Mixed reactions over decision to extend retirement age for citizens – Decision ‘not fair … differentiates one job from the other’: citizen

KUWAIT CITY, Aug 27: The recent decision to amend the civil service law for extending the retirement age for citizens who occupy certain positions has provoked divided responses. One side said the decision to refer citizens to early retirement led to loss of many experienced officials due to which the recent decision to extend the retirement age is a step in the right direction. However, the other side said the decision will lead to increase in the unemployment rate among the youths, insisting that the decision is in violation of the Kuwaiti Constitution as it differentiates among positions.

Regarding this decision, a Kuwaiti citizen Bu Hassan said the decision is not fair as it differentiates one job from the other. Another citizen Ali Al-Harbi said he is in support of the decision to extend the retirement age for all employees, as the state lost many experienced employees due to the early retirement decision. A Kuwaiti citizen Bu Husain affirmed his support for the decision especially for doctors, university employees and mosque preachers.

A Kuwaiti citizen Fayez Al-Hasawi said he is against the decision because it is not fair and does not include all the public sector jobs, indicating that there are many citizens who hold doctorate certificates but are unable to find jobs. He lamented that the decision will lead to increase in the unemployment rate among the PhD holders. A Kuwaiti citizen Bu Adel, who works as a scholar in Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, said he welcomes the decision of extending the retirement age of scholars so that they feel more secure and can do their job in a better manner.

Dr Abdullah Al-Ghanem, who is a professor of political sciences at Kuwait University, said the decision is a good one especially if it is applied on the academic employees of the university. He said, “The older the teacher, the greater is his experience”. Dr Al-Ghanem indicated that the decision does not contradict Article 29 of the Kuwaiti Constitution, insisting that the article must be read with focus on justice rather than equality. He explained that there are some hard professions that the employee cannot continue doing when he reaches old age, so it is not fair to extend their retirement age.

However, there are many other jobs that depend mainly on the extensive experience rather than the physical condition of the body. Constitutional expert Labeed Andal said the decision does not violate the Kuwaiti Constitution because there are certain specializations that the state needs more than others. He indicated that it is impossible to achieve perfect equality among the different specializations in any country worldwide.

By Najeh Bilal Al-Seyassah Staff

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