He’s off again…

15 Feb, '06

Shaikh Khalifa talking to reporters on board

This is the prime minister of Bahrain, HE Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa, on-board the Royal Plane en-route to Turkeya on a state visit which started yesterday.

Two things come to mind seeing this picture:

1. He’s been spending a lot of time abroad over the last year… what gives?
2. Does he have a new PR adviser? This is the first picture of its kind of showing him (a) in a “good” light, (b) doing some work even in the air, (c) a-la US presidential airplane style with journalists, and (d) they seem to be avidly listening to whatever he’s saying.

Confused.

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Comments (22)

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  1. anonymous says:

    Re: He’s off again…

    Wow.. Let’s see.. No I didn’t sit with the prime minister, but I know many who did.. So don’t give me all the facts crap.. If you want facts, go around and ask the Bahraini Nationals and you’ll hear it all.. I really doubt that will be the case with you, since it is pretty obvious that you are either related to him, or hold strong ties with him.. Good for you though.. Maybe some day I can suck up to him and become his bitch too!

    Just so you know, I have nothing against the AlKhalifa rule! I very much admire our King and Crown Prince.. They have been loyal to us, and proved it with their policies.. The corrupt Gov’t officials are the ones that piss me off.. So, whether you like it or not, I stick with what I say!

    AHMED

  2. anonymous says:

    Re(1): He’s off again…

    I don’t care how smart the guy is.. He is corrupt! He has abused his authority by forcing people into business dealings that work to his advantage. In most cases, he doesn’t even end up paying anything! He obtains shares in huge projects by imposing himself on others, not giving anyone the chance to deny him ownership! So, you can sit with him all you want and drink some coffee while your at it too.. Fact remains, he is disliked by the majority of Bahrainis!

    Now, do me a favor AbuRasool, and invite him over to the UK! PLEASE, on behalf of all the Bahrainis.. Keep him with you!

  3. anonymous says:

    Re: He’s off again…

    Hey Bug, you bring up some good points

    Khalifa Bin Salman has power, which a lot of people dream of having and that makes him the center of attention. – True!

    People who tend to judge him by the rumours that they hear about him dont realise that it is the system that they have in Bahrain, which creates people like him. – We do have a messed up political system in Bahrain, but our King and Crown Prince are definitely working hard to turn that around.. You are also right that power corrupts people, and this might be the case with him. But there have been many who used their authority to help their people, and not grab everything they set their eyes on! And NO, these aren’t just rumors! I’m sorry but I know many as FACTS, which I have heard and seen for myself!

    Have they ever thought that when Khalifa Bin Salman dies that the next PM will be exactly like him; that is because he has power and no body can question him. Nevertheless, he has been a good dictator he has made sure that Bahrain became an ally of the west and has also brought a lot of foreign investment to Bahrain. – Maybe the minister of transportation will follow his lead if he were to become PM after him.. But Many other Gov’t Officials have a very good reputation! Namely, Shaikh Mubarak Al-Khalifa, Vice Premier, is one who is very open-minded and doesn’t abuse his authority for his own self-interest! Also, Shaikh Mohammed Al-Khalifa, Chief Executive of EDB, is known for his down to earth and friendly personality. I can name many others, but I think you get my point. One last thing, although he did attract foreign investments, the negatives very much outweigh the positives! So please, don’t call him good! Although the term dictator does suit him pretty well!

    Ahmed

  4. anonymous says:

    He’s off again…

    Bahrainis dislike him because he embodies the worst excesses of an unelected and unaccountable ruling class. Commonly referred to as “Mr. Ten Percent”, he has been rumored to have a finger in every pie ever baked on the island. Allegedly, very few of them has he earned through direct investment. If he had become wealthy through his own enterprise or his own dealings, independent of his public office, no one would begrudge him that. However it is quite impossible to see that his share of ownership in Bahrain’s economy comes except as a result of peddling influence. Is it true that he has insisted on being a part of every major deal in Bahrain? Probably. If that’s the cost of doing business, then that’s for Bahrain’s business community and its consumers to decide on dealing with. What’s more pressing is the manner in which he has benefitted himself on the citizens dime. And what I have heard from those who have to deal with his office (not too far from Mahmood’s) is that he sees little difference between his personal budget and that of the Bahraini people’s. Goods and services billed to one, somehow reappear in the possession of the other. And you can guess which is dedicated to the highest quality items and which one to the cheap knock-offs. But since today’s parliament can’t or won’t look into his finances the way that the 1973 body dared to, no one will ever know and this is all heresay.

