'Our leaders must have guts'
Published: Friday | February 13, 2009
Dalbert Laing, field officer at The Gleaner Company, accepts the Silver Pen award from Jenni Campbell, managing editor of The Gleaner, at the newspaper's head office on North Street in Kingston yesterday. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer
"Leaders must lead and lead by example," says Dalbert Laing, recent recipient of The Gleaner's Silver Pen award.
Laing was presented with his award at the newspaper's North Street office yesterday by The Gleaner's managing editor, Jenni Campbell. The Silver Pen is presented to the writer of the publication's Letter of the Month.
In his letter 'Blueprint to change the national fabric', published December 13, 2008, Laing said he believed crime and corruption in Jamaica could be successfully curtailed if the country's leaders were to apply a more united and creative way of correcting the current problems rather than its present "Band-Aid approach".
"It is a sad state of affairs as, in my view, I think many persons see leadership as a means of satisfying their selfish desire," he wrote.
He added: "Sad to say, many of our political leaders have fallen prey to such behaviour. Politicians, like any other leaders, need to be reminded that they are placed in responsible positions with no other purpose but to lead. Currently, there is a cry for leaders who have the will, the determination and the drive, leaders who have guts to do all that is necessary to bring about change, even at the expense of being unpopular."
Laing, who is a former member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), where he spent nine years from 1980 to 1989, is currently employed as a field officer in The Gleaner's circulation department.
He said he became disillusioned with the way in which some officers of the force operated, which led to his resignation.
"I liked the job, but I became very disappointed with the direction in which many of our leaders were going," he said. "Leaders must lead and too often we blame subordinates for the downfall of things. When things go bad, the fingers must point to leadership and the force lacked that immensely."
He said he felt compelled to write the letter to The Gleaner as he felt it was part of his civic duty.