Character and Leadership

December 29, 2012

Character and Leadership

by Dato’ Ariff Sabri@

Samuel SmilesThe Government of a nation itself is usually found to be but the reflex of the individuals composing it. The Government that is ahead of the people will inevitably be dragged down to their level, as the Government that is behind them will in the long run be dragged up.

In the order of nature, the collective character of a nation will as surely find its befitting results in its law and government, as water finds its own level.

The noble people will be nobly ruled, and the ignorant and corrupt ignobly. Indeed all experience serves to prove that the worth and strength of a State depend far less upon the form of its institutions than upon the character of its men.

For the nation is only an aggregate of individual conditions, and civilization itself is but a question of the personal improvement of the men, women, and children of whom society is composed.

Samuel Smiles (a Scottish author and reformer pic above) wrote the above. Every leader of any nation has grappled with the issue. What is the secret ingredient of a good government? Smiles had the answer- the secret of good government is having good people heading it.
singapores-lee-kuan-yewLee Kuan Yew (left) tackled this issue a long time ago, and set out to cultivate good people to lead the Singapore government. He must have done something right, because Singapore is now the richest country in the world.
North of the causeway, the UMNO leader who ruled for 22 years as Prime Minister and many years as, Senator, Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, must have done something wrong. Our country is getting top placing for the wrong reasons.
Mahathir has admitted his failure to improve the Malays, yet the Malays still want to support him? Mahathir has admitted that after 55 years, Malays are still beggars in their own country; Malays are urged to continue supporting UMNO? Are Malays political masochists? You get high as you are abused more. You want people molded after Mahathir’s image to come back and lead us so that they can whip us further to get us high?
We are looking for people with commitment, deep-seated beliefs in democracy, resolute in putting the interests of others before self. These traits are not inherited. Otherwise we will not have Najib Razak and Hishammudin Hussein. They didn’t inherit the characteristics of the fathers.
Just look at the state by which we are governed, it is clear that indeed the worth andTun Dr. Ismail strength of a State depend far less upon the form of its institutions than upon the character of its men. We are like this because our leaders lack character and integrity. The man, who says he is Prime Minister to all, keeps quiet when citizens are set upon and harm inflicted upon them.
The Home Minister in charge of the Police is equally mute suggesting that he has no character and integrity to hold such office. The rakyat are being bullied and set upon, the characterless people leading the State, the Ministry, the institution keep quiet. Tun Razak, Tun Dr Ismail (right) and Tun Hussein will never countenance these things.
We look around us, we don’t see Malaysia being deficient in the number of institutions that we have. We have the judicial institutions, the law enforcement agencies, we have the state legislative councils, we have Parliament, and we have Kings. Indeed we have everything. What is missing is the character of the men heading those institutions.
Where is the democratic right to move freely across this country? Interests groups are stopped from going into FELDA schemes because some supporters of the government will not allow NGO’s opposed to FELDA to speak to settlers. What is there to hide? If the people doing the explaining break the law, charge them under that particular wrong. The FELDA settlers are people who can think for themselves.
When I wrote about the FGV listing a long time ago, I received many e-mails suggesting that I was envious of FELDA people getting money. Now, FELDA people are realizing that have been conned into transforming their tangible assets into paper assets tradeable in the stock exchange where control over the assets depends on the quality of people managing those assets. Well, you have people like Isa Samad and his sycophants watching over the FELDA assets, I am sure settlers can sleep peacefully at night.
Opposition parties hold ceramahs under the watchful eyes of the Police, and the Police did not stop other groups from causing disturbances and bodily harm. We know these trouble makers are UMNO people- yet the Prime Minister for all the people, maintains his silence on this infringement of democratic rights. Is UMNO, which is now led and headed by many people lacking in character and integrity, condoning violence and aggression on people?
Zam2I was listening to an old video clip showing Zainuddin Maidin’s response to questions posed to him by Al Jazeera. The TV station showed scenes of demonstrators being fired upon by water cannons and teargases. The response ex tempore, by Zainuddin as Minister of Information then would make any Malaysian citizen cringe in embarrassment.
An Information Minister was talking like a person with a passable lower certificate of education. Not only could he not answer the questions in a rational sounding manner, he went immediately into a tirade accusing the media of manipulating the news.
How could a person of this caliber represent Malaysia as an Information Minister- he was simply gibberish. Fast forward to now, we can get a clear picture as to why the same person, not a Minister any longer can give the answers he gave when asked to assess former Indonesian President’s visit to Malaysia recently. Only a person of this mental caliber can come up with similarly hostile and hopelessly incoherent statements about BJ Habibie’s recent private visit to Malaysia.
And the Prime Minister of Malaysia, equally vacuous and pathetic, rationalized the incident by saying that these deranged statements are to be expected during `erection’ year.

