'Migrants must pay to breathe Kuwaiti air', says anti-expat lawmaker

'Migrants must pay to breathe Kuwaiti air', says anti-expat lawmaker
1 min read
15 September, 2019
Controversial Kuwaiti MP Safaa al-Hashem has triggered outrage once again after a racist tirade in which she suggests migrants must pay to breath the Gulf country's air.
Safaa al-Hashem is known for her inflammatory rhetoric [Getty]
Kuwait MP Safaa al-Hashem has repeated anti-migrant sentiments this week, saying expatriates to the Gulf country should have to pay for the air they breathe.

Speaking to Kuwaiti daily al-Rai, al-Hashem repeated calls for Kuwait to charge expats for walking on streets and breathing Kuwaiti air.

Al-Hashem has previously made calls to “purify” Kuwait - where 70 percent of the population is made up of expatriates - with measures that include revoking the citizenship of naturalised widows and banning expats from driving.

Al-Hashem is Kuwait’s only female MP and is widely criticised for having what has been described as hateful views.

The lawmaker has repeatedly denied claims she is racist despite alarming comments, and says she wants to balance the Kuwaiti to expat ratio and reduce the levels of crowding within the country.

Hashem has even attacked nationalised Kuwaiti, claiming hundreds of thousands of people have fake citizenships – referring to them as rats.

"If the Ministry of interior continues to trap the rats who obtained the citizenship illegally, they will find that 300,000 of Kuwaiti citizens obtained their citizenship illegally. There are one million real Kuwaitis," she said, according to al-Rai early last year.

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