Kuwait News



KUWAIT: The Interior Ministry has suspended a decision to reduce the speed limit at the main highways in Kuwait ‘for further studying’, just a day after the decision went into effect according to the instructions of Assistant Undersecretary for Traffic Affairs, Major General Abdulfattah Al-Ali. “The decision was put on hold for further studying so as to address all technical aspects pertaining it”, reads a statement released by the Public Relations and Security Media Department on Thursday.

Maj Gen Al-Ali made the decision last Tuesday with effect from January 1st 2014. It stipulates a decrease in the speed limits at main highways, including the Fifth and Sixth Ring roads where the speed limits dropped from 120 km/h to 100 km/h. The decision was seen as part of the efforts to tackle over speeding, which is the main cause of fatal accidents in Kuwait. 319 deadly crashes were reported during the first nine months of 2013 according to official statistics.

In another development, authorities have placed a security block on files of 12,000 expatriates in order to check their visas which are under suspicions in a case involving a senior official at the Interior Ministry’s General Department of Immigration. The recent measure allows authorities to inspect the legal status of thousands of foreigners as part of investigations to identify those who benefited from transactions issued illegally by the suspended senior official with the help of other Interior Ministry officers.

Meanwhile, ‘high-level security sources’ yesterday revealed that a committee has been formed to investigate a number of immigration department officers on negligence charges. The officers are accused of failing to carry out their inspection duties – and as a result “allowed thousands of expatriates to fall victim of such illegal transactions”.

They added that simple checking would have uncovered the illegal transactions “thus saving the ministry from the embarrassment”. The officer in question was suspended and was later forced to submit his retirement papers following investigations initiated by a committee formed by Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khalid Al-Sabah. A newspaper report last week suggested that the committee was able to identify 80,000 persons who obtained visas illegally.- Agencies

KUWAIT: Some employees in the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor have threatened to file a case if the ministry does not cancel the recent decisions related to promotions which, they claimed, were not in line with the regulations, reports Al-Qabas daily quoting sources.

Sources disclosed the decisions covered some department heads and directors, indicating the violations cited by the complainants included failure to abide by promotion criteria like seniority and educational qualifications. Sources said a number of irregularities were also uncovered and nothing has been done to punish those behind such acts; hence, the need for the intervention of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) to address the problem.

KUWAIT: Ministry of Electricity and Water began its preparations for requirements during summer, as fears exist that increased demands for electricity may not be met. A working team will be formed shortly to set the plans to face supplying power without interruption, especially that the month of Ramadan coincides with the peak period in Kuwait.

Sources said the plans to be implemented is that to bring in additional gas generators and mobile electric stations that can be stationed at any sites that need additional electric production. The sources said “this will be in addition to the diesel generators that will be distributed in all governorates in case of any interruption

A Saleh

KUWAIT: Prices of 324 medications, pharmaceutical preparations and food supplements were given the green signal by Health Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Abdallah Al-Mubarak and were added to the price list which is issued by ministerial decision 69/2013 that sets the prices of medicine in the country, with a margin of profit that should not exceed more than 45% over the importation cost.

The decision stated that the number of medicines added to the list is 237, while the number of food supplements was 87. Meanwhile, an official source at the Health Ministry said the Central Tenders Committee gave its final approval in regards to building the new Sabah Hospital by a local company. He said the project will cost around KD 179 million, and expect the deal to be signed next month. The source said the new building will be near the Chest Hospital in Sabah Health Zone.

He said facilities in the new building will be integrated with a capacity of 600 beds and will include internal medicine department in addition to outpatient clinics and physiotherapy. It will be an eight storey building with two basements, and will contribute significantly in enhancing health services and remove the drawbacks that are prevalent in other hospital. The project will take four years to complete.

Meanwhile the source said the Ministry of Health supplied X-ray, radiotherapy, medical laboratories, medical supplies, dermatology, general and specialized surgery, anesthesia and ICU departments with equipment at a total cost of KD 150,000. On another issue, a financial and legal delegation that includes Assistant Undersecretary for Financial Affairs at the Health Ministry Mohammad Al-Azmi and Legal Advisor Mahmoud Abdelhadi visited Kuwait Health offices in London to evaluate it services to Kuwaiti patients. Informed sources said the timing of the visit is linked to return of Office Director Dr Yaqoub Al-Tammar to the Ministry and the appointment of new Director of the Technical Department Dr Majida Al-Qattan.