9 thoughts on “Character and Leadership

  1. Dato Sakmongkol has always written it in a manner where he gave it straight and simple – no two meaning about it – and this is one honest, down-to-earth article of his that put together the actual anger, frustrations and shell-shocked Malaysians are in now as a result of a lacklustre leadership from a team comprising idiots and nincompoops.

    Just look at today – Rais Yatim says “oh we will still give away the RM200 support for smartphones slightly above RM500” is this a u-turn because of afterthought reacting to public dismay? Stupid is what stupid does…

    Why is this government granting a 12-year tax holiday to a rare-earth project that is likely to contaminate the environment for many generations to come that offers only employment to 400 workers? I am still waking up every morning wondering why is this government so dumb and stupid to fight its own population who are opposed to this project and even hire cybertroopers paid with my tax money to call me names and insults me everyday because I speak out against Lynas on Twitter?

    Pls lah, let us just call the general election and get it over with… I am now more inclined to ABU! Even my whole family is now ABU-ed! Nothing can be worse than where we are today… we are at the bottom of the gutter so how can we go any lower?

  2. Zainuddin Maidin to Al-Jazeera TV anchorwoman:

    How can your talivesyen come to our country and do this – show pictures to spoil our good image? These people have broken the law you know or not? They are protesting in the streets and fighting the polis and spoiling the business in Kuala Lumpur. How can they say we have no demokrasi? Do you know or not, we have erection every five years and these people still say we have no demokrasi and your talivesyen come show wrong picture of my country.

  3. “…mising is the character of those men heading those institutions…” – like those Leading the Felda Globe Venture ” scheming ‘ schemes.

    The idiot did Malay studies in the U, and the PM very ‘ nearly ‘ tried to make him DPM under him. These leaders leading the FGV group are crooks who earlier was played out by Super-Bumi of approx RM300 M which has ‘vanished’ to an oversea destination.

    Ya, these idiots became people of the Yang Amat Berhormat Mentris=besar=kepala, when in one instance i recollect, the Father who was a meat-seller, postrated before a particular MB, who in turn moved to make this crook the MB eventually…..

    This crook now will make the Scheme a ” ForeGoneVenture” , not only enriching themselves, but the whole future of the settlers ‘blown away with the Wind ” – but for sure, the top is waiting for the right time, to make him his Deputy…….and SAK will have the pleasure of his prediction fulfilled…

  4. “Smiles had the answer- the secret of good government is having good people heading it.”

    Who are the people who select the people to head the government?

    The answer is “We, the voters.” But are all our voters intelligent,clever and smart enough to choose the correct people, the candidate and the correct political leader to head the government, to be Members of Parliament or members of the DUN?

    Are all the leaders in the political parties whether UMNO, MCA, MIC and others and in PAS, DAP and PKR, at branch and divisional levels are good people to lead the government at Federal, States and in the Local Governments.

  5. Oscar Wilde once said: “Democracy like is a bludgeon, by the people, for the people, inflicted on the people.”

    Yes, Democracy always finds it’s own level of idiocy. Nothing wrong with that, except the we often end up with Representatives who are self-serving, vulgar zealots. That’s why in ancient Athens at the dawn of ‘demos’ + ‘kratos’, only free men and citizens are considered peers who vote. The slaves who made up half the population were disallowed.

    If a similar practice were adopted here, i would suggest only graduates with a minimum of diploma, be allowed to vote. The rest should remain helots. Only then will we see some semblance of ‘Progress’ and ‘Intellect’.

    Just like a woman, who discovers the fastest way to her man’s heart is via his stomach; a conflicted country like ours, needs to find the fastest way to a caring Meritocracy instead of pampering to hideously exposed genitals of Ignorance.

    See, who said i was an Egalitarian Progressive?

  6. What does one expect of a lowly bunch of idiots ruling the country! Any decent person can run it better with an ounce of integrity, reason and righteousness.

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