By B Izzak

MP Safa Al-Hashem

KUWAIT: MP Safa Al-Hashem, an outspoken critic of expats, claimed yesterday she received a death threat via email from an expat, allegedly for repeatedly calling to replace foreigners with Kuwaitis. The lawmaker said it was the ninth death threat she has received by email, all from expats belonging to one nationality. Although she did not reveal the nationality, she released the email, which refers to it.

Hashem said she has been getting death threats “simply because I am a Kuwaiti member of parliament who has been calling for amending the demographic structure and imposing charges on expats”. She blamed the government for not taking any effective measures to reform the population composition, which is severely tilted in favor of expats, saying all government promises in this regard have not been fulfilled.

Hashem directed her criticism at expat legal experts who work at the Council of Ministers, Civil Service Commission and other government departments, who “played with our legislation to deprive Kuwaitis from taking top jobs”. But Hashem’s latest complaint was strongly criticized by some social media activists, who accused her of trying to exploit such incidents for electoral purposes. Well-known presenter and owner of the private Scope TV Fajer Al-Saeed said Hashem should stop such election stunts.

Meanwhile, the National Assembly secretariat yesterday asked MPs who attended a regular session some two weeks ago to test again for the coronavirus ahead of resuming meetings. Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem told the Assembly on June 17 that a lawmaker was suspected of contracting the disease and called on all MPs and staff who attended the sessions to test for the virus. Later, the health ministry advised MPs to undergo a 14-day quarantine that ended on Tuesday. The lawmaker who was suspected of contracting the disease - Hamdan Al-Azemi - later said that he twice tested negative.

MP Al-Humaidhi Al-Subaei called on the health minister to lift a lockdown on Mahboula that has been in place for over 100 days. Addressing the health minister, the lawmaker demanded to know the reasons for continuing the lockdown and why there has been a rise in cases in several other areas but they were not placed under lockdown.

The criminal court has set July 13 to issue its verdict in the first case of visa traders that involve a Kuwaiti and three Egyptian accomplices. The government has referred about a dozen of such cases to the public prosecution. Interior Minister Anas Al-Saleh said government efforts to “eradicate the cancer” of visa trading will continue, adding that he will also continue to work to amend legislation and toughen penalties against those working in this illegal trade.