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MPs demand probe into graft charges; Nazaha cooperating

KUWAIT: Troops are deployed around the densely-populated area of Farwaniya, which is under complete lockdown. – KUNA

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: Five MPs have submitted a proposal calling to form a parliamentary committee to investigate allegations of money laundering and corruption related to the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund and illicit activities in North Korea.  The government has already referred the issue to the public prosecution for investigations as MP Hamdan Al-Azemi called for publishing the names of those allegedly involved in the scam.

The Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) stressed Sunday that it is fully cooperating with the public prosecution regarding global reports of a relationship between Kuwait and the 1Malaysia Development Berhad, known as 1MDB, including charges of money laundering operations and suspicions of corruption.

In a press release, Nazaha said it is cooperating with the prosecution because it is a responsible local judicial investigation authority that will provide any information and data obtained by the authority regarding the issue to the general prosecution, including information obtained that has a direct or indirect relationship with damage to state funds.

Meanwhile, the National Assembly office was to meet later yesterday to decide on holding a session after MP Faisal Al-Kandari filed to grill the education minister for refusing to scrap the school year over the coronavirus. Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem said the Assembly is likely to meet within the next two weeks and the grilling has been placed on the agenda of the first session.

Kandari said his grilling of Education Minister Saud Al-Harbi comprises just the issue of the minister’s insistence to resume the school year amid the outbreak of the pandemic, thus endangering the lives of hundreds of thousands of students and teachers. He said the minister has ignored repeated appeals by several lawmakers to end the year and has been the only minister who did not live up to government efforts of fighting the disease.

Kandari also accused the minister of mismanagement of the education process during the coronavirus crisis, causing severe harm and damage to students. He charged that the minister’s policy of refusing to end the school year will help spread the deadly disease among students, teachers and school administrations, threatening their lives and the lives of their families and consequently the health of the whole society.

MP Saadoun Hammad said he supports the grilling and advised the minister to step down, calling on his successor to immediately announce the end of the school year. The minister told Kuwait Television on Saturday that he will make the final decision on the fate of the school year on July 15, when the situation will be clearer. The ministry had already tentatively decided to resume the school year for 12th graders in early August and for other classes in late September.

Five lawmakers called for resuming regular Assembly sessions to tackle urgent issues related to the coronavirus and other issues. The Assembly has suspended regular sessions for the past three months. MP Ahmad Al-Fadhl called on the government to pay a greater attention to the economic situation in the country, saying that the shutdowns have severely impacted small and medium businesses. He said lawmakers are working on a draft law that calls to suspend the payment of rent by shops for a few months and then compensate landlords through easy-term loans.

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