Before formulating the right strategy on leadership development in the Malaysian Army, there is a need do external analysis on environmental of Malaysia and comparative analysis on US and Singapore Army Leadership Development and the current Leadership Development in the Malaysian Army. Then the internal analysis on Malaysian Army Leadership Development on its organizational structure, vision, mission, roles and tasks and its Leadership Development efficiency has been conducted. From the finding on the external analysis of Malaysian environment there are some factors that affects Leadership Development Program in the Malaysian Army either political, economy, security, technology and government budget. These factors will shape the strategic direction of the Malaysian Army on its Leadership Development and to ensure that its leaders could adapt the challenging and demanding changes of the Malaysian environment to fulfill its roles and tasks especially on its expanding tasks and to keep it’s still relevant from the public perception. In term of the political factors, there are certain programs and initiatives that should be considered for the Leadership Development in the Malaysian Army such as Defense Policy formulated by the government, expanding roles on managing National Service Training Program, participation in NBOS, involvement in UN missions and involvement in promotion of LIMA and DSA. Therefore, Leadership Development Programs should include these additional tasks to ensure the leaders understand the requirement to fulfill these tasks. Leadership Development also could be developed through National Defense University by providing the serving officers the opportunity for self-education. Technical capabilities of the officers could be enhanced by active participation in defense industries to keep pace with the changing technology. The government also recognized the need for talented Army officers to develop the country and to achieve the Vision 2020 by appointment as minister in the cabinet, chairman or president in Government Link Company (GLC) and also as High Commissioner or Ambassador which was happening before. In term of economy, it will affected the Malaysian Army in attracting talented people, retention and also its defense budget, salary and compensation.
106. For the external analysis, in order to benchmark for the best practice on the Leadership Development for the Army, the finding on comparative study on Leadership Development in US Army as a well developed Army and Singapore Army as neighbouring country of Malaysia has been conducted. The finding on the comparative analysis has shown that their macro environment in term of political, economy, security, technology and government budget has shaped their army and their macro environment are quite different from Malaysian Army. The US and Singapore Army Leadership Development Model and Process are based on their defence policy where their policy is well defined and make it easy for their army to develop the right strategy, commitment of the Government to build-up capable army which fully supported by their government, Army vision, mission and objectives that will generate the right strategy for their Leadership Development Model and Process, Army roles and tasks that are based on their vision, mission and objectives, allocation of defence budget where very high and will support their Army development programs, They also could attract talented people to join the army because of their good image and professionalism, public perception on the Army is very good and their Leadership Development Process will be tailored to their Leadership Development Model.
107. Based on the external analysis on the benchmark of Leadership Development in US and Singapore Army, there are some unique capabilities that could make a Leadership Development successful such as commitment by the Government to enhance Leadership Development, high budget allocation, the existence of defence universities, inter-agency/department co-operation with the Army, well defined public perception towards the Army, the need for Army officers to be well rounded and knowledgeable officers that could cope up any security situation challenges that arise, expanding roles of the Army especially in secondary roles on developing the nation to be addressed by the Army through their Leadership Development Programs to enhance the officers’ ability and capability to do these expanding roles, utilizing the technology better that could have significant advantages against its adversary, the Army of multiple skills and capability, the existence of Centre of Leadership Development, the need of systematic and continuous training and education of the officer, commitment by all domains in Leadership Development, joint services integration of the Armed Forces, intellectual Army officers, multiple skills of Army officers, enhance the value of Army officers, efficiency and aggressive marketing and talented people attracted to join the Army. All of these unique capabilities should be considered by the Malaysian Army to come up with the right strategy for its Leadership Development Programs.
108. Compared to Malaysian Army internal analysis, its Leadership Development model is also based on Malaysian Defence Policy but the policy is not well defined and therefore the Army could not develop the right strategy for its leadership development. However, the Malaysian government is also committed to build-up capable Army that could perform its roles and tasks in defending the country from external threats though its General Defence Policy. The Malaysian Army also has vision, mission, objectives, roles and tasks that will generate the right strategy for their Leadership Development Model and Process. Allocation of Defence Budget is lower compared to US and Singapore Army and could hinder Malaysian Army modernization and development programs. Malaysian Army as profession could not attract talented people to join the Army because sceptical public perception on the Army even it has good image and professionalism since the public think that the military is just wasting the Government money without any real external threats.
