Political leadership and its importance to Malaysians

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We must understand the virtues of good political leadership and embody the concept of unity if we are to succeed as a nation, says Syerleena Abdul Rashid.

PENYOKONG / GOMBAK

Malaysians are growing rather accustomed to the never-ending cases and scandals that highlight the questionable decisions made by our elected leaders, but this is by no means a sign that we have succumbed to our fate as citizens of a nation spiralling towards a failed state.

The debate on whether Malaysia is or is not a secular state occurs every once in awhile when confusion and ignorance resurfaces. So, when Minister Jamil Khir made the unfortunate remark to state that our nation is an Islamic state, it was quite clear that he had misinterpreted our Federal Constitution and it was a clear contradiction of existing laws.

It appears that, being the Minister of Islamic Affairs, he has taken it upon himself to bulldoze this notion into the minds of gullible Malaysians. This act has incurred the wrath of senior political leaders – not only from the opposition but also those from the same coalition.

As we read more and more about religious strife brought upon by those bent on creating disunity amongst other Malaysians, it is apparent that public discourse in Malaysia is over-obsessed with individualism and shallow interpretations of scripture, while not a lot is being done to tackle the real problems that contradict the principles of humanism, such as corruption or human rights violations.

Recently, Malaysia was downgraded to Tier 3 status by the United State government in their Trafficking in Persons Annual Report – our country now joins the rank of North Korea, Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Iran – and this does not warrant any celebration or congratulatory high-fives.

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So in light of this recent demotion, Malaysians must reflect on one thing; in these trying times our country needs good political leadership to lift us out of this quandary.

Good leaders are made, not born

We often find ourselves asking the question, especially when our country seems to be on the brink of escalating chaos, are men or women born leaders? Good (and unfortunately, bad leaders) are made and not born, although, one might debate on the validity of such claims. But there are always a few of those who seem to be born with political finesse and competence; therefore taking on certain political gambits seem like second nature to these select few.

Plato once said, the measure of a man is what he does with power. This is a statement that all Malaysians must hold true. With power come huge responsibilities, and great political leaders never forget that. They will use that power to set ambitions, goals and inspire several generations to come.

We need someone who is enthused about causes and most importantly, about the work that comes with being a leader. Malaysians have no room for someone who merely plays lip service and would rather spend more time abroad on “business trips” paid for by our taxes and public funds.

During times of uncertainty or crisis, Malaysians need to look up to leaders to find reassurance and much-needed security to help us get through difficult times. We will have many questions, demand answers and may sometimes come across as aggressive, but a good leader will not threaten us with the Sedition Act and will instead remain calm during the storm.

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Malaysians are leery of self-appointed and self-serving politicians. Our history is replete with many examples that remind us the great importance of preserving freedom (be it of speech, religion and the choice to interact with other Malaysians regardless of race or religion). Politicians who use their power to suppress freedom are dangerous, and that is why our constitution exists to safeguard us and our nation from degenerating into tyranny.

Reluctance to promote capable men and women to hold office based on merit is downright nepotism and this creates one of the main obstacles to good governance. Over the past decades, irresponsible political leaders have ignored the significance of merit in order to please those closest to them.

Subsequently, the political turmoil our country is famous for is a direct result of this damaging trend which destroys development and nation-building. A good leader will influence his or her subordinates to encourage excellence and success.

Developed nations are built on templates that promote positive reinforcement and meritocracy. After all, competition is only healthy as it creates growth and enables us to strive for the best. On the other hand, nepotism and monopoly often result in complacency and give way to mediocrity, which has unfortunately, become a common Malaysian trait.

However, it is never too late to repair the damage created by overzealous charlatans of the past and present. Malaysians can begin to overcome this by disseminating positive reinforcement conveyed by our actions and thoughts.

We must understand the virtues of good political leadership and embody the concept of unity, if we are to succeed as a nation and administer the quality of change in the next few years.

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Source: rocketkini.com

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Ed G
Ed G
1 Aug 2014 4.22pm

Good political leadership based on truism, justice, fairness and morality has been lost ever since the fateful May 13 incident. Under Tun Razak, no one was brought to justice for the deaths and destructions committed during the May 13 riot. But instead, the parliament of the whole country was unjustifiably suspended for the rioting that was mainly confined within the federal capital. Many of the subsequent PMs came into office with loud noble promises to correct the obvious wrongs that was taking place at their times. Remember the ‘clean, trustworthy and efficient government’ of the Mahathir administration? Or the promise to clean up corruption and malpractices by Badawi? Or most recently the 1Malaysia by Najib? All these promises seemed to have been swept aside and subsequently buried in favour of political expediencies. Even worse, the leaders seemed to be powerless against the many immoral temptations that came with their positions. In short, they are simply ordinary people wrongfully propelled into positions whose demands and expectations are simply beyond them. And that is why a nation with such great potential like ours is languishing in mediocrity while… Read more »

charleskiwi
30 Jul 2014 4.00pm

This is a typical reason why these ignorant Umno schmucks must be kicked out of Putrajaya at any cost yesterday. Najb, as usual allows, these … not only to remain as a minister and also allows them to keep saying what they like. Not that he has better choices but more importantly he just has to close his eyes on all the matters if he wishes to have their support and their votes to be their president.
The one and only way out of this … shamble is to have them replaced in the next GE and then thereafter have them indicted for all the (wrongdoings) committed to the nation. Of course don’t forget not to leave all the running … from MCA, MIC and all the other ‘partners’ . These … are responsible for the minority elected regime to remain as government to loot the nation dry !