Salleh Said Keruak
1. History has shown that many world leaders are losing while attempting making changes. Gorbachev failed to introduce Glasnost and Perestroika, Habibie was rejected by his party when reforming bureaucracy and the powerful army while Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim wanted to bring reform in the BN government was sacked and imprisoned by his own political mentor. This shows that to be a transformative leader, it is not easy, not to mention that if the changes involve a multicultural society.
2. However, it is not for Najib Razak. Despite many changes, he has remained PM until now. This is because of his multiculturalist transformational leadership – democratic and “people-centric.” As a result, Malaysians today are not only enjoying economic prosperity but also enjoying freedom of speech. No restriction is imposed on those who criticize him and his wife, his cabinet ministers, and his party in social media and those took to the street to hold demonstrations. In fact, there are no arrests such as Operation Lalang (Ops Lalang) on opposition leaders and civil society which have continuous criticized, spread slander and disseminate false news on his administration.
3. Indeed, Najib’s successfully led the BN government, making Malaysia more democratic, upholding the people’s sovereignty, distributing economic opportunities equally, establishing welfare administration, and implementing moderate Islamic rule. Looking forward, we should be grateful for being led by Najib Razak, a transformative and multiculturalist leader.