OPINION: Najib adopts people-first leadership style

By Monday February 9th, 2009 No Comments

The Barisan Nasional has begun taking steps to regain the people’s trust after the thrashing in the last general election. Leading this quest is no other than the country’s next Prime Minister.

DATUK Seri Najib Tun Razak has been hosting breakfast meetings with newspaper editors regularly for the past two months.

The discussions are two way – the Deputy Prime Minister updates and explains to the journalists on the country’s policies and political developments.

The editors, in return, tell him what the people are saying about the Government.

Most times, the remarks are candid and no holds barred. Najib is equally open with his feelings.

From the unveiling of a “mini budget” in March to complaints from a Chinese newspaper editor of racist trainers at courses conducted for Government scholar holders, everyone gets to hear each other’s views.

He carefully takes down notes of cases he needs to follow up while his aides listen attentively.

It is a platform that the country’s next Prime Minister has committed to so he can hear alternative views.

On Sunday night, Najib made another refreshing commitment – the Government will examine and make necessary changes to its policies to regain the people’s trust and confidence after losing their support in the March 8 polls.

It was an honest admission because the perception, rightly or wrongly, is that many Umno leaders are still in denial mode.

The old approaches, such as the perceived obsession of them hanging on to their division chairman positions at all costs, have taken a toll on the party. They have yet to wake up from their slumber.

Najib gave an assurance that the Barisan would continue to work on the multi-ethnic and power sharing platform to ensure that all Malaysians are looked after.

“Let us find new solutions to problems. Let us develop not only the economic and political ties but also the social and cultural relationship with all ethnic groups in the country, “he said at the Malaysia-China Friendship Night on Sunday.

Najib is well aware of the political cost if no immediate steps are taken soon to salvage the situation.

After the massive losses in March, it cannot be business as usual. But even in states where the Barisan lost, some Barisan leaders still do not comprehend the seriousness of the defeat, taking comfort that the Federal Government is still under the coalition.

New solutions, as Najib pointed out, would be crucial to regain the the lost votes.

If his “One Malaysia” slogan and his call for multi-racialism in his website is an indication of what’s to come under his leadership, it is surely a bold and realistic step.

He has also encouraged feedback, even ideas, to his website believing that leadership must be a two-way process.

Leaders would always want to hear only good news but they could come from people with personal agenda without the best interest of the party and nation.

The country urgently needs fresh and populist measures to take Malaysians to a new direction.

Source : The Star

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