KUCHING, June 4: Sarawak Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said leaders should possess extraordinary wisdom and courage in addressing challenges and demands imposed by today’s society.
He pointed out that selecting wise and sincere leaders to continue developing the country was vital to prevent the nation from going backwards.
“Leaders play important roles in the process of developing the nation and fighting for the interest of the people. So, don’t be emotional in electing leaders,” he advised in his Hari Raya Aidilfitri message today.
Leaders must have these qualities because the state has different races, religions and different demands that needed to be fulfilled.
“For that, leaders and society needed to unite and work hard to find ‘cures’ (solutions) and means to cooperate on issues arising,” he stressed.
Additionally, Taib reminded that leaders must also be trustworthy, responsible and would never betray their promises and policies because it would have a negative impact or burden the people.
He, however, acknowledged that even though Muslims in Sarawak were the minority, Muslim and non-Muslim leaders had cooperated to administer this state fairly, always tolerating and respecting one another.
“Throughout history, since the nation’s independence, we have made many achievements, especially in the aspects of economic, social and political development in Malaysia in general and Sarawak in particular.
“Social development was among the achievements after independence in creating a sense of unity among Malaysians without pressure, force and oppression,” he added.
In the context of Islam, Taib said that the strength of faith and belief in Allah was an important aspect that became a force when faced with various challenges.
“A good leader will not easily give up because he is confident that Allah is always with him. A good leader is farsighted and visionary in which the surrounding community will look up to as someone who is worthy and reliable.
“Like Allah, the best leaders are visionary and lead by example. For Muslim leaders in Sarawak, this is the principle and great responsibility because Islamic teachings promote taking care of the welfare and rights of all people, irrespective of race, religion and culture,” he said.
Taib emphasised that it was also the responsibility of leaders in this Hari Raya Aidilfitri to nurtured these values among the younger generation so that such festive celebration could become a stepping stone to come together and enhanced ties as well as deepen understanding among the multicultural community Sarawak.
With a robust economy, he said many things could be done to improve the capabilities and social well-being of Muslims to prepare them for the globalised and competitive era.
“This is in line with the teachings of Islam on the importance of bettering oneself so to improve the quality and well-being of life,” he added.
The efforts to close the rural and urban gap, he continued, also required people to work hard in order to generate more income and get ahead with life.
“We see that urban and rural people can collaborate to become the labour workforce needed by our economy. In this competitive world, only people who are skilful and high spirited can improve and better control their economic standing.
“As we lead a more comfortable life compared to our brothers and sisters in other countries, we must take this opportunity to promote Islam as a sacred, respected and exemplary,” he said.
For Muslims, Taib hoped they had renewed strength and would overcome their weaknesses and challenges after observing a month of fasting and carried out self-reflection at the same time.
“We can now celebrate Aidilfitri in a happy and joyful atmosphere with our family, relatives as well as friends, including those of other faiths and races.
“Most importantly, I want all Sarawakians to realise that unity and cooperation must always remain in our lives and that of our younger generation,” he added.
The success and harmonious living in Sarawak, he emphasised, is the responsibility of every Sarawakians and not the government only.
“I am very grateful that our community appreciate and continue to protect the harmony and unity that bind us together, irrespective of race and religion in our efforts to move Sarawak forward.
“I take this opportunity to wish Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri to all,” he concluded. — DayakDaily