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Sakmongkol ak 47

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Drag Force and further musings on Leadership

In my last post, I wrote something about drag force, a concept in Physics. I used it more as a term of symbolism. The drag force is the resistance on something(object) as it flows through something else(the medium).

In fact, one can argue that if countries have drag coefficients, which measure the movement or flow of the object, ours could be 99. On a scale of 100. Nothing moves unless you hit it with the force of a thermonuclear blast.

Again, as a term of symbolism, we discover the thermonuclear blast. The force of a thermonuclear blast comes in the form of quality leadership. A leadership that forges the will, the cohesion, the stamina and discipline of its people. That’s the primary purpose of leadership.

Consider the leadership issues on the youths of Malaysia. Pemuda UMNO is currently embroiled in an intense leadership tussle. The contenders offer their vision as the object moving through a medium. The medium is the conglomeration of young people whose vision are nothing more than repackaged self interests.

What are we then looking from the contenders? The answer so it seems, we are looking for leadership. What is the nature of the leadership are we looking for? The pattern or the quality?

Further it would seem to me, futile to debate the pattern of leadership but rather, it is more worthwhile instead, for us to look into the quality of leadership. That is more needed rather than posturing about leadership.

We want to know more for example, whether the man and his group assuming the high echelons of leadership later, have the ability, dedication and the executive drive to forge success. Thus busying ourselves on the vexed issues of pattern of leadership such as the return of Mahathirism and what not, leads us to round after round of tiresome debates. Mahathir’s style of leadership may be disliked by certain people, but the quality of his leadership is another matter. The executive drive, the ability and the dedication are there. Compare that pattern of leadership that is disliked with a leadership pattern that is apparently seen as more tolerant, more open and therefore, on those terms, is more likeable. We are pushed to ask where is the utility of such leadership pattern?

The utility of such leadership pattern stops there because such leadership pattern is insipid as there is no executive drive, no ability and infirmed dedication.

We come back again to the issue of articulation and then execution of vision. Dare to change? What are we changing? Esprit de corps- to what ideals do we bound ourselves to? from the wongjowo? Just the mission to win back lost states.

What about the medium? There’s no honour in leading an inarticulate and inchoate conglomeration of individuals. These young we are leading must be filled with the will and wherewithal to contribute meaningfully to the nation.

All the more reason, we must look through phony leadership that view the young merely as digits who formed a stepping stone for personal aggrandizement. I hate manipulative leadership which takes advantage of our malleable young.

Let us illustrate by taking a look at our young. Just like other people in the world, they want to live happy, active and eventful lives pursuing their chosen vacations. Tedium, boredom and a sense of emptiness creates a vacuum. Fill this vacuum with half past six purpose such as jumping into the arctic area or asking the mat and even minah rempits perform some ridiculous stunts so that the half past six sponsor can score political point, cannot bring us useful social results. The mat rempits will be left in the lurch, the sponsor gets his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Indeed he will be hailed as a saviour for mat rempits.

Where, you ask is the idealism needed to fill the vacuum? A purpose? Formation of habits and values necessary to ready our young? Might as well train the mat rempits in the art of Muay Thai, Silat or any of the fighting arts, where you instil among other things, a martial spirit. Jumping from the plane over the arctic serves only to fortify a sense of having a good time and life is one dandy jolly ride.

Idealism is a desirable quality in the young, otherwise without it, the young becomes an intolerable cynic. A cynic’s mind is porous in the sense that he is impossible to convince of anything worth fighting for.


A Tabib 30 November 2008 at 13:53  

Thanks, AK, for another thought provoking (ouch!) post.

I'm more inclined towards the "Great Man" approach. i'd like to use military figures if I may, and simply because I think waging war is one of the most demanding and extreme enterprises man can undertake, the stakes being so high, and thus the lessons drawn are more "weighty".

People like Grant, William Slim and Eisenhower were middling-level officers with no prospect of higher office when the wars that propelled them to fame broke out. They were quite resigned to their lot until thrust into the melee. From then on they rose quickly to the top, professional jealousies notwithstanding. And the reason they rose to the top was that people could see that they had developed a strong sense of purpose. They knew what they and their troops needed to achieve and they pursued the objective relentlessly. They had become rather good at, in military parlance, Selecting and Maintaining the Aim.

And this brings me to what you said, What are we then looking from the contenders? The answer so it seems, we are looking for leadership...

Leadership in Pemuda seems to be absent simply because the leadership contenders themselves are still looking for a mission. They are still actually searching for their Aim aren't they?. They all want to be leaders but they're not quite sure for what purpose. Still engaged in winning the next trench instead of planning the coup-de-main. All dressed to the nines and nowhere to go.

And this is the reason why on the subject of the Pemuda public debate, I angkat tangan. I'm beginning to move from being a debate-skeptic to a debate-centric observer. You've convinced me. Drat! :-)

Anonymous,  1 December 2008 at 23:09  

At you have astutely pointed out, leadership is about having a vision. In fact, my take on this is that, leadership all about having vision - one that is worthy of buying into. Take away the vision aspect from the man, all we have is a manager (at best).

And as you have also astutely pointed out, is winning back lost states and kicking the opposition's butt the best vision our leaders can come up with? In my books, they've got to do better than that - a lot better. I need a vision that I can buy into - something that will make us better in the end.

I'm not interested in pulling the enemy down and then kicking him in the gonads. But I am interested in achieving greater heights - in becoming a better nation (whatever that might mean) such that any dissent will be automatically appear like a crock of sh*t.

Can someone offer me such a vision?

sakmongkol AK47 aka Mat Tomoi 2 December 2008 at 10:03  

a tabib.
thank you for yr substantive comments. how i wish you would post on yr blog- it has been vacant for some time.
mat bangkai,
ah... a rare visit from the language technician. thank you. yes, we hunger for a vision that can convince us.
btw- cant figure which one is you, in the photos of bloggers get together

Anonymous,  12 December 2008 at 01:05  


My pic at the bloggers' meet can be seen here:


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