Saudi Arabia's New Blood: New Vitality, Speed And Intensity In Saudi Arabia's Decision-making
07 February 2015
By Mshari Al-Zaydi
In a vitally important and effective step, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz has
brought in new blood to Saudi Arabia's government and ministries.
This represents a comprehensive and formidable government, combining the
vitality of youth and the wisdom of age. This government includes ministers
in their thirties, including the new ministers of justice, culture and
information. What we are witnessing is the entry of new names into Saudi
Arabia's government, individuals who come from various backgrounds including
banking and the private sector.
King Salman Bin Abdulaziz began his reign by giving his people an important
gift by awarding a bonus of two months' salary for all government employees,
students and pensioners—serving as both a financial and morale boost.
King Salman did not forget Saudi Arabia's cultural, professional and sporting
clubs and societies, in total gifting hundreds of millions of riyals as part
of a goodwill gesture on his ascension to the throne. The Saudi King even
offered a total of 34 million riyals to provide free water and electricity
services to citizens.
However, in my view, the establishment of two new governing councils to
oversee and assist with government work is far more important than these
financial provisions. King Salman ordered the establishment of the Council
for Political and Security Affairs, and the Council for Economic and
Development Affairs, which represent a big step forward in Saudi state
These two new councils will see an increased focus and effort in state
administration, securing coordination and cooperation between different
ministries and government agencies on various issues and easing the burden on
the King and Crown Prince.
This new administration system has led to the cancelling of many old
mechanisms and apparatus in terms of Saudi Arabia's political affairs,
education system and public services. We are seeing government services being
streamlined according to either political or economic specifications.
Security, of course, will come under politics, while development will fall
This new vitality, speed and intensity in Saudi Arabia's decision-making,
which will affect every aspect and dimension of the state, is evidence of the
Kingdom's ability to renew and develop itself. This renewal and regeneration
is something that sometimes takes place gradually, and at other times
quickly, based on need. Therefore, what we are now seeing is a vital state
that is open to change and development. Just as we saw a smooth transition of
rule to a new generation of the House of Saud, we have seen a transition to a
new generation of Saudi Arabia's political elite. This is, no doubt, a good
and reassuring message to a troubled world.
A Saudi journalist
and expert on Islamic movements and Islamic fundamentalism as well as Saudi
affairs. Mshari is Asharq Al-Awsat's opinion page Editor, where he also
contributes a weekly column. Has worked for the local Saudi press occupying
several posts at Al -Madina newspaper amongst others. He has been a guest on
numerous news and current affairs programs as an expert on Islamic.