Pasukan Cermin Kepimpinan

Pengarah Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Narkotik PDRM Komisioner Polis Datuk Razarudin Husain melawat anggota sebuah Sekatan Jalan Raya pada hari pertama Aidil Fitri (Bernama)

Kata orang, untuk melihat mutu sesebuah pasukan kita lihat kepada kepimpinannya. Baik buruk sesebuah pasukan itu mencerminkan mutu kepimpinannya. Utuhnya semangat sesebuah pasukan itu bergantung kepada bagaimana barisan kepimpinannya memimpin dan berkhidmat, bukan sahaja untuk masyarakat yang memerlukan perkhidmatan pasukan tersebut tetapi juga kepada anak-anak buahnya yang akan menjalankn tugas tersebut.

Semasa saya menjalani latihan sebagai seorang pegawai kadet Tentera Udara DiRaja Malaysia lebih tiga dekad lalu, saya masih ingat pelajaran dan pengajaran yang saya perolehi mengenai mutu-mutu seorang pemimpin. Di antaranya ialah seorang pemimpin itu wujud untuk menyelesaikan masalah yang dihadapi pasukannya.

Tidak wajar bagi seorang pemimpin itu memburuk-burukkan pasukannya dengan menceritakan masalah pasukannya kepada umum. Pernah saya terima aduan dalam mesyuarat mingguan pangkalan mengenai tatacara anggota saya menjalankan tugas. Saya akan mempertahankan tindakan anggota tersebut di hadapan pegawai dan anggota lain sejauh mungkin; namun teguran yang saya berikan kepada anggota tersebut adalah secara terus kepada beliau seorang, dan disaksikan oleh Sarjan Mejar Skuadron saya untuk tindakan pembetulan kepada SOP.

As a leader, bring solutions, not add more problems to the situation,” kata jurulatih saya. “Inspire your men’s morale, not degrade it.

Semalam merupakan hari pertama kita menyambut Hari Raya Aidil Fitri. Ada di antara anggota-anggota serta pegawai barisan hadapan kita yang terpaksa tinggalkan keluarga, berpakaian seragam untuk menjalankan tugas.

Namun Ketua Polis Negara Inspektor-Jeneral Polis Dato’ Seri Panglima Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani boleh berbangga kerana beberapa orang pegawai kanannya juga turut turun ke padang untuk memberikan semangat kepada para petugas SJR. Di antaranya ialah Ketua Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Narkotik Komisioner Polis Datuk Razarudin Husain, Pengarah Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Komisioner Polis Datuk Huzir Mohamed, Timbalan Pengarah KDN/KA (Pasukan Gerakan Khas) Deputi Komisioner Polis Datuk Mastor Md Ariff, dan Timbalan Pengarah (Penyiasatan) Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Komersial Senior Asisten Komisioner Polis Datuk Sasikala Devi Subramaniam.

Tindakan para pegawai kanan polis tersebut melawat lokasi-lokasi SJR sudah tentu menaikkan semangat para petugas di SJR-SJR tersebut, dan merupakan tiupan semangat baharu sejak berlakunya perubahan pucuk pimpinan PDRM.

Ketua Pengarah Maritim Malaysia Laksamana Maritim Dato’ Zubil bin Mat Som yang sering kelihatan di barisan hadapan Maritim Malaysia juga telah memberi inspirasi kepada para pengarah maritim negeri serta zon di bawah kepimpinan beliau, terutamanya dalam bulan Ramadan dan Syawal.

Pengarah Zon Maritim Batu Pahat Komander Maritim Mohammed bin Othman sering menyertai operasi-operasi dalam bulan Ramadan untuk memberi suntikan semangat kepada anak-anak buahnya.

Di Zon Maritim Batu Pahat, pengarahnya Komander Maritim Mohammed bin Othman sering turut serta dalam operasi-operasi yang dijalankan oleh para anggota yang dipimpinnya. Perkara ini tidak langsung berubah semasa bulan Ramadan yang lalu. Bukanlah suatu perkara yang senang untuk menghadapi keadaan panas di laut setiap hari, apatah lagi apabila menjalani kewajipan berpuasa semasa melakukan operasi.

Pengarah Maritim Negeri Pulau Pinang Kepten Maritim Abd Razak bin Mohamed (kanan sekali) membeli ayam goreng KFC untuk dikongsikan bersama para petugas Maritim Malaysia pada hari pertama bulan Syawal

Begitu juga keadaannya di Pulau Pinang di mana pada pagi Hari Raya Aidil Fitri kelihatan Pengarah Maritim Negeri Pulau Pinang Kepten Maritim Abd Razak bin Mohamed mengorbankan sambutan Hari Rayanya dengan membeli beberapa kotak ayam goreng KFC untuk dikongsikan bersama para pegawai dan anggota yang bertugas sebagai menghargai pengorbanan mereka menyarung pakaian seragam sebagai pakaian Hari Raya. Sikap kepemimpinan seperti inilah yang perlu diterapkan ke dalam sanubari kepimpinan sesebuah pasukan.

Semangat juang sesebuah pasukan itu bergantung kepada keberkesanan sikap kepimpinannya. Berapa pantasnya masalah yang dihadapi pasukan dapat diselesaikan oleh pucuk pimpinannya, serta kesanggupan mereka untuk sama-sama selami masalah untuk memahami cabaran para pegawai dan anggotanya adalah amat penting dalam pembentukan sebuah pasukan yang berkesan dan tinggi mutu penugasannya.

Bak kata, burung helang selesaikan masalah rasa laparnya dengan bekerja keras dalam diam. Burung kakak tua pula hanya membuat bising.

The Final Curtain?

Another former Minister has spoken out at Najib Razak’s apparent use of Anwar Ibrahim to attack his opponents. Former Minister, Sanusi Junid, has hinted that if Najib does not step down now, UMNO and BN will suffer.

Anwar, who has been in TV3’s bad books, and who also issued a general ban on broadcast journalists from that station to cover any of his or PKR’s events, has been given full attention by the station to lambast Najib’s opponents within UMNO.

Najib, who took over the helm of both UMNO and BN from a weak predecessor, is seen by the public as a weaker Prime Minister. That the BN fared as bad as or worse than GE12 in the last general elections says a lot about his leadership. While he does try to have a hands-on approach on many things which is good, his policies and decisions made seem to lack any prior thoughts, begging the public to ask if it is really Najib’s consultants who do the thinking while Najib just read the scripts and smile or frown as directed.

I, for one, don’t give much thought on the political squabbles. I am more concerned with those who incessantly try to run down the country; but this latest tiff between Najib and his critiques started off with the 1MDB fiasco, and it seems that someone has unearthed the leadership’s Pandora Box.

Who after Najib is none of my concern. Whoever commands majority support of UMNO with the blessing of the component parties in BN should be able to lead. However, the UMNO tradition (budaya) of never to shine before your leader does ought to be done away with. I was told that during the recent floods, although the Deputy Prime Minister was in town while many including the Prime Minister were away shopping or golfing abroad, the former did not act swiftly until instructed to do so. How true this is, I don’t know but if so, it truly is damaging that you cannot decide as a Deputy Prime Minister on behalf of the Prime Minister who was away golfing. “Mana boleh! Ini budaya UMNO!” said the person to my father when asked why did the Deputy Prime Minister not act since the Prime Minister was on holiday abroad.

Najib could easily have called for an impromptu press conference to announce that the DPM was to head the disaster management team while he had to golf with Obama to discuss pressing matters. There was a whole army of foreign press there that he could have used to convey the message to worried Malaysians, but he did not. Was he waiting for his consultants to come up with a script and a set of more acceptable wardrobe?

It was equally bad that (I’m very sure it was his consultants who prepared this line) Najib made only the home and business insurance issue as THE reason for not declaring an emergency in the flood-stricken states. There was a bunch of other stronger reasons that could have been used, but maybe his consultants thought it was best to use the insurance issue as that was more personal for flood victims. Well, it backfired. Miserably! Adding insult to injury, the disaster-relief operation was like a dumbstruck Medusa. Every agency was doing its own thing with no clear command and control until much later. Given that the head of the National Security Council is an administrator rather than a field man, and has had no experience managing disasters, with the Prime Minister being abroad, things did not move as they should have.

