KUWAIT: New ministers appointed in the Cabinet on Monday in a limited reshuffle took the constitutional oath in the National Assembly yesterday after they were sworn in by HH the Amir. The ministers were welcomed by MPs with warnings to quickly take the necessary measures to rectify violations made by previous Cabinet ministers and threatened they will be grilled if they fail to initiate reforms.
Opposition MP Al-Humaidi Al-Subaei gave the new ministers and the entire Cabinet two months to carry out the needed reforms before filing to grill them. He said Oil Minister Khaled Al-Fadhel in particular will be grilled after two months if he fails to take swift actions in the oil sector. The lawmaker stressed the need for actions by the new minister regarding violations in projects and contracts in the oil sector, adding that MPs will assist the minister and cooperate with him if he takes the necessary reforms. The same applies to other new ministers, Subaie added.
MP Saleh Ashour also threatened to grill the new Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Saad Al-Kharraz if he fails to take action against illegal charity societies, saying that the former minister had said that she ordered the closure of 34 illegal charity organizations, but another 85 were still operating illegally.
Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah said Kuwait has been hailed for its organization of charity work in the country, adding that the Cabinet has taken a decision to shut down all charities operating without a proper license. The minister said the government is following up the delay in the implementation of the decision, adding that the United States and several European countries have considered Kuwait a good example in regulating fundraising operations. Sheikh Sabah said the government has succeeded in safeguarding charity work in the country by regulating it and linking charity organizations with the ministries of foreign affairs, interior and social affairs and labor.
MP Omar Al-Tabtabaei criticized what he described as laws that are not favorable for foreign companies and capital in the country. Minister of Commerce and Industry Khaled Al-Roudhan said the government is taking remarks by lawmakers seriously and noted that following the recent upgrade of the Kuwaiti bourse, it attracted around $1 billion in new investments.
Finance Minister Nayef Al-Hajraf said a contract by an entertainment company was sent to the public prosecution over suspicions, adding that the Entertainment City was closed because it posed a danger to visitors and its refurbishment is very expensive. But MP Safa Al-Hashem objected to this, saying that it needs around KD 20 million and called on the minister to make the decisions to invest in the amusement park.
Speaking on the plight of bedoons or stateless people, MP Subaei said they constitute a time bomb and called for swiftly resolving their problem. The lawmaker inquired why authorities have not naturalized the 34,000 bedoons the government had repeatedly said deserve Kuwaiti citizenship. MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri urged the new ministers to change their attitude, adding that Kuwait “did not die” by the Iraqi invasion, but it appears now it is “going to die” by corruption.
By B Izzak