Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Ali bin Mohammed Al-Rumaihi, the Bahraini Minister of Information Affairs, did not waste much time on devising plans. Unlike his predecessors, he did not issue numerous statements on far-fetched development projects and strategies. He directly went for the top of the pyramid: The Ministry of Interior and Bahrain Defence Force (BDF).
A photo posted by Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, the Bahraini Minister of State for Communications, in 2013 shows Al-Rumaihi in military uniform at the Ministry of Interior's honor column. The photo taken during the 1990s shows the minister standing with his arms down in disciplined manner in front of the former minister of interior Mohammed Al Khalifa. Fawaz Al Khalifa commented on the photo with the following caption: "The father and interior ministry leaders; Minister of Information Affairs Ali Al-Rumaihi leading the monthly column."
Al-Rumaihi served as a military serviceman in the ministry of interior for 13 years; from 1987 until the year 2000. He is well aware of the fundamentals. A reckless movement has led his predecessor to the abyss, as was the case of 9 ministers of information who once assumed the post he now holds. However, each of the former ministers has his own story.
Throughout 15 years, it is safe to say that the average period that each of the ministers spent in office is about 2 years. Thus, Al-Rumaihi did not waste time on programs and plans.
He has learned the importance of performance art; such as discipline, standing upright and readiness, since he was leader of the interior ministry's monthly column.
The password then is discipline and so he was disciplined. He started off his term by making two different visits which he chose wisely. In his first 2 weeks, he visited the office of Minister of Interior Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa on March 10 and then visited the commander of the BDF on March 15.
"Interior Minister Lieutenant-General Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa received Information Affairs Minister Ali bin Mohammed Al-Rumaihi and congratulated him on his appointment by royal decree," said the Bahrain News Agency (BNA), adding that they further stressed on importance of "cooperation and coordination to protect the security and safety of the public and provide the best services."
Information Affairs Minister's first meeting was with Minister of Interior
As for the other visit, BNA reported that Marshal Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, BDF commander, "discussed with Ali bin Mohammad Al-Rumaihi, minister of information affairs, subjects of mutual interests."
What is this subject of mutual interest that would gather a minister who spent 13 years of service in the security agency, within the first two weeks of his assignment, with two ministers who run the two major security institutions in the country? It is the subject of discipline and obedience. In the rules of military conduct, the military salute is considered an important action for military discipline and relations.
It seems that the new minister of information affairs has learned the etiquette very well. One can imagine minister Al-Rumaihi standing in the offices of the minister of interior and commander of BDF in the military posture, ready to obey.
He spent 13 years of his life training on a daily basis on adjusting his body posture in the ministry of interior's column to perform this move as a sign of a soldier's duty of loyalty for his superiors. However, Al-Rumaihi not long after that realized the advantages of this discipline, when the former minister of information affairs and son of minister of interior Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa pulled him from rock bottom in 2010 to work in the media field after he had worked in the private sector.
Al-Rumaihi lacks all the characteristics of a minister of information affairs as he holds two BA degrees in business. Al-Rumaihi also started his career in the ministry of interior where he spent his longest term in office. He then worked at the General Organization for Youth and Sports and after that worked as a director for investment in the banking sector.
The one trait he enjoys is his mastery of the "art" of servility and discipline he learned throughout his years of service since he was a column leader during the time of the former minister of interior Mohammed Al Khalifa. Al-Rumaihi was rewarded by the minister's son who became minister of information affairs in 2010 by adding him to his team. Al-Rumaihi was assigned as a counselor for the strategic planning in the ministry of information affairs and then served as an acting director of the television and radio corporation and assumed the post of president of the information affairs authority. It is not unusual that Sheikh Fawaz himself is the one who posted that photo of him on his Twitter account, wearing his military uniform and standing in a disciplined upright posture in front of his father in the ministry of interior.
Information Affairs Minister's second meeting was with BDF Commander
Minister Al-Rumaihi saw how his predecessor Isa Al-Hammadi was knocked down when only the thought of betraying the king's son came to his mind. He also saw the former minister Samira Rajab transforming into a "no-one" who only writes for a little column in the Akhbar Al-Khaleej newspaper for merely thinking that her close ties with the king gives her privileges.
Most importantly, Al-Rumaihi witnessed the "tragedy" of Abdullatif Al-Rumaihi, who was the head of the Office of the Prime Minister during the 1990s and had close ties with the regime. He was alienated and then later died of carbon monoxide poisoning in a still mysterious incident after the relationship between him and the PM deteriorated due to whistleblowing by Minister Mohammed Al-Mutawa.
In order to avoid all this, Al-Rumaihi decided to take a shortcut and go directly to the top: The Ministry of Interior and Bahrain Defence Force. If he's lucky, he would manage to spend more than two years in his position.