COMMENT | Democracy should afford us intelligent leaders

Sharifah Munirah Alatas

Modified 4 May 2021, 10:36 pm

COMMENT | Many world leaders have said democracy is the worst form of government. Winston Churchill added however that it was the best we have compared to all other forms that mankind has tried.

The general feeling is that trusting in the people is still our best choice in organising human affairs. Therefore, the fact that Malaysia has a government based on democratic institutions is a good thing. Or is it?

In a utopian universe, there should be no difference between democracy and autocracy. The deciding factor is the character of the leader we get. Authoritarian leaders could be what the people need solely because they are consistently just and fair to all citizens. But Malaysia is no Utopia, and Utopia does not exist.

If leaders have a sense of shame, willing to admit mistakes and correct them, and are open to alternative approaches to governance, how that leader was put there in the first place should be irrelevant right? Other conditions are that the leader should be respected for his or her intelligence, integrity, moral standing, and ethics, especially in a multi-ethnic and religiously plural society like ours.

On intelligence, our leadership must be equipped to learn, understand, and deal with new and trying situations. To do this, they must be proactive and apply reason. Lately, most of our leaders avoid trying situations by being passive, retroactive, deflecting blame, or dishing out...

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