Statements by the former Egyptian advisor to the Kuwaiti National Assembly, Shafiq Imam, caused a wave of controversy among Kuwaitis.
Shafik Imam, who is currently in Egypt after resigning from his position in Kuwait for health reasons, criticized the increase in fees for elderly expatriates and considered it unconstitutional.
Egyptian Chancellor Shafik Imam: The increase in fees on elderly immigrants is unconstitutional.. It will expose Kuwait to criticism of the international organization and human rights.
• The elderly are in need of health care that requires granting them permanent residency, and even granting them citizenship for those who gave their lives in the service of Kuwait. pic.twitter.com/6krWXfg8el
– Council (@Almajlliss) September 26, 2021
He added that this matter would expose Kuwait to criticism of the international organization and human rights.
In his statements, he added, “The elderly need health care, which requires granting them permanent residency, and even granting them citizenship for those who gave their lives in the service of Kuwait.”
Counselor Shafiq Imam angers Kuwaitis
These statements caused widespread controversy among Kuwaitis, some of whom supported him in his opinion, and some opposed him and rejected his interference in Kuwaiti affairs.
He devoted his life to serving Kuwait
for a salary
Moo for free I spent his life?
— meshalalmsbah (@AlmsbahM) September 26, 2021
It is unconstitutional, unethical.
Is this how to return the favor to those who served Kuwait?
— Caesar (@Ceasar09181653) September 26, 2021
Sisi’s computer first
One of the activists commented, rejecting Imam’s statements: “All countries of the world place huge fees on their residency and their foreign transfers.. But Kuwait cannot be held because this is against human rights.. The biggest example of your country is raising all prices when you know that this person is from the Gulf, and I challenge you to hold Sisi accountable for this.”
All countries of the world put huge fees on their residency and foreign transfers
But Kuwait can’t, because this is against human rights 😂😂😂😂
The biggest example of your country is raising all prices when you know that this person is from the Gulf, and I challenge you to hold Sisi accountable for this thing
– (@_alotaibi2x) September 26, 2021
Without another: “My father is a Kuwaiti known person who goes to Cairo and declares there and criticizes the decisions of the Egyptian government.. God, I expect them to bury him while he is alive.”
A well-known Kuwaiti father goes to Cairo and declares there and criticizes the decisions of the Egyptian government
By God, I hope they bury him alive
— Simple Citizen (@msfmennf) September 26, 2021
Adel Al-Qallaf wrote: “The elderly are in their place, their country is first in them. This is not serious. This settlement and organized invasion will happen in Kuwait, the same as what happened in Palestine. The lessons are many, but the government does not bite.”
The elderly are in their place. Their country is first. They return and get treatment in their own country. I say it is thankful, and there is no shortcoming that is not serious. This is settlement and an organized invasion that will happen in Kuwait, the same as what happened in Palestine. The lessons are many, but the government does not bite.
— Bu Ali Adel Al-Qallaf 🇰🇼❤️🇩🇪 (@qallaf1968) September 26, 2021
Umm Khaled wrote: “I expect I will not serve her for free or volunteer… Serve her for a fee.”
I expect to serve her for free or volunteer.. Serve her for a fee
— Om khalid (@Omkhalid9494) September 26, 2021
It is noteworthy that Counselor Shafiq Imam has been one of the advisors to the Kuwaiti National Assembly since 1992, before he submitted his resignation recently due to his health condition.
He also worked as an advisor to the General Investment Authority after the approval of the National Assembly and then returned to his work in the Council.
Fees are imposed on expatriates over 60 years old
It is noteworthy that last July, the decision of the Public Authority for Manpower in Kuwait to impose annual fees in exchange for renewing the residencies of expatriates who have reached 60 years and above who hold high school certificates and below and their equivalent certificates, met with a widespread popular rejection no less than the rejection that was met with the decision The former refused to renew.
Then, the Board of Directors of the Public Authority for Manpower issued a decision “allowing the renewal of work permits for residents who are over 60 years old and have a secondary qualification or less, in return for paying 2,000 dinars (about $6,700) as annual fees,” according to the local newspaper, Al-Rai.
Many activists considered that “the value of the fees is very high and is not commensurate with the nature of the work of this segment of expatriates and their ages.
It is also racist to burden those expats who have left their country for work.”
Expats in Kuwait
The Corona pandemic has caused an unprecedented crisis for expatriate workers in Kuwait. After it revealed the presence of huge numbers of loose labor; This prompted the government to intervene quickly to control the conditions of these workers.
But the reorganization of the presence of foreign workers in Kuwait began in September 2017, with successive government measures for what it called “Kuwaitization of jobs”, in order to implement a plan to gradually reduce expatriate workers in the public sector and replace them with Kuwaiti ones within 5 years, and the Corona pandemic accelerated the steps of the Gulf state towards localizing jobs .
The Kuwaiti government has an ambitious plan that aims to deport 70% of the expatriate workers, including marginal and illiterates, which total about one million expatriates.
The population of Kuwait, according to the figures of the Kuwait Public Authority for Civil Information for 2019, is 4.7 million, 30% of whom are citizens and 70% are expatriates, at a rate of 3.3 million, including 744,000 domestic workers.