Education, innovation and jobs for youth are the top priorities in His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik’s address to the nation which he delivered after the mourning period of the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said got over
His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik delivered a Royal Speech on February 23, 2020, the text of which reads as follows:
“In the name of the Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
“Our Lord! bestow on us Mercy from Thyself, and dispose of our affair for us in the right way!”
Praise be to the Almighty Allah as truthfully as He deserves. Prayers and peace be upon the best of his beings – our Prophet Muhammed – and upon his hallowed family and companions, and upon those who follow them courteously until the Day of Judgment.
Peace, mercy and blessings be upon you.
Dear honourable citizens,
Our dear nation has lost on January 10 the dearest and finest of its men, the founder of its modern state and renaissance, the man of wisdom and peace, the icon of tolerance and harmony, the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said bin Taimour. May Allah rest him in the abodes of the pious and righteous in Paradise. We can but say what the Almighty Allah has ordered us to say, “To Allah We belong, and to Him we shall return”.
This loss has had a profound impact on our hearts. We have, however, received it with hearts submitted to the will of Allah, with patience and endurance. Over the past weeks, we have followed expressions of your noble sentiments towards the late Sultan. You bid him adieu with prayers, pleadings, and gratitude, while at the same time recalling his great achievements and eternal legacy which will remain a source of national pride for our dear Oman, both now and in the future. They will also continue to inspire the coming generations who will derive meanings of loyalty, self-denial in serving the nation, and preserve its values and gains, as well as ways of safeguarding its security and stability, and contributing to its development and prosperity.
Your manifestations of love and loyalty to the late Sultan, may Allah have mercy on his soul, has had great impact on us, and has strengthened our patience and fortitude. We commend these noble feelings and sincere prayers. We plead to the Almighty Allah to protect you in His divine care.
We also extend our thanks to our brethren leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council and other Arab states, and friendly countries, international and regional organisations, civil society organisations, and different peoples of the world, who have all shared our grief on Oman’s dearest departed soul.
The massive influx of world leaders, delegates of international agencies and organisations reflected a global recognition for the late Sultan’s international status, and the Sultanate’s prominence, which he devoted all his life to achieve.
Loyal people of Oman,
Throughout our country’s glorious history, the world has known Oman as an influential cultural entity, which promoted the region’s growth and prosperity, and security and peace. Generations were keen on taking turns in upholding its banner so that Oman’s message of peace would continue to roam the world, carrying a great heritage and noble goals, building and not demolishing, rapproaching and not distancing. We are committed to sustain this approach, with you and by you, so that we could together perform, with firm will, our cultural role and historic mission.
The past five decades have witnessed a great transformation in building a modern state, establishing advanced infrastructure, all over the country, under the leadership of the architect of modern Oman, the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Bin Taimur, and with the efforts of loyal people of Oman. We would like to voice our appreciation for their endeavours to promote Oman’s prosperity and stature. We will proceed along the path of development and we will continue the blessed renaissance march as the late Sultan wished it to be. Conscious of the immense responsibility, we reaffirm that Oman will always remain our supreme goal, in all actions and pursuits. We call upon all citizens, without exception, to safeguard the gains of the blessed renaissance, and effectively contribute in maintaining the triumphant parade, relying on the Almighty Allah’s assistance and support.
Youth are the wealth of a nation, its inexhaustible resource and the arms that build it. They are its present and future. We will always listen to them, and sense their needs, interests and aspirations which will definitely be accorded the attention that they deserve.
On top of our national priorities is the education sector, with all its types and levels. It will receive full attention, and it will be provided with the supporting environment which motivates research and innovation. We will also provide it with all means of empowerment, since it is the base upon which our children will be able to participate in meeting the requirements of the coming phase of development.
We stand today with firm invincible will on the threshold of a vital stage of development and nation building. It is a stage which you all have participated in drawing out its prospects in Oman 2040 Future Vision, and contributed to devising its economic, social and cultural goals, in a manner that embodies a clear-cut vision, great expectation towards a more prosperous future. We are all aware of the challenges imposed by the current global conditions, and their implications to the region and to us, since we are part of this world, influencing it and are influenced by it.
