KUWAIT: The Kuwaiti Cabinet held its weekly meeting at Al-Saif Palace on Monday under the chairmanship of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah. The Cabinet members reviewed the contents of the address delivered by His Highness the Deputy Amir and Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Anas Al-Saleh said following the meeting. The fatherly speech reflects His Highness the Deputy Amir and Crown Prince’s care for the security, stability and status of the country. The speech of His Highness the Deputy Amir and Crown Prince focuses on:

1- The need of protecting the citizens’ freedom and privacy against any encroachment or attempts to sow the seeds of sedition among the public.
2- Commending the public awareness and keenness on protection of the country’s stability and security.
3- Cautioning against the risks of chaotic deviations by some social networking websites, including the promulgation of sensational allegations and groundless accusations.

4- Asking the ministers to speed up the efforts to rout out all kinds of deviations of social media and protect the unity of the society.
5- The urgency of legislative-executive cooperation to counter the risks facing the country and address the crucial issues, such as education, youth, administrative and economic reforms, demographic restructuring and services.

6- Scaling up the combat against corruption and tasking the executive and legislative authorities to enforce the necessary measures to end all manifestations of corruption.
7- Upholding the rule of law and making sure that there is no immunity for any corrupt person whatever their positions might be.

8- Materializing the national unity and solidarity with the leadership in order to overcome any challenges.
9- Making the public feel reassured about the prosperous future of the country.

Necessary measures
The Cabinet, taking pride in the wise instructions of His Highness the Deputy Amir and Crown Prince, stated full commitment to their implementation with a view to protecting the national unity and development in all fields under the wise leadership of His Highness the Amir and His Highness the Crown Prince, Saleh revealed.

His Highness the Prime Minister urged the ministers to respond promptly to the instructions of His Highness the Deputy Amir and Crown Prince and adopt the necessary measures to realize their objectives. Consequently, the Cabinet adopted the following decisions:

1- Cooperation with the National Assembly: The Cabinet will form a government team, led by His Highness the Prime Minister, to communicate with Speaker of the National Assembly and the competent parliamentary committees with a view to translating into action the instructions of His Highness the Deputy Amir and Crown Prince and speeding up the passing of necessary legislations.

2- Anti-graft effort: The Cabinet will set up a higher committee, led by His Highness the Prime Minister, to promote the national strategy for transparency and anti-corruption combat. The committee will work to activate the interagency cooperation to study the reports of irregularities at state bodies in collaboration with the State Audit Bureau (SAB). It will oversee the implementation of measures to retrieve the possible usurped state funds whether inside or outside the country.

3- The security leaks: In the light of the great importance attached by His Highness the Deputy Amir to the leaked videos from the security institution, the Cabinet members heard a presentation by Saleh on the issue and the administrative and legal measures adopted so far in this regard. The deputy prime minister and minister of interior noted that a fact-finding committee was promptly formed and finalized a report within less than a couple of days.

Based on the report, the minister decided on Thursday, August 20, 2020, to suspend the director general of the state security service and seven officers. All persons involved in the case and the related information were referred to the Public Prosecution. Other measures were adopted to ensure non reoccurrence of such loopholes or any future infringement on the public freedoms and privacy or violation of the rules of work.

4- Economic reform: A government team, led by Sheikh Dr Meshaal Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, has been mandated to scrutinize the impacts of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the state financial revenues and of the oil prices. The team will also follow up the efficacy of measures to address the imbalances in the national economy, and the draft measures to cut down expenses. They will also work out an integrated plan of action for financial and economic reforms with emphasis on anti-graft combat and enhancement of economic growth.

5- Demographic restructuring: A team, led by Ahmad Khaled Al-Kolaib, is mandated to identify the aspects of demographic imbalances and the legal loopholes that lead to excessive numbers of expatriates. The team will review the laws regulating the employment of foreign workers and the punitive measures set forth in the residency law for traders in residences.

6- Social networking websites: The Cabinet has formed a team led by Chairman of the Communication and Information Technology Regulatory Authority (CITRA) Eng Salem Muthib Al-Othainah, to scrutinize the misuse of social media and the deviations of hoax accounts that aim to tarnish the reputation of some people or destabilize the country through groundless allegations. The team will also draw on the experiences of other countries in addressing the technical loopholes without infringing on the public freedoms in the framework of the rules of the constitution.

COVID-19 developments
Minister of Health Sheikh Dr Basel Humoud Al-Sabah briefed the Cabinet on the latest developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the figures of infections, recoveries and fatalities as well as the medical and logistical services. The Cabinet members also reviewed issues relating to the National Assembly, including the interpellations and no-confidence motions raised by some MPs and the outcomes of last week’s parliamentary session.

They expressed confidence in the ability of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Anas Al-Saleh to win the vote of confidence slated for Wednesday, August 26, based on the satisfactory answers he made during the grilling raised by MP Shuaib Al-Mowazri and 10 other MPs.

They also reviewed regional and international issues and welcomed the recently-reached ceasefire agreement in Libya They mourned the passing away of Dr Dawood Al-Saleh, the former governor of Hawalli and the Capital city, and paid homage to his numerous national contributions. – KUNA