    See you in the Rub Al-Khali!

  5. anonymous says:

    He’s off again…

    It is obvious that ever since Bahrain implemented the constitution and formed a parliamentary body, our beloved Prime Minister has been seen travelling much more as if to represent us for our best interest. For the first time in his infinite years as PM, he has also been meeting up with the locals and talking issues over with them to show that he, like our King and Crown Prince who I believe have very pure and positive intentions, is one who loves his country and his people and serves their best interest. Every single Bahraini National (poor or rich) knows of his extremely corrupt ways of enforcing his authority on others in order to obtain more and more wealth as to satisfy his sick greed, in which figures estimate that he is well worth over $10-$15 billion, although I think it’s much more than that! Let him travel.. For all I care, it is one more day without him. I hope he seeks permenant residence in Turkey and Gives Us All A Break.

    How sad it is that one person in power can disrupt the progress of an entire Nation!

    Ahmed

  6. anonymous says:

    Re: He’s off again…

    Very well put! Many also call him “Mr. Fifty Percent”, and I agree with them! Although no one will really know about his finances, everyone will always know of his extreme corruption!

  7. anonymous says:

    Re(1): He’s off again…

    For the past nine years we have been praying for a visit by the PM to the UK. We continue to pray and hope. Light a candle Ahmed, and join our prayers PLEASE 😉
    AbuRasool

  8. anonymous says:

    Re(2): He’s off again…

    Abu Rasool, I can understand why Mr PM wouldn’t want to visit the UK, but do you think anything significant would happen to him if he went? After all, no action has been taken action against even Col Henderson despite the Soctland Yard inquiry.

    — chan’ad

  9. anonymous says:

    He’s off again…

    Ahmed,

    Have you sat with the prime minister? have you ever discussed anything with him? (I think you should) How sad it is that people like you make judgements, without facts. shame

  10. anonymous says:

    Re: He’s off again…

    Ahmad. If you did not meet and sit with the PM, do not greif. You did not miss intellectual or emotional stimuli. I know. I sat with the PM.
    As for Taking up residence in Turkey, I wish he decides for the UK. They, and I, would love to see him there.
    AbuRasool

  11. anonymous says:

    He’s off again…

    laws are made, because people abuse thier rights as citizens. How sad it is when new laws are imposed because of the foolishness of few.

  12. anonymous says:

    He’s off again…

    First of all, Khalifa Bin Salman is not elected by the people; he is appointed by the king, and he has been a PM since 1971. He has POWER and no body can criticise him or question him without putting his life in danger. Khalifa Bin Salman has power, which a lot of people dream of having and that makes him the center of attention. People who tend to judge him by the rumours that they hear about him dont realise that it is the system that they have in Bahrain, which creates people like him. Have they ever thought that when Khalifa Bin Salman dies that the next PM will be exactly like him; that is because he has power and no body can question him. Nevertheless, he has been a good dictator he has made sure that Bahrain became an ally of the west and has also brought a lot of foreign investment to Bahrain.

    Bugs

  13. anonymous says:

    He’s off again…

    Isn’t it funny how one day this guy i know shows up in Al-Jazeera insulting this other guy and nowadays we see them like best buddies. I wounder what changed that guy?

    An Arab in London.

  14. mahmood says:

    Re: He’s off again…

    that’s rather cryptic, but also sounds like a good gossip. So spill!

  15. mahmood says:

    Re(2): He’s off again…

    Ah! Got it!

  16. anonymous says:

    Re(2): He’s off again…

    I see that you just decided to let this one go. I don’t blame you. Defending the PM is really tough Buddy!

    You gave it a shot though ;)!

    Ahmed

  17. anonymous says:

    Re(3): He’s off again…

    I do not know Chana’ad, whether anything of significance would happen to him if he visited the UK. Bu neither he knows the answer to the question.