Sources said similar visits will be made to all Kuwait health offices abroad to evaluate its performance, adding that the Ministry intends to apply the law that stipulated that the head of the office for two years and can be renewed once only

KUWAIT: Embassy of Pakistan Notice: Due to some technical up-gradations in the Machine Readable Passport system, the embassy is not be able to entertain the MRP applicants on 29-Dec-2013 i.e. (Sunday)

KUWAIT: Kuwait Airways may cut six destinations from its current list, according to local reports. The reports did not name the destinations up for elimination but noted that they were recommended by the IATA as economically unfeasible. KAC’s executive team along with the marketing and sales department are discussing the recommendation to find out the amount of losses the company will incur if those routes remain operational. Kuwait Airways recently inked a $4.4 billion deal to buy new Airbus jets – the first significant renewal of the airline’s ageing fleet since 1990. The contract is expected to be signed in early 2014.

Kuwait Airways is currently undergoing a multi- year privatization process that has faced much resistance from vested interests both inside the company and in the government. The privatization plan must still be approved by parliament. Repeated trouble with KAC flights – including mechanical failures, lengthy delays or flight cancellations due to unscheduled maintanance issues and other problems – has meanwhile damaged the airlines reputation among travellers in Kuwait and led many to choose alternative regional air carriers like Etihad, Emirates or Qatar Airways or Kuwait’s only private budget airline, Jazeera Airways. KAC appointed a new Chairman, Rasha Abdulaziz Al-Roumi in early December after the previous chairman Sami Al-Nisf was suspended by Communications Minister Eisa Al Kandari.

The suspension led to a board reshuffle that included a new chairman and other changes. Al-Kanderi named Jassar Abdulrazzaq Al- Jassar as Vice Chairperson, Khaled Abdulaziz Beshara, Nabeela Mubarak Al-Anjeri, Dr Abdullah Abdulsamad Maraafi and Rajaa Roudhan Al- Roudhan as board members

I could not believe my eyes when I saw a letter sent to the director general of Kuwait municipality from his assistant for municipal services. The letter was titled “Continued increase of the number of deaths of expats who are buried in the State of Kuwait’s cemeteries”. The letter ended with the recommendation that burial in Kuwait cemeteries be for Kuwaitis only, and that non-Kuwaitis should be allowed to be buried in Kuwait only in extreme necessity and in cemeteries decided by the department.

One can expect and accept anything in a country that he is a guest in, because it is only right for one to abide by the laws of the land he is in, but is death something one has control over? Whenever I go to Sulaibikhat for the funeral of a friend – be it a Kuwaiti or an expat – I always heard those present include prayers that bless Kuwait, its people and rulers for this service – the burial.

How nice is it, with those in grief still remembering to ask Almighty Allah to protect Kuwait against all harm and evil. The efforts of Kuwaiti officials and people to liberate the country from a brutal occupation and ruthless tyrant were augmented by Kuwait’s charitable activities all over the world in all types, shapes and forms.

I hope that this proposal by the municipality official came during a time when he was under some sort of duress or was given false or inaccurate information about what is going on. Yes, it is a must for authorities to regulate expat labor. Yes it is alright to solve the problem of crowding at various state departments.

Yes, it is correct to ease pressure at clinics and hospitals. Yes it is alright to do something about traffic and control it…but, do you notice, my friends, that all that is under control of human beings? But, does anyone, anywhere around the globe have any control over his death and its place and time? Is it not mentioned in the Holy Quran that “no one knows where he’ll die”? Kuwait is a Muslim country, its constitution states that.

Kuwaitis are highly religious, and they are highly charitable as we are all aware of both at the official and individual levels. Kuwaiti scholars will for sure intervene to explain why this is not the right move and decision. Islamic tradition urges Muslims to bury their dead as quickly as possible to preserve the dignity of the deceased and the quickest way is to bury the dead where they die, unless they wanted to be buried somewhere else, like expats for example, because death is the only event in the world that does not discriminate at all between the old and young, man or woman, national or expat. What do you think?

By A Mohammad

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