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MP to submit grilling of Oil on Dow, Shell deals 11 back bid

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 14: MP Sadoun Hamad has said he will submit a grilling request against Minister of Oil Hani Hussein alone next Sunday or Monday without support from MP Abdullah Al-Tameemi unlike what was planned earlier.

Speaking to reporters Thursday, Hamad stated the grilling of the Oil Minister will be included in the next agenda of the Parliament but it will not be discussed. He added, the grilling contains five confirmed issues in addition to the sixth — the Shell deal — the issue, which he said, he is still discussing with other colleagues as to whether or not to include it in the grilling.

The intention to file the grilling request was announced on Feb 5, 2013 and it contained five basic issues — Kuwait’s deal with the Dow Chemical company, Kuwait’s project with Shell, recent promotions at the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation and its subsidiary companies, the partnership between Kuwait Petroleum International and the Israeli fuel company Derek Group and foreign oil refineries.

He disclosed 11 MPs have expressed their support to his grilling request. They have also said they will support the no-confidence motion should the issue come for voting, but there is a condition attached — to delete the Shell deal issue from the grilling request so as not to give the minister an excuse since the issue is before the court.

In the meantime, the Independents bloc Thursday issued a statement calling upon colleagues in the Parliament to give the government a six-month grace period to enable the ministers to implement their work programs.

The bloc members are Taher Al-Failakawi, Faisal Al-Kandari, Saad Al-Boos, Adel Jarallah Al-Choragi, Bader Al-Bathali, Hamad Al-Harshani, Mishari Al-Husseni and Nasser Al-Shimmari.

The statement added members of the bloc are working with other colleagues to realize the hopes and aspirations of the country and the citizens.

It added that the bloc believes the grilling request is a constitutional right of every MP as established by the law to guide government performance.

The bloc explained it will determine its stance after discussing the grilling requests that are presented; the bloc has demanded that the government be given six months grace period prior to using this constitutional tool to enable the ministers to execute government agenda before the minister is grilled.
The bloc stressed it hopes there is gradual accountability by lawmakers through parliamentary grilling and special sessions to discuss any shortcomings with the ministers.

The bloc said this does not mean the bloc has a negative stance towards the grilling requests. However, it needs time to discuss them and called for granting the concerned ministers time till the end of the current legislative round ends.

Meanwhile, MP Khaled Al-Shulaimi condemned the Valentine’s Day celebrations in Kuwait, describing it as “a heresy that is rejected in a Muslim society like ours” and called on the National Assembly “to adopt a law that prevents the spread of such corruptions.”

“We reject the spread of a culture of decadence and warn the government to be serious in deterring this moral corruption... Corruption now has seasons and festivals,” he stated.

In another development, MP Khaled Al-Adwa proposed on the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to present the Parliament with a report every three months on its initiatives to curb the price inflation of commodity. He said the ministry should provide a list of the prices of 50 basic commodities and their increases.

“The price manipulation of food commodities, medicine, and other consumables such as furniture and building materials occur continuously. The ministry stands before these manipulations handcuffed without taking any practical steps to limit these rises and this is threatening Kuwait’s food security,” he stated.

Meanwhile, MP Nawaf Al-Fuzai assured on Thursday that he “extends his hand of cooperation to HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Hmoud Al-Sabah in any reform steps he takes to fight corruption.”
Al-Fuzai said, “The minister has allegedly admitted that the majority of Kuwaitis who run the country did not arrive by the principle of competence but through wasta (connections) and that the era of corruption has ended and corruptors will be investigated and prosecuted.”

Meanwhile, the Criminal Court postponed until March 7 another case against an opposition activist — Nasser Al-Daihani — who is charged with insulting HH the Amir on Twitter. Al-Daihani was arrested last December but is free on KD 1,000 bail.

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

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