PETALING JAYA: The call by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to work with him and not for him is a declaration of a fresh leadership style, said Youth Academy, a policy research and leadership programme think tank.
Academy chairman Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said the Prime Ministers speech on Saturday was an announcement that indicated a departure from the style of his predecessor Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Under the 'work for' style, the Government makes the decision while the people assist in the implementation only.
Whereas the 'work with' paradigm assumes that the Government should acknowledge the people's capacity in assisting in the decision making process.
This new paradigm puts the people as a partner in development together with the Government, he said.
He added that Abdullah was just being his consultative self in making the announcement that indicated a new framework of governance.
On Saturday, Abdullah told Malaysians to work alongside him for the benefit of the country.
Citing several of work with policies of Abdullah, Saifuddin said:
As a student leader in the 1960s, he introduced tuition as a core project because he believed that coaching and consulting practices among the students would help the Malays to improve academically.
When he became the Youth and Sports Ministry's director-general, he initiated the Youth Consultative Council as a forum to exercise decision making.
As a Deputy Prime Minister, he introduced the Students Consultative Council. All these show that 'work with' has always been his style, he added.
Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said:
By asking the rakyat to work with him, he touches on the fundamental principle of participatory democracy which is vitally needed to deal with the multifarious problems of the nation.
It is hoped that Pak Lahs sincere commitment to work with the people will be emulated by his Cabinet, state administrations, local authorities and the civil service, he added.
Malaysia Hindu Sangam also joined in congratulating Abdullah on his new appointment.
At a Deepavali dinner in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, its president Datuk A. Vaithilingam said:
His experiences as a civil servant before joining politics will go a long way in helping him face the difficult tasks ahead.
MCA Hotline Service chairman Tai Sim Yew said she was confident that the country's administration would be in safe hands especially with the support of the rakyat and Barisan Nasional component parties which had strived successfully to achieve racial harmony, social, economic and political stability and unity in diversity.
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