Manama: A Kuwaiti lawmaker is pushing for the adoption of the Daylight Saving Time (DST) in a historic first for the northern Arabian Gulf country.
MP Safa Al Hashem said in her proposal that clocks should be adjusted forward by two hours for six months from April 1 to September 30.
Kuwait follows a clock-based schedule for daily urban activities that do not change throughout the course of the year, unlike agriculture-related routines that are governed by daylight hours and solar time.
Al Hashem’s proposal calls for the displacement of the day so that Kuwaitis and expatriates start and complete their daily work routines two hours earlier, allowing them to take advantage of the milder early hours of the day, avoid the peak temperatures of the afternoon and have greater increase in daylight for after work activities.
In her argument, Al Hashem said that the time saving practice was used in more than 80 countries in the West and in the Arab world.
Several official entities support advancing the summer time by two hours, she said and enumerated several ministries, the University of Bahrain, traffic departments, professors and air-conditioning companies.
The lawmaker highlighted the positive economic advantages, the human psychological and physical health and the saving of energy.
The Legislative Committee will review the proposal this week and decide whether to reject it or to refer it to the parliament for debate and recommendations. If is it approved by the lawmakers, it will be forwarded to the government.
The practice of advancing clocks during summer months so that evening daylight lasts longer was introduced in 1895.
However, its merits are being debated across the US and much of Europe with opponents calling for abandoning the idea while supporters pushing for its adoption throughout the year and not just during summer months.
Last month, voters in California approved a measure allowing the US state to make DST year-round, instead of only from early March to early November.
Shifting to year-round DST would also help local businesses as shoppers take advantage of the extra sunlight during the winter and stay out late.
However, the view is different in Europe where reactions to a public poll, launched by the European Commission in July on whether its biannual daylight saving rules should be scrapped for good, showed that 84 per cent of the 4.6 million people who responded wanted to abolish it.
The measure will have to be endorsed by the European Commission before member states make their own choices to approve or reject it.