Ahmad Abdul Haq

Is there a convincing leader?

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Sumber: Kick Andy.com


Selasa, 09 Juni 2009 23:50 WIBIs there a convincing leader?

Is there a convincing leader? We now have three pairs of candidates vying for the position to be the president and vice president of this republic. Whether they are the best sons and daughter of the country is questionable but at least each seems to be convinced that he or she is the right person to lead this nation to happiness and prosperity.

To be sure JK's and Megawati's entrance in the presidential race together with Indonesia's most prominent and rather problematic generals certainly add to the drama of the election and provide the voters with more if not necessarily more interesting if choices. On top of it the result will undoubtedly seal the fate of these remnants of the New Order government once and for all in a sort of make or break coup de grace.

In the unlikely event that either Megawati or Jusuf Kalla wins the presidential election it would be the peak of their political ambitions, while losing will most likely see the end in their political careers.

My interest in this whole affair however, is not so much in the race and its potential outcome, as in what it is that can drive some people to believe that they can achieve great things based solely on personal ambitions without much solid basis for their convictions and without seemingly any awareness of the enormity of the task the leadership position entails.

After all running a huge country with its huge amount of problems such as Indonesia is a daunting task that would put off any sensible and rational person, especially given the less than happy fates of past leaders in this country.

Not only does succeeding requires a good understanding about how this country works as well as its role and place in the world family, but being a president is a job that requires a real calling beyond personal dreams and ambitions, personal sacrifice for the sake of the greater good and a vision that is far greater than the size of their personal ego and self serving interests.

Leadership requires a conviction not based on some misplaced delusion of grandeur or mythical divine rightness, or even simply the belief that one could do the job because he or she could muster the most number of votes.

After all what the people ultimately look for in a leader is not someone to fill the presidential seat once every five years but someone who could fill those five years making every citizen's dream for themselves and for the country come true: someone who works hard to serve the people and the country and not to polish their self-image, inflate their ego or suppress their fear of fading into political irrelevance.

Ten years into our democracy there is no longer any place in this republic for experimenting or playing political games and indulge in political musical chairs.

What the country needs is not someone who wants to play at being Mr or Mrs President and who sees the position as the ultimate and coveted prize of a lifelong political wheeling and dealing but someone who could be trusted to put the country's interests ahead of their own, a figure that truly embodies the nation's aspirations and inspires the people in their quest for a better future.

A someone whose conviction is not based on petty yearning but based on purity of intention and full awareness of the heavy weight of its responsibility. Someone with a clear vision of where the country should be heading and why. A person that is ultimately no mere mortal but a repository of all our hopes.

Looking at the present presidential candidates, though I admire their audacity and confidence at offering themselves to be the chosen leader, I cannot help but wonder if any of them is anywhere near morally fit to don the enormous mantle of responsibility and whether their integrity is big enough to fill the shoes of leadership.

I wonder about the kind of dreams they harbour at night: is it the fate of the nation that keeps them awake or the fate of their career that's making them toss and turn?

And lastly, looking at their faces, is there any amongst them selfless enough to be able to step outside the boundaries of their ego and really see themselves the way the people see them? Even just for a moment.

For then they might just realize what the country needs is not cynical politicians in the twilight of their career without real convictions desperately hanging on to power.

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