The Seven Eleven Test
Conclusion: Never trust politicians/religious leaders who advocate or adopt dubious means to achieve a supposedly great objective. The test of the ethics and honesty of politicians is the effectiveness and soundness of their methods. Everyone can have a great vision like Vision 2020 but look how the politicians have clouded that vision with poor policies. That's probably why Obama is considered to be a smarter and more adaptive politician in regards to his Middle East policy compared to McCain or Bush.
Update: One of the latest unsavoury methods of political power-grabbing is the agenda of the talks between PAS-UMNO based on the unity of a certain race. Says TK Tan in this article Signs of Disunity: "Our country continues to be undermined by the self-interests of many. Agents of disunity abound. And very few work for the good of all." I agree that very few politicians work for the good of all, but that is why good politicians who do not appeal to our lowest instincs are a rare and much desired breed in this country today.