9 May 2018 will do down in history as one in which the landscape of politics of Malaysia has been changed forever, with the dawn of a “New Malaysia”. All Malaysians witnessed what they could not have fathomed before that date, the demise of the ruling party that has helmed the government for well over 62 years.
This unprecedented upheaval in the political landscape was orchestrated by a 93-year-old veteran of Malaysian politics, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who, despite all odds, ousted Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. Being in power since independence, the ruling party helmed by Najib Razak was deemed as being “too big to fall”. However, it did fall, despite overwhelming odds. Many factors contributed to this.
One of them is the leadership style of Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad that differs significantly from Datuk Seri Najib Razak. Here, we analyze the styles adopted by both leaders to understand better how one style outshines the other.
The key leadership attributes that have directly contributed to superior leadership of Tun Dr Mahathir as compared to Datuk Seri Najib Razak may be summarized as having integral vision, capitalizing on insight and adopting a servant leadership approach and emphasizing the need for accountability.
McKinsey and Company, one of the largest consulting firms in the world, published a report outlining why leadership development efforts undertaken tend to fail. The reasons provided were overlooking context, decoupling reflection from real work, underestimating mind-sets and failing to measure results. What can be done to help minimize the prospects of leadership development efforts failing? Allow me to offer my views in this regard.
Growth in the the Malaysian economy is anticipated to be around 4.7% in 2016. This may appear somewhat encouraging but in reality the expected terrain within which the economy will grow is somewhat gloomy.
It has been estimated that in 2015 alone, more than 20,000 employees from various sectors in Malaysia lost their jobs, an increase of almost 10,000 recorded in 2014. The Malaysian Employers Federation, MEF expects the numbers in 2016 to rise as the economy, which is closely linked to revenues from the oil and gas sector continues its descend. Things have reached a stage where the Government itself have frozen intake of public sector employees in 2015, except for critical positions. This means a loss of 15,000 job opportunities in the public sector.
Malaysians of all walks of life are appalled at the tragic loss of life, yet again, due to negligence at a very grand scale. Ms Chin Khoon Sing, 24 tragically lost her life when a hook weighing almost a ton because detached from a crane and fell onto her car that was stalled in a traffic jam in Kuala Lumpur. This is not the first incident of cranes falling causing death and damage, nor will it be the last.
The results of the Brexit vote sent reverberations throughout the geopolitical and economic spectrum in the UK as well as in Europe. A referendum originally intended to silence euro sceptics within political circles turned out to be one that shook the very foundations of British politics. The Tories are leaderless, the Labour is fractured to the core and UKIP suddenly finds itself in unknown territory. Attempting to make sense of the situation will require us to confront three fundamental questions: