Friday, January 10, 2014

'Leaders Have To Mind Their Words', Bernama, 10 January 2014

Leaders Have To Mind Their Words

By Norshazlina Nor'azman

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 (Bernama) -- Of late statements made by some leaders over a host of issues especially on the rising cost of living due to the rationalisation of subsidies seemed to only further annoy the public.

Statements like "if you find the toll expensive, avoid using highways", "chicken price going up, so don't eat chicken, "vegetables going up, then plant your own greens", and "no complains so far means people agree to the price hikes" if not arrogant are certainly an insult to the public's intelligence.

That's not all, remember the statement "if you don't like BN, you can migrate" is certainly outrageous and the inconsistent statements on the opening of Hard Rock Cafe in Putrajaya clearly reflected on the convoluted minds speaking on the matter.

Statements like these reflect badly on the leaders and the government.

A lecturer with Universiti Sains Malaysia's Social Science Studies Centre Associate Professor Dr Sivamurugan Pandian noted that the leaders have to be more careful with their words if they were to avoid embarrassing themselves.


He said such statements would not help in shedding light on issues and on the contrary would create resentment.

"Politicians in giving their response have to be rational and have to see from the people's point of view, only then the people will look up at them.

"One must not forget that the voice of the leaders also represent the voice of the government. So, whatever they say will reflect on the government," he said when contacted by Bernama.


Sivamurugan said it was not too late for leaders to learn how to communicate effectively and at the same time preserve their credibility.

"They have to think over what they have to say if they don't want to end up as the but of the joke. Their irrational response could prove to be a liability to the government," he said.

Meanwhile, the National Professor Council's head of the Political, Security and International Relations Cluster Prof Datuk Dr Mohamed Mustafa Ishak felt that it was only proper one kept the mouth shut if one was not well versed on the subject matter.

"They have to know what they should answer...they have to pacify the people and talk in words that soothes the hearts of the people...nonsensical statements only further disappoint the people," he said.

Mohamed Mustafa noted that the government could help the leaders avoid the pitfalls by providing official talking points, or guidance on the approach to be taken in managing with issues.

He added that the people have the right to feel offended and angry when the issues were not properly addressed.


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