More money was promised to Saudis today, following an address by King Abdulla to the nation. In a short address, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques thanked clerics, writers and the Ministry of Interior for their efforts in defending the kingdom. Following that, a series of royal decrees were read by an announcer,outlining how billions of dollars would be spent to provide better housing, jobs and health care to Saudis. An anti-corruption committee would also be formed; Saudi workers would benefit from a minimum wage; and military and police officers would get the promotions they deserve.
The speech drew a lot of attention from netizens, before, during and after it was read. On Twitter, the hashtag #sakingspeech became a worldwide trending topic.
The speech comes following calls, and small protests, for reforms in the Kingdom, where clergymen earlier urged Saudis not to ride the protest wave engulfing the region as such protests in Saudi Arabia were against religion. Coincidently, one of the royal decrees issued today was the setting up of a new religious body to handle fatwas (religious edicts).
Here are some of the reactions to the Saudi monarch's speech and decrees from Twitter:
@khalidalkhalifa: HM King Abdalla of Saudi Arabia will be speaking shortly on Saudi TV .. World pay attention
@sultanalqassemi: Saudi King thanks the clerics, writers & the ministry of interior forces for their efforts in defending the kingdom.
@SultanAlQassemi: The royal thanks & praise to the Islamic clerics took more than one minute #Saudi
@afaliq: If I had to summarize the kings speech in five words “thank you – here's more money” #SAkingspeech
@jenanmoussa: #Saudi king speaks about new orders. 2000 saudi riyals wll be given monthly to unemployed people. #KSA
@docshayji: King Abdudllah of #KSA has issued decress which includes:2 months salary allawance to all Saudi employees &students.2000SR for all uneployed
@Matthias_Sailer: #Saudi King orders a series of financial benefits to its citizens: bonus payments, higher minim. salary, etc. via SultanAlQassemi #KSA #Gulf
@Saudiwoman: 16billion to health ministry to build cancer units and other specialized units, clinics and housing for major hospitals
@schaefdogschaef: SAUDI KING DECREES BUILDOUT OF 500,000 HOUSING UNITS…still cheap to stay in power!!
@AnasAlaoui: “Saudi King Order 7- anti-corruption organization established linked directly to the King, no one is excluded at all from its investigation”
@bagadood: 8th Royal Decree: increase the assistance for private hospitals to 200 million SAR #SAKingSpeech #SaudiMataleb
@Redbelt: In my opinion, the minimum wage decree for saudis is very bad in the long run. #ksa
@bagadood: 10th Royal Decree: A Step to promote all military & police officers who deserve a promotion #SAKingSpeech #SaudiMataleb
@alnitak250: #Saudi King offering lots of money/economic benefits but so far no real democratic reforms
@mahmoodali1: #Saudi king could've TWEETED his speech in just 140 characters! #lol #ksa #Bahrain #GCC
@beleidy: So the Saudi King speaks for minutes, and then gives the people more money and jobs
@alhefzi: #SAKingSpeech, where in the hell were ALL THIS AMOUNT OF MONEY!?!?!?! =) =)
@SBassam: So far, no major orders from the King. I'm still hopeful though!! #Saudi
@Nuha_Nofal: We're gonna run out of money! woooo #SAKingSpeech
@YazzNafjan: #SAKingSpeech is a trending topic, second time in a week a saudi thing is trending. #Awesome
Twitter user Aziz Shalan provides an image of the trend: