Archive for December 8th, 2012

Leadership in challenging times

by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah

I am singularly honoured to have been invited by Rotary District 3300 to deliver the keynote address marking its 78th Annual Conference.

2. We know that Rotary brings together leaders from all walks of life to provide services with very high ethical standards in accordance with the organization’s credo of Service Above Self. We also know that these services helped contribute towards the building of peace and goodwill across the world. We never tire of admiring Rotary for the movement’s exemplary arrangement to draw Rotarians from all walks of life – enterprise, public service, the professions and politics. Given that Rotarians are leaders in their own right, I thought, therefore, it is apt if I were to spend some time and share with you my thoughts on leadership.

3. I seek your indulgence, ladies and gentlemen, to take a slight detour and step back to a month ago yesterday. On the 7th of November, leadership – or rather, the quintessential quality of leadership – was visually defined on television, much to the admiration of the world. For long stretches of time on that day, a particular 24-hour satellite news channel repeatedly aired two news clips showing the reactions of two presidential candidates in a just concluded election for the head of government in a matured democracy across the Atlantic.

4. One clip showed the victor’s magnanimity in embracing his opponent. This could, in a manner, help to close whatever chasm and divide that had developed across the differing political sides in the aftermath of the hustings. Any politician seasoned enough with the ways of elections could tell us that such a chasm is potentially cancerous and could, if not properly attended to, fester into a permanent scar damaging to the nation. This could very well have been the case had the victor not held out his hand in a symbolic gesture to register his intent to dress the wound of defeat suffered by the loser.

5. The Other? A clip on the vanquished. It registered the loser ever so gracious in offering his congratulations and good wishes to the winner after the people had made known their choice. Cynics would have us believe that on show was the handiwork of professional image makers designed to create a mirage of civility to hide the gloating and the disappointment across the two political aisles. But the truth comes across as more sincere and thus the poignant scenes that I had drawn your attention to. Read the rest of this entry »


What transformation is Najib talking about when he could not even get UMNO GA to endorse his 1Malaysia policy nearly four years as PM and UMNO President?

In his interview with Malay Mail yesterday, when asked about “factions that were skeptical of 1Malaysia in UMNO itself”, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said that it was by design that he did not define the concept very clearly as “there should be an element of strategic ambiguity so that once you introduce the concept like that, as time goes by, the definition could be defined by taking on board the views of people as we go along”.

He claimed however that “the concept of 1Malaysia is now clearly understood”!

This is indeed a tall claim which Najib could not possibly believe himself.

In fact, Malaysians are entitled to ask what transformation is Najib talking about when he could not even get the UMNO General Assembly to endorse his signature 1Malaysia policy nearly four years since becoming Prime Minister and UMNO President, when the 1Malaysia Policy represents the very basis of all his “transformation” programmes, whether government, economic or political, i.e. GTP, ETP, PTP, etc.

Malaysians are surprised that after nearly four years, Najib is saying that he had deliberately left the 1Malaysia concept vague and nebulous, which was not what he said in his first year as Prime Minister. Read the rest of this entry »


I will deliver what I’ve promised, declares PM

The Malay Mail/Malaysiakini
Dec 7, 2012

Agent for change

Exclusive interview with Terence Fernandez, Zakiah Koya and Azril Annuar of Malay Mail

The Malay Mail: After the Umno general assembly, are you more confident today that you have managed to consolidate the party in time for the elections, you know, all the various ‘factions’?

Najib: I believe Umno is a much more reinvigorated party. The clarion call I made about four years ago that we need to do a process of self-analysis, self-criticism to know what we need to do to overcome the weaknesses and shortcomings that led to the political tsunami of 2008.

And also for us to consolidate ourselves and work on a plan to strengthen and revive Umno. And I see that coming to a head, so to speak. All the work we’ve done over the last four years have come to fruition at this assembly because I see Umno with renewed vigor and a much more united Umno.

Of course we still need to look at some of the internal challenges we have. But that goes with every political party, there will always be differences of opinion. But by and large, people want to work together to achieve a big victory for Umno and Barisan Nasional. Read the rest of this entry »


The PM has been leading this country on a vague idea!

by Martin Jalleh
December 7, 2012

1 Malaysia concept vague ‘by design’, says PM

When Najib Razak first introduced “One Malaysia” to Bolehland, no one except him knew (or we thought he knew) what it really meant. As time passed by his Cabinet ministers and his cohorts chanted the slogan trying to convince the rakyat that they knew what it really meant.

Now, three years later, the man who mooted the concept says he had “deliberately not defined the idea so its meaning could absorb different views over time”.

PM: I didn’t define the concept very clearly, but that was by design. I had decided it needed to have an “element of strategic ambiguity” when I introduced it three years ago so that the concept could be broadened to include other views from the public.

MJ: So vague is now the vogue of your premiership, Mr Prime Minister? What a “strategic excuse” when after three years of your tenure 1 Malaysia has become one big absolute joke and being mimicked by your Cabinet and cohorts who pretend to know what it all means!

PM: The concept I envisioned, to promote the idea of inclusiveness among the races, has been translated into policy and was clearly understood now even though some quarters have been sceptical at the onset.

MJ: The results of your vague vision are very clear – never before has this country been so divided by race and religion than now! Indeed, Umno’s exclusiveness has never been as evident than now! Read the rest of this entry »


Once-Top Indonesian Reformer’s Feet of Clay

Asia Sentinel
07 December 2012

Sports minister, once thought presidential material, is named a corruption suspect

Indonesia’s Youth and Sports Affairs Minister Andi Mallarangeng, once thought to be a voice of the new reformasi Indonesia, resigned Friday after being named a suspect on corruption charges by the country’s anti-graft watchdog.

Mallarangeng, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s handpicked choice to lead the Democratic Party until he was pushed aside by party leader Anas Urbaningrum – himself thought to be a suspect in the same corruption probe – was once thought to be presidential material to replace SBY after he is scheduled to leave office in 2014.

The charges had long been expected, dealing with the construction of the scandal-plagued athletes’ village for the 2011 Southeast Asian Games. A widening ring of top Democratic Party officials has been snared in the probe, including the onetime party treasurer, Muhammad Nazaruddin, who has been jailed on bribery charges and who has been an invaluable witness central to the case. Earlier this week Nazaruddin submitted documents to the KPK that he said proved that Anas Urbaningrum and secretary general Edhie Baskoro Yudhoyono — SBY’s son — were aware of the flow of corruption-tainted funds.

Mallarangang “is a huge disappointment to a lot of people because he was once thought to be clean and an example of a new breed of political leader,” said a veteran Jakarta-based political analyst. The act is yet another indication that the Corruption Eradication Commission is drawing ever closer to the circle that surrounds the president himself. Read the rest of this entry »


Has corruption in M’sia really gone down?

Ramon Navaratnam
Dec 6, 2012

It is arguable whether Malaysia has really done better in the latest Corruption Perception Index (CPI) report released by Transparency International-Malaysia, on behalf of Transparency International in Berlin.

As the report states clearly, the scoring system this year has been upgraded. Hence it cannot be accurately compared to last year’s scoring.

Thus it can be misleading to highlight the claim that Malaysia has moved up six places to number 54 this year, compared to the ranking of 60 last year.

Furthermore Malaysia scored 49 out of 100 marks for this year. This is below the half mark of 50 thus placing Malaysia amongst the two-thirds of the 176 countries surveyed, that have serious corruption problems.

So how can we say that we have improved? If at all we have improved, it is a very insignificant improvement, which does not deserve all the praise bestowed on this dubious success. Read the rest of this entry »