Chair rule at burials challenged
KUWAIT CITY, March 8: The decision of the Interior Ministry to refer 140 citizens, including 16 MPs, to the Public Prosecution for participating in the press conference held recently in the house of MP Badr Al-Dahoum and for violating health regulations provoked the ire of several MPs.
MPs Badr Al-Dahoum and Muhammad Al-Mutair disclosed that they will submit a grilling motion against HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid on only one issue – selective enforcement of the law. A total of 15 MPs have declared support for the grilling motion so far. Al-Dahoum confirmed that he met Minister of Interior Sheikh Thamer Al-Ali shortly before the event and they agreed to turn the supposed expression of support gathering into a press conference.
He said the minister informed him that 18,000 individuals were expected to attend the expression of support gathering; but the number was reduced to almost 300 after turning it into a press conference. He added the minister did not appreciate the compromise and reacted negatively to it.
On the other hand, Al-Mutair pointed out that the executive authority is using laws to target politicians; similar to its stand against the opposition members who are currently in exile and many citizens have been the victim of such attitude. He addressed HH the Prime Minister: “Is this the way you respond to the MPs’ cooperation?”.
In a press statement, MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri asserted that enforcing the law and referring violators to the prosecution are acceptable; but this should be the case for everyone proven to have violated the law including Sheikh Thamer. He then showed pictures of the minister conducting visits and meetings without a facemask and without observing the rule on social distancing. He quoted the minister’s tweet that the latter tries to be present in every meeting and occasion to talk to the people and convey to them the greetings of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al- Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
The lawmaker also showed a picture of National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim lifted on shoulders and surrounded by supporters who congratulated him for winning in the Speaker election.
He wondered why Al-Ghanim was not questioned in this regard, indicating that it could be because he is an ally of the executive authority or the latter is afraid of him. He said parties are being held in chalets and no one can enforce the law there maybe because the authority is weaker than those who arranged such parties.
He pointed out that he was the first to call for the dismissal of Health Minister Dr Basel Al-Sabah for the failure to manage the ministry even before the coronavirus crisis. He asserted that HH the Prime Minister must be questioned as the latter reappointed the health minister.
Furthermore, MP Fares Al- Otaibi submitted a proposal to exempt citizens under the fifth category of social security members – owners of private companies – from paying their contribution to the Public Institution for Social Security (PIFSS) for one year. He also asked PIFSS to grant them interest-free loan amounting to KD 5,000 which they will pay as soon as their businesses return to normal operations.
MP Osama Al-Shaheen also submitted a proposal to exempt individuals above 60 years old from the institutional quarantine and limit to home quarantine. MP Mubarak Al-Arow proposed increasing the regular bonus added to the retirees’ pension to KD 75.
Also, in view of the decision of Kuwait Municipality to ban gatherings and putting seats in graveyards, MP Ahmed Al-Hamad forwarded queries to State Minister for Municipal Affairs, Housing Welfare and Construction Development Shai’e Al-Shai’e about the constitutional and logical bases of such a decision.
Al-Hamad argued the elderly or those who are extremely tired cannot stand for a long time during the burial, so they need to sit down. He added the gatherings in graveyards are usually limited to a few people who do not threaten public discipline.
MP Ali Al-Qattan asked Minister of Finance and Minister of State for Economic Affairs Khalifa Hamada if the Civil Service Commission (CSC) follows up the enforcement of the decision to limit the attendance of public sector employees to 30 percent as part of the health regulations. He asked if the decision is enforced discriminately; meaning, certain employees are forced to report for work while others enjoy staying at home. He wants to know if the decision covers all public institutions or there are some exceptions.
MP Osama Al-Shaheen forwarded queries to Minister of Interior Sheikh Thamer Ali Al-Sabah on the claim that a plane transporting a Gulf singer landed at Kuwait International Airport on Jan 11, 2021 or close to this date.
By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff