King’s order to benefit 180,000 temporary employees
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah receives religious scholars, citizens and officials in Riyadh on Sunday. (SPA)
By ARAB NEWS
Published: Feb 28, 2011 00:09 Updated: Feb 28, 2011 00:10
RIYADH/JEDDAH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah on Tuesday received princes, Islamic scholars and a group of citizens who came to greet him following his safe return after a three-month-long medical trip abroad.
In an extempore speech, King Abdullah thanked all those who prayed for his quick recovery. “May Allah bless all of you,” he said, and asked his well wishers to excuse him for not shaking hands with them.
“It (shaking hands) is an important thing for me. Forgive me for not doing it. God is Magnificent,” the king told his audience. “I take this opportunity to thank all of you who visited me here as well as those who are in their homes and in different countries. ... I would like to express my sincere love and affection for all of you, including the elderly, women and children.”
Addressing the reception, Abdul Rahman Al-Ghazzi, a member of the Supreme Judiciary Council, commended King Abdullah for his efforts in the service of the country and the Islamic Ummah.
Earlier, King Abdullah ordered to make the status of temporary government employees permanent. The order will benefit close to 180,000 employees currently working in various government departments and projects.
“All Saudi men and women employed under special employment clauses and receiving their pay from the state budget have been made permanent in their jobs,” the king said in his order.
The order also covered those working in various government departments and receiving pay from funds outside the budget, such as the students' fund, funds for shelters and endowment, as well as those who are working on contracts in community service colleges and continuous education centers.
Thousands of beneficiaries have expressed their gratitude to the king for his gesture through websites and blogs. Some bloggers prayed for the long life and good health of the king.
The order will upgrade the status of these workers and enable them enjoy the benefits and prerogatives entitled to government employees.
“The latest order is the culmination of the government's efforts over the past two years to study the issues of the employees working on a temporary basis,” a source told Arab News.
“King Abdullah is keen on the wellbeing of the citizens. Several committees have been set up to study and solve the issues of temporary workers. However, this final order has come at the right moment,” the source said.
A temporary Saudi worker in a municipal project said he would soon get married and raise a family.
“I believe that the latest royal order guarantees a dignified life for me and many others like me because we will be getting a fixed and decent salary with all other perks accompanying a permanent job. We will also be eligible for bank loans and pensions.”
The new order will not only strengthen the various government departments but also boost the economy. Sayyed Al-Imam, a businessman, said: “The royal gesture will encourage the beneficiaries to work hard and change their attitude toward work,” he said.
It will also enable the beneficiaries to purchase cars or homes and furniture on installment and apply for bank loans. “This will definitely have a good impact on economy.”
Khaled Al-Harbi described the king’s order as a big morale booster for the temporary employees, including teachers and municipality workers. “I am sure that it would encourage these workers to put more efforts for the development of the country.”
The Shoura Council, meanwhile, congratulated King Abdullah on his safe return to the country after his surgery in the United States and period of convalescence in Morocco.
The Shoura meeting on Sunday, presided over by its Chairman Abdullah Al-Asheikh, was the advisory council’s first session after the king’s return on Wednesday. In statement issued following the session, the council said the spirit of joy and enthusiasm shown by the people over the safe return of the king truly portrayed the love and affection they have for the monarch.
The council commended the king’s gesture unveiling a package of incentives to help citizens in all walks of life, particularly the unemployed youths, to lead a decent life.
While reviewing the annual report of the Human Resources Development Fund, the council said that all young Saudi adults should be given proper vocational training to take up new jobs in the private sector, the council’s Secretary-General Muhammad Al-Ghamdi said after the meeting.
In other decisions, the house approved an agreement between the Kingdom and Japan on avoidance of double taxation. The agreement which includes 30 articles will help Japan to make investments in high-tech projects in the Kingdom with protection for Japanese investors.
— Md Humaidan & Md Rasooldeen contributed to this report.
SYED ZAKIR HUSSAIN Feb 28, 2011 22:22 Report abuse
Expatriates community who are living in this country for decades has nothing to benefit from this?
