Just like there are many types of men, leaders also come in many shapes and sizes. In the pre- and post-Merdeka days, they were many leaders who did what they believed was good for the country and their people. They were the idealists. They fought for their ideals. They sold their properties and took out their own money to fund the causes that they believed in.
They did what they thought was the noble thing to do. They fought for independence, they fought for racial harmony, they fought for a just society, and they fought for excellence. These were the good leaders. Their kind has certainly dwindled. There are, of course, still many good leaders around, but not all are being appreciated in the present culture where most people only care more for themselves rather than their ideals or their own conscience.
Some, sad to say, don't even have any ideals or beliefs; they are where they are because they want to be there. Some leaders build houses like palaces without even having to apply for any permit. When this was exposed, the excuse was that somebody else (blame the architect) did not submit plan. Other leaders who are caught in the same predicament will say that they are just following other people's examples - since others are doing it, why can't they?
They don't realise that as leaders, they still have to follow rules and regulations. They do not realise that their power and position is given to them by the people. They don't realise that the people are the actual bosses of the country. This is an absolute abuse of their power. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Abuses and corruption actually go hand in hand.
To prevent abuses by these so-called leaders, corruption must be wiped out. There is no other way to it. The most urgent challenge facing our country Malaysia is actually to change the culture of corruption, nepotism and abuse of power.
This, of course, will take time and may not be accomplished overnight, but there must be a first step. For a change in every culture and custom, someone must be bold and farsighted enough to take the first step. In this case, the first step must be the establishment of an independent commission against corrupt practices, not only by the police and civil servants, but also by anyone in the public or even private sectors who indulges in corrupt practices and misconduct.
The younger generation must be taught to be honourable, to be polite and courteous, to pursue excellence and to know what shame is. A lot of the leaders do not know the meaning of 'shame" any more. They don't feel shameful about using public funds for their own purposes. They do not feel shameful to be corrupt as long as they benefit from it. They don't feel shameful about telling lies about other people in order to character assassinate someone else. They don't feel shameful about soliciting charity donations band using the donations for their own purposes.
These people are so numbed by their power, praises and adoration by their supporters that they think they are God. They no longer know what 'shame' is. They need to go back to basics, stuff they were taught in primary schools.
The basics are actually very simple: be honest and follow the rules.