KUWAIT: Ali Al-Sayegh is a first-time candidate for the upcoming parliamentary elections, running from the third constituency. He told Kuwait Times the idea to run suddenly came to his mind on the third day of candidate registrations.
Sayegh is pharmacist with degrees in bioscience and business administration from various colleges including Liverpool John Moores University and other universities in India. He resigned from the Ministry of Health in 2002 to continue his studies, then started his own business. Initially, he worked in the conventional medical field, but later faced difficulties due to the financial crisis, so he branched into alternative medicine and importing herbs.
Sayegh faced difficulties in his business, and wants to help young businessmen who aim to start their own businesses. “I had five pharmacies and dealership of about 163 brands of medicine. I left this business and shifted to ethno-botanic herbs and alternative medicines that treat drug withdrawal. These are also used to quit smoking and alcohol. I faced problems importing these herbs, and it took me more than a year to get the approvals. So I know that young people face obstacles in starting a business,” he told Kuwait Times.
Sayegh is using social media for his election campaign, as he got active online in 2013 to promote his business. “I like to be in direct contact with voters, so I use social media. Moreover, I want to avoid mistakes if somebody else speaks on my behalf. Recently, I was attacked on social media after posting a video to promote one of the products I sell. It was addressed to young people, so it was done in a funny way. Those who reposted it considered me not serious or suitable to represent the people,” rued Sayegh.
“Corruption is rampant. Those who want to loot public funds make people busy with trivial issues. I want to fight corruption, as repeated robberies will lead to the collapse of the country, as they have reached the future generations fund,” he pointed out.
“The hike in prices is one of the main issues I want to tackle. We support the government’s economic reforms, but not by hitting the pockets of citizens. The flying gravel on roads is a result of corruption, as projects are delayed, while in other countries they are executed in the shortest period, as private companies manage those projects,” he noted.
Housing is another issue on his agenda due to the low quality of finishing. Local tourism is important for Sayegh and he wants to develop Kuwaiti islands and bring more entertainment activities to the country. Kuwaiti widows and divorced women are oppressed, according to him, and he wants more rights for them including granting citizenship to children of Kuwaiti women with conditions.
“Before the invasion in 1990, there were people from more than 130 different nationalities living in Kuwait. After 1991, most expats are only from a few nationalities. I think it’s not correct to have entry bans for some nationalities without a reason. We should let them enter the country and reside here according to the need for different professions and not according to their nationality. Expats with families don’t want to create problems – they rather want to improve the place they live in,” said Sayegh.
“I don’t demand people to vote for me, and I don’t pay them to get their vote. They should only vote if they are convinced that I can bring change and improve the country. I don’t care if I don’t win and reach the parliament, but I aim to deliver a message that people should vote for the best or most suitable candidate and not for someone who pays. I’m against sectarianism, racism, tribalism and other divisive ideologies. I’m representing young people and I want to adopt their issues as they are the future of the country. Also, I believe that I understand them better as I’m their age and I have lived their experiences while studying abroad,” concluded Sayegh.
By Nawara Fattahova