The Cyber Crime Bill, which is currently under deliberation in the concerned parliamentary committees, is facing difficulty in terms of getting the MPs’ proposal as some of them believe it will restrict freedom of speech. MP Jamal Al-Omar asserted the current form of the bill is not going to sit well with either the public or some of the MPs, as several articles are considered repression of the freedom of speech.
For this reason, the MP pointed out there is a directive to file an appeal against the bill at the Constitutional Court due to its unconstitutionality. He said that if the reason behind this bill is to curb, prevent, monitor and generally combat terrorism and other forms of extremism, then it must be composed towards that direction and avoid
generalization as it restricts freedom of speech – the constitutional right of every Kuwaiti. He argued the other governmental bodies, whose inputs must be included, are not even considered like the ministries of Information, Youth Affairs and Islamic Affairs.
Also commenting on the bill, MP Saleh Ashour disclosed that he is opposing the current version of the bill due to its unconstitutionality and tendency to repress freedom of expression. He said he has submitted a number of amendments to the bill in a bid to correct the loopholes.
The MP noted that as days go by, it seems like more and more constraints on freedom of speech are being issued, to the point that prison seems to be the destination of anyone who voices his political opinion; making the State of Kuwait similar to any non-democratic country. On another issue, MP Saleh Ashour said the Iraqi government’s budget this year is three times that of the Kuwaiti government. He revealed the Kuwaiti government has granted its Iraqi counter-part KD 200 million financial aid, prompting the Assembly to question the government’s policies in granting financial support without notifying the legislature.
This has prompted the MP to submit a proposal which obligates the government to seek the Parliament’s consent in granting financial aids to other countries, but the Financial Committee seems reluctant to prepare a report on the proposal for unknown reasons, he revealed. He therefore urged his fellow MPs at the committee to look into his proposal, as he believes it is a priority more than the strategic alternative to the salary scale for the simple reason that such financial grants are part of the money which belongs to the people.
If this continues, the budgets of some governmental bodies might be reduced or cancelled. He alleged the government is more interested in other bills such as the precautionary incarceration, strategic alternative and cyber crime bill which, in his opinion, do not benefit the public at this point in time.