'Cowardly leaders are most dangerous'

Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim said that leaders must have courage to take action when problems are identified.
Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim said that leaders must have courage to take action when problems are identified.

KUALA LUMPUR - Johor's Crown Prince has said leaders must have the courage to take action when problems are identified, labelling those who are "cowardly" as the "most dangerous" of men. He did not identify anyone in his remarks, which were posted on Sunday on the Facebook page of the Johor Southern Tigers, of which he is its president.

Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim said his message was based on the teachings of his grandfather - the late Sultan Iskandar, who taught him about quality leadership.

The prince said: "He said that a cowardly leader is the most dangerous of men and that one of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognise a problem before it becomes an emergency. He also taught me that great leaders muster the courage to fulfil his vision from passion, not position."

After making remarks aimed at Prime Minister Najib Razak's administration in recent weeks, these remarks might be seen as being targeted at government leaders, although the prince said in the posting that his message was aimed at leaders of the Johor government and non-governmental organisations.

The prince had said when Mr Najib failed to attend a forum that was meant to explain issues linked to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal: "How can you have a dialogue called Nothing2Hide featuring a person who has everything to hide? Obviously he won't show up." The prince was warned by Malaysia's Tourism Minister Nazri Aziz that if he kept entering the political arena, he should be ready to get "whacked" like everyone else.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 30, 2015, with the headline ''Cowardly leaders are most dangerous''. Print Edition | Subscribe