone’s efforts. I sincerely wish the new government all success.
By Muna Al-Fuzai