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Picking the better of two evils

 | June 12, 2012

Since 1981, Malaysia has been governed by politicians who have sidelined the critical role of good leadership and consumed instead by corrupt political power.

COMMENT

In the coming 13th general election, Malaysians must choose to vote in a coalition party that is committed to its ideals and consistent with its struggle, and whose leaders believe in and practise the good value system.

With these two criteria, any coalition party and its leaders can produce good leadership which is vital for the establishment of a responsible Malaysian government committed to serving the people and country.

This will be the party that will steer the nation forward in the face of global economic competition and uncertainties.

Since 1981, Malaysia has been governed by politicians who have sidelined the critical role of good leadership, and are consumed by their pursuit for political power.

They failed to understand that leadership and power are co-builders of the nation.

They failed to understand that the power given by the people in the form of an election mandate should not be abused.

Power without good leadership will lead to greed and evilness which, in turn, will breed all kinds of malpractices and ills.

No ethical local politicians

Politicians in Malaysia are unlike their peers in Western countries who are successful people in their respective professions even before they join politics.

They as such do not need to be corrupt when they assume powers.

When these successful people become politicians, they have the management and leadership qualities to justify them being elected as the government.

Leadership qualities need to be nurtured and developed.

But in our country politicians only become “successful” after joining politics, after acquiring political clout and indulging in power abuses.

Before joining politics, they are nobodies.

This affliction affects many Muslim Malay politicians, especially in Umno and Sarawak’s Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB).

These politicians fail to live up to the hallmark of successful national leaders, let alone statesmen.

By Islamic standards, these politicians are classified as the rejects. What a shame!

Such politicians and their parties should rightly be rejected in the coming general election.

Such people and parties should not be allowed to ursurp the people’s decision through unethical, undemocratic and unlawful means.

‘Nothing to lose’

Power abusers forget that the people can reclaim the political power from an incumbent government without going through a general election, but by way of people’s power.

But between these two assets of leadership and power, the top echelon Umno and PBB leaders will choose the easy way out, which can promise to fulfil their dreams.

For this reason, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud have devised their own strategies to grab and hold on to the Dr Mahathir Mohamad blend of power.

Mahathir, the former premier, blended his mega economic models with the art of false leadership and Taib intertwined his power with money politics and the art of deception.

Najib blends his hollow economic models with the art of politics of psychology to ensure they can continue to hold on to (absolute) power and abuse it.

Hence, Malaysians must choose parties and leaders who have consistent track records of good value system.

PAS and DAP, for instance, are committed and consistent in their struggle. Their leaders have displayed good or at least better leadership qualities in their respective parties and in the management of their respective state governments.

Secondly, there are no cases of gross abuses of power involving these Pakatan Rakyat leaders.

Therefore, the rakyat should give Pakatan, which comprises PAS, DAP and PKR, a chance to govern the nation. The fact is, we have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

‘Both sides need changes’

Pakatan could become the alternative federal government in the coming 13th national polls.

Thirdly, we need the Pakatan government to clean up the mess left over by Umno and its partners.

Fourthly, the new Pakatan government should investigate the gross malpractices committed during the reign of Umno and its partners-in-corruption.

And lastly, the Pakatan coalition’s top echelon should review the performances of their own leaders and drop those who have bad track records similar to the Umno top brass.

This act will prove that the former is true to their ideals of good governance.

The rakyat need to see that there are changes to both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan leadership and governments for the betterment of the nation.

No leader is indispensable even if one tries to be one.

Awang Abdillah is a political analyst, writer and FMT columnist


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