Empathic, accountable leaders wanted in Malaysia

The sacking of Prasarana Malaysia Berhad’s non-executive chairman Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman following his ‘train wreck’ press conference on Tuesday has set a precedent of what is expected of leaders in Malaysia.

His swift sacking by the Finance Ministry – Prasarana’s sole shareholder, has set the bar of what is expected of corporate and political leaders in the country, said Twentytwo13’s Pearl Lee in her column in Malay news website Getaran.

“Malaysians were shocked by the incident. They showed sympathy to the 213 victims of Monday’s LRT crash.

“Yet, Tajuddin’s actions of dismissing the entire episode as ‘two trains kissing each other’ showed his lack of empathy,” she wrote.

She said while there were six victims who were in critical condition, from Tajuddin’s standpoint, it was something trivial.

“Tajuddin, who is also Pasir Salak MP and Umno elections director, was unable to understand and empathise with others,” said Pearl.

She said empathy and accountability are top leadership traits that a leader should possess.

“Tajuddin’s actions of ‘schooling’ journalists on the meaning of ‘first thing in the morning’ when asked about his absence from the crash site on Monday night, and him berating a journalist from Phoenix TV, China, showed his style of leadership,” she wrote.

“In an era where press conferences are conducted ‘live’, leaders can’t say that their statement had been taken out of context, or that they had been misquoted by journalists the very next day,” she added.

To read the column, visit Getaran.my.