A refreshing keynote speech by Tun Mahathir at MSLS XII on Aug 11 2018. I can’t recall the last time a Malaysian politician spoke about the importance of having good values and be so genuine.
Tun M spoke of how given his age, he has seen the rapid rise of nations and nations that fail to mobilize. Nations that thrive are of a people with a good value system.
He spoke of Japan. He clarified he’s no blind fan of Japan, he remembers what the Japanese did during WW2 but it’s important to acknowledge their value system enabled them to rapidly rise after WW2.
The value system of the Japanese is that of a strong sense of shame. If they are entrusted with a task, failure to deliver will have them committing suicide.
Tun Mahathir spoke about the importance of having a good value system and how we must demand it of our leaders.
1) The first value is that of hard work. We need to learn to admire and aspire to be people that work hard. (He joked that its self praise but he works hard)
2) The second value is that of honesty and trustworthiness. He linked it to PTPTN – it is given to you as a trust and you should pay it back. Else your leakage is no different than that of 1MDB.
3) Tun then spoke of the importance of a leader having ideas, of having more ideas than one’s followers. To have ideas, you must have experience and knowledge, which you can attain by reading. With ideas, you will be equipped to tackle problems.
4) A leader needs to be brave and ready to take risks – more risks than his/her followers. Be like the generals of the olden days who are in battle with the soldiers, not one today and far removed from the risk.