As an interlude to further economic essays that I may produce, I present here something which is more topical. I am talking about the coming clash of the young lions in the race for Ketua Pemuda UMNO. I hope all three can compete in the March UMNO elections. I pray no one is disqualified from competing. The pemuda delegates are offered a menu of choices if all three are able to compete. It is important to allow competition as that draws out the best from candidates.
The market is awash with rumours that Khir Toyo’s boys may be hauled by the UMNO disciplinary committee or even the BPR. Needless to say, KT’s boys are active all over the country. This shows that KT is an intense competitor and intense leadership may be what we actually want. Word has it that KT is backed by powerful corporate figures and among them a prominent businessman, Dato F with links with
Maybe the National Fatwa Council should step in and declare that its haram for people to give and accept money. It would be interesting to see whether UMNO delegates will adhere to the fatwa.
The problem with the usage of money is that it prevents us from determining a truer leadership quality. Money is the great equalizer. It equals all competitors, plebeians and patricians, uncouth and genteel. The one time file searcher and peon with deep pockets is held in higher esteem than the doctoral student with empty pockets. Thus we are faced with a Hobson’s choice as who to evaluate the better leader.
So how do we make our choice? A visitor to my blog who goes by the name of Confuseus reproduced the following guidance from a famous Muslim ulamak (one of the four Imam Mahzab).
Ketika Imam Ahmad Ibnu Hanbal ditanya tentang 2 orang yang dicalonkan untuk memimpin satu pasukan, yang pertama kuat tapi bergelumang dalam dosa dan yang kedua, baik keberagamaannya namun lemah. Beliau menjawab “Orang pertama, dosanya dipikul sendiri sedangkan kekuatannya mendokong kepentingan umat manakala orang kedua, keberagamaannya untuk diri sendiri sedangkan kelemahannya menjadi petaka bagi yang dipimpin. Inilah pertimbangan dalam menetapkan pilihan. Sabda Nabi SAW “Sesiapa yang mengangkat seseorang untuk satu jabatan yang berkaitan dengan urusan masyarakat sedangkan dia mengetahui ada yang lebih tepat, maka sesungguhnya ia telah mengkhianati Allah, Rasul dan kaum Muslimin”
I translate as follows:- When Imam Ahmad ibnu Hanbal was asked regarding two candidates nominated to lead a team, he was asked to give his opinions on them. The first candidate is a strong leader but besmirched with sins. The second candidate is a very religious person but a weak leader. Which to choose?
The Imam answered: the first candidate answers for himself for his sins but his leadership strength supports the whole community. The second candidate’s religiosity benefits himself personally, but his weakness injures whole communities. These considerations should be the basis of choosing a leader.
The Holy Prophet(PBUH) said: whomsoever elects someone into office dealing with society knowing that there is a better candidate, verily he has betrayed Allah, the Prophet(PBUH) and the Muslim in general.
By a happy happenstance, KJ’s fortunes in the battle for Ketua Pemuda depends on a person outside UMNO. This 20th December, KJ will participate in a forum about the political future of this country with Husam Musa, the PAS EXCO from Kelantan. That will be a chance for UMNO supporters to judge KJ’s leadership qualities. He will be representing UMNO as a whole. Too bad, his readiness to engage in an open debate with his fellow contenders was not appreciated. With that, we have lost an opportunity to size up KJ. It could have been the opportunity for all of us to judge KJ in terms laid down by the Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal.