Barefoot Investor: Great leaders make good speeches

(The Star) - One of the qualities of a great leader is his skill in delivering speeches, said Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.

“Napoleon Bonaparte could move his tired and injured army to keep fighting regardless of the pain,” she said in her speech at the Malaysian Children’s Speech Competition 2010 yesterday.

She said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak hoped that the competition would produce Malaysians who were highly capable in leadership as well as public speaking.

“He understands the importance of public speaking in spreading effective messages or gathering the support of the community to shift society’s paradigm towards a dynamic way of thinking,’’ said Rosmah in her speech which was read by Yayasan Harapan Kanak-Kanak Malaysia (YHKM) media advisory board member Datuk Atiqah Adom.

Rosmah said multimedia presentations could be incorporated into traditional speech-giving methods for effectiveness.

Entering its sixth year, the competition was hosted by Universiti Putra Malaysia and organised by YHKM.

The winner of the Bahasa Malaysia category was Nurul Anis Amral, 12, who gave a speech about embracing independence in Malaysia.

Arathi Jeyaratnam, 12, from SK Marian Convent, Ipoh, was first in the English language category with her speech, “Our diversity, our strength”.


“Great leaders make good speeches,” says Rosmah Mansor, Malaysia’s ‘First Lady’. I hope she was just pulling our leg although it is not yet 1st April. If she means what she says then her husband, Najib Tun Razak, is not a great leader because he makes awful speeches, as you can see below.


What kind of speech was that? It is the lowest class speech I have ever heard. He was patronising the crowd and treating them like country bumpkins.

If you judge a leader by the speeches he or she makes then Anwar Ibrahim can be considered a great leader. Even his enemies admit that he is a great orator, far superior to Najib. Would Rosmah admit that based on Anwar’s oratory skills he is a great leader?

Adolf Hitler was a great orator. He made wonderful speeches. According to Rosmah’s guidelines Hitler was a great leader. Well, tell that to the Jews, French, English, Dutch, Poles, and so on, and see whether they agree with you that Hitler was a great leader.

There were many ‘great leaders’ since time immemorial who were great orators and could move mountains with their oratory skills but were the worst leaders in history. They were cruel and violent. They conquered smaller countries that were helpless. They launched ethnic cleansing and exterminated entire populations. And much more.

To many Iraqis, Saddam Hussein was a great leader. His speeches could move people to tears. Closer to home, Sukarno of Indonesia was an example of a great leader. While Marie Antoinette, the French Queen, asked her people to eat cake, Sukarno asked his people to eat rats as long as they can ganyang (whack) Malaysia. And the Indonesians cheered and cried and treated Sukarno as a ‘God send’.

A great leader is not one who can talk or make wonderful speeches. It is one who is able to walk the talk or practice what he or she preaches. Talking is cheap. Anyone can talk. It is delivering what you say that really matters.

What kind of education is Rosmah subjecting the Malaysian youth to? She is teaching them that you must know how to talk, not how to walk the talk. Speeches must come from the heart. Only then will you mean what you say and say what you mean (bikin serupa cakap dan cakap serupa bikin, as the Malays would say).

We have had enough of talk-only leaders. The world is in a mess because of these talk-only leaders. The UN is a ‘talk shop’. NATO is ‘No Action Talk Only’ oganisation. The OIC is a ‘oh, I see’, another talk shop where the Muslims whack the ‘infidels’ and immediately afterwards Muslims make deals with the ‘infidels’ and sell out their brother Muslims. The OIC is the worst example of the hypocritical ‘Muslim Brotherhood’. But their leaders deliver great speeches.

We have had enough of leaders who are just great at talking but are not able to walk the talk. We want to see leaders who can deliver and who mean what they say and say what they mean. The entire world is in chaos because of leaders with great oratory skills. Malaysia too has its share of ‘great leaders’ who pandai cakap (clever at talking) but do not mean a word they say.

How can Najib be a great leader when he screams 1Malaysia in front of the Chinese and Indians and swears to uphold Ketuanan Melayu in front of the Malays? Maybe the fact that the Malays, Chinese and Indians all support him in spite of these contradicting signals is a mark of a great leader.

They say you can fool some of the people all the time, all the people some of the time, but not all the people all the time. And in Najib’s case he appears able to fool all the people all the time.

I suppose this makes him a great leader because not many are capable of doing this. But then with the rakyat Malaysia being bodoh (stupid) this is not that difficult to do.


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