Change Can Only Come if the Leadership Wants! [Archives:2000/03/Viewpoint]

January 17 2000

Throughout history, decision-makers were able to shape lives of nations. They were able to drag them to wars, implement strict rules that changes the environment they live in, and enforce changes that were reflected in their lives. Today, they continue to keep this power, and they are the ones who can implement real change.
Decisions from powerful leaders are the first step in implementing true change in any environment, especially in third world countries, where direct involvement of the public in vital decisions is relatively weak. During the last several months, calls for change in the country has become the talk of the hour. People whisper here and there saying that it is about time for some change in an attempt to get the country a little bit closer to its neighbors in regards to economic growth, and the well being of its people. However, the change anticipated although important is still not in their hands. Any change that could have a lasting effect on our lives should come from the leadership.
President Saleh has for many times promised to establish a country of law and order, to draw new lines for the country’s strategy in order to get it out of its current economic crisis. His words were shining and promising. But on the other hand, how can he implement this promised change if the executive machinery that is supposed to run the country (government) stays with the same mentality, inefficiency, and corruption.
The efficiency of a government of any country without doubt reflects the wisdom and efficiency of the President himself, of course the reverse is also valid.
The President needs today to prove that there will be change. He should lead the change and bring more hope into the poor Yemeni citizen who undergoes a lot of economic and social pressure in a time we experience a global transformation into modern times.
As the founder of Yemen Times, Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf (may his soul rest in peace) once said, “President Saleh has to lead with more change. If he blocks gradual change, there is a possibility of creating a bottleneck like a build-up behind a dam. The forces of change will gather forces and eventually burst the dam. He has to see this, and work to avoid this scenarioÉChange is an inevitable part of a dynamic society. We must embark on change, though we must pace ourselves with an eye to our socio-cultural conditions and reality. But, please do not stop cycling.”It is up to you Mr. President to accomplish this change. No matter what the normal citizen does, no matter how much he works for change, you are the one who can bring this change into reality.
Let us all hope that he will be enlightened and guided to the proper manner of accomplishing the great transition we expect and to achieve the long waited change to the better.
Walid Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf     
Chief Editor