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Started by Taman Tun, October 19, 2018, 06:52:04 PM

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Taman Tun

I am sure we have all been following this story with interest.  I must confess that I have been taking the Saudi Shilling for the past 3 years, finishing at the end of August.  At the beginning of this year Mohammad bin Salman had his photo on the front page of Arab News pretty well every day whilst announcing the latest reform.  At the time it seemed likely that we would,have lap dancing bars in Olaya Street by the end of the year.  Then in April something dramatic happened.  Allegedly, a toy drone was flown over MbS’s palace.  However, the incident was accompanied by much gunfire and loud explosions...far in excess of anything required to bring down a toy drone.  MbS immediately disappeared from view and was not even mentioned in the media. There were rumors that he had been wounded in an assassination attempt.  It was several months before he surfaced in the media again, and then in a low key manner.  No more reforms were announced and the lap dancing bars now seemed to be an impossibility.  Just before the much heralded start in June of women being permitted to drive, a number of women who had campaigned for driving permission were arrested.  In practice, not much seemed to happen and I only saw one woman driver from June until the end of August.
Maybe, at one stage, MbS had genuine reform in mind.  But, certainly from April onwards any additional reforms have been put on hold.  He either was never interested in genuine reform or he has been reined in by the conservative hardliners. I suspect the latter.

From a personal point of view I found the Saudis I came in contact with to be friendly and hospitable.  Also the Immigration guys at Riyadh Airport are the friendliest I have encountered anywhere.
If the old only could, if the young only knew.


Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

Taman Tun

Part of the fallout has had a bad effect on FII..Future Investment Initiative due to take place in Riyadh next week.  Loads of companies and US & European government officials have cancelled their attendance.  This will be a huge further blow to the King Abdullah Financial Centre (KAFD) in Riyadh.  The Saudis have spent billions building KAFD which resembles Canary Wharf.  The theory was that if they built KAFD the world’s financial community would flock there.  Unfortunately, no-one came and KAFD is a huge white elephant with no occupants.  I did have thoughts as to volunteering my services for the vitalisation of KAFD.. easy really..just make visas easier to get and open a few bars in KAFD.  Fortunately I decided to stick to the day job. 
KAFD even comes in for criticism in the Saudis Vision 2030 document:-  http://vision2030.gov.sa/en  This is effectively a Socialist manifesto for a state planned economy.  Saudi Arabia has a problem at the moment.  For years they have had infinite funds available but following the drop in oil prices things have got much more difficult.  In the past, if they decided to build 20 hospitals in the coming year, they could do it.  But recently they have been limited by funds.  They are not good at prioritizing spending and so they would start the construction of 10 hospitals but not have the money to complete any of them.  10 unfinished hospitals are no use at all, whereas 5 completed hospitals would have been much more use.  The Saudis recognize the problem and there are currently a load of Western consultancy firms (the usual suspects) in Riyadh helping Government ministries to prioritize their spending.  So, in the future, if they decide to build 15 tractor factories in the coming year they should be able to complete all 15.

Here is Vision 2030 extract for KAFD

A restructured King Abdullah Financial District‏

In the last decade, works started at the King Abdullah Financial District, without consideration of its economic feasibility. The objective was to prepare the land in order to allow the business and financial communities to invest and build real estate. When this objective was not reached, the government decided back then to develop and rent the real estate. Challenges were deepened by the development of the real estate project in one single phase, which caused a significant increase in construction costs and several delays in delivery. This resulted in large oversupply of commercial space for the years to come. Without any dramatic shift in direction, renting the three million square meters of built-up areas at reasonable prices, or even achieving decent occupancy rates, will be very challenging. With this in mind, we have reviewed the economic feasibility of and designed a new fundamental strategy for the district in order to increase the chances of profitability and success. We will seek to transform the district into a special zone that has competitive regulations and procedures, with visa exemptions, and directly connected to the King Khaled International Airport. We will also seek to repurpose some of the built-up areas and change the real estate mix, increasing the allocation for residential accommodation, services and hospitality areas. We will seek to build and create an integrated and attractive living and working environment. The district will be the headquarters of the Public Investment Fund, the largest sovereign wealth fund, which will contribute to creating an environment attractive to financial, investment and other corporations.

