Leadership is of the spirit, compounded by personality and vision. Its practice is an art. Besides, leadership is also about getting people to understand and believe in your vision and to work with you to achieve your goals. Meanwhile, leader can be defined as a person who can motivate and influence his followers to work toward the attainment of a specified goal or goals. Therefore, I prefer to choose our nation leader which is Malaysia’s 7th Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to analyse, describe and discuss about his leadership. But before that, I would like to introduce and share a little bit story of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
First of all, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was born on 10th July, 1925 but his official birth date is recorded as 20th December 1925 in Kampung Seberang Perak, Alor Setar, in the state of Kedah described by Tun himself as ‘the poorer quarters’ of town. His parents named were Mohamad bin Iskandar and Wan Tempawan binti Wan Hanafi. He received his early education in his hometown, at Seberang Perak Malay School in 1931 which is an all-boys school for two years then in a government English school which was later named Sultan Abdul Hamid College in 1933. In 1947, Tun Dr Mahathir earned a place at King Edward VII Medical College in Singapore to pursue medical studies as a government scholar and graduated as a doctor and served as Medical Officer in the Alor Setar General Hospital in 1953. As for the activities organised in the school, Tun Dr Mahathir was active in debates and was highly regarded for his English language skills. Besides, he was appointed editor of the school magazine, and played in the school’s rugby team.
Previously, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was the fourth prime minister of Malaysia which is the longest-serving as a prime minister compared to the others prime minister before and holding office from 1981 to 2003. Tun stepped down as Prime Minister on 31st October 2003 but he made a stunning political comeback when the coalition he established in 2017 to challenge the government, won Malaysia’s 14th General Elections in 2018. Once again, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad became Malaysia’s 7th Prime Minister at the age of 93. He improved the economy and was a champion of developing nations and this makes him known as Malaysia’s ‘Father of Modernisation’ for his successes in transforming Malaysia into a modern, industrial powerhouse.
The very first reasons why I choose Tun Dr Mahathir because of his personality who was never know what the meaning of give up until he satisfied and achieve the goals. This happened because Tun believed if the results are not as expected, then they would try to design their own solution. For instance, during the currency crisis, they studied carefully the conventional way of handling it since they knew that it could actually make matters worse. They studied various alternatives and finally decided on fixing the exchange rate, making it illegal for anyone to transfer ownership of the Malaysian currencies, thus preventing sale of the currency and stopping the repatriation of the proceeds from the sale of shares in the stock market in order to stop the depression of share prices by dumping the shares. They studied all the economic statistics daily and took corrective measures immediately. Even though if there is a lot of challenge or obstacle waiting in front, they will face it with the various way of solution without even thinking to back off and just give up.
Furthermore, Tun Dr Mahathir was a person who always looking forward in the future. He always has thinking out of the box and his idea was very amazing, different but unique. Besides, all the ideas was just for Malaysia to develop more and more from time to time so Malaysia will not left behind and also can compete with the others develop country. For example, millions of Malaysians watched the clock at the Tower of Sultan Abdul Samad Building in Kuala Lumpur accelerated 30 minutes to 12 midnight on December 31, 1981. It’s not just Malaysia but all the hours in Peninsular Malaysia are also intended to do so. This is happened because Tun Dr Mahathir took into account the wider economic influence as the large economic powers in the ASEAN region such as Hong Kong, China and Taiwan use the time zone GMT+8. The same time zone with these forces is expected to make Malaysia more competitive.
Apart from that, the third reasons why I choose Tun Dr Mahathir are because of his discipline about works. I believed all the work place should have rules and what I was going to highlight are the discipline of time and attire. Even though there is a quote said that ‘time is gold’, but Malaysian had been known as a not punctual persons. Therefore, Tun Dr Mahathir then introduced a time-honored culture through the use of a punch card or a time-recorder for government employees in September 1981 and still used it up until now. This is actually inspired by system of Japanese working culture which Tun Dr Mahathir who is known as a timely person wants this culture to be absorbed in the identity of Malaysians. Besides, Tun also introduced the use of name tags at the same time. The objective was because for the outsiders to know who we are.
Finally, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was a very perfect leader as he has amazing leadership of characters and personalities as this will help him to attract, motivate and retain talented employees. This was totally proven when he has won Malaysia’s 14th General Elections in 2018 and gained a huge victory since he has defeated the largest political party (UMNO). He was a very top role model of this country and should have inspired all Malaysians to improve themselves to be a better person. Thus, we should all learn on how to never give up our goals, looking forward in the future to plan a better future and discipline about works.