Our new ministers and mentris besar, having gone through a contentious general election, will be scrutinised.
They won't have it easy. Their every
step will be watched not just by the
Prime Minister but also by the
Their priority is to ensure the smooth
running of their respective ministries and states and to take them to greater heights.
Equally important is a commitment to live up to the people's trust. They must not betray public
Some of the new ministers, mentris Besar
and state executive councillors are new; understandably, along the way,
they may make mistakes.
What is important is they must be
accountable and democratic. They must
remember that they are there to serve
the people not their personal interests.
There is no place for arrogant leaders.
Some start off with great humility and
restraint but become high-handed after
having all that power in their hands.
These leaders will be dumped in
the next elections.
Some of us may not agree with the politics
of Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Nik
Aziz Nik Mat and some others may
question his competence. What can't be
argued is his down-to-earth style.
His approach has endeared him to the
people of Kelantan. That, in many ways,
has helped PAS fend off the attacks by
It's the same with the MCA state
assemblymen in Penang.
Moving around on motorcycles to
serve the people, their service-oriented approach has paid off.
In the recent elections, all nine MCA
state candidates were returned by the voters.
They have set up numerous service
centres in their constituencies, even along alleys, which they call Pusat Rihat Barisan Nasional.
The party has also set up Pusat Rekreasi
Barisan Nasional or recreation centres in neighbourhoods for community
These meeting points, with no office
equipment, serve as meeting places for MCA representatives and their
constituents to discuss localised
Such grassroots interaction has paid
off. The party has gained the confidence
of the people who believe and rightly
so that their leaders must be honest and have integrity.
The results of the 10th general election
have shown quite clearly that there is a certain degree of disillusionment with the Government.
Barisan ministers, mentris besar and chief ministers must regain the trust of
those who threw their support behind the
For state assemblymen, effective service centres must be set up in opposition-held areas to show their commitment to the people. The kind of service provided by MCA's
Michael Choong, for example, must be
made available in all
Likewise, every housing estate should
have such Barisan service centres, similar to what Singapore's
PAP has done, to prove to the people
that their welfare and interest are
taken to heart.
Facilities should be provided even in
As for Terengganu Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Hadi Awang, he must not neglect the interests of non-Muslims
neither should he ignore the
materialistic part of development.
Our new leaders should attempt to inculcate a new culture among their supporters and the public. They should insist that their visits to villages are without
unnecessary pomp and fanfare.
There is no need for bunga mangga or
lion dances when such visits are part of
their job routine. Leaders should get
on with their jobs without wasting money or time and energy.
Do away with grand and meaningless ceremonies unless they involve some projects of significance. Event
organisers should be discouraged from
insisting that VIP guests perform
tasks for the sake of publicity.
That aside, our new leaders must believe
in strengthening accountability. They
must understand the need for democratic reforms, even if done gradually.
Now that the appointments are made, our
leaders should be given time to settle in. For those who were rejected in the elections, they must
understand their position.
The voters have spoken. All
newly-elected representatives do
not have to worry about the next
elections provided they prove themselves worthy from now till then.