No one in living memory has ever had to drag so much unnecessary baggage along with him as Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak is doing on assuming the highest political office in Malaysia.
My heart naturally goes out to the unfortunate man who has had to fend off, without a break, a relentless barrage of poison-tipped arrows all aimed at his personal and public integrity.
I will not claim to know how he must feel because I would have absolutely no idea unless I were in his well-heeled shoes. And this would be most unlikely even in a million years.
Under different and happier circumstances, he should be celebrating his moment of destiny, the attainment, albeit Umno-style, of the greatest political prize of all.
However, I doubt, in spite of his calm and controlled demeanour and composure that he is looking forward to the great day with even the same degree of enthusiasm that I manage to wake up each morning for my breakfast.
Frankly I marvel at his ability to remain almost as unflappable (as the legendary Harold Macmillan, the British Tory prime minister of the “winds of change” fame) in such a difficult and dangerous situation. He would, in my book, rate an A+ for sang froid and panache.
For Najib, the saying “uneasy lies the head that wears the crown” seems entirely superfluous and irrelevant. Lucky you to be oblivious to the hostile world around.
Najib in the eyes of his detractors, and their numbers are legion, apparently has no redeeming feature at all which cannot be true because no human being is all bad.
However, the rumours about him that appear with such regular monotony on many blogs are unlikely to go away any time soon. The allegations are serious in the extreme, touching as they do upon his personal honour and integrity.
They will continue to dog and haunt him for as long as he holds public office. What a way to begin his stewardship of a troubled nation, a nation that seems to lack moral direction under the present government.
On present showing, his moral and ethical legitimacy to lead the nation is in serious doubt, and he must, for the sake of putting these malicious allegations to rest, once and for all, begin the process of suing those who have blackened his name and threatened his elevation to the office of prime minister of Malaysia.
This is the only way of clearing his name before the world. Nothing less than a full and open recourse to the justice system will suffice. The people of this country must not be shortchanged by having someone who has yet to clear his name in a court of law foisted on them.
They deserve better and Najib the new prime minister will then deservedly enjoy inestimable legitimacy and prestige in the eyes of the people of this country and the wider world.
Najib has all the positive qualities of leadership. He is literally and figuratively head and shoulders above the rest of the Umno stalwarts and it would be a pity if he chose to ignore the increasingly persistently strident collective voice for high moral and ethical standards in our political leaders.
It seems only fair that if Najib should feel unable for any reason to defend his honour and integrity in a court of law, then he will have to put up with more imputations of improper motives.
If he is not prepared, again for any reason, to put all of his actions under the closest public scrutiny, then he should reconsider his position. This is the ethical way forward, the only way, for anyone aspiring to the highest public office who harbours even the slightest doubt about his moral and ethical fitness for office. Yes, the standards expected are high, and the rewards are even higher. If you believe that you meet these expectations, then I wish you a long and successful stewardship of this nation, always I hope in the public interest.