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Grilling request on Public Works Funds ... Deteriorating services

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 26: MP Adel Al-Kharafi on Sunday submitted a grilling request against Minister of Public Works, Electricity and Water Abdulazeez Al-Ibrahim. The interpellation consists of four points - deterioration of ministerial services, misusage of public funds, non-cooperation with the National Assembly as reflected in refusal to answer parliamentary queries, and technical and management violations “This is an interpellation from a legislative engineer to his executive counterpart, aimed at developing the infrastructure of the country,” Al-Kharafi said in a press conference after submitting the request. Disclosing he submitted numerous queries on the misusage of public funds to the minister in the past, Al-Kharafi said he pointed out to Al- Ibrahim that his ministry includes corrupt officials who will put him in a predicament despite the availability of capable engineers in the labor market. He added his queries were either ignored or answered in a manner which violates the Constitution.

Furthermore, the lawmaker explained he avoided engaging in political arguments with other MPs regarding the formation of the new government and refrained from voicing his opinion on the new ministers as he prefers to monitor their performance. He concluded this is the basis of his interpellation, hoping the opinions of other MPs will change after the grilling.

Meanwhile, Speaker of Parliament Marzouq Al- Ghanim confirmed receiving the request and he has taken the necessary procedures according to internal regulations. He said the interpellation request has been tabled for discussion on March 4, noting that the minister has the right to demand for postponement.

Commenting on the request, MP Abdulrahman Al-Jeraan stressed this is not the right time for interpellations. “We have to focus on development. Although there is no preferred time for interpellations, the minister does not deserve this,” he asserted. He went on to say Al- Ibrahim is a hardworking and honest minister, considering he conducts field inspections even late at night to ensure everything is done as per the conditions and standards. He wondered what Al-Khorafi intends to achieve with this interpellation.

On the other hand, MPs Mohamed Al-Anizi and Hmoud Al-Hamdan revealed they will comment on the issue after studying the grilling points. In another development, Chairman of the Response to the Amiri Address Committee MP Yousef Al-Zalzala said they finalized discussions on the Amiri speech Sunday. He affirmed the panel is ready to present an official response after presenting various comments but he requested for delaying the procedure until completion of talks with the government. He added they invited HH the Prime Minister and his ministers to the next meeting to tackle the Amiri speech. Al-Zalzala also commented on MP Safa Al-Hashem’s statement that the State Audit Bureau had once submitted a letter to the Parliament, saying the financial extortion cases are not under its jurisdiction and this might recur in the Dow Chemical case which has been referred to the bureau. He pointed out the bureau must deal with any case referred by the Assembly. “If this happens to the Dow Chemical case, we will be forced to take a different approach,” he added.

Moreover, Rapporteur of the Legal and Legislative Affairs Committee MP Abdulkareem Al-Kandari confirmed that they approved the proposal to allot a certain percentage of government-owned land for housing welfare activities. In addition, the committee has rejected the motion to lift the immunity of MP Abdulhamid Dashti in the public funds restriction case filed against him and MP Saadoun Hamaad in a felony case, Al- Kandari said. In the meantime, MP Kamel Al- Awadhi submitted a proposal to establish a specialized department at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor to oversee any request or case related to small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs). The lawmaker clarified that after his meeting with young small and mediumscale entrepreneurs, he realized they are facing a number of challenges; the most difficult of which include the request for manpower and recruitment process. He added an Amiri decree was issued to establish the small and medium-scale fund to help young Kuwaitis realize their dreams and he submitted the proposal to further this cause.

By: Ahmed Al-Naqeeb Arab Times Staff

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