Expats accused of littering, causing pollution

Opinionated lawmaker Safaa Al-Hashem is back at doing what she does best, expat bashing.

In her latest tirade against foreign workers in the country, the parliamentarian alleged that expatriates were responsible for the enormous amount of garbage left behind on beaches and parks after the recent Eid holidays. She called for imposing fees on expatriates to use these public venues.

Her snide comments drew a strong response on social media platforms, with many people uploading images of Kuwaitis littering cinema halls, malls and food courts around the country. Some pointed out to the lawmaker that littering reflected poor upbringing, lack of civic sense and social etiquette of the individual offenders, and had nothing to do with their ethnicity or social grouping.

Disregarding the response to her comments that bordered on the racial, Al-Hashem continued in the same vein, highlighting the ramifications of the lopsided population structure in the country, where “there are more than three million expatriates compared to a little over one million Kuwaitis in the country”. She warned the government of dire consequences if it continued to disregard the demographic imbalance in the country, which she said, “strongly contributed to the deterioration of the country’s infrastructure”.

She urged the government to impose fees on expatriates for the use of public venues, including the new Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah Causeway. Failing to act on these issues would lead to the concerned minister being held responsible for deterioration in the country’s infrastructure, warned Al-Hashem.

On a different topic but on the same note, Al-Hashem was recently quoted as saying that the high concentration of expatriates living in areas such as Hawally, Salmiya, Khaitan and Farwaniya resulted in the generation of large quantities of waste that caused pollution in the country. She called on the Environment Public Authority (EPA) not to be negligent in the implementation of environmental laws, and to impose heavy penalties on those found creating waste.