My comments on reforms introduced by King Abdullah
By SIRAJ WAHAB | ARAB NEWS
Published: Jun 8, 2010
King Abdullah leads way toward a bright future, say EP citizens
Writer and researcher Abdullah Al-Alami said the most significant developments in the past five years have been the social, economic and administrative reforms the king introduced on Feb. 14, 2009. “King Abdullah’s policies played an important role in developing education in the country,” he said.
According to Al-Alami, who is a dedicated watcher of Saudi media, there have been slow but noticeable changes in reporting and analyzing the news on local radio and television. “However, local press has not moved forward although King Abdullah invited intellectuals to provide their points of view freely and with little restriction,” he said, noting that the minister of culture and information has been instrumental in implementing the king’s plans to reform the local media so that it would reflect the message of peace, tolerance and moderation.
Al-Alami also shared his view of the Saudi public’s response to the many changes and reforms. “Please remember that King Abdullah was assisting the late King Fahd before he actually took over,” Al-Alami said. “As such, people were ready for the changes when he formally took over. In certain areas, the king has exceeded people’s expectations.”
Despite all the changes, to those outside Saudi Arabia, the pace of change in the Kingdom seems glacial, but King Abdullah has made change a constant within the Kingdom. “With everything being relative, the outside world may not realize the extent of the pace of change in the Kingdom,” Al-Alami said. “There is no doubt that we still have a long way to go — especially in the areas of human rights, judicial standards and women’s participation.”