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Winnable candidates will have the 'right' qualities

There should not be leaders disguised as selfish dictators that herd nations into disrepute according to their selfish whims and fancies.

Simply put, we want the right leaders who can serve the people well without their self interest getting in the way.

It's easy enough to see that many politicians have been very busy tending to everything else except serving the masses. And when confronted with proof of self-interest and hypocrisy, defensive arguments and pointless talk are used to give the rakyat the runaround.

Self preservation has overcome the responsibility of serving the community, and there is no longer a sense of pride in leading.

Rather, candidates are afraid to lose because it has become a zero-sum game where instead of a race to see who can aid the people the most, it is a competition to see who wins the most.

So what qualities should we look for in our next batch of elected candidates? Simplified, it should be those who are RIGHT:

Respectful - Candidates often forget that they should not expect respect from the people; instead they need to earn it. And they can do so by respecting others.

This rings especially true in our multicultural nation, where race and religion come in a variety of shapes, colours and places of worship. Does someone who refuses to respect all religions, and looks down at other races sound like a good candidate to you?

The same goes for the inability to respect women.

Yet we are often forced to accept such leaders for the very reason that they use race and religion as a trump card to drum up support - and they win.

Are we willing to accept blatant inequality and unrepentant sexism from our leaders? What we need is someone who respects the rights of the people - not just specific people, but every last one of the rakyat.

Independent - Serving without fear or favour. We should have candidates who can think for themselves rather than those who simply repeat the party line without regard to the demands and needs of the people.

God-fearing - It is another characteristic that cannot be overrated. Many of today's politicians behave as if they are god. There is no accountability and they do things as they like. They take the rakyat for a ride as they feel they are not answerable to anyone.

Honest - Being honest is another quality one rarely sees nowadays. We have too many of the leaders who are not honest with figures and statistics, objectives and aims of public policies - all for reaping the benefits for themselves. There are also leaders who are not sincere in the implementation of policies thereby promoting widespread corruption and bribery practices right from the lower levels.

Thoughtful - This actually represents knowledge and education that leaders should have. The ability to think critically and pragmatically to bring quality changes in the lives of the rakyat.

When we don't have leaders thinking quality thoughts, it will be the middlemen who will be dictating and charting the course of the nation.

If a party from whichever political divide is unable to find someone who embodies these qualities in any of their existing members, they should keep in mind that it is never too late to find the RIGHT candidate for the job.

Don't insult the rakyat by fielding candidates who do not respect the rights of others, and dishonest ‘puppets' who only do the bidding of their masters.

Should a candidate lose, the party should learn from that defeat and improve the next time around. An open attitude to change and fair play is necessary for the country to move forward.

There should be the attitude that it's okay to lose, as long as you did your best and you can look back over your efforts with pride and move forward.

We should take a leaf out of the books of some foreign leaders - look at Al Gore, former vice-president who ran for president of the United States.

He lost to George W Bush in 2000, but went on to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.