Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Standing Ovation

First of all, allow me to make things clear. I do not hide the fact that I am an ardent and loyal supporter of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. However, I also recognize the fact that Tun has his own weaknesses, mistakes and slips. Yes, I admit that.

No one in this world is 100 percent the ideal model of a leader. This includes Lee Kuan Yew, our friend down there in Singapore. Read the Singaporean politics and you will understand the definition of democracy in Lee Kuan Yew's dictionary.

Secondly, I envy the great leadership and visionary mind of Tun Dr Mahathir. We do not support leaders blindly for who he is but we support his ideas, policies and knowledge.

Just like how we praise the great and brave leaders (warlords) of the Europeans and Chinese such as the Qin Emperor and Napoleon Bonaparte. Underneath their success is an ocean of blood, cries, screams and deaths. However, these great leaders have enviable minds that not everyone is blessed with.

It is because of the leader that can make us progress. "Do not walk behind me, walk with me, do not work for me, work with me" are words that can never see Malaysia progress. A body cannot have too many heads, a company cannot have too many CEOs, and a country cannot have too many leaders.

For if that happens, the theory of a State's existence will fall. The country will split into the many directions that each wants to lead her to. And that is why, perhaps, we see the rise of Anwar Ibrahim under the leadership of Pak Lah.

We used to have Dr M vs Anwar, where Dr M held the country firmly with him and he stood in front to lead the country. Remember the Buy British Last policy? The famous Dawn Raid of Guthrie that caused the London Stock Exchange to reform their rules?

Yes. But in times of Pak Lah vs Anwar, people see Anwar as a stronger leader who leads the pack, just like the role of the President of the United States as compared to Pak Lah's total democracy style where he allows his team and party to work with him, not for him.

You might think that I am wrong given that the principle that formed United States is a country that provides a home for those who are from another country that has less freedom than the United States of America. And one would surely expect the President of United States to practise total democracy.

No. The President of United States leads and his words have to be obeyed by his team. The role of his advisors and Cabinet are just to advise the President and govern their departments on policies set by POTUS.

Pak Lah needs to change his administration style as soon as he can. For there are too many of the sailors wanting to be Captain, and perhaps there are too many Captains already onboard this "sinking" ship. There can only be one Captain, Pak Lah.

Now, reading several articles in CheDet.com, I am lost for words but I shall give Tun a standing ovation with claps ! Semoga Allah panjangkan usia Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad ! I pray and hope that Malaysia will have another charismatic and visionary leader one day again !

The following article was written by Dr Mahathir in Chedet.com, his personal blog page.

1. I am very touched by the response to my article "The Country We Love" (July 27, 2008). We may have our differences, we may be of different races but it seems that we all love this country.

2. I have been abroad hundreds of times but I never fail to look forward to returning home. And as I step off the plane I would feel that sense of belonging that almost move me to tears. I am quite sure that every Malaysian feels this way upon returning to this, our very own homeland.

3. As Malaysia we are not an old country for we came into being only slightly more than 50 years ago. But it had been a very eventful half a century.

4. No one gave us much of a chance when in 1957 we lowered the Union Jack and flew the Jalur Gemilang. We were of many races, cultures and religions, divided again by our economic functions, by extreme disparities in material wealth.

5. But our wise founding fathers, our Tunku Abdul Rahman, our Tan Cheng Lock and our Tun Sambanthan worked out a unique form of racial cooperation that staved off any violent confrontation between the races.

6. That cooperation, embodied in the coalition of racial parties and the Alliance/National Front Governments enabled the country to remain peaceful, bar one or two hiccups for 50 years.

7. Those were glorious years. The country grew and prospered. It became the model of the development of a developing country, a model of racial cooperation. It became known throughout the world where once no one could evenpronounce its name. It was the envy of other developing countries.

8. Malaysians abroad felt proud because the moment they identified themselves as Malaysians, immediately people talked of F1 in Sepang and the twin towers.

9. There seemed to be nothing to stop us from achieving our goal of becoming a developed country by 2020.

10. Now all these dreams seem to have faded away. We are involved in political wrangling of all kinds, our leaders seem to be uncertain about what to do, our foreign policy is in disarray etc etc.

11. We have lost our direction. And we get no guidance.

12. We can withdraw into ourselves and merely wish our problems would go away or would solve themselves.

13. But that is wishful thinking. They will not solve themselves, they will not go away. If at all they will become worse, become much more difficult to resolve, as our people become more deeply divided.

14. The organisations created by our founding leaders which we were once confident could handle every problem have now deteriorated. Everything is about what is in it for me. Even the ordinary members of once respected political parties want something for themselves. Jobs, posts, titles, contracts and filthy lucre are the only things which matter.

15. Sacrifice? What sacrifice?

16. Who cares to sacrifice whatever. For most of the people we put our trust in to steer this beloved country to greater heights, the only sacrifice is to give up the Mercedes Benz for Proton Perdana, and that too very reluctantly.

17. I wasn't the best of leaders when I was in the hot seat.

18. But I did try my best. If my best is not good enough I am sorry.

19. But Dato Onn Jaafar, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Abdul Razak, Tun Hussein Onn, Tun Tan Siew Sin, Tun V.T. Sambanthan cannot be faulted in terms of the sacrifices they made, their contributions to building racial harmony, peace and stability for their country.

20. Could it be that we forgot to teach this generation of leaders about the sacrifices made by our founding fathers.

21. Could it be that we cannot handle wealth as we did poverty?

22. Could it be that our leaders lack honour and the sense to accept responsibility and to retire gracefully?

23. Some simply cannot accept the realities, the role they had played in the destruction of a near perfect system which had done so much for our country.

24. Yes we should "Cry the Beloved Country" as Alan Payton said of his South Africa of the Apartheid past.

25. But crying would take us nowhere.

26. It is time the silent majority stop being silent.

27. It is time to speak up and be counted.

28. If we love our country we must not allow crooks and charlatans to rape and steal it from us.

29. It is ours, this country of many races and religions.

30. We must stand together, we the concerned Malaysians, and defend our heritage.

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