Many nice words have been said about His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al- Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in the festive month of February. And, rightly so, as he is an icon of stability, humanity and moderation. Whilst all over the world populism seems to be taking over, one should be grateful that via a system of hereditary succession, far away from being democratic, such a wonderful leadership has emerged.
In Holland, opinion polls give our King more than 80 percent support. Somewhat odd, as we believe ourselves to be free-thinking rational Democrats. The issue is that there is little admiration for our politicians, perhaps comparable to the situation in Kuwait. To make themselves known they present themselves in talk-shows and on social media with provocative and immature ideas, putting their own popularity ahead of the good governance of their country.
In such an environment it is a blessing that a head of state is positioned outside the daily political turmoil. For that reason I am a strong supporter of the monarchical system, although I have to admit that one cannot impose this on a country; it has to grow by history. But compare it to republics, where presidents are chosen after a fiercely contested election campaign, splitting countries in half!
As a monarch is not democratically elected and heredity is too little a legitimacy, there is in my view only one fundamental on which the position of a monarch is based: moral leadership. And here we are touching the essence of the great admiration for His Highness the Amir, amongst his people, in the region and in the world. His wise and humble personality makes Kuwait a highly respected country. I am proud that my boss, the Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok, as well as our Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, recently held intensive consultations with His Highness the Amir.
The last remark to conclude. Moral leadership is never a goal in itself. It should inspire others to give up their daily bickering. I already mentioned that in Holland the King is more trusted than the politicians. Our mayors are appointed by the King, after wide and due consultations; and see: our mayors enjoy more confidence from the citizens than every other institution. At the end people do not like extremism and empty talk.
Moral leadership should inspire all of us to take rightful and just decisions acceptable to all reasonable people. An ongoing challenge, for the entire world, with His Highness the Amir as example!
By H.E. Frans Potuyt
Ambassador of Netherlands to Kuwait
Special to The Times Kuwait