BANGI (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A nation's choice of leader can see it become a world power, said Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. Or it can see it slide into war under the likes of someone like Adolf Hitler,
Tun Dr Mahathir was speaking at the launch of the first alumni convention of Malaysia Future Leaders School (MFLS) at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia here on Friday (Nov 22).
"If you choose a wrong leader without good character, society will be in trouble," he said.
"Germans are clever people in engineering and technology but at one point, they chose a leader called Adolf Hitler. From a highly-regarded nation, they became a lowly nation.
"He brought them to war. Many more leaders brought their nations into ruin. If wrong leaders are chosen, society will crumble," said Dr Mahathir.
The MFLS is a programme initiated by Dr Mahathir last May to train future leaders with the right values.
The alumni currently has 1,600 youths and was inspired by the Japan Future Leaders School.
"Leaders with high values will raise great civilisations in the society," said Dr Mahathir who pointed out how Peter the Czar of Russia transformed Russia into a world power through education.
He added that leaders must use their intelligence to control their humanly desires as the latter may bring about the fall of the nation.
"We are humans led by two factors - our desires and our brains. Our desires will lead us to do things without thinking of long-term effects.
"The brain will tell us what will happen if we follow our desires. Your brain can stop the downfall," said Dr Mahathir, pointing out that Malaysians should emulate the Japanese in being proud of whatever they undertake.