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Nod to amendments on surveillance bill
June 9, 2015, 9:48 am
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The parliamentary Interior and Defense Committee on Monday approved the proposed amendments to the Surveillance Cameras Bill. Committee member MP Sultan Al-Gosaim expressed optimism over the approval of the bill in the next session, considering the Parliament and government support it, as well as the current security situation in the region. He confirmed the committee has agreed on the implementation of the bill, once passed, in accordance with international regulations.

He explained a similar law is currently enforced in many advanced countries and it has been proven to have a deep impact on crime prevention efforts. He said the implementation of the bill in Kuwait will not affect personal freedom, affirming the cameras will not be installed in places allocated for women. He added the bill stipulates that the Interior Ministry is allowed to specify more places for installation of these cameras later.

He also praised the role played by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Mohammed Al- Khalid in drafting such an important bill which, he pointed out, will prevent stealing and several other crimes; in addition to easing procedures for security authorities as the camera recordings will be kept for about 120 days.

Security

Commenting on the bill, MP Majed Musah, another committee member, stressed the cameras will be installed only in public facilities and commercial complexes to ensure national security. He added, “Every person is ready to pay anything just to have peace and security. Those who oppose the bill might be afraid that it will be applied on them.”

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Public Funds Protection Committee MP Dr. Abdullah Al-Turaiji disclosed the panel will complete investigation on the Dow Chemical deal on Wednesday. He said Abdullah Al-Hayan, a member of the committee formed by the Cabinet, was invited to the meeting as he was among those who refused to sign the final report on the repercussions of Kuwait’s payment of the fine due to the cancellation of the deal. He added they will also meet Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company’s Chief Executive Officer Sheikh Nawaf Saud Al-Sabah on Thursday as part of the investigation.

Furthermore, Human Resources Committee member MP Ahmed Lari revealed they discussed the new proposal concerning the strategic alternative to the salary scale. He warned that if the current version of the bill is passed, it will negatively affect some positions and legal aspects. He said the new proposal is to add another article to the bill stipulating that the implementation will affect three categories of workers: new recruits, existing employees who will be affected positively and those who will be affected negatively.

He clarified the revised bill will be presented to the government for review, and then to the Assembly for deliberation and approval. He said the government will be given the entire summer vacation to finalize the timeline for implementation of the bill. He admitted the implementation is not an easy task, so the government must submit periodic reports in this regard to the Assembly.

On the other hand, MP Jamal Al-Omar criticized the government’s persistence to push for the approval of the proposed alternative to the salary scale. He believes the government is marching forward with a bill that lacks vital information and requires further deliberations. He claimed the government is not giving the Parliament enough time to compose a comprehensive version of the bill, while it is not keen on providing the necessary information to achieve this goal.

He added the Human Resources Committee members think some government sector employees will oppose the current version of the bill. He pointed out there is no logic behind approving the bill within the current parliamentary term, especially since it is regarded as a long-term solution to the problems of the country. “Unfortunately, most bills are approved in a premature manner and this usually results in complications within six months after approval – a situation made worse by the government’s slackness in issuing the executive bylaws,” he added. He then urged the government to slow down and allow the Parliament to compose a version of the bill that will be issues which might harm the concerned citizens.

In another development, MP Mohammed Al-Jabri has warned Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr. Bader Al-Issa against succumbing to pressure from some MPs to change the schools curricula. “We advise the minister not to change the curricula, especially that of Islamic Studies as we consider it a red line,” he asserted. He asked the minister to ignore those who claim that the Islamic subjects encourage extremism while threatening to grill him if he does not change the curricula. He stressed the Islamic curriculum and the Kuwaiti curricula, in general, are derived from Islamic moderation principle which promotes peaceful coexistence.

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