Throughout history countries have risen and fallen with their leaders. In good times, a good leader will take his country to greater heights while at its most challenging hour, he will lead it towards safety and hope.
A good leader need not be the smartest nor the most confident, although these qualities do help. However, a good leader must be honest, see the facts for what they are and make firm decisions.
Abraham Lincoln wasn’t the smartest among his cabinet and yet led his nation out of a civil war and freed the oppressed half. Winston Churchill wasn’t the favourite choice and yet roused his country to victory during World War 2.
These leaders felt the pulse of the nation and did what needed to be done to save their people. They listened to those that were actually doing the job on the ground and made hard choices based on facts.
We are facing the greatest crisis this nation has ever faced. And yet we see all around us total failure of leadership. Decisions are taken which have no correlation to what is happening on the ground and seem to be taken to keep either one group or the other happy and reversed when another group complains.
The prime minister must decide how best to combat this pandemic and restore the nation’s social economic well-being. That should be his aim, not winning a popularity contest of the day. Keep people safe. Help them keep their jobs. Handouts can only last so long.
Put aside pride, politics and worries about his legacy. All that will fall into place if he does this right and is honest about it.
Abdullah Badawi was considered a weak leader during his time and subsequently resigned at Muhyiddin Yassin’s prompting. However, he is now praised as a decent man and one of our best PMs. His legacy of freeing up the press and allowing greater freedom to the people will always be remembered.
We are at the crossroads of history. Will this nation rise or fall on his watch? How would Muhyiddin like to be remembered?