109. In term of comparison on Leadership Development Mission, Goal, Model and Programs in the US, Singapore and Malaysian Army as mentioned before, there are a set of criteria that have been analysed; Defence Policy, commitment of the government to build-up capable army, Army vision, mission and objectives, Army roles and tasks, allocation of defence budget, attraction to talented people to join the army, public perception on the Army, Leadership Development Model and Leadership Development Process. After analysing the comparison, The US and Singapore Army Leadership Development Model are based their defence policy same as Malaysian Army. Their governments are committed to build-up capable army especially on modernizing and developing their Army through high defence budget compared to Malaysian Defence Budget which is lower. US, Singapore and Malaysian Army have their own vision, mission and objectives that will generate the right strategy for their Leadership Development Model and Process based on the defence policy. All the Army has roles and tasks that are based on their vision, mission and objectives. All Army has their own Leadership Development Model and Process is quite similar.
110. The summary of comparison between US, Singapore and Malaysian Army is shown in Table 5.
No Defense White Paper
Defense of the country sovereignty and interest from external threats
Defense of the country sovereignty and interest from external threats
Defense of the country sovereignty and interest from external threats
Army Roles and Tasks
Based on VMO
Based on VMO
Based on VMO
High (4.7% GDP)
High (6.0% GDP)
Lower (6.0% GDP)
Likely to join the Army
Leadership Development Model
Operational, Institutional and Self Development
Institutional Training and Education, Duty Assignment and Self Development
Institutional Training and Education, Duty Assignment and Self Development
Leadership Development Process
Based on the Model
Based on the Model
Based on the Model
Table 5: Comparison of Leadership Development between US, Singapore
and Malaysian Army
111. From the comparison on Leadership Development in US and Singapore Army, there are some unique capabilities that could make a Leadership Development successful. There are few weaknesses form the comparison such as there is no Defence White Paper to provide Strategic direction and guidance on the defence of Malaysia, lower budget allocation that make the Leadership Development in the Malaysian Army lacking of funding on acquiring the latest military equipment and to enhanced its training institutions facilities and establishment of Centre of Leadership Development and the sceptical public perception on the Malaysian Army that make it difficult to attract talented people to join the Army. The Malaysian Government need to be more committed to the defence matters especially on defence budget allocation, coordinating inter-agency/department cooperation, educate the public the need to security and defence for the stability of the country for well defined public perception towards the Army, establishing of Centre of Leadership Development through budget allocation and additional non-military tasks given is based on the Army’s capabilities. In term of Leadership Development Model, US, Singapore and the Malaysian Army are about the same. However, on Leadership Development Process there are some qualities that need to be considered by the Malaysian Army as mentioned earlier.
113. Based on the external analysis on macro environment of Malaysia and comparative analysis on US and Singapore Army and then the internal analysis of the Malaysian Army, there are certain opportunities, threats, strength and weaknesses based on a SWOT- Matrix Analysis that effects Leadership Development in the Army as shown at Exhibit 11.
STRENGTH/CAPABILITIES OF THE MALAYSIAN ARMY
114. Army is Professional, honorable profession and providing a secure job. Therefore, the Army has to do a proper marketing with focus on the Army as professional, honorable, secure job and clear career progression based on military courses requirement. At the same time the Army also is providing opportunity to officers for further education especially courses not related to military offered by the Defense University.
115. The Government provides the opportunity for officers to serve in the government as Minister or Ambassador as recognition of the capability of the Army officers that has been develop through Leadership Development but not all officers has the opportunity. Therefore, The Army has to continuously reviewing its Leadership Development Concept, Model and Program to ensure to develop its officers knowledge, skills and experience. Since the Government has established Defense University, it is a good opportunity to officers for further education especially courses not related to military offered by the University. However, it is depend on budget allocation and the capability of the university to offer more courses not related to military.
116. The Army has well structured organization, with clear vision, mission, objectives, clear purpose, roles and functions, even there is no Defense White Paper. However, the Army through Malaysian Armed Forces and Ministry of Defense should insist on the government to come up with Defense White Paper, additional defense budget for establishment of Leadership Development Centre and more further education opportunity, more inter-agency/department co-operation coordinated by the Government most probably by the Home Affairs Ministry that involve the Police Force, Immigration Department, Fire Engine Department, Custom Department, Civil Defense Department and other relevant department that normally will be working together on non-military tasks with the Army.
117. The Army also has to accept the expanding non-military tasks mandated by the government as secondary roles such as to curb smuggling activities, illegal logging, drug and human trafficking, illegal immigrants, environmental damage, trans-borders activities and search and rescue (SAR) of the civilians, etc, but it should be based on its capabilities. Therefore, a successful Leadership Development Concepts, Model and Process will be based on the requirement of military and non-military tasks. However, currently, the Army is well developed on establishing Leadership Development training on military tasks but still lacking on the training and education on non-military tasks. Therefore, Leadership Development in the Army has to be continuously kept pace the changing security environment and the expanding roles and tasks. At the same time, the Army also has to work together with The Malaysian Armed Forces for joint service training so that it will enhance the operational experience of the Army officers as what required in the Leadership Development and more inter-agency/department co-operation to perform its non-military tasks.
