Where are you dining tonight?!
Iam not going to talk about the ‘brooms’ battle at Shuwaikh industrial area, the Ardhiya scuffle nor the Hawalli murder and the disastrous aftermath of each of these incidents in addition to the consequences that made some people dare criticize Kuwait and instigate law violation, which were handled by the interior ministry according to law to maintain law and order.
What I am talking about are the statements made by an official who is supposed to be careful about the words he uses in addressing the public, because he knows that he would be accountable for each word he says, as such statements are usually deemed reflecting official viewpoints when made through an official media channel. The mistake was great especially since neither the official nor the ministry he represents did anything to reduce the impact of such statements and avoid the bad image about the policies that ministry adapts in dealing with expatriates.
Speaking to Kuwait TV channel about residency laws and expats residing in Kuwait, the official made major mistakes while talking about them expressing his own personal view point. He said that there is a large number of the expats living in Kuwait without the state having any need for them. Well, I might agree to that. Yet, along with so many citizens, I strongly disagree with degrading and insulting expats, let alone that insult coming from an official.
That official reviewed the luxuries expats enjoy by living in Kuwait, claiming that they receive free services. He even claimed that they get free dinners by swarming to wedding halls to enjoy various buffets there. Furthermore, he talked about services the ministry he represents does not provide and he knows nothing about, that is health services. He also deduced that all expat males have their wives work to earn more money ‘Mashallah,’ as he said. In short, this official made himself a judge and accordingly made a study to increase the fees expats pay, ending the ‘free’ services he believes they get. He argued that other GCC states ‘milk down’ expats making them reach a ‘minus’ state in terms of monthly wages by the end of each month, while expats in Kuwait spend nothing.
I believe that the official’s statements about expats were way beyond rational official ones. Did he in person study the numbers of expats flocking to wedding halls to dine for free? How many expats can dine for free if we know that 3 million expats live in Kuwait? Does Kuwait actually include all that number of wedding halls? These are mere rhetoric inquiries to refute the official’s statement concerning free dinners.
In addition, do all expats, half or even one quarter of them need meticulous careful health care involving radiology and tests that cost the state millions of dinars? Then, what about the hundreds of millions, or even up to one billion Kuwaiti dinars, the state has so far collected from health insurance imposed on expats and the loss of considerable sums of those into the pockets of influential tycoons and the health ministry’s helplessness to get them back? What happened to the health insurance hospitals they were to be built by those millions and allocated for expats, especially since the health ministry approved building three of them, but they only remained in blueprints?
I believe, and many citizens agree with me, that the official was absolutely wrong and abusive in what he said about expats who contribute to developing Kuwait. if ‘His Excellency’ had seen one, two or ten expats seeking free dinner outside a wedding hall, that does not mean that all expats dine freely. If expats living in other GCC states reach a ‘minus’ budget by the end of the month, so many of them reach that state before the 15th of each month here in Kuwait!
You are an official and have the right to make any decision and impose any fees you see fit in your line of work because that is part of your job’s duties, and your seniors are the only ones who decide to approve or reject what you propose. Yet, you have no right to slander large numbers of people living with us and coserving our country with us. we do hope you would reconsider what you said and explain yourself in a way that respects the dignity of so many expats who were offended by what you said. We also hope the interior minister would say some good word about this issue because expats are used to that from him!
— Translated by Kuwait Times