KUWAIT: Lawmakers yesterday submitted a motion signed by 35 MPs demand to convene an emergency session for the National Assembly to debate the government decision to hike petrol prices. No date was given for the session but MP Ahmad Al-Qhudhaibi, who championed the move, said the date will be worked out between the Assembly Speaker and the Prime Minister.
The National Assembly is currently on summer recess that continues until mid-October but MPs can submit motions signed by a majority of the House to demand convening emergency sessions to debate urgent matters.
Al-Qhudhaibi said that there was no constitutional problem with the motion after it was signed by 35 lawmakers, well above the required majority of 33.
The motion wants to discuss why the government has exploited the Assembly’s summer recess and increased petrol prices thus negatively impacting consumer prices as a whole. In their motion, lawmakers said the move had resulted in a rise in the prices of commodities and goods.
They said they want to discuss with the government a solution for the impact of the decision on Kuwaiti citizens, with some MPs demanding compensation for citizens who make up just over 30 percent of the population which reached 4.3 million.
Other MPs have vowed to file motions to grill the Finance Minister and other ministers over the petrol price increase which took effect at the start of September.
The government has insisted that the increase is part of the reform measures intended to meet rising budget deficit due to the plunge in oil prices. In another development, Shiite MP Abdulhameed Dashti was handed a new 11-year jail term yesterday for insulting the Amir and Saudi Arabia by making statements and online comments.
In July, Dashti was handed jail terms of 14 years and six months for insulting Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, endangering Kuwait’s diplomatic relations with them and calling for people to join the Lebanese Shiite militia group Hezbollah.
The sentences were issued in absentia as Dashti has been living overseas for the past several months.
The outspoken MP said on his Twitter account that he was handed the new sentence and expected his total jail terms to reach 100 years as he is facing several other similar cases.
KUWAIT: Kubbar Island is one of the well-known locations in Kuwait known for being a safe haven for wildlife and a popular spot for sea enthusiast. Located in the southern region of Kuwait, Kubbar Island is situated near the marine route for oil and commercial tankers passing in the Gulf waters. The Island has a communication tower erected there and also a heliport which is mainly used by the coast guards during emergencies.
Kubbar Island is circular in shape with a diameter of 370 to 380 meters. The Island is known for its coral reefs which makes it a popular destination for scuba divers. The weather in Kubbar Island is mostly moderate in temperature, reaching about 39 Degrees Celsius during daytime in summer while dipping to about 27 Degrees Celsius during the evening. At certain seasons, the Island thrives with various kinds of birds who usually make a stop at the Island on their annual migration.
It is among nature’s best spectacles. It is relatively Small Sandy Island in the Arabian Gulf located in close proximity to Fahaleel. Kubbar is located approximately 29 kilometers off the coast of Failaka and 30 kilometers off the southern coast of Kuwait. The Kubbar Island is a serene getaway that gives Kuwait its pride in picturesque locations. The island is nothing short of spectacular and is unspoiled in every way. The sparkling blue waters and grainy crystal sands make the beaches on the island so enticing for the tourists. Even though the island’s infrastructure remains yet to be developed, the Kubbar Island local tourist industry is beginning to flourish; it provides boating, sailing, swimming and water sports.- Agencies
KUWAIT: The central council of the Labor Union held its fourth meeting chaired by Abdelaziz Bu Rashed yesterday to discuss the labor situation in Kuwait. It also discussed the problems it faces due to the government plans to impose a rationalized spending policy through reducing or canceling subsidies to public services and privatization, as well as compromising the economic and social rights of workers and those with limited income without a study of the negative repercussions to the cost of living and prices. “The latest step of this policy was the Cabinet decision to raise gasoline prices, which calls upon labor unions and NGOs to confront such decisions through which the government will burden the working class with the budget deficit, and this is rejected by the labor union, which considers it in favor of one group only,” the council said in a statement.
The council also discussed the displeasure of many oil workers due to the cancellation of their strike, and the meetings between the government and representatives of the petroleum workers union that were “characterized by procrastination.” This in addition to the decision to refer the chairman of the petroleum workers union to the public prosecution over the strike.
The council discussed the situation of expat workers and the problems they face in the form of not receiving their salaries for months, with total absence by the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) in taking action against violating companies of the private sector labor law as well as international treaties.
KUWAIT: A motorist died and five others were injured in a collision reported yesterday at the crossroad between the Beirut and Muthana streets in Hawally. Paramedics, firemen and police arrived to the scene shortly after the accident was reported, and they worked immediately to free the victims who were trapped inside their wrecked vehicles. One person was pronounced dead on the scene, while five others were rushed to the Mubarak Hospital for treatment. A case was filed to determine the circumstances behind the accident.
KUWAIT: Social media plays an integral role in today’s world, shaping public and social opinions as well as increasing interaction amongst people. With this fact in mind, the public and private sectors acknowledged the power of social media and began using these tools to promote their services and campaigns.
However, the impact of social media within the public and private domains varied due to the important of crowd involvement and interaction with such tool. Social media could be a great method to spread news, images, and videos regarding current events, but it also could be used to create panic and scatter rumor.
Direct nature Speaking on the impact of social media, head of the security media department at the Ministry of Interior Brigadier Adel Al-Hashash said that this method of communication was important due to its direct nature.
Delivering a message from the Interior Ministry nowadays does not require going through the same bureaucratic channels as before, affirmed the security official who indicated that with a quick swipe on any smartphone, a piece of information was readily available for mass consumption.
“Our department uses social media and the internet to reach the public directly,” said Hasash, adding that the department made its mission to deliver quick and accurate news and information to the general populace.
On the same note, head of the Health Ministry’s website operations department Dr Abdulaziz Al-Rshaid noted that the Ministry continuously battles against those spreading rumors through its official accounts on the internet and social media. It is very vital in this day and age to deliver the correct message to the masses or else chaos and disarray would prevail, added Dr Rshaid.
The health official revealed that there were teams of dedicated individuals at the ministry who spread Public Service Announcements (PSAs), refute rumors on the spread of disease, and advise against using counterfeit drugs.
Five hours According to a survey conducted by Kuwait News Agency’s (KUNA) IT department, around 72 percent of Kuwaitis are spending over five hours daily using social media applications and websites. The survey revealed that social media helped in spreading news and rumors alike by 65 percent, revealing that the top Social Media application was ‘WhatsApp’ with 90 percent of usage followed by ‘Snapchat’, ‘Instagram’, and ‘Twitter’ with 40, and 38, and 25 percent of usage respectively.
The survey revealed that some 25 percent of users log on to social media applications around 50 times a day with the average age being between 31 and 40. Social issues reigned champion amongst topics discussed by social media users with 81 percent, said the survey, adding that cultural, political, and religious matters were less prominent in daily discussions of users. – KUNA
KUWAIT: Relations and Security Information at the Interior Ministry said Residency Affairs detectives carried out a security campaign in Sharq, which resulted in arresting 40 expatriates who were found in violation of labor regulations. The workers were found to have article 20 visas issued to domestic helpers, which cannot be transferred to article 18 that allow a holder to work in shops. They were sent to concerned authorities.
Traffic campaign In other news, Ahmadi police carried out a campaign against traffic law violators, which resulted in issuing 42 tickets and impounding one vehicle. Meanwhile, 34 fugitives wanted on several criminal cases were arrested during the same campaign.