by Ahmad Mustapha Hassan
The Ant Daily
OUTSPOKEN: Any leader who has been entrusted to govern the country will need to demonstrate that he is in total control of the government and that he has the full backing of his own political party.
He has to show that he has the qualities to be the leader. He has to be decisive and he has to act promptly to avert any untoward incidents that would harm the people.
He has to have a vision and a goal to achieve. His full concentration should be on the welfare of the people and their future well-being. This is especially so when the country is moving towards achieving fully developed status.
No task is simple for a leader of a multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural country. But he has to prove that he has what it takes to be such a leader. He cannot shun reality and challenges but must face all these with resolute solutions that will keep intact the fabric that has enabled the people to enjoy stability. He should be a leader who can bring hope to the people. He should be able to command the full respect of the people.
He is the symbol of unity, progress and harmony.
Tunku Abdul Rahman, the first prime minister of Malaya and then Malaysia, had to some extent a certain amount of the qualities mentioned.
Tun Abdul Razak, the second prime minister, was completely committed to the people and the country. He had these qualities.
Unfortunately, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has none of the above qualities and will never have any of these leadership traits.
He is more a leader in hiding. He refuses to face reality and avoids all challenges. He cannot differentiate between reality and false assumptions.
He has no basic understanding of simple economics. His intelligence comes into question. Even his government colleagues are unable to support his illogical utterances.
He seems to be a loner even in his own party. He has no credible team that can give hope to the people. He is the first prime minister of Malaysia who has become the butt of jokes for the things he did and for the things he said.
His colleagues in the party and the government are too ashamed and embarrassed to come to his defence whenever he makes a fool of himself. His classic kangkung episode had even caused people to be on guard against the foolish acts of his mindless young followers. To them, to criticise the PM means to criticise the Malays in general.
This only shows the level of intelligence that pervades the Umno-Baru party that he is leading. To them, Najib has exhibited exemplary leadership and thus they have to defend all his foolish acts.
But he never realised the harm that these stupid acts had caused the country. He has not made any apologies.
He avoids facing controversy. He never came out with any definitive statement about the use of the word Allah by non-Muslims. He feared offending the Muslims and he also feared offending those non-Muslims who have been using the word. To him, silence and time would solve the controversy.
These are definitely not prime ministerial qualities.
His over-dependence on foreign consultants had undermined the ability of the local administrators. He paid these consultants millions of ringgit of the people’s money and the results are found to be wanting.
He never walks the talk. He wants the people to be prudent but he himself has no compunction to be away from the country as often as he likes and spends the people’s money as if there is no tomorrow.
He is not in control of the government, the party and the country.
This is a tragedy that Malaysia is currently experiencing. His time should end promptly for the sake of the future of the people and the country.
Ahmad Mustapha Hassan is a former press secretary to second Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein and the writer of the book, “The Unmaking of Malaysia”.