The National, Wednesday, May 25, 2011
I REFER to the letter “Chief failed to groom young leaders” (The National, May 23).
I would like to thank the writer, L. Lai, for the response to my observations.
The Grand Chief could have allowed Don Polye to assume the position in his absence but he did not for reasons only known to him and possibly his inner circle.
He would have carefully considered the consequences before making that decision.
Polye’s ambition has been an open secret and many would agree that while he possesses admirable leadership qualities, it is too early for him to assume control.
Ambition, ego, maturity and neutrality are factors which would have been considered by the prime minister.
The writer’s reasoning that the decision stemmed from greed and desire to cling to power is weak in that the Chief has, in fact, handed it to Sam Abal.
Is the Chief still in power or in a Singapore hospital?
Furthermore, it implies that had Polye been appointed, the Chief would have been ousted due to some hidden plot to remove him from office.
I am sure this is not Polye’s intention but the writer’s.
Therefore, “greed” may be an inappropriate word to describe the Chief’s actions and decision.
Maybe the term “desperate” would be more fitting.
He may have been fearful of the kind of leadership the country would endure if placed in the wrong hands.
The writer’s reasoning that the appointment of Abal confirms the Chief’s fear of being threatened by young, vibrant, energetic and educated MP’s is contradictory as Abal is a young, vibrant, energetic and educated MP.
In this day and age when politics is highly emotionally charged along ethnic and regional lines – as shown in the NA’s internal power struggle – maturity and neutrality are important for stability.
Coalition partners would seize this opportunity to destabilise NA.
I agree that the Chief has failed to groom young leaders.
In fact, grooming future leaders by those in power is a problem not restricted to politics alone but is also evident in government departments, companies and other organisations.
This is due to fear.
Notwithstanding that, in the life of any aspiring leader, everything that happens to or around them are valuable lessons learned from which they will ascend to the next level wiser and more mature than before. Polye has already shown his coming of age in not allowing this issue to upset him and I admire his humility.
All the noise seems to be coming from others down the line and the reason for all the noise is their hunger for power and not because they were not mentored.
When you look carefully, Polye is still the NA highlands leader and come election next year, he will assume the NA leadership and – if mandated – the PM’s post, wiser and more mature.
In closing, I would like to say that the Chief may have made some poor and biased decisions in the past but in Abal’s appointment, it was a wise move.