Follow the leader, follow the leader

I believe the children are the future or just another brick on the wall?

DEC 17 — My column in The Malaysian Insider talked about ideas and I’ll like to provide an appendix to that discussion.

In my second year in uni I took up a course in critical and creative thinking under former dean Prof Dr Ahmad Bajunid. There were just the three of us and classes were after Friday prayers, which are the slots everyone on campus works hard to not have.

But I liked the class.

Prof Bajunid was just this fun guy, and he did more in the way of encouraging than any previous lecturers I had and would have to the completion of my first degree.

We had to be creative to come up with ideas, without prejudice. Generate them without the critical disposition of the average person kicks in. The idea is paramount, not its limitation. The overemphasis to prove it wrong is self-defeating.

Then the ideas have to be realised in terms of the world we live in, a tangible thing possible — this is the critical part.

Once the idea is real, then we have to ask ourselves the commercial potential of an idea.

This probably explains why most inventors in history were never the richest. The guy with the eye on the selling of an idea tends to make the money, rather than the dude with the idea.

I’m trying to underline that ideas, need process to mean something meaningful. From their conception to end execution and appraisal. But the key component is consistency in the process, and more paramount than that, respect for the process.

Which is where things go all so wrong in Malaysia most often.  Process is important only as far as it serves the interest of the ruling class, and therefore everything else follows from the will of those in power.

Ideas always suffer when the preference of the powerful is the only thing that matters.

And that is what we have here often.

If you want to build a mall in any part of the Klang Valley, questions like “why a mall, why there?”, “Who will benefit, and how about the other malls, other businesses”, “Will this mall create unfair repercussions to other businesses? How about the smaller business park a kilometre from it, will it compete unfairly?”, “Will the public transportation be overburdened?” and the questions go on.

They must be addressed in order for the idea to have value to all in the community, not just some.

But here in Malaysia 2010, it is just about who is the tan sri/datuk behind the project and which minister backs it.

That is why we keep getting horrible outcomes, and the fallout paid for by the people.

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One thought on “Follow the leader, follow the leader

  1. THINK . DIFFERENT

    I believe that only leaders with sentience will exhibit a penchant for exploring the intelligence that comes with thinking differently, and it is only then they will come to understand that the future is our next generation – children.

    I have taught many courses in experiential learning and come to an understanding that we do not think differently in our idea generation and that is a difficult activity to cultivate in this generation but we must try.

    Who for example measures thought by simply being different – for e.g. why think of profit when you can always choose to lead by thinking of the human potential? Why does a value be only profit driven, why can’t it be an ekistic value and based on human needs instead of wants – e.g. the orang asli leave the smaller fish that is caught because they simply believe that man must have enough only for his need and not his greed. If we can examine and practice these values the world would be different, it is because the ideas are completely shadowed by values driven by profit that we are be-refit of any ideas at all.

    For example why should we character assassinate someone during a political campaign? Why shouldn’t we talk about the quality of life in Malaysia :

    1) Why don’t we bring up issues of leakages that cost us $360 billion
    2) Why don’t we ask the electorate why should we accept a GINI coefficient that puts us in par with Papua New Guinea?
    3) Why should we tolerate a reduced corruption index every year?
    4) What is to become of our children when our debt inflation ratio increases to more than 15% by 2015 which automatically requires a GST instrument
    5) Why does Malaysia requires the largest civil service in ration to its population for a country so small

    All these questions are more pertinent to the REAL problems at hand because we need REAL SOLUTIONS and the only way forward is to THINK.DIFFERENT.

    We can’t employ the current needs basis and tolerate each other, we have to find political will to discuss these and formulate new ideas to change. It will never happen with this government and we have a long way before we get the right leadership, but with some luck and maybe with the right stewardship we will be able to have hope, for that is what is left of ideas for now.

    References :
    http://econsmalaysia.blogspot.com/2009/03/malaysian-national-debt-or-how-much-is.html

    http://anwaribrahimblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/mea.pdf

    http://www.aliran.com/oldsite/monthly/2005b/8h.html

    http://earthtrends.wri.org/pdf_library/cp/eco_cou_458.pdf

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