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Archive for March 2009

How to be an EFFECTIVE Boss

with 4 comments

People Are The Boss

People Are The Boss

Those of us in business know that it is immensely challenging to be an effective boss; especially in today’s rapidly changing times. Two reasons. First, today’s world is radically different from the one we are used to; rendering conventional solutions ineffective. Second, an acute shortage of talent; men and women who are competent, courageous, wise and morally upright are fast joining the club of  “protected species.” But, as our very own destiny is in the hands of the kind of people we send to public office, how can we be more effective?

To achieve a civil society that is just and desirable, the three parties involved in this relationship – people, political parties and government – must make a fundamental paradigm shift. Good governance can only be built upon mutual respect, cooperation and partnership. Good governance can only be achieved if each and every one of the partners recognize their own rights and play their part, and play them well.

To be effective, bosses may bear the following in mind:

Back the man or woman you have chosen. There are great trials and tribulations in public office, and your elected representative’s source of power comes from your support. It is in you that he or she draws his/her power. To cope with the changes in the world today, elected officials need a network of resources to do their job effectively. They need all the time and energy to focus and address the many issues that impact on our lives. We must not bother them with cutting ribbons or cleaning up the drains.

“You pay peanuts you get monkeys.” We need to institute a program to ensure public officials are paid well. To do this, we must do our part. Upgrade productivity, grow our companies, pay taxes, step up innovation and value creation in our societies in order to create the resources to attract talent to our public office. Once the private sector has the abilities to take over many functions run by government, we downsize them and only keep the very best to make those complex and difficult decisions for us. We cannot only ask public officials to give, we must also ensure that they are well taken care  – at least well enough for them to be FULL time looking after our affairs.

“Garbage in garbage out” applies equally to government. Take care in selecting the kind of people we send to public office. Don’t complain they are useless. If they are, you are at fault. You appointed them. Scandalous behavior of politicians has undermined the people’s faith and threatens the credibility of public officials. The profession of government is tarnished with such bad tags as “politics is dirty” and “it’s not what you know but who you know”. There is a GREAT and URGENT need to restore the nobility of the public office in order that we attract the crème le crème in society to serve. This is our responsibility. You want leaders. Then reject the politicians. No decent human being would want to keep company with a bunch of crooks, whatmore to manage our country!

Self –Esteem
How can bosses not wear their dignity? Why must we diminish ourselves by exchanging order with our servants? Who should be doing the  “kow-tow”?  People complain furiously in coffee shops, yet not speak out for fear of their servants “losing face.” How ridiculous! Remember, YB is the correct abbreviation for Yang Berkhimat! Democracy is not a spectator national sport where you sit along the sides to watch them perform. As the boss, you have the right to voice your displeasure (in an appropriate and respectful manner of course) at the right time.  Discipline has always been a part of civil society. The occasional  “sack” simply beats back human weakness, and the boss must not hesitate to do so. We can’t leave everything to government, do our homework and due-diligence; hence the non-government groups and endless lobby work.

Specific goals
Let’s face it, government does not have all the answers. Many of them must be solved by our own effort. The government can only facilitate. Those in government must also not pretend that they are Superman. We need to manage by objective – a specific legislative agenda for a term of office. How do we measure the performance of our servants if we don’t set these goals with them? There are many calls for existing legislation to be reviewed; do the bosses themselves know specifically what they want? What will be best for society at this point in time? What to change in the Universities and Colleges Act? How inadequate are the consumer protection laws? How should the Internal Security Act be changed to protect our society from new security threats? What must be included in Anti Monopoly Laws? Goal setting is a joint process, hence the partnership.