WEAKNESSES/LACKING IN THE MALAYSIAN ARMY
118. Insufficient defense budget allocation for modernization, education and improvement on training facilities has effected Leadership Development in the Army. Therefore as mentioned earlier, the Army through Malaysian Armed Forces and Ministry of Defense should insist on the government to come up with additional defense budget for the modernization, establishment of Leadership Development Centre and more further education opportunity. If the Government recognizes the need for additional budget for further education to the officers it will provide better education and experience so that could enhance the value of Army officers.
119. In order to attract talented and intellectual people to join the Army and to avoid skeptical and not well defined public perception, as mentioned earlier, proper marketing has to be conducted. In term of Leadership Development, the Army has to improve its Leadership Development Process and Support Systems, ensure commitment by all domains, provide opportunity for the officers for duty assignment and operational experience especially on non-military tasks,, enforced self-development to the officers and accept the fact that additional tasks as part of the secondary roles in the Army to counter the identity crisis as warrior of war against doing non-military tasks. These Non-military tasks also should be covered in training institutions and further education.
120. Since the technical advancement provide the challenges to keep pace with old technologies and lack of defense industry participation, the Army should keep pace with technology advancement and provide opportunity for the officers to participate in defense industry activities. Since there is uncertainty of future security situation that needs to address continuously but at the same time additional tasks keep on expanding, the Army should be focusing on the immediate threat to the Malaysian sovereignty and how to face the uncertainty through Leadership Development Programs that will develop the officers on critical and analytical thinking capabilities based on the situation.
121. The Army also should develop the inexperience officers in duty assignment and operational experience with more frequency in Army operations, training, exercises and involve in more inter-agency/department cooperation coordinated by the Government that involve the Police Force, Immigration Department, Fire Engine Department, Custom Department, Civil Defense Department and other relevant department that normally will be working together on non-military tasks with the Army. Therefore, as mentioned earlier the trainings should be focus on this inter-agency cooperation and should be included in Leadership Development in the Army.
STRATEGY FORMULATION AND IMPLEMENTATION
122. Malaysian Army as part of The Malaysian Armed Forces has the vision, mission, roles, tasks and functions based on the Armed Forces strategic guidance and eventually Malaysian Defense Policy as the main roles is to defense the country from external threats and secondary roles to perform additional tasks. In order to fulfill these tasks, the responsibility is on the officers of the Malaysian Army and a proper Leadership Development Program has to be developed for the officers to keep pace with the current and future security environment, military and additional tasks non- military tasks on supporting the country in nation building and development. Leadership Development in the Malaysian Army should be tailored with the external environment of Malaysia in term of political, economic, social, security and budget allocation. At the same time, the formulation of the Strategy also should be based on the internal analysis of benchmarking of other armies for the best Leadership Development Concept, Model and Process.
123. The Malaysian Army has to develop a comprehensive Leadership Development Strategy to prepare officers to lead soldiers in the future. The current Leadership Development that consist: Leadership Development Concepts, Model (Institutional Training and Education, Duty and Operational Assignments and Self-Development), and Process (Responsibility, Integration, Sequences, Assessment, Feedback and Evaluation) are on the right track but need to be review and add some more details. This strategic direction for the training and education, operational experience and self development could create conditions for the development of its leader to perform their tasks in full range of primary and secondary tasks. The future operational environment would likely to be highly dynamic, complex and competitive that could be a challenge to the Malaysian Army. The focus of Leadership Development should be to enable officers to lead the soldiers, develop their subordinates and achieve the operational goal. In order to develop the officers in Leadership Development, focus should be on training institutions and education, duty and operational assignment and self development and they need to be integrated successfully.
124. These domains has to be elaborate further down on how best the Army could fully develop its leaders within the limited resources and time to implement the strategy. The Strategy for Leadership Development in the Malaysian Army involve the commitment of training institutions, leaders and the officers themselves for a life long learning and development, balancing commitment to the training, education and experiences as component of Leadership Development, prepare officers for multiple threats and a full range of military missions through outcomes-based training and education, achieve balance and predictability in personnel policies and professional military education, manage the army’s military talent to benefit both the institution and individual, prepare leaders by replicating the complexity of the operational environment in courses and units, produce leaders who are mentors and committed to developing their subordinates, prepare select leaders for responsibility at the national level and enhance their values, strengthen army leader’s demonstrated understanding of their profession or arms and inspire commitment to the professional ethics.
