21
Mar
09

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SAY: “O God, Lord of all dominion! Thou grantest dominion unto whom Thou willest, and takest away dominion from whom Thou willest; and Thou exaltest whom Thou willest, and abasest whom Thou willest. In Thy hand is all good. Verily, thou hast the power to will anything.

AL-IMRAN (26) 

[And] they will [still] be offering excuses to you when you return to them [from the campaign]!

Say:”Do not offer [empty] excuses, [for] we shall not believe you: God has already enlightened us about you. And God will behold your [future] deeds, and [so will] His Apostle; and in the end you will be brought before Him who knows all that is beyond the reach of a created being’s perception as well as all that can be witnessed by a creature’s senses or mind, and then He will make you truly understand what you were doing [in life].”

AL-TAWBAH  (94) 

LEADERS & LEADERSHIP

In the run-up to the UMNO General Assembly next week, the nation is astir with the party’s rejection of corrupt candidates/ leaders on charges of money politics. A few have been charged and due punishment meted out. Many more are being investigated.

Of course not all who are guilty of this despicable habit of “buying loyalty” will be hauled up by the Lembaga Disiplin UMNO or the MACC because let’s face it – hard evidence or proof is not easy to come by.

Corruption is said to be so widespread in the UMNO body politics – side to side, up and down – it’s not easy to find someone who is squeaky-clean or baby-pure! Implicating others would mean implicating yourself and your cronies in the hierarchy!

Finding Ali Rustum guilty and barring him from the Deputy President candidacy is widely viewed as an eleventh hour attempt to appease dissenting voices. Hopefully, to be seen to be serious about fighting corruption will restore a little of the face and credibility that UMNO has dramatically lost.

The focus is now on the leaders the two-thousand and more delegates will choose to meet UMNO’s new challenges that is the candidates who they think have the integrity, capability and resilience to do so.

Indirectly, because UMNO represents Malay aspirations, all eyes will be focused on Malay culture and values and what yardsticks we apply in defining a clean leadership! 

In the run-up to independence and the first elections, potential leaders and candidates were handpicked from among professional men – doctors, lawyers and teachers – who, because of their education and training, were considered to have the brains and the brawn to lead the nation into its first phase of development.

And, indeed, they were men with the highest integrity whose loyalty to and respect for Tengku Abdul Rahman and Tun Abdul Razak was unflinching. Together, whether it was at the federal or state level, they forged ahead to interpret the vision and mission of the two founding fathers.

Leaders like Tun Dr Ismail at the federal level and Tan Sri Dr Mohd Said at the state level were known for their integrity and their no-nonsense approach to politics. There were men trained in medicine and armed with the compassion of seeing the real sufferings of the rural Malays inflicted with disease and poverty.

Some saw them as bureaucrats and incidental politicians unschooled in the finer art of politicking. To the more seasoned politicians of the era, their fault lay in being too honest and sticking to principles even when it came to dealing with royalty.

In the present era of openness and transparency, it becomes all the more crucial to have leaders with very few skeletons in their cupboards. As the nation’s role models, they must be looked up to with the highest regard. When they talk of integrity they themselves must be examples of it.

Because let’s face it – when it comes to the crunch, at the eleventh hour these leaders will be rejected as their skeletons come tumbling down!

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