Saudi king's speech underwhelms Indonesian lawmakers

King Salman of Saudi Arabia walks beside Indonesian President Joko Widodo after praying at the Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta, Indonesia March 2, 2017.
PHOTO: Reuters

The Saudi king's speech was too short and contained little substance.

Or at least that is the verdict of some Indonesian lawmakers who listened to a two-minute speech delivered by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud at the House of Representatives on Thursday.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdul Aziz (2nd L) waves next to parliament speaker Setyo Novanto (front R) at the parliament in Jakarta on March 2, 2017. 
Saudi Arabia's King Salman called on March 2 for a united fight against terrorism in a speech to Indonesia's parliament during a landmark state visit to the world's most populous Muslim-majority country.Photo: AFP

"His speech failed to provide answers to problems plaguing relations between the two countries such as the haj quota and the welfare of Indonesian migrant workers in Saudi Arabia," Golkar Party lawmaker Firman Soebagyo told The Jakarta Post.

Firman said that King Salman's speech, delivered in Arabic, was not a sufficient response to House Speaker Setya Novanto's speech.

Setya mentioned a number of issues in his speech, including a request for a bigger quota for Indonesian haj pilgrims and clemency for Indonesian migrant workers facing criminal charges in Saudi Arabia.

The king's speech focused on the importance of the two countries standing united against global challenges, particularly terrorism, and working together to achieve world peace.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdul Aziz (centre L) and Indonesia's President Joko Widodo (centre R) attend a meeting with Islamic figures at the presidential palace in Jakarta on March 2, 2017.
Saudi Arabia's King Salman called on March 2 for a united fight against terrorism in a speech to Indonesia's parliament during a landmark state visit to the world's most populous Muslim-majority country.Photo: AFP

"We understand that maybe the king needs to consider a few things before responding to our demands," Firman said.

PDI-P lawmaker Rieke Diah Pitaloka said that the king and Indonesian government should not be focusing only on the haj quota and investment, but also the rights of Indonesian migrant workers.

"We believe that Saudi Arabia, which implements Islamic Law, knows how treat people well and fairly. We want Saudi Arabia to stop all unfair trial practices affecting our migrant workers," Rieke said.

Saudi king visits Indonesia bringing along huge entourage, limos, escalators

  • A Boeing 747 transporting Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz makes its final approach for landing at the Bali International Ngurah Rai Airport in Denpasar on Indonesia's resort island of Bali on March 4, 2017.
  • A motorcade transporting Saudi King Salman leaves following the king's arrival at the Bali International Ngurah Rai Airport in Denpasar.
  • King Salman is staying at luxe resort St. Regis Bali.
  • Amid tight security on Sunday afternoon, the Saudi ruler enjoyed a short time at the beach.
  • The hotel's management has built walkways to the beach and erected bamboo fencing covered in white fabric to provide privacy for the king, despite the beach not being closed.
  • King Salman's staff had booked out the hotel entirely.
  • Saudi King Salman is visiting the Indonesian resort island of Bali from March 4 to 9.
  • The 81-year-old ruler is enjoying the sea breeze, soft white sand and sparkling blue water of Geger Beach, Nusa Dua.
  • Limousines are parked outside a government tourism office in the luxury resort area of Nusa Dua.
  • The king and his large entourage, along with nearly 500 tons of luggage, arrived in Bali on Saturday afternoon.
  • Balinese Hindu local security called "Pecalang" stand guard during a security preparation.
  • A policeman puts a sticker on a police patrol car during their preparation for King Salman's visit.
  • King Salman opted to stay in the hotel, which his staff had booked out entirely.
  • Local authorities have taken steps to increase security at Bali's most popular destinations, such as Uluwatu Temple, Garuda Wisnu Kencana Park and Ubud's famous rice terraces.
  • King Salman decided to spend his holiday in Bali because he likes the sea.
  • The government has taken VVIP security measures to safeguard King Salman in Bali.
  • As many as 2,500 police and Indonesian Military (TNI) personnel have been deployed.
  • Along with two warships and four smaller vessels in Bali waters.
  • King Salman of Saudi Arabia rides in a golf cart driven by Indonesian President Joko Widodo at the presidential palace in Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Saudi Arabia's King Salman stands as he prays at Istiqlal mosque in Jakarta
  • Saudi Arabia's King Salman called for a united fight against terrorism in a speech to Indonesia's parliament during a landmark state visit to the world's most populous Muslim-majority country.
  • King Salman began the first visit by a Saudi monarch to Indonesia in almost 50 years, seeking to strengthen economic ties with the world's most populous Muslim-majority country.
  • The king - who is accompanied by about 1,000 people, including princes and ministers
  • - disembarked from his official plane at a Jakarta airport and was welcomed by President Joko Widodo and a guard of honour.
  • Almost 460 tons of equipment have been flown in for the visit, including Mercedes limousines and escalators for the king to descend from his plane.
  • Most has been transported to the resort island of Bali, where the king will take a holiday after visiting Jakarta.
  • Salman will hold talks later with Widodo at the Indonesian leader's official residence in Bogor outside the capital Jakarta.
  • The king will give a speech to parliament on Thursday.
  • Business deals could be announced, and a series of co-operation memoranda are also set to be signed on issues ranging from security, to health and education during the three-day visit to Jakarta.
  • Indonesia will also seek approval to send more citizens to the annual hajj pilgrimage in western Saudi Arabia, which is home to Islam's holiest sites.
  • Salman kicked off his three-week Asian tour in Malaysia earlier this week, and is also set to visit Japan, China and the Maldives.

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