Looking for an ideal leader

Stabroek News
June 22, 2001

Dear Editor,

I would greatly appreciate it if your paper would advertise (on behalf of all Guyanese) for a leader of the country. Certain qualities are necessary, without which applicants should not be considered.
The ideal candidate should:
* Be a Guyanese of humble birth who can adequately exhibit his love for country.
* Have an unblemished character (10,000 references from Guyanese of similarly good standing are required).
* Be honest in thought and in deed.
* Have a supreme level of self discipline.
* Must be uncomfortable with the idea that his country is populated with so many foreigners who prefer to classify themselves as either Indians or Africans and are yet to establish their citizenship as Guyanese.
* Be in tune with the needs of the people and formulate a manageable vision that motivates their every effort.
* Have a verifiable track record of good business management with exposure to a corporate environment at the executive level.
* Have a sound academic base. A university degree is preferred but may be replaced with management experience for a period of at least sixteen years.

Current politicians need not apply.

I can continue this list but I dare not exhaust your readership. They can surely fill in the blanks. Is there such a person?

Clearly, this is the depressed state of mind of most Guyanese. Seeing the article on the fire at the Ministry of Housing on your web site has brought me to this place. Crime and corruption remain rampant and the discontent of the population abounds yet no leader is willing to step up to the plate.

What will it take to make all Guyanese realize that the present road they are on leads only further into the abyss? Don't they realize that the plight of the nation represents an excellent opportunity for them to take matters into their own hands to create a society that has character and a nation that is respected worldwide? Can they see themselves in the eyes of others who are prepared to watch this promising nation crumble with the stupidity of a few at the expense of the majority of well intentioned Guyanese?

The answer might be to sell out to one of the international conglomerates and register the political parties as separate unions bargaining for their supporters. Wait a minute, that sounds like colonization all over again.

Maybe we don't need to take a step that far back but we do need to do something, if we are to once again forge ahead. Consolidate our gains thus far; highlight the positive things of our past and refocus our goals and objectives to more manageable and tangible results. Let us start with accepting the right of each and every person to either agree or disagree; or to choose to be different yet respect each other. Moreover, we should undertake the collective responsibility to uphold this right.

Yours faithfully,
Merrill Hyman

Editor's note
The debate on ideal leaders goes back to the days of Socrates. There is no perfect system and there are no perfect leaders. Certainly, there is need for mature leadership in Guyana today given the problems of ethnic insecurity. There are some who believe that the vital problem here is the system of governance.