KUWAIT: Kuwait yesterday marked the golden jubilee of its constitution with a spectacular KD 4.16-million ($15-million) fireworks display which earned the state a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. “I am happy to verify that with 77,282 fireworks, a new Guinness world record has been set tonight” in Kuwait City, a representative of Guinness World Records announced on Kuwait television at the end of the display.
Tens of thousands of Kuwaitis and expatriates filled the seaside Arabian Gulf Road where the one-hour fireworks and laser display was staged to mark the 50th anniversary of the constitution. On Nov 11, 1962, the late Amir Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al- Sabah promulgated the constitution for Kuwait to become the first Arab state in the Gulf to issue a constitution and have a parliament. Ahead of the celebration, HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah reiterated in a televised speech the government’s unwavering commitment to democracy and called for national unity as the state goes through a bitter political crisis.
The celebration came as the government and opposition are locked in one of the worst showdowns in Kuwait’s history, amid accusations by the opposition that the government has staged a coup against the constitution.
The opposition is marking the constitution anniversary with a huge rally in Irada Square today. Addressing the citizens of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah called for national unity, maintaining and appreciating democracy, national resources, renouncing sedition and respecting the national judicial system “for sake of a better future so that the homeland may be bestowed with further prosperity and higher international status, so citizens may be bestowed with greater political freedoms, equality and social justice and out of keenness on the welfare of the society and the shura of ruling along with safeguarding the unity and stability of the homeland”. “Dear sons and daughters of the homeland: Words of enlightenment had been uttered by the late Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, the former Amir of the country, on this day 50 years ago about the reasons of the issuance of the constitution.
The Constitution was issued with inspiration from those who were honored by the Almighty in his Holy Book that ruling is based on consultation, in consolidation of traits of the natives of Kuwait throughout the generations, as close brothers bound by unity of vision, common destiny within framework of true faith and belief in our Holy Islam, our basic principles and genuine values depicting the spirit of the united family. “Today, while I congratulate our dear homeland and you all on this everlasting occasion, I recall with you provisions of the constitution that came as embodiment of the natives’ principles and values, the basis of the security of the homeland, and the real guarantee for stability of the political system of Kuwait, under the shade of which freedoms and democracy are being practiced as a means for construction and accomplishment for the sake of supporting the society and boosting its might and uniting its ranks. “In this regard, we ought to express gratitude to ever remembered personalities, credited for establishing the regulated parliamentary system, laying its foundations with guidance by the predecessors who paved the path for this objective, issuing a comprehensive constitution that was worded with great efforts, sweat and enlightened thinking; it will remain an everlasting source of pride for all of us. “We have lived for five decades with parliamentary activities, with favorable and unfavorable outcomes, and for sake of picking the fruits of our parliamentary march; we have to safeguard our experience with objective assessment and constructive self-criticism. It’s not wrong that defects may exist, but it’s wrong to neglect such flaws and be complacent as to tackle them. “Yes, we understand disagreements on the means of resolving our issues.
We accept criticism and advices for promoting our institutions. We not only welcome but call for accountability and questioning any official regarding any shortcoming or flaw or misuse of public funds and breaches of law.
We should all cooperate for serving the interest of our country. This is our joint and national preoccupation. With rationalization, we can tackle our problems. “Securing our democratic march warrants a balanced approach for tackling matters. This should be based on well-calculated predictions, sound judgment and abstention from irrational acts. We have seen what other nations and peoples have gone through, they have been blinded by fanaticism and ignorance, thus their unity has been jeopardized with seditions and they have become victims of annihilation and havoc.
I will not repeat what I have warned of before. We will never forget that Kuwait is precious and no one can sense value of the bounty unless he loses it,” Sheikh Sabah said. HH the Amir cited a Quranic verse urging mankind to consider the countless riches bestowed by the heavens, and a saying by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) urging the faithful to abstain from greed. “States that enjoy shades of freedoms, constitution, laws, institutions and elected councils enjoy free media, possess constitutional means for auditing and supervision and rule by patriotic spirit. We need to reconsider the meaning of the great parliamentary oath, as a lot of misconceptions and distorted charters have been used by some to impose them as de facto realities. “Preoccupations and concerns of the public must reach the institutions, instead of dragging the institutions to the street.
While we affirm confidence in the intentions of all citizens and their right for expressing their views, we are not alone on the arena, for there are interests and objectives among enemies of this homeland. We tend not to believe that our children may allow themselves to be tools and fuel for (seditions) without being aware.
It is rather necessary from a rational and sound perspective to try identify the party that may benefit from exposing the country to chaos and troubles. We wonder where this chaos may lead. Let’s fear God for the sake of our homeland and families. “Dear brothers, the great and most crucial challenge is democracy that bolsters and not undermines security, boosts accomplishments rather than jeopardize them. The freedoms we aspire are to boost stability and not threaten them.
Unify the ranks and enrich dialogue. There shall be no security and stability as alternative to freedoms and democracy; they are a single entity that constitutes a basic guarantee for the security and stability of the society. We in this respect should take lessons from the states ruled by dictatorships. “Our most important achievement is this historic event, our democratic experience, represented by the woman attaining her political franchise for elections and nomination, which is complementary of her vital role in making and bolstering the Kuwaiti society. At a time we boast of our democratic achievement, we affirm our pride of our judiciary renowned for integrity and trust. It is the secured garrison and strong fence that ensures that justice is served, thus we must all abide by its rulings and respect its independence and no one should try to interfere in its tasks any way. “Dear my brothers and beloved compatriots: Caring for our youth is neither an uttered and repeated slogan or phrases in speeches, nor a school, club or an institution built here or there. Our youth are the basic resource of the present and hope of the future. Caring starts from the family and extends to the school and the whole society.
There is a great responsibility on our shoulders to plant in them loyalty and sacrifice for the country and prioritizing its interests. We have a responsibility to promote the values of tolerance, love and cooperation among our youth and counter carelessness and chaos, and also promote abidance by law, responsible freedoms, enhance the spirit of work, production and creativity. If we fail to raise our youth well, the price will be dear. All of us will be blamed if we left them prey to the hands of mischief and destruction. They are barren soil and empty pots that could be filled with the poisons of illusion and mischief if we failed to fill it with right thoughts and incentives for reform, creativeness and hard work. “We have to be aware of the size of the growing dangers in the whole region and that shrapnel of these dangers are falling around us. We have to better monitor the events taking place around us with far thinking and a thorough study to be able to avoid its evils and its negative impacts. “Dear my sons and daughters: Marking this noble anniversary coincides with the start of the procedures of the election of the 14th parliamentary session.
As I emphasize that importance of ballot casting which is a national duty, I want to urge all dear compatriots to better choose their representatives to be able to shoulder this responsibility and achieve aspirations and hopes and the prominence of our dear country. “We are a stage abundant with challenges in which leniency and the absence of strong and firm will is unacceptable. It also obliges better employment of our time and great potential and shun anything that wastes our time and potential to reach a new aspired positive era which restores confidence in our constitutional institutions, embodies team and collective work, respects different opinions based on the law. An era whose goal comprehensive development is to achieve justice and equality which takes into consideration the legislations’ goals, feasibility and workability and at the same time enhances our national security and reform economy and upgrade public services. — Agencies
Source: Kuwait Times