King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has piled up 14 traffic fines of more than Dh7,700 in his Gulf kingdom and most of them involved speeding.
A Saudi man trying to settle his traffic fines at a payment machine at the kingdom’s traffic police was shocked to see the 14 fines were in the name of King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz when he pressed the wrong number.
Instead of resetting the machine to log on his traffic fines account, Abdullah Duweihan decided to pay all the fines for the Monarch.
Local newspapers said King Abdullah, in his 80s, had committed 14 traffic fines worth SR7,800 (Dh7,725) and most of them involved speed, shot by Saher speed camera system, which was introduced by the world’s oil superpower two years ago in a bid to curb reckless driving.
“When I saw the King’s name, I had a mixed feeling of fear, amazement and happiness…I thought for a while and then decided to pay all the fines for His Majesty,” Abdullah said on the Saudi Khaleejia television, which broadcast a 4.5-minute U-Tube film showing the King’s traffic fines paid by Abdullah.
“I am very delighted to have done this…and I want to say that these fines clearly demonstrate the strong democratic nature of the Monarch…I mean that the law is above all and anything which applies to the people also applies to the Monarch…that is why he is beloved by all.”
Watching football may be prohibited: scholars
Two prominent Saudi Islamic scholars hit out at football players for what they described their bad behaviour during matches and one warned that such practices could lead to the prohibition of attending matches.
“The spread of such acts at play fields is a clear indicator of a decline in moral values and the transformation of sport from fair competition into bigotry,” said Sheikh Abdullah bin Suleiman Al Manei, a member of the Gulf kingdom’s seven-man supreme scholars committee.
“The continuation of these bad phenomena which pose a threat to the ethical values of our sons makes the attendance of these matches a hateful thing. This means that going to these matches could become prohibited because what is happening there has a strong negative impact on the society.”
Al Manei, also an advisor at the Saudi royal court, told Alsharq daily that such a behaviour by the players is “haram” (prohibited).
“This is because swearing by Allah (God) falsely as well as fighting, abuses, swearing and other prohibited practices have all turned the playfields into a harmful and bad environment which threatens the youth attending matches.”
Another member of the supreme committee slammed football players who try to deceive the referee to get a penalty for their team.
“These are acts of deception, which is hated and forbidden in Islam…..the sin becomes worse when the player swears by Allah falsely…players should refrain from such wrong acts as they have become a bad example for the young generation,” said Sheikh Abdullah Al Mutlaq.