Sunday, June 09, 2013

Deportation - Seriously? You think that's going to work???

I have my own take on the recent deportations of expats in the country because of traffic violations.

Have I been worried about it for myself?  Yes I have.  What if I leave the house ONE time without my drivers license?  What happens if, for example, I go through a red light because there is a truck tailgating behind me?  Will I even be able to put my Kuwait affairs in order before I'm jailed and sent home?  What about my dog?  What about my car loan?  Yes, I think about all this stuff.

Right now, the Kuwait Ministry of Interior is deporting as many people as they possibly can for traffic violations to "resolve the traffic problem."  I personally do NOT believe that this will resolve Kuwait's traffic problems in the slightest.

Deporting people isn't going to make anything better.  There will always be another crop of drivers entering the country who will not be properly trained before getting on Kuwait's roads.  Why?  Because Kuwait continues to hire from poverty-sricken countries where the "drivers" ask for very little money for salaries and hey - have probably never owned a vehicle of their own back in their home country (and yes folks - these are the SAME people who are driving  your children around). 

Yes I believe that people who are re-offenders of serious traffic crimes should be heavily fined or banned from driving, but what about those of us who make genuine mistakes at some point AND who CONTRIBUTE to the advancement and prosperity of this society? (And many who even fought for this country.)  Are you going to put everyone into the same category?

The PROBLEM is that there are too many cars on the road. The ANSWER is mass transportation: Safe, dependable, clean, affordable transportation for the masses. Look at Dubai - WOW. And - not every family needs 3 drivers and 6 cars to transport kids to and from school: regulate a country-mandated school bus system (again - safe, dependable and clean for the kids). Regulate. Enforce laws.  Educate the population.

I emplore the decision makers to visit Dubai and take the metro.  (And I know Kuwait "has plans" to build a metro, but if you have lived in Kuwait for more than 6 months, you'll know that "planning" doesn't equate to "doing.") 

Kuwait is an exclusive country, not an inclusive one.  There is a very callous mentality towards allowing people into Kuwait, and for making it friendly for them to stay there.  Dubai is of quite a different mentality:  Set the infrastructure, lay down the law and enforce it, and then allow people to help you make your country flourish.

I feel sad for Kuwait.  There is so much untapped potential just beyond the veil.


Anonymous said...

The real reason for these deportations is not for traffic violations. It is because Kuwait has too many expats and cannot service them with its current infrastructure.

The world bank and IMF have asked Kuwait to tighten its expenditures.

There are two ways to do that, either spend less, or have less people to spend it on. This is why people are being deported, and there is a growing campaign in deporting expats with no or expired residency. Once they run out of people to deport. You will see a more vigorous campaign of Kuwaitization with Expats being terminated and replaced with Kuwaitis.

I'm not arguing about how right or wrong it is, but tihs is what is happening right now.

Anonymous said...

So you missed a very valuable point and that is that if they did incorporate a ‘black point’ system like Dubai, the revenue that the country would generate would be immense. I spoke to a Kuwaiti friend the other day and they are fed up with the new director of the MOI that is implementing these decisions and my comment to that is that finally they are taking action. It took them decades to implement measures to control the outrageous traffic offenses and still they are not doing enough to control the offenses. The Kuwaitis are getting their cars and licenses taken in droves, but I don’t think that would surprise you and you being so connected within the society, you understand that my statement is true. Another point that you failed to make is that the driving instruction is horrendous and needs to be regulated like Dubai where it is very organized. I have a Dubai driver’s license and the driver’s license centers are amazing – the equipment is the most sophisticated in the world, but you are speaking of a government that wants to the best for their nation. I encourage the Kuwait government to not only take the metro, ride school buses (that are all regulated) but also visit the DMV in Al Barsha. You touched on the core of many levels of this issue, but the Kuwaitis are lazy and they fail to understand how to implement ‘systems’ and yes, they could simply visit Dubai and I am sure the Emiratis would graciously assist them with the host of issues Kuwait faces today because the authorities have not done their job. The bottom line is that Kuwait has not addressed the issues of their nation for decades and the problems have built and built, so the residents have gotten used to living in a lawless society. They have gone overboard, but for sub-continent workers to cry wolf all of a sudden after living illegally in the country and earning an illicit livelihood, where Kuwaitis should claim the most responsibility for dumping the brunt of them on the streets of Kuwait through visa trading, is not facing the core of the issue. Nor is it fair after many of them got a license through illicit means or by receiving a driver’s license with limited driver’s training is not addressing the core of the issue. Yes, Kuwait badly needs a metro, I agree, but that project lies on the Parliament floor with the airport which Kuwait also needs badly, because without these two major projects this country is nothing.

Desert Girl said...

Anonymous 3:28 "...cannot service them". Em... I beg to differ. I believe that the legal/productive expats are serving the country. Tighten expendatures? I could name a few that would have nothing to do with creating problems for poor TCNs or for people with one or two non-life-threatening traffic violations....

I don't foresee Kuwaitis ever taking over as street sweepers, maids, or drivers, do you?

Anonymous 11:36. Thanks for adding your comments. I think it is very true that Kuwait has literally failed itself by not involking a points system (and enforcing it). Alas, wastah has been working overtime. Thanks for mentioning these issues.

Anonymous said...

Interesting point Anon 3:28, however, it is easier to find a scapegoat then to organize the country. Ministries need to be overhauled, laws need to be enforced and for decades Kuwait has not enforced the laws fairly and across the board. Together with their nationals committing crimes on a broad scale (which is not the case in neighboring GCC countries, well maybe Saudi?) there are massive amounts of illegal residents in the country that have no other option then to turn to a life of crime to surviv, hence, Kuwait has the highest crime rate in the GCC. Kuwait has no other alternative then to utilize one of their military bases to house the large amounts of expats that are being apprehended mainly because of lack of jail space and Embassies should be assisting the Kuwaitis with repatriating their nationals as is being done in other GCC nations. When you discuss Kuwait, it is like speaking about a third world country, yet it is an oil rich nation? It has more in common with India than the UAE. Expats are being terminated and replaced with Kuwaitis because they failed to implement a development plan which would have created jobs for their nationals. The days of that little boy in Bombay dreaming about working the GCC may just become a lost dream. All GCC nationals need employment and it is their country.

Anonymous said...

More than 1,200 years ago, while Europe was in its Dark Ages, the Muslim world was ruled by a dynasty of Islamic leaders who embraced free thought and creativity from all corners of the globe. The United Arab Emirates stands where it stands today because since its inception, they have given the utmost priority to the human mind. The UAE has always been a safe harbor for great thinkers. They have welcomed innovative minds and have given them the freedom to create. By working together, thousands of experts and specialists from the UAE and around the world have built in Dubai the world’s tallest skyscraper, the largest man-made islands, the largest automated Metro network and the third largest airline in the world. Kuwait could be a great nation, the potential is there with its Gulf coastline lined rich with oil, but the oil revenue will be wasted if it is not used to develop this nation. Illegal nationals in any nation should not be tolerated, however I can’t say whether ‘great thinkers’ were amongst the deported due to traffic violations. Kuwait could be more civil in handling traffic violations that would put revenue back into the economy, hence, improving the country as a whole. Kuwaitis can only decide their own fate. They can proceed like their UAE brothers and build for the future and honor those that assist them in this process or they can continue to revile foreigners on their soil and prevent foreign innovators from even considering a contract there that they need to assist them in the development process.

Anonymous said...

Do we forget that kuwaitis should respect the law too? The sort of people they are deporting don't even own cars!!

It'll be a long time before Kuwaitis push their own trolleys at the airport let alone do this for a living, don't you think?

Desert Girl said...

Anonymous 11:24.

Ironic that you would make this comment this morning. I was thinking about this very subject on my drive into work as I watched the expats driving UNDER the speed limit in their lanes as the young Kuwaiti guys in full sized SUVs and pick-up trucks weaved their way in and out of traffic and around the law-abiders. Those guys don't fear deportation or tickets or having their cars impounded. They don't seem to fear much of anything.

I have seen a slight decrease in the number of stupid home-grown maneuvers lately, but will it be enough to bring down fatalities? From MY personal perspective - those guys have been the most dangerous and deadly to society (at least during my 17 years here).

Anonymous said...

Why have you seen the live in the US? At least we have no taxes, free education and free medical care. We also have way way lower crime rate that the USA. So please don't feel sad for Kuwait, feel sad about your own country.