People as the Boss must accept that no great society was born out of an accident. Every generation must do their part to make some improvement, and the whole will move forward. First we must think and walk like a boss. Then we act and behave like one. If everyone plays their part and makes the right selection, a great team can be put together. Our effectiveness rests largely with selecting the right team for government. After that, support and discipline will ensure the nation’s ship sails on course.
People Are The Boss: Declaration on the People’s Awareness
How to be an Effective Boss
How to Be a Good and Civil Servant
The People’s Voice and The People’s Declaration


Written by PahlawanVolunteers

March 13, 2009 at 11:53 am

Posted in Barisan Rakyat

How to be a Good and Civil Servant

with 3 comments

People Are The Boss

People Are The Boss

The people have reasserted their presence. They have declared, “We, the People are the Boss!” The people now want to see the actualization of a market-driven and a customers satisfaction-supreme management philosophy. Those seeking public office would do well to understand these new expectations.

People care more about substantial improvement of their well being, scorn at hollow rhetoric and spectacular promises that will never be fulfilled.  Government must be reinvented; a new relationship paradigm between the governed and governor must emerge.

Wanted: S E R V A N T

Society-Service Driven
A government that places the nation’s interest above all, it focuses on providing services to enable and empower the people to strive towards their well being. Like the captain of a ship or a conductor of a concert; the government is entrusted with the stewardship of the national interest and guides resources towards its achievement.
Entrepreneurial enterprise
Yes, entrepreneurialship has been and will be very much a part of politics and government. Candidates with captivating ideas, that fire up people’s imagination. He or she must be able to articulate a compelling vision and rally many talented people behind an enduring enterprise. People are willing to give money and time to the leader who could take them to the promise land, not politicians who drug them with Estacy.  Politics is no different from true entrepreneurship in other human endeavors.
Rational pragmatist
When politics is driven by ideology; be it race, beliefs or nationalism, society is sure to take steps backward. In some cases, such madness can consume an entire civilization. Our society would be greatly blessed if more leaders with cool heads and sharp vision come forward; to help everyone sort through clouds of negativity to find the sun.
Sometimes, the Boss may not know what is best for them. Such as when euphoria carried everyone towards the brink – like a bubble economy. People need to be brought back to earth, ideally land softly. Truth must be told with courage. And when all efforts failed, prepare to cope with the fall out when a crash-landing is unavoidable.  Hence, the people don’t need Yes-men and women. Visionary leaders are courageous; they don’t yield to orthodoxy and is prepared to be tough in order to do the right thing. You recognize a politician when the opposite is done.
What else can be more reassuring and inspire greater confidence if leaders place their jobs or careers on the line, even their lives at stake.  People expect Generals go to the battlefront, leaders take responsibility for their decisions and actions. Some Asian countries even talk about legal action against elected officials who did not perform!
Government hierarchy and political bureaucracy are the root causes of many tragedies, especially in national emergencies and crisis situations. Victims of the Turkey and Kobe earthquakes all agreed that “the earthquake did not kill, the inertia of the bureaucracy is the cause of untold human tragedies.” Homeground, ask the Nipah Victims.  Enlightened leaders work hard to downsize government, to make them more responsive to the people’s needs. Good public servants remember their raison d’être by heart –their job is to serve the people — and there must be a culture and organization to deliver it.
How familiar we hear the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. Blames are often hauled at each other as the cause of their own inefficiency or mistake. We have sat through lobby sessions listening to different ministers recounting how inefficient their counterparts are, and how these other people have contributed to their own inefficiencies. All of them forgot; the people take them as a team, and cares only whether the job gets done. People expect the government to work together as a team. PERIOD. Spare your boss of your woes; if you can’t get your colleagues to shape up, ship them out or ship yourself out.

Now, let’s take a look at the other side of midnight….