Anyway, I have digressed from the issue of Najib’s quarrel with his detractors. But I think Najib’s continuous display of dishing out half-baked policies and display of desperately holding on to the Premiership simply means that he is no Tun Razak, who was brilliant in character and leadership that even political dinosaurs like Lim Kit Siang misses him, and Dyana Samad remembers Tun Razak’s superb leadership although she was still swimming inside her father’s balls when the Tun died.

UMNO needs to evolve and revamp itself in order to stay relevant in the next general elections. But first, it needs a serious change in leadership.

Farewell Great Briton

At the mention of the phrase Britannia Rules The Waves my mind pictures Margaret Thatcher and the cover of the Newsweek magazine depicting the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes steaming south to liberate the Falkland Islands and the island of South Georgia, invaded by Argentinian forces.

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I first knew of Margaret Thatcher when I was 13, so much fanfare was made of her appointment as Britain’s first female Prime Minister. I remember inside a London cab from Heathrow airport on Christmas day of 1980 my father asking the cab driver, “So how’s the Iron Lady?”

The Maggie I remember has always been one tough and no nonsense person. She was nicknamed The Iron Lady by a Soviet journalist when she became leader of the Conservative party. Both in her domestic as well as her foreign policy she was firm and nothing short of that, never to change her mind once a decision has been made.

“To those waiting with bated breath for that favorite media catchphrase, the U-turn, I have only one thing to say: ‘You turn if you want to. The lady’s not for turning,'” she once told delegates at a Tory conference.

If there is a difference between the meaning of the words “leader” and “leading”, both would define her. Despite violent objections and reservations within her own camp, Maggie ordered for the Royal Navy task force to assemble and steam south to liberate the Falklands this month 31 years ago, and the leader lead her nation to war and victory. It was therefore difficult for me to not to compare the leadership of Margaret Thatcher and what we had when we faced the armed insurgents from Sulu, as history is riddled with many failed leadership as a result of perilous indecisiveness. Maggie not only grabbed the bull by its horns and saw that liberating the two-thousand odd inhabitants of the Falklands as being the right thing to do, but most importantly she recognised that it was her responsibility as the leader of the United Kingdom to see the mission through.

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When I returned to England in 1983 to further my studies, my respect for her waned at the onset of the infamous Miners’ Strike that came about in March of 1984 as a result of the Conservative government’s decision to close inefficient coal mines in northern England, Scotland and Wales at the cost of over 20,000 jobs. Almost every day our Economics class would see a debate on this subject. Scenes of mounted police charging at picket lines virtually every day clouded my thoughts, and being a young adult and having a dislike for Dr Mahathir, I myself became somewhat anti-establishment. The British economy was hit so bad that the Pound was only at RM2.50 or thereabouts in 1984.

It was at this juncture that my views on politics changed when I had a discourse on this matter with one Adam Bachek, then a police officer who was reading law at the University of Buckingham who said, “It is always easy to make popular promises and become a popular leader, but no democratically-elected good leader would make an unpopular decision if it isn’t good for the nation.”

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As with other Empires that had existed before the British, the great Margaret Thatcher was fell not by the voters, but by people in the Conservative party that she led. It started off with the dissenting move by long-time lieutenant, Michael Heseltine, over the Westland affair, and ended with her resignation over the Community Charge (also known as the Poll Tax); but she went down as a true fighter, fighting.

A true fighter to the end, after suffering from countless bouts of stroke beginning in 2002, the Iron Lady was never seen attending public functions in a wheelchair. True to her character, she walked aided as she left her private home for the last time to take up residence in the Ritz Hotel as she found it getting increasingly difficult to walk up and down the stairs at home.

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As the international media show an image of her on a recent visit to 10 Downing Street, waving at pressmen while she wore blue as in the picture above by Alan Davidson, I cannot help but remember the image of her waving outside the same door 34 years ago, also in blue and thought to myself, “Her presence there surely have made 10 Downing Street great again.”

And as a part of me struggles to understand visiting a Thatcher-less Great Britain again next month for the first time in 33 years, I remember what she told naysayers after winning the Falklands War:

“We knew what we had to do and we went about it and did it. Great Britain is great again.”

Farewell, Margaret Thatcher. Farewell, Great Briton.

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