Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah on Friday ordered the handout of billions of dollars in benefits to Saudi citizens and created more domestic security jobs in an attempt to insulate the top oil exporter from regional unrest.
The king made a brief statement congratulating Saudis for their loyalty, national unity and facing the enemies of religion before his decrees were read out live on Saudi television.
The benefits range from monthly payouts for the unemployed to building 500,000 new homes and spending on healthcare.
The king sets a minimum wage of 3,000 riyals ($800) a month for all Saudis and orders that all government employees be paid two months-worth of their salaries and that students be granted a two-month payment.
In addition, the king ordered the creation of 60,000 new security jobs within the interior ministry. As well, the king decreed that media must respect clerics or face penalties.
King Abdullah also ordered the setting up of an anti-corruption agency whose head will hold the rank of a minister, state TV reported, citing a royal decree. According to the decree, the new agency will not spare anyone in its battle against corruption.
King Abdullah warned that security forces will "hit" whoever "considers" undermining the kingdom's security and stability, in a speech aired on state-run Al-Ekhbareya television.
"You are the hitting hand against whoever considers undermining the nation's security and stability," King Abdullah said, addressing Saudi security forces.