Fighter in focus
KUWAIT CITY, Jan 26: The armament file referred to the Public Prosecution is not comprehensive as it covers only the Eurofighter jets issue, says MP Riyad Al-Adasani.
In a press statement, Al-Adasani hopes the file includes all the relevant issues; considering the armament budget reached KD 6.2 billion while the Eurofighter jets deal is worth KD 2.6 billion and the Karacal deal is valued at one billion Euros.
He said HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled and First Deputy Premier and Defense Minister Sheikh Ahmad Mansour Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah must bear their responsibilities in conducting a thorough investigation to include everyone involved in administrative, financial or legal violations; in addition to referring a comprehensive file to the prosecution.
Meanwhile, MP Thamer Al-Dhefeiri has submitted questions to Minister of Health Dr Bassel Al-Sabah on the procedures taken by his ministry to prepare for coronavirus even before it is discovered in the country. He inquired about the capacity of laboratories in checking the virus, period of time needed to present results, if the ministry has obtained medicines for corona virus patients, and copies of international studies confirming these medicines are effective if any.
MP Osama Al-Shaheen also asked the health minister about the number of Kuwaitis undergoing treatment in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), steps taken to follow up these patients in view of the absence of a health office in the UAE, and reasons for not opening such an office there.
In another development, Al-Dhefeiri has forwarded questions to Minister of Finance and acting State Minister for Economic Affairs Mariam Al-Aqeel on the procedures taken after meetings between the ministry and the four-member committee consisting of representatives from the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Interior, National Guard and Kuwait Fire Service Directorate regarding the salary increment for military personnel. He also asked about the date of implementing the increment.
Furthermore, Financial and Economic Affairs Committee Chairperson MP Safa’a Al-Hashem has expressed disappointment over the absence of most committee members during Sunday’s meeting.
In a press statement, Al-Hashem pointed out such absence is habitual; hence, the accumulation of proposals, draft laws and other important issues in the agenda of the committee.
She said even the members who resigned should have attended the meeting as the National Assembly has yet to approve their resignations, so they are considered members of the committee until now.
She disclosed the agenda of Sunday’s meeting included two very important draft laws – one on bankruptcy which is vital for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the other on the protection of competition.
She urged the citizens to ask the MPs about the reasons behind their absence and lack of commitment to their tasks as members of the committee. She is afraid this absence is aimed at depicting the committee as a failure.
She added that she was supposed to vote in favor of the proposed ban on appointing employees in public institutions with ministerial rank, as well as the appointments at Kuwait Investment Authority and its Board of Directors, but she could not do so due to lack of quorum.
Committee member MP Majid Al-Mutairi also issued a press statement affirming that the meeting was adjourned because of the lack of quorum. He disclosed the committee needs to look into more than 463 items in its agenda including 16 draft laws, 141 bills, 245 proposals and 65 issues which should be studied and reports in this regard should be submitted to the Assembly.
Resigned committee member MP Dr Baber Al-Mullah explained in a press statement that he did not attend the meeting because he already submitted his resignation, along with MP Saleh Ashour.
He emphasized that he attended committee meetings regularly until the resignation of the former government when such meetings were suspended. He confirmed his attendance to all discussion meetings in the presence of representatives from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry during which they addressed comments and edited about 325 Articles of the Bankruptcy Law. Since the first meeting after the formation of the new government, the committee has not held any meeting because of the absence of other members like Ashour and Al-Hashem, he added.
He argued Article 25 of the National Assembly Decree does not allow the committee chairperson to dismiss members; while pointing out that he already resigned so he cannot be forced to attend meetings of the committee “which does not hold meetings.”
He asserted it is unacceptable to give descriptions such as lack of commitment, indicating he is not abroad and he is bearing his responsibilities. He added he was part of the committee tasked to investigate illegal appointments in the oil sector and Kuwaitization, revealing the committee held eight meetings and each meeting lasted until 4:00 pm.
Moreover, MP Sa’adoun Hammad confirmed that the Interior and Defense Committee discussed nine draft laws on Sunday. He said the committee approved the bill on granting citizenship to non-Kuwaiti women whose Kuwaiti husbands died if they have children and if have been legally residing in Kuwait for five years from the date of marriage whether a citizenship application was submitted before the death of the husband or not. He revealed the bill stipulates adding the aforementioned phrase to Article 8 of Amiri Decree No. 15/1959.
He pointed out it has been noticed that some non-Kuwaiti widows who applied for citizenship were naturalized because their citizenship applications were submitted prior to the death of their husbands while those who failed to do so were not granted citizenship. He clarified these widows include those holding other nationalities and Bedouns.
He went on to say that the committee discussed the draft law on granting special passports to retired senior officials at the Amiri Diwan, Office of HH Crown Prince and Office of HH Prime Minister.
He disclosed the draft law was rejected on grounds that the official occupying the position of undersecretary is not granted a special passport as long as he is office.
He added the committee decided to postpone deliberations on the draft law on granting special passports to the husbands and wives of Sabah family members, MPs and former ministers for further study and to listen to the opinion of the Foreign Affairs Ministry in this regard.
By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh
Arab Times Staff