Manama: A Kuwaiti lawmaker is putting pressure on the minister of social affairs over reports that the state would pay the medical and living expenses of an Egyptian expatriate who was hospitalised after he was beaten up by a Kuwaiti at a car workshop.
“In accordance with what law, regulation or decision is it possible to take care of an expatriate and his family?” MP Safa Al Hashem asked Hend Al Sabeeh. “What is the type of care that is provided and what is its source, especially since we have labour laws that are applicable. We are aware that the expatriate is now being treated in a public hospital and we can exempt him from fees, but we do not have to care for him and his family.”
Al Hashem who has been spearheading a campaign to limit the number of foreigners in Kuwait through regular calls and often controversial suggestions to address the “ominous” demographic imbalance said that the minister should reciprocate the attitudes of the Egyptian authorities towards Kuwaitis.
“Has the Egyptian government provided the same treatment to the abused Kuwaiti citizen in Sharm Al Shaikh? Has the Egyptian government also provided the same treatment to the Kuwaiti family of the Kuwaiti mother and her daughter who were killed and thrown in a well in the far reaches of Egypt? Has the minister shown concern and visited the abused Kuwaiti to ask about his condition or has she looked into the case of the Kuwaiti mother and daughter?”
However, Al Sabeeh refuted the allegations regarding public expenses in the case of the Egyptian worker.
“Reports that the state is paying (for) the treatment and living expenses of the Egyptian worker injured in a quarrel with a Kuwaiti citizen are inaccurate and lack credibility and objectivity,” she was quoted as saying by Kuwaiti daily Al Rai on Tuesday.
“Kuwait is a country of humanity and a state of institutions and laws whose officials are keen to protect the rights of residents in accordance with the local laws in force, and not according to any instructions from any official.”
The minister said that the injured Egyptian man worked for a Kuwaiti employer and had rights guaranteed by the law.
“The quarrel between the expatriate and the citizen has been referred to justice and there will be an independent decision,” she said. “I urge all citizens not to rush into making judgements without clear and irrefutable evidence. Kuwait is always keen to protect the rights of all citizens and residents from all over the world. The state wants to maintain diplomatic relations with brotherly and friendly countries according to local laws and international standards.”
The Egyptian worker, Waheed Mahmood Rafei, was last week savagely beaten and mercilessly kicked by a Kuwaiti client in the Shuwaikh industrial area after he reportedly told him to return following the lunch break to get the spare part he wanted for his motorcycle.
The onslaught was captured by the workshop surveillance camera and was subsequently widely circulated on social media, prompting angry calls for legal action and triggering a wave of sympathy and compassion for the worker.