H.M Sultan Qaboos Presides over Annual Session of Council of Oman 2012
Muscat, Nov 12: His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said presided at the new building of the Council of Oman in Muscat today over the annual session of the 5th term of the Council of Oman for 2012.
His Majesty the Sultan also presided over the opening of the new building of the Council of Oman, which is situated in Al Bustan area in Muscat. The new building comprises of three main buildings, namely the Council of Oman, the State Council and the Majlis A'Shura, in addition to other utilities.
Upon the arrival of His Majesty the Sultan to the yard of the Council of Oman's building, His Majesty ascended the main dais; the Royal Anthem was played while the artillery fired a twenty-one gun salute to His Majesty. Then, the Sultan of the country headed to the entrance of the Council of Oman's Hall.
His Majesty the Sultan was received by Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud al-Said, Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers, Sayyid Khalid bin Hilal al-Busaidi, Minister of the Diwan of Royal Court, Gen. Sultan bin Mohammed al-Nu'amani, Minister of the Royal Office, Dr. Yahya bin Mahfoud al-Manthri, Chairman of the State Council, Khalid bin Hilal al-Ma'awali, Chairman of the Majlis A'Shura, Nasr bin Hamoud al-Kindi, Secretary General of the Royal Court Affairs, Eng. Mohsen bin Ali al-Sheikh, Adviser at the Diwan of Royal Court, Eng. Hamoud bin Mohammed al-Mahrouqi, Head of the Royal Installations and Eng. Khalid bin Mohammed al-Balushi, Deputy Head of the Royal Installations and Director of the Building Project of the Council of Oman.
Then, His Majesty, the Monarch of the country cut the ribbon and unveiled the curtain of the plaque of the new building of the Council of Oman, declaring its official opening. Then, verses from the Holy Qur'an were recited.
His Majesty the Sultan delivered a Royal Speech while presiding over the annual session of the Council of Oman.
The text reads as follows:
"In the name of the God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Praise be to the Almighty God Who guided us to the path of righteousness and prayers and peace be upon His Messenger who called for the application of Shura as an authentic system of governance, as well his honorable family and his virtuous companions, day and night.
Honorable Members of the Council of Oman..
It is one of the bounties of the Almighty God that we are meeting you on this occasion and thanks to Him for the riches He has bestowed on us. We pray to the Almighty to bestow more bounties on Oman and to guide its people to the fulfillment of their aspirations and their progress. Thank the Almighty for His endless riches and He shall reward you with more bounties and blessings and protect you with His divine care.
Honorable Members of the Council of Oman ..
The experience of Shura in Oman, as we have always stressed, is a successful one and it has been closely in harmony with the stages of the Renaissance and compatible with the values of society and its principles, besides being in line with the concept of grooming enlightened individuals who are well aware of their rights and duties and are capable of expressing their opinions and their ideas in acceptable language, sensible logic and a prudent vision based on proper assessment of matters.
Omanis have, throughout the past stage, proved that they command a good sense of awareness, culture, insight and understanding when dealing with various opinions, types of dialogue and discussions, which target the supreme interests of this country and its loyal citizens. We are confident that this awareness will increase and this culture will grow and take strong roots through the role assigned to you, Members of the Council of Oman, through the exchange of views and ideas, stemming from a wise tradition that became evident and shall continue to crystallize as you tackle different issues in a deep, elaborate manner of analysis and investigation.
We hope that this great edifice, which we have opened in the name of God, will witness a constructive discussion of matters and a wise tackling of issues; a discussion through which it becomes clear to anyone who observes this experience, locally and abroad, that Omanis are highly capable of participating with their enlightened opinion and mature thought in making decisions to serve their country and promote it to a prominent place and a noble status.
This is no challenge to the people of Oman, a country whose glorious past stands as witness and whose brilliant present serves as an incentive to look forward to wider horizons of progress and prosperity.
Honorable Members of the Council of Oman ..
Dear Citizens ..
You definitely know that Oman was once in great need of development in all fields and you understand that, in order to achieve the goal of human and social development in all areas of the Sultanate, it has been necessary to establish solid infrastructure on which the development plans and programmes will be based. This is particularly true in the fields of education, health, training and employment. Without infrastructure, human and social development would not have reached the population in cities, towns, villages, plains and mountains, and in the deep valleys and the vast deserts.
