KUWAIT CITY, Jan 11: The Parliament discussed the response to the Amiri address in its regular session Wednesday, during which the lawmakers accused the previous government of failure to implement the visions of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah so Kuwait is still behind other developing countries.
On the other hand, some MPs expressed dissatisfaction over the current government formation and called for a reshuffle to pave way for the appointment of more qualified ministers. Meanwhile, MP Sadoun Al- Otaibi asked about the company for recruiting domestic workers; wondering why the company does not operate until now despite the rising cost of hiring housemaids. He urged the government to take the necessary steps for the company to operate immediately.
He also asked the state minister for housing affairs to distribute housing plots in Block Three and Block Four in Khaitan and West Abdullah Al- Mubarak. He stressed the need to provide jobs to 19,000 unemployed Kuwaitis on the waiting list of Civil Service Commission (CSC) by appointing them to jobs currently occupied by expatriates; considering around 45,000 expatriates are working under oil sector contracts. “It is regrettable that a Kuwaiti oil engineer is working in the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs,” he added. MP Khalil Al-Saleh pointed out the Amiri address is like a recorded document but the government has yet to find alternative sources of national income.
He also voiced objection to the current location of Kuwait International Airport as it is near the populated and oil areas. He suggested the construction of another airport and housing city. MP Hamdan Al-Azmi described the current government formation as disappointing. He said some ministers are not qualified and the government does not match the outcome of the election.
MP Saleh Ashour asserted the Amiri address is full of the ruler’s visions for the people, “but the question is whether the current government will realize the aspirations of His Highness the Amir as it seems the government has no ability to achieve even a quarter of what the Amir desires.” He said there is no difference between the current government and its predecessor because the incumbent ministers were chosen based on favoritism and ‘wasta’ (influence). He added the number of Kuwaitis on the job waiting list in the CSC reached 20,000 yet there are 100,000 non-Kuwaitis employed in ministries and other institutions – an indication that the government is not serious in addressing this issue.
MP Abdul Kareem Al-Kandari stressed that real reform is possible only through amendment of the Constitution in order to realize the vision of HH the Amir.
“The Constitution must be revised because the founders stated it should be amended every five years,” he added. He explained the current number of MPs (50) was stipulated in 1962 based on the demographic structure; hence, the need to change the number of MPs while it is inconceivable that the government votes on parliamentary decisions.
“We need to consider Article 107 because dissolving the parliament without any condition is irrational, especially since citizens have started to lose confidence in parliamentary decisions,” he added. At the end of the debate, Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim adjourned the session until Jan 31, 2017. In another development, MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaei disclosed that he will submit his grilling request against Information Minister and State Minister for Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Al-Humoud within 24 hours if the latter does not resign.
Al-Tabtabaei had earlier threatened to grill the minister if the deadline given to Kuwait – Jan 11, 2017 – to apply the international sports law lapses as it means Kuwait’s soccer team will not participate in the Asian Cup qualifiers. Also, MP Jamaan Al-Harbash asked the minister to quickly take action in order to lift the sports suspension; otherwise, he will be in an awkward position.
By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff