KUWAIT CITY, Feb 15: MP Safaa Al-Hashim continued her attacks on expatriates at Wednesday’s parliamentary session through the discussion of recommendations contained in 26 reports of the parliamentary committees concerning traffic congestion, environmental pollution, fish demise and others, reports Al-Seyassah daily.
Al-Hashim jettisoned deliberation of the parliamentary committee reports on the protection of public funds as regards investigating the sale of companies, shell deal, KGL Company violations, and encroachment on state property. Instead, she focused her contributions on expatriates.
The lawmaker declared that all problems stated in the committee reports were due to the unusual population density. She noted traffic congestion in the country is caused by the abnormal population structure and large number of expatriates compared to citizens.
She continued to describe expatriates as opportunistic bacteria, saying the number of vehicles doubles the population. She reiterated that expatriates have been causing accidents that claim the lives of Kuwaiti children.
She lamented 571,000 driver’s licenses were issued to Kuwaitis compared to 657,000 for expatriates. “Why do the expatriates refuse to use air conditioned public buses and taxis,” she retorted.
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Ok, so I am personally insulted. I’m now being told – by a member of the Kuwaiti Government – that I am “opportunistic bacteria”. Yes me. I am an expat. She must be referring to me. Or to my friends. Or to people who live and work in our community.
Once again, this racist, xenophobic person is adding to the divisions in the country when our dear Amir has stated emphatically over time that he wishes unification for Kuwait and all people living here. I agree with him! Unify Kuwait and many of the problems work themselves out. Divide it and stagnate. Then why are MP Al-Hashim’s tirades being tolerate at the top levels of Government?
The term “expatriate” refers to anyone living and working outside their home country. She has used the term over and over again. I see no division of the term into categories. And I am shocked by some well-meaning expats who have come out and said on social media, “I think what she was referring to was domestic helpers (or laborers, or etc..)” It doesn’t matter what others think she’s referring to: her statement is in lump form: Expatriates. We are a collective virus by her chosen words.
This group includes anyone wishing to come to Kuwait to do business/trade here. Foreign trade delegations are exempt from being expats because they are only TRYING to become expats in Kuwait; to do business. To promote the economies of both their country AND Kuwait's. But once they are here, like all major companies who have expat employees living in Kuwait, those employees are now labeled as “opportunistic bacteria.” Those engineers building new refineries: Bacteria. Doctors: Bacteria. Lawyers: Bacteria. Educators: Bacteria.
Who is bringing the bacteria to Kuwait? Well… Kuwait is. There is one side that is saying, “Welcome, expats! You help our economy. You help our education and medical systems. You are welcome here.” And then there is the MP that is trying to expel the very same people brought in to assist the country; Oh, and while insulting them at the very same time.
Yes I am angry!
I helped in the liberation of Kuwait only to be called a “bacteria.” The “cause of accidents that kill Kuwaiti children.” Personally, I’ve never killed a Kuwaiti child by car or any other means. Although I have been put in the hospital after a Kuwaiti (under the influence of drugs and chasing a young woman at high speed with his truck) collided with my car. I’ve tried to do right by my second home every day for the 22 years I’ve lived in Kuwait (and added to the economy by purchasing Kuwaiti products and services from Kuwaitis).
From my perspective, this MP is doing more harm to Kuwait than me (an expat) has ever done.
Ms. Al-Hashim: Work on cleaning up public transportation before condemning others trying to get to work! Get on a bus anonymously and travel around Kuwait. Get a perspective!!! It’s not clean. It’s not safe. Expats aren’t your problem.