Major challenges ahead for new cabinet: Prime Minister

‘Economic reform and remedying structural imbalances is inevitable’

KUWAIT: His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al- Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah takes oath before His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah yesterday. — KUNA

KUWAIT: The key challenge for the new cabinet to overcome, as identified by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, is protecting Kuwait against perils of sectarian strife, and maintaining national unity, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah told the cabinet’s first session yesterday.
In a statement to the session which took place after the new ministers swore in in front of His Highness the Amir, His Highness Sheikh Jaber stressed the prime importance of preserving and enhancing national unity as the pillar, shield and fence safeguarding the domestic front.

This requires the utter rejection of any sectarian or tribal line-up since “We are all for Kuwait and Kuwait is for us all,” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Anas Khaled Al-Saleh said after the session. His Highness the Amir stressed these challenges in an address to the opening of the Second Term of the National Assembly’s 15th Legislative Term. Maintaining Kuwait’s security and stability has always to be the top concern of everyone, His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak said, referring to the perilous repercussions and implications of the changes and developments sweeping the region, and the world at large, prompting top alertness and caution.

No doubt, security is realized through achieving the rule of law, applying it to all, with no distinction, as well as upholding the power of the judiciary, and enforcing principles of justice and equality. The concept of security includes – in addition to fighting and exterminating terrorism – achieving social security, and providing all bases of safety for people, now and in the future.

Economic reform
Inevitability of economic reform, and remedying structural imbalances resulting from relying on one non-renewable source, namely oil, offer the second challenge facing the new cabinet only worn in a day earlier, His Highness the Prime Minister said. Economic reform requires diversification of sources of income, enhancing non-petroleum revenues, pushing economic reform rates higher, improving the climate of investment and localizing distinguished foreign capital, besides bettering business environment to provide further job opportunities.

Improving planning for development, promoting government performance, supporting prerequisites of official administration through reducing duration of procedure, are further requirements. Others are modernizing management methods, reinforcing sound institutional work and cooperation with the control bodies to unravel shortages and imbalances, for a remedy and avoiding repetition. Moreover, economic reform needs discipline of the state’s finances, bolstering rationalization and curbing losses, and in the meantime preserving the basis of dignified living and stability for the Kuwaiti people, both at present and in the future. Closely related to this is the necessity of protecting public funds by all means, and activating the fight against corruption to exterminate it, and to dry up its sources, besides crystalizing integrity, transparency and honesty through all official procedures.

A key commitment is achieving “Kuwait 2035” vision, with all its vital content and ambitious development plans, His Highness the Prime Minister said. This prompts harder work to complete development of the infrastructure, and public services; remedying education – maintaining the firm Islamic values and well-established constants- and promoting health and other services.

“I would like to point out the necessity of reviewing the agenda of the former government which I submitted to the National Assembly during this legislative chapter, to check if it copes with the views to face the outstanding challenges, and to meet the needs of the approved development plan,” His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak said.

National commitment
The last challenge His Highness the Amir indicated was emending the path of parliamentary work as a national commitment, that can never be postponed, for “maintaining, and consolidating our national gains,” His Highness the Prime Minister said.
Putting things right could be realized through serious commitment to the rulings of the Constitutional Court, the National Assembly’s bylaw, the Court’s explanatory notes on parliamentary work, commitment by each power to its domains with no concession of such authority whatsoever, in line with their responsibilities, as well as reaffirming independence, according to Article 50 of the Constitution. His Highness the Premier stressed that the government is always extending hand in cooperation with the National Assembly.

This is achieved through a work method that allows a ‘constitutional’ compromise formula for joint work mechanisms to realize the aspired fruitful cooperation achievements. Amid the widespread of misuse of social media by some people under the claim of freedom of expression, to incite sedition, enmity, and hatred, as well as stirring the public opinion in a way that threatens social security and the society’s values and morals, His Highness the Amir has called for speeding up efforts to ‘legally’ curb this, His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak said.

This will be realized through appropriate mechanisms that preserve the values and constants of the society, protecting it against perils of sedition. Concluding the statement, His Highness the premier told the ministers that the Kuwaiti people are looking forward to their efforts and work to push a head progress and prosperity for the dear nation.

Sharing the burdens
At the onset of the statement to the first session of the newly formed cabinet, His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak highly appreciated His Highness the Amir’s assignment to the cabinet, praying Allah Almighty to help them fulfill their duty as should be.

His Highness the Premier thanked the ministers for accepting to share him the “burdens of this stage our nation is going through, with its challenges and commitments that require hard efforts and sacrifices and joint work, inspired by ‘Kuwait’s interests, glory and prosperity.'”

His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak also appreciated the fruitful efforts by the last cabinet, which led to remarkable achievements for serving the nation and the people. “Based on our responsibility toward our nation and His Highness the Amir’s dear confidence in us, we look forward to fulfilling the expectations of the (Kuwaiti) citizens and their hopes in a brighter future, so that Kuwait will remain – as it has always been-an oasis of security and safety, a state of law, and institutions,” His Highness the Premier told the session.

In this way “we will be up to the responsibility His Highness the Amir has vested in us. This requires more efforts and sacrifices to combat the massive challenges and the outstanding files, combining good planning with assiduous and sincere work for efficient implementation and pursue of development.” Following the statement, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, on behalf of fellow ministers, highly praised the confidence of His Highness the Amir and His Highness the Premier in the new cabinet. Sheikh Nasser reiterated will and determination to work seriously and lavish utmost efforts to serve the nation and the citizens and achieve glory and prosperity for Kuwait. Meanwhile, the cabinet reviewed His Highness the Amir’s latter appreciating the hard efforts by the different ministries and bodies for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) 38th Summit Kuwait hosted recently. – KUNA

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