While former prime minister Dr Mahathir has been the most vocal among the critics, that fact alone is not sufficient to single him out as the individual behind the recent allegations.
Leaders must demonstrate calmness and avoid the tendency to make ambiguous or reflex statements to confuse the public.
The burden of providing proof should apply both ways. In that regard, more Umno leaders should emulate Mukhriz’s demeanour in handling political conflicts.
Compared to some other leaders, he demonstrated calmness, was composed and avoided the tendency to make ambiguous or reflex statements to confuse the public.
He clearly stated that his support for the current Umno leadership remained steadfast, but cautioned that the people’s concerns must be addressed effectively.
There should not be any ambiguity in answering questions pertaining to issues highlighted by the critics. Having said that, the issues at hand are more urgent.
The credibility of our prime minister has to be restored swiftly or confidence in the leadership will erode. More importantly is the manner in which all relevant authorities and governing institutions of the country are being run.
The issues under scrutiny, if further delayed and not answered satisfactorily, will render all efforts worthless, as inaction will speak louder than words. On that note, all leaders must heed the lessons from this incident.
Transparency is a double-edged sword which is not easily withdrawn once wielded. It has to go all the way.
Hesitations or wanton disregard in utilising transparency will not produce the positive results it is supposed to derive.
The people want their leaders to be honest, clear and committed to what they say they want to do.
Double standards, ambiguity, and anything short of clarity and conviction will trigger anxieties leading to fear, suspicion and speculation.
These pitfalls must be avoided by leaders if they wish to be effective in carrying out their duties.
Secondly, delays are deadly. Information is not only disseminated at the speed of light, but from thousands of sources, complete with analysis, simultaneously.
Slow reaction, with unintelligent factors added, does not help in extinguishing anxieties; rather, it further fuels the vicious cycle of negativity.
Finally, almost contradictorily, though lightning speed and huge volumes of information are inevitable and a given factor, leaders must not take it all for granted.
They need to digest and understand both the need to handle issues swiftly, and at the same time, demonstrate that their actions or words do not originate from haste, and without careful thought and consideration.
At the end of the day, what really matters is that the sincerity and conviction of a leader must genuinely reach out to the people and give them comfort and confidence, signalling with clarity that their well-being and the nation’s will be safeguarded diligently and not forsaken wantonly.