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Loyalty important, but it’s OK to criticise: PM

KUALA LUMPUR, 22 April 2009: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak says loyalty is important because it is a cornerstone of trust, but this does not mean that one cannot criticise.

“… in the government service, for example, the government administration, certainly one needs to be loyal to the leader.

“But one should also be loyal to the leader for as long as the leader is also loyal, in the sense that the leader performs, the leader is committed to his work, is dedicated,” he said in his blog,, when writing on loyalty as one of the eight key values of 1Malaysia.

Najib said criticism should be made in the right manner, in the right place and at the right time.

“I would certainly appreciate that, whether it’s in a personal relationship or in the context of my colleagues that there’ll be a time and opportunity for them to offer some constructive views, for example, even criticism, which I think, is necessary.

He said he thought that it would be a disservice in terms of personal relationship or whether it’s in the government, that there is no room for constructive criticism or even dissent, provided it is done in a very correct manner, and with good intentions.

“… I think gone are the days when loyalty should be misconstrued as blind faith, or as having a carte blanche in terms of personal relationship, that you can do whatever you like, and you get away with it. I think that’s wrong,” he said.

He said loyalty should be coupled with ability.

“You cannot reward a person just because he or she is loyal, but you forget the fact that loyalty without performance, without ability will not be adequate. Loyalty is important, yes, but it has to be coupled with other considerations as well.”

Writing on the subject of acceptance as another key value of 1Malaysia, Najib said there was quite a big difference between tolerance and acceptance.

“I think when you say you tolerate, you don’t quite like it, but you accept it because you have no choice. But if you talk in terms of acceptance, it indicates a state of mind that you are embracing something positively,” he said.

 He said it was important for the people to migrate from the concept of mere tolerance to acceptance.

“Acceptance in the sense that you are ready to accept things. If you’re willing to accept things, if you embrace things willingly, then I think your capacity to look at things in a more positive manner is much better than mere tolerance,” he said. — Bernama


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