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MP questions credibility of decisions in grilling period

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 28: MP Muhammad Husain Al-Dallal has submitted questions to Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior and State Minister of Cabinet Affairs Anas Al-Saleh regarding Minister of Social Affairs Dr Ghadeer Aseeri.

He said Asseri has taken a number of important decisions concerning the ministry and affiliated institutions like the Public Authority for Handicapped Affairs (PAHA) and Civil Service Commission (CSC) despite the fact that she was grilled by MP Dr Adel Al-Damkhi and 10 MPs have submitted a no-confidence motion against her. He asked if the CSC issued regulations and circulars on the duties of a minister during such period – from the day of submitting the grilling and no-confidence motions until the National Assembly issues the final decision.

If no, what are the reasons behind the absence of such provisions which maintain administrative stability of public institutions? He inquired about the position of CSC on the decisions taken by Asseri since the submission of the grilling motion against her. He wants to know if these decisions will be cancelled. Moreover, MP Farraj Zebn Al- Erbeid has forwarded questions to Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr Soud Al-Harbi about the reasons behind the cancellation of ‘Kefayat’ curriculum, which was recommended by the World Bank, after spending millions of Kuwaiti dinars on it.

He also asked about cost of implementing this curriculum. He inquired if it is true that the alternative called ‘criteria’ curriculum was designed by an Egyptian. If yes, what is the cost of implementing this curriculum and the relevant technical evaluation? He requested for the list of foreign and Arab countries from which the ministry sought their experience in this regard, their ranks in education quality global indexes, difficulties that students faced during mid-year exams, and procedures taken to deal with these difficulties which negatively affected the students’ performance.
In addition, MP Muhammad Hadi Al-Hewaila also submitted questions to the minister about the schools in Wafra which are not operating due to damages caused by the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. He revealed that he previously asked the minister about these schools.

The minister responded at the time, saying Decision No. 594/2010 was issued to offer these schools to the private educational sector through public auction. He explained that as per the minister’s response, the auction winners will shoulder the cost of renovating these schools. He added the ministry held meetings with the Public Authority for Partnership Projects in this regard. He asked about the reasons behind the non-implementation of this project until now, procedures taken in this regard, minutes of meetings between the ministry and authority, and results of such meetings.

Meanwhile, MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri has submitted a draft law to amend Law No. 67/1983 on the establishment of the Public Authority for Minor Affairs (PAMA). He suggested adding a number of articles to the law stipulating the establishment of a special fund for minor orphans to be called, ‘Sabah Al-Ahmad Fund for Minor Orphans’. He said the fund shall receive donations and grants which will be invested in securities in low risk projects according to the Islamic Sharia. He added 30 percent of the profits will go to the Future Generations Fund. He recommended allocating KD 5,000 for every beneficiary who will receive the money and the interest upon reaching 21 years old. In case the beneficiary dies before turning 21 years old, the money will be inherited by deserving relatives. He added the director general of PAMA must submit reports annually and copies of these reports will be forwarded to the Assembly. MP Osama Al-Shaheen has submitted a proposal on enforcing the health insurance and life insurance policies for employees at the Ministry of Electricity and Water. He said these insurance policies must be in line with the Islamic Sharia.

In another development, a number of lawmakers commented on the verdict of the Ministerial Court which sentenced former Minister of Health Dr Ali Al-Obaidi, the former undersecretary and a number of assistant undersecretaries to seven years in prison for embezzling public funds. The court allowed them to post bail of KD 10,000 to suspend the implementation of the verdict and ordered them to refund KD 81 million. C

ommenting on the verdict, MP Dr Abdulkareem Al-Kandari said this is the first fruit of the amendment of the relevant law which he submitted to the Assembly in 2014 to suspend the authority of the committee tasked to examine cases referred to the court. He compared the committee to a grave where lawsuits are buried; thereby, preventing trials.

MP Rakan Al-Nisf asserted the verdict is historic as it signals the beginning of a new era of questioning and punishing erring ministers and senior officials. He called on His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid to follow up the ministers’ performance in order to prevent the recurrence of such crimes against public funds. He also commented on the court’s decision regarding the lawsuit involving a health insurance company in the USA, indicating this is part of issues raised in the grilling motion he submitted against the former health minister. He said the lawsuit negatively affected the reputation of the Kuwaiti health sector in the USA and the patients undergoing treatment there.

By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff

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