BANGI, Nov 22 (Bernama) -- The Malaysia Future Leaders School (MFLS) Programme, created early this year to produce youth leaders, must be continued and further enhanced, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.
He noted that leadership schools have become important in present times due to the key roles played by leaders in developing society and to successfully carry out the national agenda.
“To be a leader, we need to have certain traits. (Leaders) who are instilled with good and noble values can change the fate of even the most backward society to one which prospers,” he said at the Alumni Malaysia Future Leaders School (MFLS) convention at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia today.
Dr Mahathir said the people must choose strong leaders with good values who will help contribute to nation building.
“Strong leaders with good morals, they will be able to help develop society into a highly respected and civilised nation,” he said.
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Citing Russian history, Dr Mahathir said its famous leader Peter the Great had successfully transformed the nation from a backward society into a world power.
"Peter the Great made a decision to bring changes to his people and as a leader, he was able to transform Russia into a nation that was successful in many fields until it became a world power,” he said.
To become a leader, the premier said one has to learn how to control their emotions, and recognise the possible consequences if they failed to do so.
“If they (leaders) are easily trapped by (their) desires, they will also bring down the society that they lead,” he said, adding that if society was led by noble leaders, then its people will prosper.
Likewise, bad leaders will only bring about problems to their people, Dr Mahathir said.
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He said there have been leaders who abused their powers which led to action taken against them.
“Power, when abused, would destroy the individual and society, and that is why we have to choose the right leaders in Malaysia. When you have good leaders, society will be successful, but when you have bad ones, it can be disastrous.
Pointing out Japan as an example, Dr Mahathir said its people took great pride in their self-esteem and capabilities, and are quick to feel ashamed over bad societal elements or the inability to contribute to progress.
“I pray for the continuity of this school (MFLS) so that Malaysians will be instilled with noble values that every leader should have,” he said.