King Abdullah had removed Abdullah al Rabeeah (left), now health minister Ahmed al-Khatib (right) has been sacked by King Salman bin Abdulaziz
By World News Report Bureau
In a surprise development Saudi health minister Ahmed al-Khatib was suddenly relieved of his duties and Minister of State Dr. Mohammed Al-Sheikh appointed as the acting health minister reportedly on the orders of King Salman bin Abdulaziz.
Summary dismissal of ministers and high ranking officials seems to be part of King Salman’s style. A few months ago he had sacked Prince Khaled bin Bandar as deputy defense minister within one and a half months of appointing him on the job.
Recently King Salman bin Abdulaziz sacked Shuwaish Al Duwaihias as Minister of Housing and appointed Essam bin Saeed instead because of lack of speed in resolving the housing shortage in the country
Besides Prince Khaled bin Bandar, who was the head of Saudi intelligence, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the secretary-general of the Saudi National Security Council, Prince Mansour bin Mitab bin Abdulaziz and Prince Turki were suddenly sacked.
Probably King Salman wants to send a message to all his Ministers and officials that inefficiency and disloyalty will not be tolerated.
Forty Nine year old Dr Al-Sheikh holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Shariah law and worked in the World Bank before returning to the Kingdom where he was engaged as a legal consultant.
Meanwhile there seems to be a jinx associated with the health minister’s post. Significantly a day after he told a news conference he had no idea why Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus, or MERS, was spreading King Abdullah had removed Abdullah al Rabeeah.