Business

Leaders Of Malaysia, It’s Time To Wake Up!

When are we ever going to learn?

Just one question comes to mind: How many more times can Malaysians tolerate our government’s amateurish leadership?

2020 has been nothing but a whirlwind of events. And while the whole world is dead set on triumphing over the Covid-19 pandemic, we Malaysians have another thing keeping us busy: our politicians.

Since the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government that happened just 2 years after overturning the ruling coalition party of more than 60 years in a historical election, the Malaysian political scene has been keeping citizens on their toes for the next big drama to erupt.

Here are a few highlights over the past 4 months:

1. Health Minister’s ‘warm water method’ to kill coronavirus

Image via Malaysiakini

The Health Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba appeared on RTM's Bicara Naratif programme and claimed that the virus cannot take heat, and that the warm water would also “flush” virus into the stomach.

"Do not drink water that is not boiled. Drink a glass of water that is warm because the virus does not like warm things. Make sure (the water) is not too hot.

"The virus will go down (the oesophagus) and when it reaches the stomach which has acids, the virus dies. That's how we eliminate the virus.

"What's important is that we have to kill the virus in our throats before it reaches our lungs.

"This virus, it likes the lower part of the lungs. It likes to stay there. That's why it is said that this virus loves human beings," he said.

Video credit: KiniTV/YouTube

Dr Adham's reputation did not take a turn for the better when a later incident occurred when Dr Adham said he had been in a tele-conference session with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and "500 countries".

2. Tips For Wives: Talk Like Doraemon

Image via pngfuel & @kpwkm/Instagram

The Women and Family Ministry on Monday posted several tips on social media on how to avoid domestic arguments between husband and wife during the Movement Control Order period.

“If you see your husband carry out a task in a manner that clashes with your own method, avoid nagging,” the ministry said in a since-deleted infographic.    

The ministry said wives should instead use “humorous” words and phrases such as “this is the proper way to hang the clothes for drying, my dear (cara sidai baju macam ni lah sayangku)”and recommended that women should “mimic the tone of Doraemon” and follow their statements with a coy and feminine laugh. 

They also urged wives to avoid wearing “home clothes”, “count from one to 20” before responding in an argument and keep the dining table, kitchen and living room clean and neat to help maintain a clear mind when working from home.

The social media posts have not only caused a public uproar but have also drawn flak from various women politicians and women rights groups. The ministry has since then issued an apology statement and vowed to be more careful in the future.

3. Filming License Needed For Social Media Content?!

Image via Yahoo News Malaysia

Communications and Multimedia Minister Saifuddin Abdullah is the latest politician to come under fire for insisting that all filming including personal social media requires a licence.

The whole Finas license debacle started with a controversial documentary by Al Jazeera titled Locked Up in Malaysia’s Lockdown which many Malaysian government officials claimed was a biased and misleading portrayal of the treatment of migrant workers in the country during the movement control order (MCO).

Malaysians were upset when the minister called attention to legal provisions in the Finas Act that require all film producers (this also applies to anyone who wants to post videos on social media) to provide a seven-day advanced notice prior to filming, and to also have a company with a paid-up capital of RM50,000.

A few days after the announcement, the Cabinet has decided that Malaysians do not need a license to post on their social media and that the government will look into amending the Finas Act.

 

Are credibility and reputation important to a leader? Yes.

Have all of these mess tarnished their reputation? Yes.

Can all of these be avoided? YES!

 

The answer is plain and simple: Thinking

Image via Joshua Earle

Leadership is all about thinking. Regardless whether you’re the nation’s leader, a company CEO or even a small team leader, you are in charge of assessing your team’s strategy and implementing it.

It is very easy for CEOs to say that they don’t have enough time to think and reflect, but that probably means that you have not organized your team very well and are too busy putting out little fires. 

So, as a leader of an organization, you have to force yourself to have regular and long stretches of uninterrupted time just to think things through. And when you do so, it will help you reflect on the big picture.

These are a few questions you can ask yourself before coming up with a decision:

  • Which elements in my strategy do not fit together?
  • How would others in the same situation deal?
  • When is the best time to implement this?
  • Who might benefit/ be impacted from this?
  • Why am I doing this?
  • What might be the short and long term consequences?

Credibility is the foundation of leadership. Leaders should always be aware to not act on impulse and show careful thought before calling the shots to earn credibility through a positive reputation. 

Who knows, maybe sparing a few more seconds to think might save you from getting in hot water!

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