If the old only could, if the young only knew.

Taman Tun

Finally, the truth of the matter.  Well, the story is in Arab News so it must be true, innit?  I think MbS will be lucky to survive the fallout.

If the old only could, if the young only knew.


Yes he's dead but we need one month to tell you what happened

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

Taman Tun

Latest update on the truth from Arab News.  Senior people i.e. MbS definitely not involved!

If the old only could, if the young only knew.


The report stated According to the Saudi official’s reports to Reuters, primary findings showed that the death was a result of choking during at attempt to stop Khashoggi from raising his voice. is it natural to kill someone raising their voice. :-[

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.



Video only available on youtube  www.youtube.com/watch?v=0S-DeMUMemY

Saudis: Khashoggi murder 'huge mistake'; body missing

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Sunday the kingdom did not know where the body of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi was, despite admitting to the killing and calling it a "tremendous mistake."

Speaking in an interview on Fox News Channel, Jubeir said the Saudi leadership initially believed Khashoggi had left its diplomatic mission in Istanbul, where he was last seen on Oct 2.

But following "reports we were getting from Turkey," Saudi authorities began an investigation, which discovered "he was killed in the consulate."

"We don't know, in terms of details, how. We don't know where the body is," Jubeir said, adding that the Saudi public prosecutor had ordered the detention of 18 individuals, "the first step in a long journey."

He extended his condolences to the family of the slain journalist.

"We can feel their pain and we wish this didn't happen and I wish that this could have been avoided," he said.

He termed the killing a "tremendous mistake" but one which the US-Saudi relationship would eventually overcome.

"The individuals who did this, did this outside the scope of their authority. There obviously was a tremendous mistake made, and what compounded the mistake was the attempt to try to cover up," Jubeir said.

"That is unacceptable in any government. These things unfortunately happen. We want to make sure that those who are responsible are punished, and we want to make sure we have procedures in place to prevent it from happening again

Jubeir insisted, however, that the operation was not ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, despite reports tying some suspects to members of the de facto ruler's security detail.

"This was an operation that was a rogue operation, this was an operation where individuals ended up exceeding their authorities and responsibilities they had; they made a mistake when they killed Jamal Khashoggi in the consulate and they tried to cover up for it," he said.

A growing chorus of US lawmakers including several from President Donald Trump's Republican Party have criticised the Saudi leadership over the affair, but Jubeir was confident the US-Saudi relationship would survive the crisis.

"The strategic relationship is important for both countries," he said. "I believe when the investigation is over and the facts are revealed, people know who is responsible and see those individuals punished, that the relationship will weather this."

He added that Saudi King Salman was "determined to see this investigation through, determined to ascertain the facts, determined to hold those responsible accountable and determined to put in place policies and procedures in the security services to prevent something like this from ever happening again."


can this be true Fingers Cut Off While Still Alive

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


who is going to part with the evidence if they have any, as with an oil rich nation, must be worth a lot of money as a bargaining tool
interesting to see how it all ends
ignorance does not help your post one bit but it probably says an awful lot about you.


Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Sons of murdered Saudi journalist Khashoggi say 'forgive' killers

The sons of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi said Friday they "forgive" the killers of their father, an announcement analysts said effectively grants clemency to five convicted people on death row.

Khashoggi -- a royal family insider turned critic -- was killed and dismembered at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul in October 2018, in a case that tarnished the reputation of de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

His family's pardon could spare the lives of five unnamed people sentenced to death over the murder in a December court ruling that exonerated two top aides to the crown prince.

"On this holy night of this blessed month (of Ramadan)... we the sons of martyr Jamal Khashoggi announce we forgive and pardon those who killed our father," the Washington Post columnist's son Salah Khashoggi said on Twitter.

full article afp.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Khashoggi killer's death sentences overturned
A Saudi court has overruled five death sentences in a final ruling over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Eight defendants were convicted of the murder, with five handed a 20-year sentence and the remaining three given seven to 10 years imprisonment.

Khashoggi's sons pardoned the killers and spared the lives of the five given death sentences in May. Khashoggi's body was never found after he went missing in October 2018 while visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

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