Proposal sticks state, protector with repatriation, deportation bill MP files to grill minister

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 10: MP Askar Al-Anazi has presented a proposal on requiring the State or individuals who protect absconding domestic workers to shoulder the cost for deporting the laborers to their home countries, instead of the workers’ sponsors.

In his proposal, Al-Askar also suggested that in case the workers die, the State should bear the cost for the repatriation of the body and relieve the sponsors of such responsibilities. He pointed out most Kuwaiti families, including those with limited income, hire maids or drivers to help them in their daily tasks and this becomes a heavier financial burden once the household laborers escape to work for another sponsor or in case of death.

On the other hand, MP Abdullah Al-Tameemi has asked the government to strictly apply the law on workers unions and syndicates that call for civil strife, because they exploit the unions to protect the welfare of their political and sectarian affiliations at the expense of the country’s higher interest.
Al-Tameemi strongly condemned unions which call for civil strife and threaten to ‘paralyze’ the government work “due to their political affiliations which aim to impede people’s interests through their participation in political movements led by some of those who have failed to realize their political ambitions as a result of their violations against the Constitution.” He explained Article 103 of the bylaw of unions and syndicates clearly states that the unions are banned from taking part in political work. He alleged some former MPs, who belong to the so-called majority opposition, are inciting the syndicates towards civil strife which contravenes their duty to protect the rights of workers. He advised all members of syndicates and unions not to allow themselves to be a” fuel” in serving the interests of former MPs; similar to what happened to many Kuwaiti youths and bloggers who have been deceived by these former MPs and are now facing charges and sentenced to jail.

Praising and expressing support for the stand of Social Affairs and Labor Minister Thikra Al-Rasheedi who promised to apply the law on the unions proven to be involved in political activities, Al-Tameemi urged the minister to be strict in dealing with unions that use the institutions for political work as opposed to their basic duties.

Meanwhile, the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee on Sunday approved the proposed amendments to the unemployment insurance and the small and medium enterprises fund bills, which were then referred to the Parliament for discussion and approval.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Committee Rapporteur MP Safa Al-Hashim revealed the panel agreed to delete a clause from the unemployment insurance bill, stating that “the service of the employee shall not end by retirement” to protect the interests of those who will be forced to retire. She said the committee added the following phrase to the first article: “The provisions of this law apply on every Kuwaiti public sector employee”; while the companies, in which the government owns not more than 25 percent of the shares, were categorized under the private sector.

Al-Hashim also confirmed completion of deliberations on the small and medium enterprises fund in the presence of Commerce and Industry Minister Anas Al-Saleh. She added the government representatives and the lawmakers recommended amendments to the bill during the meeting. She said the amendments include stipulations related to the board of directors of the fund and identifying the types of activities like craftsmanship, industrial, agricultural, services, and incubator system projects.

She also mentioned that the committee has received a response from Minister of Finance Mustafa Al-Shamali on the loan interest write-off proposal and this will be discussed with the minister in the panel meeting slated for Tuesday.

In the meantime, Chairman of Legal and Legislative Committee Yaqoub Al-Sanei said the panel on Sunday approved the request of the Public Prosecution to lift the immunity of MP Nabeel Al-Fadhel but eight similar requests were rejected.

Al-Sanei added the committee also discussed the anti-money laundering and financing terrorism bills and presented a number of observations to the minister of justice, particularly the need to focus on non-profitable organizations.

Meanwhile, MP Faisal Al-Duwaisan submitted a grilling request against Minister of Interior Sheikh Ahmad Al-Humoud Al-Sabah on Sunday.

The grilling is the second this legislative round by a Shiite lawmaker, after MP Hussein Al-Qallaf submitted his last week against Minister of Communication Salem Al-Uthaina. Both grilling requests may be up for debate on Feb 19.

Al-Duwaisan’s grilling contains two proponents — “Slackness in regard to the threat of Zionist espionage to Kuwait,” and “the adoption of policies that violate the ethics and values that are upheld by security personnel, therefore compromising their role and respectability within society.”

Explaining his proponents, Al-Duwaisan said that the Interior Ministry is seriously considering a security deal with “‘Senstar’ security company based in Canada which is entirely owned by the Israeli security company ‘Magal’ in clear violation of a law (21/1964) on the boycott of Israel and will result in the harm of the country’s security”. The deal is in regards to an Interior Ministry project “to secure the borders of the state and develop mechanisms to reduce infiltration into the country”.

The MP added that the Interior Minister “was mistaken” when he approved the publishing of the names of citizens accepted at the Saad Al-Abdullah Academy for Security Sciences for 2012/2013. This, he said, “led to sharp public disapproval as it was found that some of the admitted students were psychologically and health-wise unfit and the minister was forced to reconsider the list of acceptance and exclude some who’ve been accepted.”

Similarly, MP Saadoun Hammad stated on Sunday that a number of MPs intend to submit a grilling request against Minister of Defense Sheikh Ahmad Al-Khaled Al-Sabah on the lay-off of 79 Saudi military personnel from the army.

Hammad and MP Abdullah Al-Tammimi had earlier delayed their grilling request against Minister of Oil Hani Hussein on various alleged violations within his ministry.

The grilling was on Kuwait’s deal with Dow Chemical, Kuwait’s project with Shell, recent promotions at Kuwait Petroleum Corporation and its subsidiary companies and the partnership between Kuwait Petroleum International and Israeli fuel company Derek Group and oil refineries.

Meanwhile, MP Nabil Al-Fadhl proposed the amendment of the Penal Code to stipulate the punishment of “every family head who neglects to prevent his minor son from attacking security men, state property and the disruption of traffic flow.” The proposal stipulates the punishment of imprisonment for a period of not less than three years and not more than five and/or a fine of not less than KD 5,000 and not exceeding KD 10,000.

Al-Fadhl’s proposal also stipulates “the punishment of those who disrupt traffic flow in private or public roads or damaged state property with imprisonment for not less than one year and not more than two years and/or a fine of not less than KD 1,000 and not more than KD 2,000.”




 


By: Abubakar A. Ibrahim and Nihal Sharaf Arab Times Staff

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