The National Assembly convened its ordinary session Tuesday morning which witnessed a flurry of queries addressed by the parliamentarians to the concerned ministers over several issues, as well as the interpellation filed by MPs Riyadh Al- Adsani and Bader Al-Mulla against Minister of Finance Nayef Al-Hajraf, which concluded without a motion of no-confidence.
Instead, Parliament’s Finance Committee has been tasked with the responsibility of reviewing the grilling points and submitting its report within three weeks. Before the MPs addressed the queries, Parliament Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim told the MPs that ministers of Interior and Defense had agreed to a parliamentary request to allocate two hours of the next session for discussing the recent developments and growing tension in the region.
When MP Adwah Al-Ruwai’e said Minister of Education had failed to elaborate on the issue of “abandoned” school buildings, the minister responded by saying approximately six to eight schools will be demolished and rebuilt in 2020. On the other hand, when MP Thamer Al- Suwait stated that the Health Minister had not provided satisfactory details about the new Jahra Hospital, the minister explained that the hospital had opened the doors last year but the contractor has yet to transfer what he called the “operational ownership” of the hospital and that there is a comprehensive study on this issue which will be made to the MP in due course of time. Unsatisfied with the answer, MP Al-Suwait said Ministry of Health is clearly unable to properly begin operations and that all its development projects have largely been “structural”, and that neglect is seen in the aspect of performance.
Furthermore, during the interpellation discussion, MP Riyadh Al-Adsani stressed that formidable efforts are being exerted to conceal the exploitation of public funds in the country, adding, “When the government feels the exposure of mismanagement is on the cards, it promptly reports the incident to remain one step ahead and pre-empt parliamentary supervision”. He said. “This is exactly what happened with the former head of the Public Institution for Social Security Fahad Al-Rajaan, who had been covertly embezzling public money for 30 years and fled the country when the time for exposure drew near. Despite governmental reports and efforts on this issue including the most recent efforts by Minister of Finance, the issue remains unresolved with no solution on the horizon”.
The MP lamented that this is seen with most of the financial issues facing the country, including the most recent case of an unidentified individual fleeing the country using his brother’s passport after embezzling about one million dinars, in addition to the neglected issues of other accounts, adding, “This demands a quick and definitive action from the Minister of Interior”. He indicated that there are hidden hands (foreign) influences involved in these illegal operations, especially with the state port funds, which has taken over the entire logistical work of Sabah Al-Ahmed City.