Kuwait's traffic chief defends expat deportations

Major General Abdul Fattah Al-Ali says running red light is equivalent to attempted murder

The head of Kuwait’s traffic directorate has defended the recent deportation of scores of expats over traffic violations by comparing running a red light to premeditated or attempted murder.

Major General Abdul Fattah Al-Ali on Tuesday confirmed 213 expats had been removed from the country in the past week under a crackdown on repeat traffic offenders.

Defending the decision, he said using a private vehicle as a taxi violated labour and residency laws, while driving without a licence was equal to working without a permit.

The deportations have been criticised by the Kuwait Labour Union and former MP Abdullah Al-Turaiji, who claim they are a violation of human rights and are illegal.

Head of Kuwait Labour Union’s expatriate office Abdulrahman Al- Ghanem said in a statement it would have economic and social consequences for the country, which should instead be focusing its attention on punishing visa traders.

Traffic offences should be dealt with through fines or license suspensions, he said.

Al-Ghanem claimed the government was blaming expats for the country’s demographic imbalance and had resorted to oppressive measures against them.

The Kuwaiti Ministry of Social Affairs has announced it plans to cut expat numbers by 100,000 each of the next 10 years. Expats make-up about two-thirds of the country’s population of 3.8 million and relied on for menial work as well as high level expertise.

Many in the country’s private sector fear the oil-rich nation - in which about 90 percent of national workers are employed by the bloated public sector - is not prepared for self-sufficiency.

However, Al-Ali said the law allowed for deporting expats on the basis of repeat traffic offences.

“According to our criminal and penal laws, penalties for such violations include deportation,” he said, according to Kuwait Times.

“The law also authorizes the MOI [Ministry of Interior] to deport expats in [the] public interest in case they commit repeated crimes or violations.”

He said citizens also were severely punished for repeat traffic offences, citing the case of a national who was recently jailed for three months.

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Posted by: jay

the solution to bad driving is better training and stricter tests better policing
when you see a police man driving in the emergency lane in thier own car what standards are they setting drive down the 5th and 6 th ringroads any rush hr and watch and when all else fails take the licence and car from them or jail them deportation is not the solution

Posted by: Glen

There is no oversight in this process at all, Kuwait's Traffic Chief is displaying clearly, the signs of a Police States dictator. Since when has the Police Department been involved in such actions, their job is to maitain law and order, not to be involved in the Departments of Labour and Economic development.

Posted by: Noor

With so many accidents, I wish the same happens in the UAE, no Asian expat will remain.

Posted by: kingkaiser

Check stats on the worst drivers in this country as a percentage of population. You might find that the answer to "who is the worst driver" lies a wee bit closer to home...

Posted by: AJs

And of course the Non-Asian community are the perfect drivers in the country and need to be emulated right? Please take one-sided opinions elsewhere.

Posted by: Neil

I too wish the same happens.....Then you would be the one cleaning your own roads, washing your cars , and braving the 46-50 degree heat.

Posted by: Expat in Kuwait

Sadly, The cops don't even understand English & they are not willing to listen to anything. They do as they like, It is my wish that wherever the citizens of this country travels for holiday or business they are treated the same way as they treat us.

Posted by: Mohammed

Why should the police in their own contry speak a different language, its up to you to learn their language. Further, its their country and their rules, i am sure this will have a negative effect however its their country and they are the ones who determine where it goes. Frankly i think they are in for some pain, 90 per cent work in the public sector, transforming them into private sector employees will be very difficult, it will be interesting to see the outcome, this may become the model for the region

Posted by: John butler

Does deporting an expat give the Kuwaiti?s the feeling of superiority? Or is it just the usual arrogance? Yes the MP is right it is inhumane and a stupid excuse to kick expats out of the country! If the law says that these violators must be punished then...it shall be by fines or even taking them to jail! Otherwise, yes it is definitely a violation of human rights. Maybe the day will come when the authorities will start deporting Kuwaitis!

Posted by: Shaz

Mr.John, Well written !!!!
Its sheer Arrogance and gives Locals a feeling of Superiority !!

If the day comes to deport Kuwaitis, can any country in the WORLD would be ready to accept them ?Exept

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