KUWAIT: MP Ahmad
Al-Fadhl yesterday warned against “too large” expatriate communities,
saying they could pose a security threat and also highlighted what he called
low qualifications of most expatriates in the country. The lawmaker said he has
no problem with expatriates coming and working in Kuwait, but there is a
certain risk in the large numbers of some communities, adding that Indians,
Egyptians, Bangladeshis and Syrians form more than half of the 3.4 million
foreigners living in Kuwait.
Fadhl said based
on latest available figures, Kuwaitis number just 1.42 million, or about 30
percent of the population, while expats form the remaining 70 percent. He said
that the Indian community totals some 900,000, Egyptians 600,000, Bangladeshis
around 200,000 and Syrians some 145,000, and together they constitute more than
50 percent of all expatriates, who hail from 120 nationalities. He said the
rapid growth in the numbers of individual communities must be checked, because
they pose a security danger to the country.
Fadhl also said
that Kuwait is not attracting highly-qualified expatriates because these people
prefer to go to United Arab Emirates or Qatar or Saudi Arabia, and as a result,
the quality of expats in the country is not competitive. The lawmaker however
ruled out claims that expatriates compete against citizens for jobs, saying
that a majority of jobs occupied by expatriates are not attractive to citizens.
He said some
120,000 expats work in government jobs and these jobs fail to lure Kuwaitis,
and accordingly expatriates in general do not take up jobs that should go to
Kuwaitis. He said the government should take measures to bring down the numbers
of large communities and also prevent the concentration of large numbers of
foreigners in residential areas. He praised the government for reducing the
number of expats in Khaitan by some 70 percent over the past four months.
By B Izzak