MPs target demographic imbalance as priority
Several MPs indicated some of the government’s priorities by speaking about the demographic imbalance and the problem of ‘bachelors’. MPs Osama Al-Shaheen, Oudah Al-Ruwaei, Salah Khourshid, Hamad Al-Harshani and Khalil Al-Saleh called to put an end to these issues that have been raised for more than a decade without any solutions.
Shaheen considered rectifying the defect in the population structure and a finding logical solution for the bachelor problem among his priorities, especially since the imbalance has negative economic, social and security implications. He said repeated government promises of reform did not produce true reform - rather it widened the gap between the number of expats and citizens.
Shaheen said the defect in the population structure is increasing, and it is strange that the focus is only on certain nationalities. “Reform should be on two tracks - the first is to boost the percentage of citizens compared to expats and bring them back to becoming a majority; and diversify nationalities that are participating in building the country, and there should not be a concentration of certain nationalities,” he said.
Meanwhile, Assembly Secretary Ruwaie said “if the government had complied with the rules and did not appease anyone at the expense of the population structure, we would not have seen these problems”. “This should be dealt with according to the law,” he added.
Khourshid asked the Cabinet to “put an end to the bachelors’ problem and search for a serious and wellstudied solution instead of transferring problems”. “The bachelors’ problem is not one of today, since a decade ago the government spoke about building cities for bachelors. But due to favoritism in distributing projects, no bachelor cities were built,” he charged. “One of the most dangerous problems that has surfaced lately is that of single women, especially those seen on the streets, which may create moral problems,” he said, calling for holding those who caused the bachelors’ problem to account.
Harshani called for readjusting the demographic structure because it is the most important pillar of development, especially since it is linked to the security, economy and social sectors. He called upon the social affairs and labor minister to announce solutions for the problem and end the issue of bachelors.
Saleh also demanded the social affairs and labor minister to adjust the population structure and called for a strategy to reduce the number of expats, “because it is no longer acceptable to have the number of expats three times the number of citizens”. “We are not against expats, but we are for reducing their numbers and finding solutions to the bachelor problem. There is no dispute over the necessity to find a solution for their humanitarian problems, and punish those who caused the unrealistic increase in their numbers,” he added. — Al-Rai