The past plans of development, despite the widespread area of Oman and its harsh geographical terrain, have gone a long way, and this has led to the transformation of life in this country and facilitated the implementation of development programmes - both social and human. It has helped extend services of all types to citizens wherever they are. You know that the need for infrastructure will never cease to be a necessity because it is an ongoing process necessitated by urban expansion and social and economic development and reaffirmed by the people's need for communication and aspirations for a better, happier life.
Therefore, infrastructure development always gains attention in all stages of growth and nation building, and without exception. Infrastructure gains extreme importance and is accorded top priority in some of these stages due to special circumstances and specific considerations that call for such action. Therefore, what some people often deem as more emphasis on infrastructure than human or social development in the past stages of development is not accurate, as such a view ignores the truth, the conditions that prevailed at that time and the priorities made necessary by the situation there and then. That view also ignores the tremendous attention, which was similarly accorded to the areas of education, health, commerce, industry, agriculture, finance and the economy at large.
So the attention accorded to these areas aim at the provision of a dignified life for the citizen, who, as we have always affirmed, is both the target of the comprehensive development and its effective tool.
As we mentioned in our speech last year and, as the necessary basic infrastructure is about to be completed, we have instructed our government to focus, in its future plans, on social development, particularly its aspects related to the daily lives of citizens. This should be achieved by the creation of renewable employment opportunities and training programmes for citizens and promoting production capacity, as well as scientific, cultural and intellectual development. We will closely follow the steps taken in this field. This matter shall also be the focus of attention of the Supreme Council for Planning, which seeks to draft well-studied development plans that take into account the priorities of each stage and the balance between various aspects of development towards attaining the overall goal.
It is pleasing and rewarding to see that Oman is progressing in balanced steps in the direction, which we regard as the right direction. We pray to the Almighty to bless us with more success for the sake of Oman and its loyal citizens
Honorable Members of the Council of Oman ..
Dear Citizens ..
The private sector is one of the basic pillars of development, both in the economic concept, which represents commerce, industry, agriculture, tourism, finance and the economy in general, as well as the social concept, which denotes human resources development, training, the upgrading of scientific and practical skills, the offering of new employment opportunities and incentives to take up jobs in the private sector.
It is not acceptable that some citizens adopt the impression that the private sector relies on what the state offers to it, and that this sector does not contribute efficiently to the service of the society and support of its social institutions and programmes, or that the private sector seeks only to achieve profit or does not try to work more seriously in serving its society, environment and its country.
Such an impression would harm, not only the future of the private sector, but would also have a negative impact, which will extend to the development plans in the country, particularly to the diversification of income. Therefore, the private sector is required to work harder to eliminate this impression and to take well-studied and efficient practical steps, through increasing its contribution to social development and to work in closer partnership with the government in implementing its policies, hand-in-hand with civil society institutions, which offer social and humanitarian services.
Such a positive attitude is capable of enhancing the confidence of citizens and their appreciation of the private sector's role. It will encourage Omani youth to work in this sector and to continue to keep their jobs and instil a spirit of belonging to the sector's institutions. This will in turn reflect positively on the performance of youth, their commitment to the ethics of work and will contribute to productivity. Therefore, the private sector will be an authentic partner in employment and development plans that are prepared by government departments and from which the private sector itself benefits and which will be a strong impetus for the development of the private sector's potential and release its great energy in the fields of local, regional and international competition.
A word, which we wish to address to Omani youth on this occasion: Remember that work, as much as it is a right, it is a duty as well. Everyone who has completed their education or training has to take up any useful profession which fulfils their sense of being and through which they can strive to achieve their ambitions, rather than wait to get a government job. The state, with all its civil, security and military institutions, cannot continue to be the main source of employment, as this calls for a capacity beyond its reach and a mission that the state cannot sustain forever. The citizens have to understand that the private sector is the real source of employment in the long run. Hence they should not hesitate to join the private sector and must not desert their jobs therein. This, in turn, calls for a revision of the salary system of the private sector, particularly in low and medium-paid jobs.
This has to be considered a national mission, which has to be accomplished in allegiance to this country; it should also be considered a service to citizens who place their confidence, their efforts and their mental ability in serving the sector.