PETER Feb 28, 2011 23:05 Report abuse
what a leader,what a king.Compliments to the people of Saudi Arabia having such a leader.Here in the West one could get envious. I hope especially the young generation is not only accepting all these goodies, but understand that they got something in advance and that the goverment has to be given back something in return. Hard work, thinking of not only studying and afterwards a goverment job. Youngtsrs you have unique chances in your country. Grip them.
NAVEED Feb 28, 2011 23:17 Report abuse
Saudi Govt. should also think about the benefits for Expatriates in the Kingdom. Ikama profession is a big trouble here.... i m working as a software engineer in a compnay with a master degree but my profession is General Labour on Ikama. and i have all the degrees attested from all the authorities. but still i m unable to change that.
ALTAF HYDER Feb 28, 2011 23:20 Report abuse
This is really great gesture! How about some benefits to expat community too who are also contributing for the development of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
MD. RUSSELL TALUKDER Feb 28, 2011 23:43 Report abuse
May Allah grant long life to the benevolent king, who is also the leader of the Muslim Ummah. As the benevolent king has expressed his thanks to everyone both within and beyong the border of Saudi Arabia, I on behalf of the expats working here would like to convey a special gratitude for his well being and long life and would like to open up a suggestion which could eventually earn a huge amount of foreign currencies for his country. I humbly suggest that Saudi Arabia strongly consider joint investment in the the garments sector, in the newly emerging ship breaking industry, in the just sector and in the leather industry sector in Bangladesh, as labour cost and raw materials are highly cheap and foreign investment rules are very friendly in this country.
MOHAMMAD FARHAN Mar 1, 2011 00:03 Report abuse
Asalamoalakum. Warm welcome to HRH King Abdullah and Best wishes for him. GOD bless him with good health and long life. Our prayes for HRH King Abdullah. We feel very good that HRH is helping saudi citizens and solving their problems. We also request through this newspaper HRH King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz that please please please for GOD SAKE grant permission to only atleast married peoples who has reasonable salaries to bring their wifes in the kingdom without any profession requirement. This kind request is from all married peoples who are getting good salaries but can not bring their families due to profession problems. We are realy suffering and our wifves as well back home. I request to the management of this newspaper that please please please forward my request to the authorities for which you will get reward from GOD Almighty. Thanks a lot if you forward my opinion to authorities. Allah Hafiz
ILYAS Mar 1, 2011 01:21 Report abuse
People should not take this important gesture as a cynical move by the King,but a step in right direction.The government should also keep these reformist agenda moving faster in these fast moving world.They better invest all these natural resources what is blessings from Almighty for the whole of population and not priviledged few.What is beneficial to Arab masses if all these petro-dollars invested in banks and economies of western countries and not in their own young population?
MOHAMMAD ALI Mar 1, 2011 01:24 Report abuse
While it's true that Saudi Government is doing now (may be becuase what is happening to other arab citizens against its governments in the MENA region).. what is good for its people, please remember that EXPATRIATES are also clamoring for even one simple thing...Can you PLEASE do something the Sponsorship System? This Sponsorship of having a IQAMA is a like a CURSED suffered by Expatriates....Lets not be blind about this....
TASNEEM AKHTAR KHAN Mar 1, 2011 01:28 Report abuse
Remember the Expatriates, too. They were the back bone of the Saudi economy. The entire Monarchy was well aware of that. It was just out of fear that the Sauis may revolt like the rest of the Arab world His Majesty King Abdullah was very tactfully briefed about how to deal with the situation. They knew, the expats, still would love to work there under any conditions, like they had been for so many yeara, but the actual problem was the Saudis or the locals who were told The Saudiization would change everything. Let us see how far it goes..
JOE DOKES Mar 1, 2011 01:30 Report abuse
Is that a question or a statement of fact?
ABYKR MUHAMMAD Mar 1, 2011 01:38 Report abuse
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosque, King Abdullah deserves greeting from Kings and Islamic Scholars because of his good intention. He is the man to be greeted. We in Nigeria (Kano) wish him quick recovery. He loves his people and even those who are not his people.