Saudi ministers should innovate and be role models

The Cabinet change and the inclusion of 12 new ministers, appointment of new heads in various government directorates and support for the Saudi people was the talk of society. In fact, it was an acceleration of the ongoing reforms initiated by the late King Abdullah, may God rest his soul.

What was eye catching in the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques King Salman’s reshuffle was the inclusion of new and younger faces in the Cabinet, which has been described as the government of the future.

Leadership is about service and not position. Why should a minister not be in his office by 8:00 a.m.?

Khaled Almaeena

They are entrusted with the task of a meaningful transformation. The world today is moving at a fast pace and we cannot afford to lag behind. We have the financial resources and the human capital. Good governance and quality education can steer the country to greater heights.

Herculean task

Thus the onus on the new appointees is great. After the initial euphoria of their appointment and the flowery words of congratulations from family and friends they now need to reflect upon the Herculean task ahead. And it’s not an easy task, especially for ministers who have a responsibility toward the public.

Education, health and social affairs need innovative solutions to address the many challenges up ahead. This cannot be done overnight. It needs research, dedication and sincere teamwork to influence change. Ministers should lead by example and leave their egos at home. They should have the humility to acknowledge that they don’t know it all. They must acquire the art of listening.

I would like to remind our ministers to begin with a SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity and threat) analyses of their ministries. For ministries should be managed as successful corporations. They should think outside the box, not forget to attract and retain good people, empower women and involve the youth. They should have an advisory board. However the test of having a quality advisory board is not to have to pay for their participation in the board. Only the sincere and the genuine should be included.

Ethics and honesty

Ministers are like chief executive officers (CEOs) of corporations. They need to lead by setting good examples, apply ethics and honesty at work. Leadership is about service and not position. Why should a minister not be in his office by 8:00 a.m.?

There are also many examples to follow, the likes of Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore and Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia. How humble they were and how they catapulted their respective states to progress.

King Salman has pledged progress and development. He himself is a very disciplined and austere person and a role model to follow. Do not disappoint him and the citizens. Commemorate.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on February 1, 2015.


Khaled Almaeena is a veteran Saudi journalist, commentator, businessman and the editor-at-large of the Saudi Gazette. Almaeena has held a broad range of positions in Saudi media for over thirty years, including CEO of a PR firm, Saudi Television news anchor, talk show host, radio announcer, lecturer and journalist. As a journalist, Almaeena has represented Saudi media at Arab summits in Baghdad, Morocco and elsewhere. In 1990, he was one of four journalists to cover the historic resumption of diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Russia. He also traveled to China as part of this diplomatic mission. Almaeena's political and social columns appear regularly in Gulf News, Asharq al-Aswat, al-Eqtisadiah, Arab News, Times of Oman, Asian Age and The China Post. He can be reached at and followed on Twitter: @KhaledAlmaeena

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:44 - GMT 06:44
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