‘Painkillers, unfulfilled promises, govt has not provided anything to citizens’

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KUWAIT CITY, Nov 20: More than one month has passed since the inauguration of the National Assembly, but the government has not provided anything to the citizens other than painkillers and unfulfilled promises, says Chairman of Financial and Economic Affairs Committee at the Assembly MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri. He said he had earlier met with Minister of Finance Abdulwahab Al-Rasheed, during which he urged the minister to address several urgent issues like reducing the interest of retirees’ loan to 1.5 percent; but Al-Rasheed has not responded till date.

He went on to say there seems to be a desire to prove that the housing problem cannot be solved except through the real estate developers or mortgage system. He argued this is considered a fraudulent scheme targeting the citizens, asserting that whoever supports the mortgage system is corrupt and not keen on solving the problem. He pointed out that it is so easy to solve the housing problem by assigning an international company to implement a major housing project within a certain period.

He added such a company will implement the project without a local agent or a national representative, while the company’s country of origin will guarantee the completion of the project. He went on to say that some parties are keen on portraying the Assembly as an institution of failure by making it accountable for delays in achievements. He affirmed that the Assembly will ratify all bills deemed beneficial for citizens before the end of the first year of this parliamentary term.

Meanwhile, Budgets and Final Accounts Committee Chairman MP Adel Al-Damkhi disclosed that the meeting scheduled for Sunday ended early due to the unexcused absence of the Financial Controllers Bureau (FCB) chairperson. He considers this action a way of disrespecting the committee and the Assembly, indicating the team that attended the meeting was headed by the acting chairman and deputy chairman of FCB. He wants to convey a message to all ministers and heads of public institutions that they must respect the committee and attend its meetings, unless they submit a valid excuse.

Morever, Values and Negative Phenomenon Committee Chairman MP Muhammad Hayef Al-Mutairi confirmed that they discussed some issues like weak family ties, bribery, use of ‘wasta’ (infl uence) and drugs. He said the committee decided to invite the interior minister, Coast Guard and Kuwait General Administration of Customs (KGAC) directors to its next meeting in order to know their plans to curb the spread of drugs.

He added the committee concluded that the reason behind the prevalence of bribery is mismanagement of the concerned institutions. He affirmed the committee will soon hold a meeting with the concerned institutions to know their opinions and plans to combat bribery. On the other hand, MPs Muhammad Hayef Al-Mutairi, Hamdan Al-Azmi, Homoud Al-Tasha,Hamad Al-Obaid and Thamer Al-Suwait submitted a bill on adding two clauses to Article 198 of Penal Code number 16/1960.

The first clause stipulates one year imprisonment or fine amounting to KD 1,000 for anyone caught in the act of crossdressing in public or promoting cross-dressing. The penalty is doubled for those who repeat the crime within the first year following the issuance of the first court decision. The second clause states that if any official in the oil, public and private sectors — who supervises a group of workers, sportsmen or students — refrains from informing the authorities about a suspicious individual under his supervision will also be imprisoned for one year or fined KD 1,000.

MP Essa Al-Kandari submitted a proposal for the Civil Service Commission (CSC) to cancel the decision issued in 2016 banning public sector officials from pursuing higher studies while working. He pointed out the concerned court already ruled that public sector employees are allowed to study while working. In another development, MP Mubarak Al-Tasha has forwarded queries to Minister of Education and Higher Education Hamad Abdulwahab Al-Adwani about decision numbers 2534 and 2535 issued by the acting chairman of the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET) on re-hiring two former employees as trainers at Shuwaikh Industrial Institute, although they were convicted in the Abdally Cell State security case and are covered by Amiri amnesty. He wants to know if they meet the conditions for occupying public jobs as per the CSC resolution in this regard and if the acting chairman sought legal advice prior to the issuance of the decisions.

If yes, he requested for a copy of the legal advice. He also inquired if the decisions are in line with Article Three of Amnesty Decree number 203/2021, which states the amnesty has no effect on previously imposed fines. MP Hamdan Al-Azmi also forwarded queries to Al-Adwani regarding the revision of textbooks. He inquired if the Ministry of Education revised the textbooks under the supervision of their authors and after consulting them. If the authors were not consulted, what is the legal basis of the ministry in revising the textbooks and which department is responsible for scientific errors in the new editions of the textbooks? By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff

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