Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Opinion

The world needs leaders like His Majesty Sultan Haitham

Listening attentively to his people and then acting on that advice quickly and with commitment are the signs of a great leader. The world needs leaders like His Majesty who care about his people.

By Nishad Padiyarath

info@thearabianstories.com

Thursday, November 18, 2021

We are living in the most challenging era and the coronavirus pandemic is the largest test for every leader on this planet. We have seen leaders react in his or her own style and history will judge them based on the results on how they protected their people. 

I grew-up in Oman and have spent my entire life in this part of the planet. I am a witness to its amazing progress under the guidance of the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said. The COVID-19 was a testing time for every human being living in this beautiful country but not just once we felt insecure because we have a leader in His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik who listens to his people, cares for them and ensure they remain safe under his wise leadership. His Majesty’s strategy on fighting Covid has been clear and consistent which is also working remarkably well.   

I said this before and I continue to believe that the extraordinary leadership that His Majesty has provided not just to Oman, but to the world, has helped us navigate through some very difficult times.

And I can tell you that, when His Majesty speaks people listen, particularly because of his deep knowledge of economic issues. According to a recent report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Oman is set to recover in 2021 from the dual impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the collapse in oil prices last year. The economy is projected to grow by 2.5 per cent after a contraction of 2.8 per cent in 2020. “The economy is set to recover in 2021, with non-hydrocarbon GDP growth of 1.5 per cent as vaccine roll-out gradually restores domestic activity along with the recovery of external demand,” the IMF said. “Oil production is projected to increase after the current Opec+ agreement expires in April 2022.” IMF added.

The government has adopted various fiscal measures over the past year to support economy during the pandemic, including interest-free emergency loans, tax and fee reductions and waivers, the flexibility to pay taxes in instalments and a Job Security Fund to support citizens who lost their jobs. According to His Excellency Dr. Said Al Saqri, the Minister of Economy, the economic policies and measures implemented by the government have begun to bear fruit in improving the financial performance. 

“The country’s economy is expected to grow by about 5.8% in 2022,” Al Saqri said. 

 “We will continue to record growth rates during the years of the tenth five-year plan,” the Minister said. To me, this is the nation that has written success stories in five decades, not just in terms of infrastructure but also as a modern state that is capable of mediating in many regional issues by adopting a moderate foreign policy, which is not that simple to achieve. 

Listening attentively to his people and then acting on that advice quickly and with commitment are the signs of a great leader. At the local level, His Majesty has been closely following the issues of people on a day-to-day basis. When fuel prices touched all-time high in November, His Majesty quickly issued a decision to put a cap on the rates until the end of 2022. 

His Majesty also ordered the promotion of deserving public sector employees starting next year. According to the Ministry of Labour, some 28,000 employees will benefit from the scheme. The world needs leaders like His Majesty who cares about his people. His Majesty talks about a country not just for his citizens but also stands with the expat residents too. His constant engagement with the world, thoughtfulness, and willingness to hear the perspective of others, in my mind, is a reflection of a true leader. As the Late Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the former Emir of Kuwait famously said: “Oman is safe in the hands of His Majesty Sultan Haitham.” Yes indeed, we are blessed to have His Majesty Sultan Haitham as our leader. 

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