A caretaker prime minister could help heal a battered nation as it marches to the general election on 19 November.
To do so, he or she must place good governance principles and leadership by example above all other personal, private, political or partisan interests.
Foremost of all, a caretaker PM must build bridges so that, as rival political parties pitch their war cries during the election campaign, they will honour the caretaker’s call to uphold a code of conduct for a fair contest.
A caretaker PM should not abuse the power and trust vested upon him or her to strictly take care of the nation after Parliament is dissolved.
That duty of taking care of the nation must not involve diabolically favouring one party over others to entice voters.
So, the announcing of decisions from the prime minister’s office that have policy implications, like the writing off of major debts, is a sure no go.
Every speech the caretaker PM delivers while carrying out the duties of a caretaker must not be racially or religiously charged to favour only one race or religion. Malaysia can only be built resiliently by all the people harnessing their own strengths.
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If only we had laws in place that can spell out the dos and don’ts that a caretaker PM should observe to prevent any abuse or office.
But, in truth, a clear, honest conscience and sense of duty to the nation and the people should supersede such necessities.
A nation that prides itself with Islam as its official credo should be rich with principles that would make any caretaker PM a beacon of hope and a healing balm for the nation as it heads to the polls.
Let’s pray that we will see a resolute change of heart in Ismail Sabri Yaakob.