Ahead of the October session of parliament, lawmakers are already airing their litany of grievances against the government, interspersed with threats of grilling if errant ministers do not respond to their demands. From media pronouncements made by parliamentarians it is clear that the next session of parliament will certainly be just as vociferous and cantankerous as past sessions, and probably just as ineffective in getting things done.
Lawmaker Riyadh Al-Adasani has already warned the government of a “flurry” of grillings against ministers and the prime minister if the government does not deal effectively with key security and economic issues. He pointed out that the government’s method of calculating subsidies for services and commodities is incorrect and exaggerated, and demanded that a rational way of doing it should be followed.
For his part, MP Al-Humaidi Al-Subaei has threatened to grill Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Saad Al-Kharraz, for suspending social aid to needy Kuwaiti women. He stated that so far, aid to 3,000 Kuwaiti women have been cut off without any justification.
Meanwhile, the defense and interior ministers have been asked by MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri to provide all the ‘true’ facts pertaining to the incident last week, when a drone was discovered flying over the residence of His Highness the Amir. The parliamentarian wanted to know if the drone had been a threat message, and also whether the owner of the drone had been identified, and if it had originated from within or outside the country.
And, true to form, MP Safa Al-Hashem has also threatened to grill Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Saad Al-Kharraz, if cooperative societies continue to recruit expatriates from a certain Arab state, describing the matter as an “unusual invasion”.
The lawmaker who has loudly and repeatedly, in parliament and outside, voiced her strong opposition to the presence of expatriates, and called for sharply reducing their numbers in the country, also revealed that she had received a couple of email threats to her life over her comments against foreigners.
Al-Hashem has often indicted expatriates for most of the ills in society and demanded that a levy be charged on them for using the roads and even “for breathing the air of Kuwait”. She accuses foreigners of competing with citizens for jobs, as well as hogging public services, such as healthcare at public hospitals, and thereby denying those services to citizens.
Many social media activists have come out against comments made by the lawmaker, accusing her of grandstanding in order to garner votes from her constituency, while some have gone to the extent of labeling her a racist in her comments against expatriates. But she also has her share of supporters who applaud her for attempting to level the demographic imbalance in the country, where over two-thirds of the population are foreigners.