Thanks, but no thanks!

elf centered

“It is me and me alone”, so much so everyone else in the system worship and elevate the leader to God-like status. Heroes are nice to have but can do without, if only in appearance. We are better off with some ordinary regular persons who have the tenacity to faithfully execute the job entrusted to them.
Public Enemy No 1; worse than a nuke attack.  When negative emotions wrap society; calamity is sure to befall. The damage would be total if politicians use emotion as a tool. Emotion has been used as the shortest and easiest way to power for too long. Politicians must develop new tools.
These are the types of candidate first to be rejected. People, who live in the past and short sighted for the future, can only hold society down. We need forward looking visionary leaders who realistically anchored themselves on the virtues of their traditions.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, which is the greatest of them all? What kind of greatness do society seek? The greatness in our leaders, or the greatness of us all as a society? The answer: Everyone willing and able to toil must have an opportunity for a great life. Developing countries will do well to focus on basic infrastructure – physical and human – that can contribute to the development of value creation. Monumental activities should focus on those that motivate people to develop solid skills, hard work ethics and a good moral code that inspire people to care more about the well being of the larger whole.
“No bread, ask them to eat cakes!” Politicians obsolete themselves by losing touch and alienating themselves from the ground. Conference halls, dining tables, first class cabins and five star hotels is NOT reality; they do not reflect the true state of the nation. Politicians elevated themselves to the apex of power, and forgot to come down, have just taken the first steps towards their own end.
Swim with the sharks, go with the wind, survival rule No 1 for politicians. History abounds with such examples. They shut themselves to the pertinent voices, and choose only the sound bites that please them. Leaders should do just the opposite.
Talk, Talk, Talk and more Talk
Where’s the prompt action solving ordinary folk’s problems? Debate, rhetoric, spectacular events, theatre – politics is show business. For those with such orientation and talent, in case you don’t know, Hollywood pays better.

Now let’s put on our sharp lenses, go seek out the candidates that have more of the positive and less of the negative servant attributes above. Enjoy the hunt.
People Are The Boss: Declaration on the People’s Awareness
How to be an Effective Boss
How to Be a Good and Civil Servant
The People’s Voice and The People’s Declaration

Written by PahlawanVolunteers

March 13, 2009 at 11:08 am

Posted in Barisan Rakyat

“People Are The Boss!”

with 9 comments

First published in August 1999 (and still relevant today)

People Are The Boss

People Are The Boss

Mutual respect is the foundation upon which the people-government relationship in a democratic system is built. The people are the master, and the Government is the servant. Democracy is only a reality when those in power respect this principle.

However, some political figures have mistaken the nation as their private property; they have gone so far as to ask the people to thank the Government for its service. It is important to remind them that in any democratic countries in the world, the people are the real boss, the Government is the management and those in public office are employees.

The Government and those in public office are obliged to serve the people who have appointed them. Whoever seek voter’s support have to convince people with good performance, and be responsible to the people. If the ruling party has performed well, the people will naturally retain them, and the votes reflect their confidence for the future. The covenant between the politicians and the people is built upon deeds, not words.

Politicians have the duty to deliver; the people do not owe them anything, and we do not have to return any favour by giving our votes to them. If politicians fail to perform, they’ll have to resign and make way for others.

This is normal practice in the corporate world. A democratic government is a rational government. The ruling party and opposition parties are political parties alike. Practical policies and the ability to rule constitute the only sound basis of a wise decision – we have to pick those with bright ideas, leadership quality, determination and trustworthiness, in short, we want the best candidates to be our servants.

Most Malaysians have not woken up to the idea of Democracy yet. Many of us lack understanding of our own right as the boss of have not the country. That is why we have seen some bosses (voters) submit memorandum to job applicants for public offices (politicians), and not the other way round. This reverses the normal master-servant relationship. In fact, people should treasure their dignity and resume the role as masters.

We believe it is our responsibility to clear the air. To this end, we have drafted a simple declaration aptly titled “People are the Boss” (See Appendix 1 below). Through the use of simple language and commercial analogy, we hope to redefine and illustrate the relationship between the People and the Government, and bring Malaysian politics back on track.

This declaration is only the beginning; we hope communities across the country could act as the boss again, make known their demands, direct questions at political parties and candidates and promote positive competition among political parties. This will contribute to the progress of the country and the welfare of the people. A boss who does not demand good performance will never be able to motivate his employees. Therefore, we must be a demanding boss to bring out the candidates’ best.

