in the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate
"God's peace, mercy and blessings be upon you. It is my great pleasure to open this annual session of your august Council and welcome you to it. "Exalting God, the Most Gracious, for the graces He has bestowed upon us, we remember His Majesty the late king, the father of our nation, the builder of its glory and founder of this Council, in consonance with the Quranic verse: 'Muslims dispose their affairs by consultation'. *
"Today marks the first day of the new year in the life of that august Council. Recalling the years of sound decisions and constructive projects that your Council carried out to fulfil its mission and contribute to the progress of this nation, we are convinced that you start the new year with the same enthusiasm and determination you have always manifested in shouldering your great responsibilities. We are confident that you shall fulfil at best this noble objective through your wisdom and efficiency in conducting the affairs of this country with a view to enhancing its glory.
It is a happy occasion to meet you and exchange views on projects already completed and others to be implemented in the fields of public reform and construction including all the vital cultural, economic, health, agricultural, and social fields. Such projects shall be implemented according to available facilities and determined priorities. All projects are designed to promote the well-being of the country and raise the standard of living of its people, thus sparing them the humiliation of poverty and the misery of ignorance and disease.
"You share with us the view that reform is an arduous task along a rough
course. Hence, it requires sustainable efforts, vigilance and genuine co-operation among all the people until it bears fruit.
"We shall work seriously to achieve this end, depending on God's help and support, and having full confidence in your honesty and dedication. We are determined to overcome all obstacles impeding our course, God willing. The reform process shall proceed firmly and the construction process shall be set in motion. We are fully confident that we shall achieve our objective as long as we have good intention and dedication to serve the homeland so that it may occupy its rightful place among nations.
"We feel satisfied because we have managed, by God's will, to implement several reform projects in the country. Among such projects was the reform of the Islamic judiciary, having developed a system to ensure the speedy settlement of claims and the establishment of rights in Shari'a courts.
''We have also focused on confirming the Shari'a provisions and promoting sound public morality which are the sound bases for reform in the nation for no achievements can be sustained without a strong basis.
"Necessary measures have been taken to reduce customs duties on the staple commodities of the people to enable each individual to fulfil his needs in food and clothing. Whatever the importance of moral values in the enhancement of a society, material aspects have far-reaching effects on the stability of a nation. Therefore, economic and agricultural projects are also envisaged to achieve this objective.
''We also wish to assure you that we have taken adequate measures to protect innocent people from being unjustly treated and to ensure that no one person shall be punished unless proven guilty. We would like all the people to know that the doors of the government shall remain open at all the times for any complaint against any act of injustice. "We are ready to receive any claimant at any time and listen to his complaint. We would like every citizen to feel that his rights are safeguarded. We shall not tolerate the violation of the dignity of anyone for no one has a hold over another unless it complies with the provisions of the Shari'a. All our subjects are equal whether powerful or weak. It is the duty of each civil servant to speedily resolve the
problems of citizens, in accordance with the Shari'a and the laws, never indulging in procrastination or attempting to humiliate people.
"The last thing we would like to assert is that construction and reform activities can succeed only insofar as the co-operation of each of you is secured. In other words, everyone entrusted with a duty, national or official mandate has to fulfil it to the best of his ability, observing virtue, righteousness and justice. He should be guided by Islamic Shari'a and not by whims and fleeting ambitions. "Right and justice or, in other terms, Shari'a is the sure remedy that purges the hearts from grudges, helps Muslims refrain from committing acts of injustice, unites and purifies the hearts of people. This is the indomitable power that can bring about the glory of the nation, enable our country to be great, strong and prestigious. We urge you to remain, as you have always been, a good example for your fellow citizens by doing righteous deeds and offering honest and dedicated service in the interest of the prosperity of the country and the well-being of the people. "Before concluding my speech, I would like to say how sad 1 am to be leaving this Holy City within a few days, God willing. "1would like to seize this opportunity to express to you our deepest thanks and gratitude for the loyalty and sincere affection you manifested towards me. "I shall always remember our meeting with gratitude and appreciation, andclosely monitor the implementation of the projects which are b eneficial to our great people. I bid you farewell."