King Abdullah addresses Saudi people, issues royal decrees
March 18, 2011
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz made a statement today to the people of Saudi Arabia, expressing his pride in them for maintaining national unity and displaying loyalty in the face of “advocates of sedition.” He specifically thanked the members of the Commission of Senior Ulema (religious scholars) and the thinkers and writers of the nation for speaking out against the “enemies of religion, homeland and nation.” Finally, King Abdullah thanked members of the military and security forces, saying, “You are the shield of this country and the striking hand against anyone tempted to undermine its security and stability.”
Afterwards, King Abdullah issued a number of royal decree, according to a statement released by the Royal Court. The decrees authorized:
- Payment of two-month salary to all public civil and military personnel.
- Payment of two-month stipend to all public higher education students.
- Payment of SR 2,000 ($533) per month for job-seekers at the public and private sectors.
- Increase the minimum wage in the public sector to SR 3,000 ($800) per month.
- Construction of 500,000 residential units in all regions of the Kingdom and appropriating a total amount of SR 250 billion ($66.7 billion) for that project, which will be implemented under the supervision of the General Commission for Housing.
- Raised the maximum amount of interest-free loans issued by the Real Estate Development Fund from SR 300,000 ($80,000) to SR 500,000 ($133,333) per applicant.
- Established a National Commission on Combating Corruption, and appointed Mohammad bin Abdullah Al-Shareef as its president at the rank of minister.
- Provision of SR 16 billion ($4.3 billion) to the Ministry of Health to implement and expand several medical projects in various regions.
- Raised the limit of financial assistance to private hospital from SR 50 million ($13.3 million) to SR 200 million ($53.3 million).
- Creation of 60,000 law enforcement jobs at the Ministry of Interior.
- Payment of all dues owed to military personnel, ensured by the Ministry of Finance.
- Prohibition against the media defaming or criticizing the Grand Mufti and Senior Ulema Commission’s members.
- Establishment of bureaus for the General Presidency for Religious Research and Ifta in the Kingdom, creation of 300 jobs for this purpose and allocation of SR 200 million ($53.33 million) to cover the needs of these branches.
- Preparation of a study to establish a Saudi Fiqh (Jurisprudence) Complex
- Allocation of SR 500 million ($133.32 million) for renovation of mosques in the Kingdom
- Allocation of SR 200 million ($53.33 million) for supporting the holy Quran Memorization Associations in Saudi Arabia
- Allocation of SR 300 million ($80 million) for supporting the bureaus of Call and Guidance at the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance
- Allocation of SR 200 million ($53.33 million) for completion of regional headquarters for the Commission of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in the Kingdom
- Creation of 500 jobs to boost monitoring efforts by the Ministry Commerce and Industry to strictly fight price manipulators.
- Holding of urgent discussions between the concerned government ministers and businessmen to expedite the Saudization process in the private sector
The royal decrees will be carried out by authorities in the Kingdom immediately, the Royal Court stated.