    The thing can evolve in many directions. I hope it goes in the right direction.

    As far as I know [b]Henderson[/b] ( [i]the notorious butcher of Bahrain)[/i] claimed he was simply following direct orders from Khalifa bin Salman. Personally and directly, that is. (BTW this is also what Henderson told when I was in detention in Bahrain).

    This claim has to be verified as soon as this becomes possible. Until then we can only light candles and pray *.
    AbuRasool

    * [i](I must admit, though, that I personally find some, and utterly irrational, consolation in the fact that Khalifa bin Salman has been forced to abandon his habit of holding audiences at the Dorchester. ( http://www.thedorchester.com )[/i]

  18. anonymous says:

    He’s off again…

    i dont know about rumors in bahrain. mr ten percent or mr fifty percent. alot of what u hear about is an accurate reflection of what people ‘beleive’ to be true .. but i dont know how much of it is really honestly true.

    also .. i think, for better or for worse, the pm did do alot for bahrain. the biggest problem i see is that leadership in the 1970’s entailed certain solutions for certain challenges. (post independence bahrain). i think leadership in the 2000’s demand other solutions for different challenges. (unemployment, housing, poverty, regional competition). and, the pm did not grow or adapt to the new challenges.

    he should step down with dignity. the king should appoint someone from the opposition into government, and infuse new blood into the system in order to help it deal with the new challenges. then, the king should completely change the structure of cabinet – but not allowing ever, one man, to run the show. the opposition should sharpen their forcus and zero in onto on the economy and finanical transparency and judicial accountability. and in doing so, raise the standards of government performance.

    and – noone in in govt should be over 50.

    jj

  19. mahmood says:

    Re: He’s off again…

    JJ I’m sure you’re right; however, people still want a hanger to hang their troubles on and Shaikh Khalifa, unfortunately is seen as a convenient peg, rightly or wrongly.

    I personally thank him immensely for the management of the country over the last 35 or so years, and would join you wholeheartedly in ensuring that he leaves his post in a dignified manner. If he is forced off his perch it would be ugly and WE will suffer from it for years, or even decades. We don’t need yet another turmoil to contend with. The King and Shaikh Khalifa should come to an agreement on how this is to happen and implement it.

    I have a feeling that will not take too long, my impression and reading between the lines: it seems that he will tender his resignation together with his cabinet come October this year when the parliamentary elections are supposed to happen, and the king will not ask him to once again form a government.

    Who’s going to take over that post is another thing altogether…

  20. anonymous says:

    Re: He’s off again…

    Hmmm… I have met a man who is pretty big at Al Jazeera and he runs w/ another guy who used to be pretty big at a ministry, which is no longer, and whom I worked directly for – and he has direct access to the PM. I wonder if this has any direct relation to your comment?!

    I have done all kinds of “private” work for the PM, but… it sorta scares me to say anything about it. When I left that ministry, a job was offered at the PM’s court, but I didn’t take it. I saw and read a lot of things that didn’t impress me.

    An Expatriate in Bahrain

  21. anonymous says:

    He’s off again…

    “i dont know about rumors in bahrain. mr ten percent or mr fifty percent. alot of what u hear about is an accurate reflection of what people ‘beleive’ to be true .. but i dont know how much of it is really honestly true.”
    – I do not judge people unless I know facts about them. This, my dear friend, is a Fact. I talked to many very respected businessmen, and they told me of their personal dealings with him, and trust me, if you were to hear it, you will know what upsets so many about our beloved PM.

    As for him stepping down in dignity.. Not Gonna Happen! I hope it happens, like Mahmood predicted, in this upcoming parliamentary elections, but it’s hard to let go of power that you have abused for 35 years!

    I understand why our King isn’t letting go of him.. This guy is his Uncle, and like Mahmood said, “If he is forced off his perch it would be ugly and WE will suffer from it for years, or even decades. We don’t need yet another turmoil to contend with.”

    In any case, only time will tell.. As for now I hope that, with our parliament in place, our PM will start thinking twice about his corrupt ways! Again, I really doubt that to be the case since he has enough power to keep us all quiet for eternity!

    Ahmed

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