Al Hashem hits out again at Kuwait’s expat community

Published:  17 Sep at 6 PM
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Yet again, expats living and working in Kuwait are being targeted by politicians.

Just a few weeks after a major annual survey ranked Kuwait as the worst world destination for expatriate professionals, yet another rant in the emirate’s parliament referred to expat recruitment as an ‘unnatural invasion’. It comes as no surprise that female MP Safaa al Hashem is clearly on yet another anti-expat attack as the woman is infamous for airing her prejudiced views on a regular basis. Her plan on this occasion was to grill Kuwait’s Minister of Social Affairs as to why he is still allowing expat recruitment, especially of those to whom she refers as marginal workers.

The former minister, she raged, wasn’t afraid to confront visa traders, closed 120 files and deported over 120,000 foreign workers. She promised to stay vigilant in her self-imposed fight to defeat the emirate’s demographic imbalance, especially as Emiratis are being pushed out of the heart of the city and forced to live in the suburbs whilst residential areas are now occupied by expat workers. Blaming the past two governments for their lack of an urgent solution to the issue as well as for having a flawed vision concerning the situation, she called the imbalance a threat to national security.

However, in an unusual move, she stressed she is not demanding the removal of expatriates who are contributing to the state’s development, but is attacking the numbers of marginalised labourers and the negative effect they have on state services. Expats, she continued, still make up a full 70 per cent of the emirate’s population, making Kuwaitis feel like strangers in their home country whilst wealthy, influential people continue to benefit from the recruitment of expat workers. She added documents on the issue are being deliberately withheld from parliament.

Part of her solution is to impose fees on expats for everything from road usage to money transfers, similar to systems already in operation in the UAE, adding the emirate should tax even the air expats breathe. Interestingly and for the first time, social media activists made their views known, with one comparing Al Hashem to Donald Trump and others deploring her ‘racist speech’ and referring to her as very arrogant.
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