The day after the nomination. The BN’s meats and potatoes outlook towards the voters, has remained the same. Too much meat causes heart attack. Its grounded on (a) display of raw power (b) money.
The naked display of power alienates BN people from the rakyat.. nowadays, you behave like emperors you get thumped in the nose. BN’s very public display of power, arrogance, authority and wealth is nauseating. Its strikes at one of the most fundamental civic virtue that east coast people still have high regard- humility.
In the east coast states and especially now, in KT, the word humility is a very priceless virtue. Its linked to one’s religiosity. All the religions in the world, and to Islam which is the religion of the majority in KT, humility is a sign of recognising human frailties and smallness.
By 2pm on nomination day, most of the big gun politicians were already on their way back to
In Termerloh which is usually the choice stopover to break journey, the same kind of pretentious and haughty behaviour is for everyone to see. Maximus Ongkili was holding court among a retinue of hangers on, reporters, body guards scanning the horizon fearful and mindful, maybe some kampung people in Termerloh want to bump off Ongkili. Maybe they do, looking at his hairstyle and the face of a cocky bastard. At other tables, some lesser known politicians, were intimately chatting with their girlfriends oblivious to the status of being a public figure. Brother, even in rural Termerloh, there are people who read papers and surf internet la.
I am not a clairvoyant, but when two of my blogging friends Smalltalk and Ti Lian Ker gave their takes on the KT elections, I sense problem for BN. When smalltalk says, the nominations process took place in a very civil atmosphere, that indicates UMNO is already losing. UMNO practises pompous humility when its cornered. My friend Ti Lian Ker came out with his anti Hudud article which will alienate those Malays who voted BN last March into voting for PAS now. Its not that Ti’s article is not substantive- but having it written by a Chinese will be taken as proof, that UMNO in particular has little Islamic credentials.
Perhaps, UMNO people and leaders in particular should take lessons on humility. The benefits are many. It shows one is not pretentious and that breaks the ice in people relationships. It encourages more openness and paradoxically, it enhances one's self-confidence. It shows you are at peace with yourself. BN leaders going around town, behave as though they demand recognition and approval of their existence. Without subservient acknowledgement, they don’t feel complete. The unspoken response they received is probably FO!
Humility means you don’t feel superior to the others. In the business world for example, humility is a valuable asset. The writer of the management book, from Good to Great, suggests that humility is a crucial component in a level 5 leader. And according to Collins, Level 5 leadership usually results in really good companies. The essence of a level 5 leadership, is directing one’s ego away from oneself to the larger mission at hand. That being the victory for BN. Some of the signs of level 5 leadership are cultivating public anonymity, never boastful and usually behaving modest. Collins cited the example David Packard, the co-founder of Hewlett-Packard, who, Collins sees as defining himself as ' a HP man first and a CEO second. To be sure, our top leaders are not wanting in exhorting their charges to be UMNO or BN man first. Perhaps old habits die hard.
Indeed humility is an indication of inner strength. Admittedly its difficult to be humble all the time. Because of that, everyday, we battle against these tendencies. For example, the idea of being self-effacing is one that we struggle with in our competitive culture, because we want take every opportunity to toot our own horn.
But UMNO people don’t have to confuse humility with timidity. Humility is not clothing ourselves in an attitude of self-abasement or self-denigration. Humility is all about maintaining our pride about who we are, about our achievements, about our worth - but without arrogance - it is the antithesis of hubris, that excessive, arrogant pride which often leads to our the downfall. It's about a quiet confidence without the need for a meretricious selling of our wares. It's about being content to let others discover the layers of our talents without having to boast about them. It's a lack of arrogance, not a lack of aggressiveness in the pursuit of achievement.
There’s an old Malay saying, that the empty vessel makes the most noise which taken on the opposite, implies a full vessel does not make noise. Or the exhortation to be the spirit of the padi, the more content you have, the humbler one becomes. The interesting dichotomy is that, often, the higher people rise, the more they have accomplished, the higher the humility index. Those who achieve the most brag the least, and the more secure they are in themselves, the more humble they are.
I was reading an account of Khalid Ibrahim, the Selangor MB while in Terengganu. From that anecdotal account, Khalid appears to show a mark of a leader who practices humility when he interacts with KT people. He has shown willingness to treat everyone with respect regardless of position. When we approach situations from a perspective of humility, many profitable things take place: As one author says:
It opens us up to possibilities, as we choose open-mindedness and curiosity over protecting our point of view. We spend more time in that wonderful space of the beginner's mind, willing to learn from what others have to offer. We move away from pushing into allowing, from insecure to secure, from seeking approval to seeking enlightenment. We forget about being perfect and we enjoy being in the moment.