BERITA DAILY LETTER: From Vinod Naidu, via e-mail

The 14th general election manifesto by the opposition has a separate chapter to address the Indian community. Nevertheless, it is not something which we are unaccustomed of. The 2013 Gelang Patah Declaration had also aimed at the same community.

Leaders here, referring to elected representatives, play a paramount role in ensuring a smooth delivery of these profuse promises made in the manifesto. They would be decision makers who will have to incorporate these promises into policies at national and state levels.

The elected representative first would need to believe and have faith in the various items under the manifesto. It is simply incomprehensible for a leader who doesn’t believe in the manifesto to ensure the delivery on the promises made.

As a case in point, recall on the manifesto of the formation of a Hindu Endowment Board at every state. There has been a lot of work put forward by young professionals in Selangor to form this board over the past few years. However, this initiative was shot down by the residing sole Indian exco member himself.

The leader himself does not believe in the manifesto put forward, subsequently he becomes the biggest obstacle in delivering the promises made to the rakyat.

“Good leaders have vision and inspire others to help them turn vision into reality. Great leaders have vision, share vision, and inspire others to create their own”.

A visionary leader is extremely crucial, as elected representative determines the future of our beloved nation. Leader with visions would put forward various initiatives and row forward as they develop the community, geared towards the future.

Selangor has an excellent example of how a visionary leader can have major impacts on the state’s Indian agenda. When the Pakatan Rakyat took over Selangor in 2008, the then exco member had led the Indian agenda, mainly focused on education, temples and community empowerment.

The state government introduced cash handouts to these various entities which had gone a big way in helping the cash strapped Tamil schools and temples. Besides that, there were various initiatives and innovative programs that the state government took up some on their own and rest in partnership with various non-profits.

These initiatives though not as popular as cash handouts, are the actual key to empowering the community towards self-dependent and building future leaderships. After two terms, the state leadership then appointed a new exco member to lead the Indian agenda. Back then, we praised this move as the Indian community has a history of leaders not vacating their seats.

The new and current exco member is deemed to have not done any extra initiatives most likely because he does not have a vision in mind. The only activity that he promotes himself proudly is through the various cash handouts put forward. These cash handouts are not going to solve the issues faced by the Indian community and is not sustainable.

The new exco member turned into an obstacle instead of delivering promises made to the rakyat. Selangor’s basic comparison of two different leadership is an example of why the choice of leaders put forward is so important in delivering promises made to the rakyat.

I hope the party leadership takes the past as a lesson learnt and move forward judiciously by ensuring that they have chosen capable leaders that would be able to deliver the promises made and not become the major obstacle instead. And as rakyat, let’s go all out to vote and ensure our voices go the ballot boxes.

Vinod Naidu is a young Malaysian actively participating in the Malaysian democratic process.