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Al-Fatihah

Monday, April 21, 2008

Is Tun Mahathir a Great Leader?

This is one man that I really admire. His thinking is different from others and unique in that sense. His approach to an issue is simply amazing. He is known as the outspoken leader among the world leaders. He dared to condemn the US in front of Bush. He really looks far ahead from the time. His mission and vision is undisputable. He led the country for 22 years and he brought so many successes to the nation. He puts Malaysia in the world map. His speech is very interesting to listen to. I am very sure during his reign as the President of UMNO, people would be waiting for his closing speech at every UMNO general assembly. People had been waiting for that moment because they knew it that Tun was going to deliver something different and something special. So far, I personally do not see any of our leaders can get close to Tun's standard. I mean, if we were to use Tun as the benchmark for Prime Minister, no one is fit to be in that position. Not even Anwar Ibrahim. Pak Lah is very far behind. However, to compare our current leaders with Tun is not a fair thing to do, as everybody has his own uniqueness in one way or another.

Having said all of the above, with due respect to the late Tunku Abdul Rahman, the late Tun Hussein Onn and the late Tun Abdul Razak, I used to believe that Tun was a great leader the Malaysians have ever had. However, such belief has started to erode when Tun started to criticise Pak Lah's administration and Pak Lah's capability as a leader.

To me, a great leader of a nation is not only someone who manages the country in the most appropriate way and brings more prosperous to the nation or someone with the quality I mentioned earlier, but more importantly is someone who has a very good succession planning and a very capable deputy to take over from him and whose credibility is not in dispute. A great leader must ensure that his deputy or whoever that is going to succeed him will continue with the mission and vision that he has set. Unfortunately for Tun, while he has all the qualities mentioned earlier, he has failed to develop his subordinates to become a competent successor for him. In fact, he is the one who very loudly and outspokenly criticised his successor of his own choice. To me, every time Tun condemned and criticised Pak Lah for being a weak leader who is being controlled by his son in law, his criticism is actually reflects his (Tun) credibility as the past leader. 22 years at helm, what has he (Tun) done to ensure that Malaysia will move forward towards achieving the fully develop nation status after he stepped down? During the 22 years of his tenure as the PM of Malaysia, he had had 4 different deputies from Musa Hitam, the late Tun Ghaffar Baba, Anwar Ibrahim and Pak Lah. What has he done to his four deputies? Did he really develop them to become a great leader? To me, 22 years is not a short period of time. A lot of development process (in term of succession planning) can be done. With three deputies (minus the late Tun Ghaffar Baba), Tun should not have any problem in choosing the most suitable candidate to replace him. Unfortunately, Tun lacks one criterion for being a great leader.

To make things worst, Tun claimed that he preferred Najib than Pak Lah to replace him as the PM. If that was the case, why then he chose Pak Lah over Najib in the first place? He also claimed to have a gentleman agreement with Pak Lah for the latter to be the PM for one term only. Well, whether there was such an arrangement or not, only the two of them and Allah knows. But the question is why did Tun need to have such an arrangement? To me, all these factors reflect Tun’s credibility as a leader, which to that extent can be questioned. Was he really a great leader?

To me, Tun is just a good leader.

4 comments:

Pancasara said...

Salam, bro.

Is Tun Mahathir a great leader?

The answer is a resounding "YES"

He had done so much...yet he received very little acknowledgement.

Just because he somehow failed to groom a capable leader to succeed him, we can't easily degrade him to a mere 'good' leader status.

Najib was too young to succeed him back then, that's why he chose Pak Lah over Najib. Pak Lah would serve as a transition leader between Tun and Najib, so Najib can learn the trade in the meantime.

Tun himself admitted he has this habit of "choosing the wrong person".

Just because of this one weakness, we shouldn't doubt his credibility as a leader.

A great leader like him only come once in 100 years...Tun is undoubtedly a living legend. Treasure him as long as he live, if he's gone, we will have to wait another 100 years to find the next him...

Rozaimi said...

Waalaikummussalam Pancasara...

To certain extent, I do agree with you. He has done so much and it is not easy to have someone like him to lead the country. That is why I said if we were to use Tun as a benchmark, we would not have PM by now.

Having said that, I still believe he should have done something to groom his successor, which I think he has not succeeded in doing so. I mean, what is the point of building up nation to a great success, then you pass it to your successor who would bring it back to the status quo? Everybody has his own weaknesses. So does Tun. It is very crucial to have a great successor to make you a great leader.

While it is easy to be on top, it is rather difficult to maintain the position. You are great when you are able to maintain or cause to maintain in that position.

My 2 cents.

BuangMasaAkuJeBacaArtikelNi said...

Just because Tun chose the wrong successor you downgraded him from being a great leader to just a good leader? You're a joke, u know that.

Rozaimi Bin Mohd Said said...

BuangMasaAkuJeBacaArtikelNi,a great leader needs to have the full package and that shall include having good succession planning to ensure the successor is a capable leader who is able to continue the momentum that he/she has built.