Leaders and politicians, don’t overstay your welcome — Saleh Mohammed

NOVEMBER 26 — A news report in December 2016 listed six world leaders who have overstayed their welcome and Malaysia was in. It said despite gerrymandering, corruption allegations and losing popular votes in the 2013 elections, he still hang on to Parliament. There are many other cases in Malaysian politics.

Leaders either leave when they believe it is the right time or when they are pushed out by others. Either because they're no longer the right person for the job or irrelevant.

Great leaders are driven by their sense of purpose to serve more than personal rewards — to motivate and ensure the people they lead to be more resourceful, hence a successful nation. In order to succeed, everyone and everything needs to be aligned i.e. stakeholders. They must have passion to serve and walk the extra mile.

Weak leaders lead to a drop in performance, loyalty and scandal increases.

Leading without the support of followers is very damaging — worse if it is through parceling out positions to gain support.

The words “development” and “high value-added (HVA) activities” are like an amulet to summon good and repel evil for almost all politicians. And we Malaysians are susceptible to that charm.

In the 2010 Budget speech, one of the strategies towards high-income economy was through innovation, creativity and HVA activities to more than double the per capita income of the rakyat in the next 10 years. Billions were spent since then. Ten years on, where are we?

Strangely, despite the billions spent for HVA, employees do not seem to be rewarded. A survey conducted by the Department of Statistics (DOS) found that 82.7 per cent of private employees have sufficient savings up to two months only.

It shows that either employees were short-changed or we have failed on this HVA thing. Civil servants were excluded from the survey.

Further, more than 80 per cent of EPF contributors do not have the minimum savings target of around RM280,000 by retirement age and the bottom 20 per cent contributors’ average savings is less than RM7,000.

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) shows that gross national savings (GNS) dropped to 24.9 per cent of GDP in 2019 (2018: 26.7 per cent and 2017: 29.2 per cent).

Singapore’s GNS at 46 per cent and both Indonesia and Thailand at 32 per cent.

Declining GNS is a source of concern as it may limit our capability to undertake investment to generate productive economic activities.

A few days ago, Dr Sukudhew (Sukhdave) Singh, a former deputy governor of BNM wrote that Malaysia has lost its economic dynamism and slower growth. In the decade before the Asian Financial Crisis (AFC), cumulative annual growth was 8.39 per cent. In the next two decades, this has fallen to 4.58 per cent.

The above is enough proof that our leaders and politicians, especially the old guards have not delivered despite all the promises, manifesto or whatever.

And they are still jostling for positions to the point of using the Agong to stake a claim. The race, religion and royalty agenda (3Rs) will still be applied which is damaging to nation-building. While they enrich themselves the rakyat have to beg to take out their own money from EPF.

Then there are some who raised their salaries to be on par with other states and hoped that they will work harder to reduce the rakyat's burden during Covid-19. What an excuse!

Unity is subordinated to the political goals and ego among politicians. The largest party in Barisan will never work with the largest party in Pakatan Harapan, likewise. I guess demonisation and conjuring up like a bogeyman the other party is their favourite pastime and also the deny-and-obfuscate strategy.

In the same breath they can say, “whatever decision we make, it must be on the basis of what is good for the rakyat and the country” and whatever happened to Malaysian Malaysia.

Benjamin Franklin’s once said, “Fish and visitors smell in three days,” so do not overstay your welcome.

What say you...

* This is the personal opinion of the writer(s) or organisation(s) and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.