Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Leadership Instead Of Mere Leaders

In an earlier post I mentioned Malaysia needs heroes and that we do not as yet have our own "Obama" where Malaysians can rally behind for change. This post by Khoo Kay Peng in his blog has more of the same and reading it makes me more disillusioned because I do not think Malaysia can change; change has to come to Malaysia. I do not see a leader in the horizon that can be strong enough to effect needed change. Too bad...

UPDATE (13th November): Can Zaid be a third force?

Anybody can claim to be a leader. A racial bigot. An adulterer. A corrupter. A sexist. A flip-flop. The list goes on. However, what we need are not mere self-proclaimed leaders.


Our race relations are broken. Our politics is distasteful and flawed. Our economy and those who help to run it are lost and misguided. Many things are not right about the country. Alas, many of us who hold the same pathetic view of our country take very different approaches to address the problems. Majority choose to bolt and many more choose to whine.

Malaysians cannot hide from the fact that we are governed by the ethno-religious conservatives who hold very rigid, selfish and perverted view on race relations. Many of these divisive politicians are very powerful individuals holding extremely important positions in the country.

These politicians will continue to practice their beliefs although we know they are part of the destructive force in the country. At the state UMNO annual general assembly, its members readily passed a resolution calling for the return of a racial bigot who was suspended by his party. The fact that the party does not hide from its hard, extreme right and conservative position worries me.

It worries me because they could be right about the society - that many of us are racial and religious conservatives who are still keen on supporting and rejoicing the most provocative statements and actions taken by them.

If not, why are these racially based political parties still in business? If not, why are morally bankrupt leaders are still being embraced by their party members to provide leadership?

Here, we need leadership not leaders. We need real and committed leadership which can help pull this society out from its racial mould. We need a leadership which can help to unite not polarize.

Our political system which insists on a two-tier society does not work especially if the intention is to seek racial superiority. A political system which helps to promote a false sense of superiority over others through the colour of skin is flawed and immoral. It is unimaginable for someone to be bought by the premise - no matter how convincing - that an airhead with the right ethnicity is the only requirement for success. Racial politics hurts more than it heals. Its over emphasis is self-destructive and demeaning to the very ethnicity it wants to glorify.

Here, we need a real leadership which can help us to see the humanistic values beneath our different skin colours. We need a sincere leadership which understands that diversity strengthens and not destroys a society. We need a leadership which understands the power of unity and not the sheer destruction of division.

Misguided and self-centred politicians should be allowed to preach wrong economic policy to us. It is nonsensical to suggest that we need to prop up the stock market to enhance consumer confident to spend. When an economy is in trouble, a caring government should help to protect jobs, help to put people in their homes not losing them, create more economic opportunities and help to ease socio-economic pains.

Not putting more money in the stock market to assist less than 2 percent of the people who are engaged in it. People of all walks of life are feeling the same anguish of rising cost of living, job insecurity and mounting personal and family debt. From the anguish, perhaps we are able to feel how similar we are from each other. Through the anxiety, we should realise that our need is the same. We need a good and effective government. Not a patronising one. Not one which bullies its people with the power entrusted to them by the same people.

Here, we need a leadership which understands the mechanics of running a people friendly economic policy. We do not need leaders who are fixated with equity share of each community and not what they can put on their dining table for the children.It is obvious that we need leadership, not leaders to fix a broken Malaysia.

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