Speech by HH Amir of Kuwait
Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah
On Reception of a Group of Professors and Academics
Kuwait – 21 November 2012


In the Name of Allah the Most Merciful the Most Beneficent

Praise be to God, and peace be upon His messenger, his family, companions, and followers,

Dear Brothers and Sons,

I am glad to welcome you and assure you of my pride for your responsible initiative and your request to hold this fruitful brotherly meeting. I was keen to respond to this invitation for meeting because you are the wise minds of this nation and the leaders of the public opinion; you are the elites who weigh issues against the scale of right, justice and objectivity. You are not deceived by slogans, even if they were bright, or by fake words, even if they were resonant.

It hurts me and you of what we see; the tension, stress and anxiety hanging over the skies of our country and society nowadays. However, when we look at the true reasons for the disagreement, we thank God that it is not due to a violation of the main components of the society or the values of justice, freedom or equality, or a violation of the constitution or the law or our national constants. It is a disagreement about a decree for changing the electoral system, which was issued by the head of the state out of his national responsibility and in activation of clear protocols specified in the constitution, and verified by the provisions of the constitutional court. I found it necessary to repair the malfunction of the electoral system which proved via practical experience to have negative aspects and dangerous results along three consecutive national assemblies.

It is my national duty and constitutional right to take the decisions I believe which serve the interest of the country and enhances its security and stability within the limits of the constitution and the law. This is what I did by issuing the necessary decree during the absence of the National Assembly. The constitution guaranteed the right to object this decree by appealing to the constitutional court, which is known for its integrity, independence and honesty. Concerning the rumors about a direction to appeal to this decree, I commend this civilized behavior. I announce in front of you and in front of the whole Kuwaiti people that I accept the ruling of the constitutional court, even if it is contradicting to my decree. Our respect and appreciation of jurisprudence is confirmed and assured, and our abidance with its rules is sincere and can not be compromised. We shall satisfactorily accept any rule that may be issued as returning to the right path to be a virtue. In addition to appealing to the constitutional court, the constitution also states that this decree be raised to the National Assembly in its first meeting for discussion, where it can be either approved or cancelled. In addition to these two reasons, any member in the National Assembly can at any time submit a proposal for amending the electoral system.

The necessary decree is not a traditional law or an obsolete right but it is subject to consideration by the National Assembly and the opinion of the constitutional court. I say it clearly in front of all of you that I will accept the rule of the constitutional court and the decision of the National Assembly. Where is the problem then? And what is the big issue that requires going onto the street? What is the need for mass and riot? Why raising voices and disturbing government businesses and affecting people's interests? I am asking you as the people of conscience and wisdom: Is the street the right place to discuss such matters? And do such atmospheres allow for reaching the best ways and solutions? Should it be left for anybody to determine the destiny of the country? Why the negative stance and incitement to boycott the elections?

Be positive,

Participate in the electoral process by selecting the ones you believe to be straight, efficient, and responsible to represent you in the National Assembly and in the consideration of the necessity decree, whether to accept or reject it, or even issue a replacement law thereof pursuant to the right constitutional channels and procedures. Who among us can forget several previous parliamentary practices that deviated from the constitution and the law, including several interrogations, legislations, parliamentary questions, debates and other similar practices which were supposed to be rejected and objected upon, if the constitutional and legal framework were the criteria?

My brothers, sons and daughters,

We are confronting serious challenges, and surrounded by severe dangers. We have the challenges of fighting corruption, integrated reform of all governmental institutions, the educational systems, health, electricity, water, communications, roads, building thousands of houses for those eligible for residential care, and providing thousands of work opportunities for our sons and daughters every year. We have the duty of protecting our country from the surrounding dangers, from the massive changes affecting the Arabian world from end to end, and the threats that are about to turn our area into a bloody square of conflict that lets nothing remain or leave anything unburned.

We should have the time and effort for confronting such situations and dangers, and not to be busy with our pretended internal crises and disorders. How can such challenges be confronted; with demonstrations, crowds going onto the streets, and insisting on violating the law? Or through cooperation, solidarity and cohesion by devoting sincere efforts for developing the country, objective debate, activating control and responsible accountability that maintains the public interests, in an objective way away from partiality, unnecessary questioning, and humiliating the dignity of others. Look around to see what street judgment did to us. It caused ruin and misery even to rich countries and societies that own a plenty of natural resources and abundant wealth.

I was keen to meet with you to exchange views with you, and this is my message to you, and through you to all the people of Kuwait; a call for cooperation, taking positive attitudes, shouldering responsibilities, sharing, good selection of the representatives to the national assembly, abiding by the constitution, and rejecting riot and sedition, an invitation to listen to the voice of reason, and putting the interest of our dear Kuwait ahead. There will be no reform if the right say is not respected, and a person who does not speak out against the wrong is a mute devil. God Almighty says:

And do not mix the truth with falsehood or conceal the truth while you know [it].

Your knowledge, position, experience, maturity, and knowledge casts further liabilities upon you towards your society, supporting its issues, and confronting its problems and challenges. You are the good example and have the effective enlightened opinions. I reiterate welcoming you, and value your civilized manner of selecting the objective national debate as a means for tackling our issues, instead of manifestations of mobilization, agitation, and negative actions. I and the people of Kuwait believe you are trustworthy to lead the movement of reform and development, and achieve the hopes and anticipations of the citizens toward a safe and stable present, and a prosperous future.

May God guide you to the good of our country and our people.

Wassalamu Alikom wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatu ,,,

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