PUTRAJAYA, 20 Jan 2009: Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders should break out of their comfort zone and reorientate their approach to be constantly in tune with the people’s aspiration, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today.
Calling on BN leaders to rise to the occasion, the deputy prime minister also urged them to rearrange their strategies and resolve to make changes not only to themselves but also to the party for the sake of the people and country.
The BN government, he said, should ensure that all development programmes were geared towards fulfilling the people’s needs.
“If we fail to deal with these challenges effectively,” he said, “punishment awaits us in the 13th general election.”
Speaking when launching a book, titled Politik Baru written by Deputy Entrepreneur and Cooperatives Development Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, here, he said there should never be a disconnect between the people’s aspiration and the government’s goal.
Najib said the BN government was always responsive to changes and new ways of doing things.
“We are aware that in a democratic system, the people are the ultimate determiner of which party should form the government,” he said.
Najib said that in implementing all the required changes, the BN, whether it liked it or not, needed able leaders who were knowledgeable in the fields entrusted to them.
Leaders, he said, should be “glocal” in their ways of thinking, with ideas transcending national boundaries, but with soul firmly rooted in their homeland.
“The Malaysian people are matured enough to gauge their leaders. They are no longer impressed with the rhetoric of changes which are nothing but plain rhetoric.
“They want results. They want to see actual changes taking place,” he said.
Najib said the wave of change sweeping around the world today required the country not only to have leaders with sweet smiles and pleasant personalities but also those with wisdom and ideas.
Changes had now become a dominant theme in global politics, Najib said.
United States president-elect Barack Obama, during his campaign trail for instance, had been appealing to the American people’s sense of hope and idealism and not their fear and hatred, said Najib.
“This has triggered a wave of change in the history of American politics,” he said.
Najib also said that access to information superhighway and pay-per-view satellite television had exposed the Malaysian public to the explosion of information and this had brought about new dimensions in the empowerment of Malaysians as voters.
Saifuddin’s 178-page book in Bahasa Malaysia and English discusses politics in the context of governance and the lesson that can be learned from the 12th general election.
Saifuddin said the idea for book came from his desire to contribute towards the growth of knowledge and to help enrich the political discourse in the country. — Bernama