Our very dear Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak drew a very interesting analogy today (9th July 2014). He said, “When I watched Brazil (play against Germany in the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup), their defence was all over the place. I put it down to lack of leadership. There was no proper leadership.”
He then added, “If that could happen to a football team, imagine what would happen to a country that does not have effective leadership… the answer is, we will end up like Brazil.” DS Najib likend Malaysia without an effective leadership to Brazil who lost 1-7 to Germany
In theory what our PM said is absolutely correct! A ship without a captain is in danger of heading in the wrong direction. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that DS Najib was referring to BN leaders when he brought up “effective leadership”
John Maxwell once said, “a leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” So does our Prime Minister and his ministers know the way?
In April last year, a survey conducted by UMcedel showed that the people favoured DS Anwar Ibrahim over DS Najib . “43% of the Malaysians asked in the poll conducted between April 3-20 believe in Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s capabilities to be prime minister, which forms almost half the country, compared to the 39% rating for caretaker Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Razak”
Subsequently, Barisan Nasional (BN) lost the popular vote in the 13th General Election. Oops. Looks like the rakyat doubts BN knows the way. However, by virtue of the ‘first past the post’ system used in Malaysia, BN successfully formed the federal government
Let’s put that aside. After all, “effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.” (as per Peter Drucker)
So what are some of the results of DS Najib’s illustrious tenure as premier of Malaysia? Firstly, we have the unforgettable “Apa Lagi Cina Mahu?” and Tsunami Cina rant by Utusan Malaysia (which is owned by UMNO).
That was all because a large number of Malaysian Chinese decided not to vote for BN. The Chinese are so ungrateful! After all BN has done for them over the years, how could they exercise their right to vote for a non-BN candidate?! This is totally unacceptable!
Next, we have the never-ending mismanagement of funds and lack of action. The 2012 Auditor General report contained surprisingly unnecessary overspending. Items were overpayed by thousands of times beyond its actual cost
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the 2013 Auditor General’s report pointed out more malfeasances. The report showed that Malaysia was ‘bleeding itself to death.’ I honestly wonder what the 2014 Auditor General report has in store for us!
The year 2014 began with a bang when DS Najib questioned why the government gets blamed every time prices of goods increase, but was never praised when prices came down. He specifically used the example of kangkung and it has stuck to him ever since
Malaysians came up with parodies, t-shirts, etc. DS Najib pretty much made kangkung Malaysia’s most talked about vegetable! However, I’m not sure if that’s something to be proud about
In the month of March, DS Najib found himself yet again in the spotlight when he allegedly purchased chicken for RM1. He then went on to say that Malaysians should look for bargains instead of complaining.
This further tarnished DS Najib’s image in the eyes of the common folk as it paints him as someone who lives in an ivory tower and is unable to empathise with the plight of the people. I honestly thought effective leadership was supposed to garner the support of the people. Instead, all we’re seeing is loss of confidence in the Executive
DS Najib’s cause wasn’t helped when MH370 disappeared and gained international furore. The whole debacle was made worse by the contradictory statements by Malaysian authorities
The Inspector General of Police (IGP)contradicted the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) regarding the number of passengers that did not board the plane. DS Najib’s response to everything was that MH370 is an unprecedented event, thus everyone should cut him some slack
Fair enough, DS Najib deserves some time to regroup with his wisemen and come up with a proper strategy to deal with the loss of the plane. After all, it is not something he has dealt with before. Out of the blue, DS Najib decides to announce that MH370 ended in the Indian Ocean
Notice that the word “ended” was used instead of “crashed” because at the time of announcement, there was no evidence to support the theory that the plane crashed. No debris whatsoever was detected despite many countries chipping in to search
Would an effective leader decide to make such a baseless announcement? A month later, DS Najib contradicts himself when he said he was not ready to declare MH370 as lost.
Although the flight supposedly “ended in the Indian Ocean”, he is still clinging on to the hope that the plane and its passengers are not lost? How does one crush the hope of others yet cling on to that very same hope? The only rational explanation is that the statement about the plane having ended in the southern Indian Ocean was hogwash
‘Unprecedented incident’ aside, the UiTM anti-Christian seminar happened during DS Najib reign. Adding insult to injury, DS Najib’s right hand man, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin labelled the seminar a mere brainstorming session which should be viewed positively
Again we see a complete lack of leadership. Which leader would allow his/her members to receive such a beating and still be able to remain silent, or worse still, try to justify it? Unless of course Christians aren’t considered citizens of Malaysia which fall under the purview of the Executive
Let’s give DS Najib and his administration the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps they were unaware about what really went down at UiTM and merely spoke too soon (or in DS Najib’s case, remained silent)
What about when the minorities were shooting targets for certain questionable NGOs and individuals? Let’s do a slight recap. ISMA labelled the Chinese as “penceroboh” (invader, intruder) and in response to the public uproar, they questioned the contribution of non-muslims
PERKASA has had its fair share of controversies. In 2012, it conducted a mock funeral outside Lim Guan Eng’s house because LGE ignored their demands and never responded to any of the issues brought up by them over the past two years . In 2013, Ibrahim Ali (PERKASA chief) called on Muslims to seize & burn Malay bibles which contained the word “Allah”
Not wanting to be outdone, Ridhuan Tee Abdullah questioned the loyalty of Malaysian Chinese when he asked who they would support in the event Lin Dan (of China) faces Misbun Sidek (a Malaysian badminton legend)
Ridhuan Tee also played down the contributions of non-malays and openly declared that there are 5 million foreigners waiting to replace them.
Wouldn’t an effective leadership have nipped such racial & religious insensitivity in the bud before it leads to undesirable outcomes? Most certainly so! When everyone looked to DS Najib to condemn the extremists, it seems like the cat got his tongue
Moving on, what does DS Najib’s attendance in parliamentary sittings reflect? Apparently as of April 2014, DS Najib “only attended 26 days of Parliament sittings since he took office in 2009.” That’s a mere 7% of the total 358 days Parliament had met
It is understandable that as head of the Executive, DS Najib is a very busy man. However, one would expect him to do better than 7%. DS Najib should be there when issues are debated by the Legislature in order that he may contribute his input. That is what an effective leader would do!
During DS Najib’s time at the helm, Malaysia was downgraded to Tier 3 in the United States’ annual Trafficking of Persons (TIP) report. It is important to note that Tier 3 is the lowest ranking and it puts us on par with countries like Algeria, Central African Republic, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Uzbekistan, and Yemen
Worst still, DS Najib told UMNO to be brave like ISIL fighters. He said Umno must emulate the bravery of a Middle Eastern militant group that defeated an Iraqi force outnumbering it nearly 30 to one if the Malay nationalist party is to survive
Of all the examples DS Najib could have chosen, he chose ISIL which uses violence to achieve its objectives. Why not emulate the bravery of Malala Yousafzai? Despite an assassination attempt by the Taliban, she continued to fight for rights to education for women
Although DS Najib labels himself a moderate, racial & religious tension are worsening by the day as a result of his deafening silence and utter inaction toward the extremists
So what effective leadership was DS Najib talking about?
*Featured at The Malaysian Insider