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Kuwait’s Parliament Speaker Marzouk Al-Ghanim and the delegation during the meeting with President of European Parliament Martin Schulz in Brussels
MP in ‘paper grill’ on expat nurses DRAFT BILL SEEKS CITIZENSHIP FOR 4,000 BEDOUNS IN 2014

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 17: MP Hussein Al-Quwaian has forwarded parliamentary queries to Health Minister Sheikh Mohammed Al- Abdullah Al-Sabah on the mechanism for the recruitment and appointment of non-Kuwaiti nurses in his ministry. Al-Quwaian wants to know the qualifications of these nurses and if there are companies acting as intermediaries between the ministry and the nurses. He asked if there is legal basis for allowing these companies to mediate between the two parties and if it is true that the Philippine government filed a case against a company, which signed a contract with the ministry. He demanded for the names of the committees formed by the ministry to hire nurses from other countries. He also asked if the ministry charges fees for the appointment of the nurses.

On the other hand, MPs Saleh Ashour and Khalil Al- Saleh presented a draft bill on granting citizenship to not less than 4,000 Bedouns in 2014; according to Clause Three, Article Five of Amiri decree number 15/1959. The lawmakers emphasized the need to address the Bedoun issue, especially since Kuwait has been grappling with it for almost half a century; yet no appropriate solution has been found till now despite the fact that there are many deserving citizenship applicants.

Meanwhile on the grilling request submitted by MP Hamdan Al-Azmi against Minister of Social Affairs and Labour Thikra Al-Rashidi, the lawmaker said most of the interpellation points, which the minister wants to clarify, are mentioned in the recent report of the Audit Bureau. In another development, member of the Educational Affairs Committee MP Abdul-Rahman Al-Jeeran believes this is the best time to lay down a clear educational policy. He warned on the dire consequences of any delay, considering Kuwait’s continuous decline in the international human development index as seen in the report released in 2010. He then commended the social cohesion and stability of the Kuwaiti community where every group feels a sense of belongingness. He said it is not good to criticize teachers and training staff and accuse them of being lazy; while their academic timetables are full.

Furthermore, MP Safa Al-Hashim has accused the National Assembly of paralyzing the parliamentary proceedings. She dodged a question on the absence of MPs in committee meetings being related to the announcement of the Constitutional Court ruling on Dec 23; indicating this query should be directed to the speaker. Commenting on the alleged plan of the government to resign, Al-Hashim asserted the executive authority should have taken this step a long time ago. She stressed the need to replace HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak as the grilling of every minister is not enough. Al-Hashim added she presented queries to the finance minister on his alleged failure to combat corruption in the ministry, which is supposed to protect the public from greedy traders. Her questions centered on what she considers unreasonable increase in the prices of fast-moving goods and food products; in addition to the official business trips. She wants to know if the ministry has a hotline through which the public may report unjustified price hikes. The lawmaker requested for a detailed report on the official trips from Jan 1, 2013 till date; including the number of trips, cost, dates and other pertinent information. Also, MP Riyadh Al-Adsani has submitted a proposal to re-implement the four-vote system. He explained each eligible voter may vote for two candidates in his electoral district and two more in another district. He believes this mechanism will ensure that the lawmakers represent a big portion of the Kuwaiti society.

By: Abubakar A. Ibrahim and Ahmed Al-Naqeeb Arab Times Staff

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