In order to furnish means of support towards the achievement of our future goals, we are determined to undertake necessary measures to restructure the state’s administrative apparatus, modernising the schema of laws and legislations, work programs and mechanisms, enhancing the values of work, its principles, and espousing and streamlining procedures and performance governance, integrity, accountability to guarantee complete harmony with the requirements and goals of our vision. We will fully revise the work of government companies, with a view to upgrading their performance and efficiency, and enabling them to strongly contribute to the economic system. We will accord attention and provide support to mechanisms of government decision-making, with the goal of developing the supreme national interest.
We will also be committed to directing our financial resources in the most ideal manner which will ensure the reduction of debt and the increase of income. We will direct the government, with all its sectors, to implement a more efficient system of management which places, on top of its priorities, financial balance, economic diversification, the sustainability of the national economy, besides developing all relevant laws and regulations, God willing.
Dear people of Oman,
Our government will follow up progress in various sectors, including small and medium enterprises, and entrepreneurship, particularly those based on innovation, artificial intelligence, and advanced technology. This is in addition to training and enabling youth to benefit from the opportunities made available in this vital sector, so that it could form a cornerstone in the national economy.
We will also accord full attention and support to develop a comprehensive national framework of recruitment, considering it one of the fundamental pillars of the national economy. This necessitates the continuous improvement of employment environment in both public and private sector. Moreover, it requires revising and developing employment systems in the government sector, adopting new employment systems and policies that grant the government the flexibility and the ability that enable it to achieve optimal use of national resources, expertise and competencies, and to accommodate the largest volume of job seekers, enabling them to join the labour market to secure their stability and meet their expectations— thereby rounding up the tasks of development.
Nation building and development are a public responsibility that requires the commitment of all, without exempting any one from their role, in their respective specialties, and within their capabilities. Oman has been founded, and its civilisation has been established through the sacrifices of its people who used their utmost in preserving its dignity and strength, exhibiting their loyalty in performing their national duties and advancing national interests to personal interests. This is what we are resolved to consolidate and protect, so that we could attain the level of development that we aspire for, the prosperity which we will work to realise and the decency that must prevail in all sectors and become firm grounds for all that we will do.
We are proud that the citizens and residents in our dear country live, thanks be to Allah, in the purview of the State of Law and Institutions, a state built on the principles of freedom, indiscrimination, and equal opportunities, a state established on justice and dignity of individuals whose rights and liberties are secured therein, including the freedom of expression that is guaranteed under the Basic Law of the State.
Citizens’ partnership in molding the country’s present and future is a basic pillar of national action where we hope that women will enjoy their rights as guaranteed by law, and that they will work in different fields along with men, in serving their country and society. We reiterate our continuous patronage of these national fundamentals which cannot be compromised.
Dear loyal people of Oman,
The elevation of Oman to the level of your aspirations and expectations in all fields will be the theme of the next stage, with the will of Allah. We will keep our eyes fixed on the supreme interest of our country, furnishing all means of support and empowerment to that effect.
As we vow to the Almighty Allah that we will dedicate our life for Oman and its citizens, to continue its triumphant march and blessed renaissance, we call upon you to vow to Allah to do so. We are absolutely confident in your ability to deal with the requirements of this stage and the stages to come, with necessary clear vision, profound wisdom, solid determination and great sacrifices.
In conclusion, we would like to express our deep thanks and gratitude to all personnel of our armed forces, across all military and security sectors, who shoulder the responsibility of defending this dear homeland and its gains. We reaffirm our care and attention to them, so that these sectors will remain this country’s bulwark that protects this country from end to end. We would like also to commend both the production and service civil sectors which sustain economic activity and provide necessary services to citizens and residents on this benign land. We would also like to extol the private sector’s commendable role in the national development, hoping that this sector will maximise this role. Our full gratitude and appreciation for every hand that participates in building Oman.
As we thank the Almighty Allah for the riches and bounties which he bestowed on us, we pray to Him to help us to bear this great responsibility. We also pray to Allah to grant us success and protect Oman and its loyal people.
Our wishes of peace and blessings to you all.”