We look forward for your participation in this declaration. “People are the Boss” Declaration is a declaration for every boss in the country.

At the first stage, we hope that Malaysians involved in social commentary, print media and community activities could lead the way, so that more bosses would come forth. If you can think of any ideal bosses to sign this declaration, please let us know or invite them on our behalf.

Thank you, boss!

People Are The Boss

People Are The Boss

Appendix 1 – People Are The Boss
Declaration on the People’s Awareness

I. Preamble

People are masters of their countries and boss to their governments. This very concept of democracy is respected in any modern states.

When anti-colonialism and nationalism movements swept across the world in the mid-century, their very conviction was to reinforce the status of people as masters, not to remain as slaves to be handed over from foreign conquerors to domestic tyrants.

It is sad to say that 42 years after the country’s independence the “people-masters” concept has gained little ground.  What fill our ears are fallacies, as exemplified by remarks such as “People have to be grateful to the government”, “Government-run media are the exclusive propaganda apparatus for the ruling party” and “There will be no development for constituencies that vote in the opposition”.

These utterances not only mirror arrogance on the part of the politicians but also indifference of the people.  And, these attitudes are the root cause to many of our country’s problems nowadays: people’s daily livelihood problems going unattended, communities deprived of development, focus of national issues being shifted on to a racist or religious platform, and even unnecessary loss of human lives and properties.

Fools do not beget wise men.  People must first come to an awareness of what is going on around them, and what they really want, before they demand progress.  We would like to call upon all Malaysians to insist on their right and dignity.  Whichever party you may support, this message has to be communicated to the political parties and politicians loud and clear : “People are the boss!”

II. Concept

1. People the Boss, Government the Management

People are the masters of a country; the government is appointed by the people to take care of the country.

Let us compare our country to a company.  The people are the boss, and each citizen is a shareholder.  The government is the management. People who hold public offices are staff members and not the boss.  The salaries of the civil servants and the expenses of the Government are all paid for with the hard-earned money of each and every citizen.

Therefore, it is only right for the government to serve the interest of the people.  We, as the boss, have the right to criticize the government.  As the management appointed by the people, the government has to respect the public’s wishes; there is no way could it “threaten” or “penalize” its bosses.

2. Election is the Selection Process for a New Management
Each government is appointed for a five-year term.  The office of government is vacated when the five-year term expires or when the parliament is dissolved by royal decree on the advice of the current government.

Election is the time for the people, as the boss, to vet the candidates and appoint the new management for the country. All voters are shareholders with voting rights. Voters are absolutely free to decide whether they want to retain the current management, or to appoint a new one.  Once the office of government is vacated, the ruling party functions only as a “care-taker government”.

The manager of the company should not use shareholders’ money to promote himself or to advance his personal cause; likewise, the “care-taker government” should not misuse national resources to promote itself so as to enhance its chance of being re-elected.

3. Candidates cannot threaten their Bosses
During the election, all political parties and candidates are the candidates for the up-coming government.  They should not resort to tactics to threaten voters.

For example, if the government only allocates fund to develop the constituencies won by the ruling party, it is as ridiculous as the management giving dividends only to an elite section of shareholders.

4. Election is not about Returning Favor
Since popular votes are appointment letters for the next five years, those parties and politicians who win in election actually owe the people a favour for granting the mandate to realize their plans.

Therefore, the parties and politicians are returning the favour to the people when they serve. The people owe politicians nothing indeed. We voters do not have to commit ourselves to anybody. Our choices should depend on how well the politicians can serve our best interests in the next five years.

We review the past performance of the political parties and the candidates only to assess their future intention, inclination and ability in achieving what the bosses want; not to return any favour.

Politicians re-elected should remember that the people do not owe them any favours for the past five years but instead, they now owe the people favours for the next five years.

III. Action

As the boss of our government, the people must clearly express their wishes and aspirations, and ask the political parties and candidates to fulfill our wishes.  We do not have to enslave ourselves and be fettered to the political parties and politicians.

Let us call upon all Malaysians to stand up and step forward, to organize ourselves and present our own needs and expectations (for example, building schools, building places of worship, rescinding toll collection for highways, provision of burial grounds, etc), and demand for the response of all political parties.   Only after this will we decide our vote.

We should not humble ourselves and approach political figures with our request in a subservient manner.  Where on earth do we have bosses who condescend themselves to beg for things done?  We bosses should ensure those with good policies and ability to satisfy our demands to come forth.  In this way, whoever elected will respect or accept our demands.

We must respect ourselves to win other’s respect.  If we know how to assume our role as the boss, political parties and politicians would have to seek improvement to avoid becoming obsolete.  This will lead to more comprehensive and swifter development on the country’s political, economic, social and cultural fronts.  This is the only way for a country to achieve real stability, prosperity and advancement.

“Only a smart boss could sustain improvement and development for a company.”  We would like to share this with some 10.3 million bosses with voting rights all over the country.

The Bosses’ Action Plan

1. Convene meetings for residents to discuss the nation’s political, economic and local issues.  Issue your own “Bosses’ Statement” and urge the political parties and other voters to take your demands and opinions earnestly.

2. Ask the political parties/candidates to make known their stand towards your “Bosses’ Statement”.

3. Monitor the media’s performance.  Ensure that the voters’ voices are heard.  Act against unprofessional media practice by way of complaint, critical comments, boycott and the like.

4. Monitor the elected candidates to see to it that they fulfill their promises.
People Are The Boss: Declaration on the People’s Awareness
How to be an Effective Boss
How to Be a Good and Civil Servant
The People’s Voice and The People’s Declaration
KOMAS: Voter Education – Watch Video: Undilah (Voter Rights)

Written by PahlawanVolunteers

March 13, 2009 at 10:40 am

Posted in Barisan Rakyat

I Am Kugan Campaign

with 29 comments

I Am Kugan Campaign

"I Am Kugan" Campaign

► March 10: Making Kugan’s death matter
► March 4: Investigate first autopsy on Kugan – Malaysian Bar Council
► March 4: Kugan case: A-G to decide by end of the month
► March 4: Kugan’s death: what the Pathologist discovered – RPK
► March 3: WATCH VIDEO: Post-mortem: Kugan ‘starved and beaten’ to death
► March 3: Kugan was beaten, says second post-mortem (Updated 7.05pm)

Lets do our part to stop police brutality and deaths in custody. Email everyone this page.

We believe, as individuals and collectively, YES WE CAN and we will make a difference. As the saying goes, “Little drops of water make a mighty ocean.” It’s true…

we had a “Tsunami” on March 8, 2008 and created more than ripples in two by-elections, remember?

We are all One.
Ours is not a better way. Ours is merely another way.
Neale Donald Walsch.

We are all One.
When one is harmed, all are harmed. When one is helped, all are healed. — Anon.

Lets grow together as as people of faith and fellow citizens — to build bridges instead of walls, to build a better Malaysia and a better world for our children, starting with ourselves. Amen.

January 28 — Late Kugan’s funeral is today. Pahlawan Volunteers strongly urge Muslim NGO Pewaris to stay out of this funeral procession and to respect the deceased family’s needs for proper rituals and rites to be performed peacefully in accordance with Kugan’s faith. May wisdom and clarity prevail in the name of Allah.

Please pray and forward text below via sms and email:
“Pray and urge all political parties leaders, NGOs and media to view and report Kugan’s funeral as a Human Rights Issue. Do not politicize as a racial issue or to take advantage of the funeral procession for own mileage. Pls fwd on.”

Additional Reading:
► Haris Ibrahim: Let his death not be in vain. Lay him to rest with dignity
Deputy IGP: Keep funeral procession trouble-free
Muslim NGO echoes police warning for Kugan’s funeral

Written by PahlawanVolunteers

March 4, 2009 at 5:41 am