125. The Army now needs Leadership Development that both meets immediate (short-term) requirements and long-term needs. An uncertain and complex future security environment continues to demand that Army Leadership Development Programs has to be review continuously and also prepare leaders to perform their tasks in future military or non-military tasks. The officers should be given the opportunity for their development through Leadership Development Programs to enable them to be confidence, competent, knowledgeable and skillful and experienced to lead their soldiers to the future. The Strategy for Leadership Development in the Malaysian Army will provide the characteristics for the Army leaders as they progress through their careers on how best to perform their tasks. The strategy should focus on aspects for the integration of policies, programs and initiatives to produce Army leaders. The strategy also could be guidance for career-long development of Army leaders through education, training and experience. The Leadership Development is not one time basis but also should be deliberate, continuous, sequential and progressive. The Army should create a learning organization that keep track of the changing security environment, future technologies, expanding roles in operation other than war and non-military tasks of supporting the government on nation building and development.
126. The Leadership Development strategy will consist of how best the Army institutions will adapt the way in which to develop leaders. There are challenges on external and internal environment that will affect the strategy on Leadership Development. What the Army must do in Leadership Development is to educate, train and provide necessary experiences either operational or non operational in order to perform their roles and tasks successfully. Therefore, there is a need for full commitment of three important domains in Leadership Development which is Training Institutions and Education, Duty and Operational Assignment and Self Learning.
127. However, there is a conflict between these domains such as to allow the officers development through education and training and at the same time to give enough operational experiences to the officers. At the same time self-development also will be difficult if they don’t have the time. In order to be successful, there are certain aspects that need to be considered such as what leader qualities that the Army wants the leaders’ characteristics, leaders’ attributes and leaders’ core competencies. The Army has to increase the effort to develop each of the officers and ensure that it could manage most talented leaders to lead the Army in the future. There is also a need to establish The Centre for Army Leadership Development for the Malaysian Army which is currently The Malaysian Army does not have where this establishment could develop, review and refine the Leadership Development in the Malaysian Army continuously.
128. With all the discussion on the External Analysis and how they effected the Leadership Development in the Malaysian Army and comparative analysis on Leadership Development of US and Singapore Army and their unique capabilities, and also on Internal Analysis of the Malaysian Army organization, vision, mission, roles, function, ethos and current Leadership Development Concepts, Model and Process, therefore the Strategy for Leadership Development in the Malaysian Army should be formulated based on the followings:
a. Commitment by the Government to the Army.
(1) The government has provided general Defense Policy but there is no Defense White Paper. Therefore, the government should come up with Defense White Paper to provide proper direction and guideline on the main roles and tasks of the Army as shown in the US and Singapore Army. What is happening now is the government keeps adding additional tasks on supporting and assisting the government for nation building and development.
(2) In term of budget allocation, the government should give sufficient budget allocation to the Army so that the training establishment could upgrade the facilities to implement Leadership Development Programs better especially for tertiary education with various fields of study to pursue the best development strategy and plan to be implemented in the Army.
(3) The Government has established National Defense University to train officers and commissioned them to the Armed forces as officers. It also provides the opportunities for the Army officers to further their studies in other fields rather than war strategy and broadened their knowledge as shown by the US Army. It will also provide the Army officers the chance for higher level of education but it needs sufficient budget allocation. However, the university has to offer more courses because currently the courses offered are quite limited.
(4) In term of security and stability of the country, there is a need of cooperation between the Army and other agencies such as public services, NGO and private sectors especially when dealing with internal threat to the security Therefore, the Government should coordinate these cooperation.
b. Commitment by the Army.
(1) Attract talented youth to joint the Army as Officers. The current situation in Malaysia now is military profession is the last resort for job seekers. Compared to US and Singapore Army, talented people would like to joint the Army because the good image and challenges provide by the organizations.
(2) Well Defined Public Perception Towards Malaysian Army. The Army has to build up a good image and professional in performing their roles and tasks that will enhance a good reputation and perception from the public. The Army roles and tasks are not only protecting the country from any external aggression but also helping the nation in developing the country.
(3) Uncertainty of Security Situation in the Future. The uncertainty of security situation in the future will demand the Malaysian Army officers to be well rounded and knowledgeable officers that could cope up any security situation challenges that arise. .
(4) Military Institution and Officers Facing New Challenges. Expanding Roles of the Army especially in secondary roles on non-military tasks of assisting the Government on nation building and development make the Army to do several tasks at the same time. These non-military tasks need to be addressed by the Army through its Leadership Development Programs to enhance the officers’ ability and capability to do these expanding roles.
(5) Technical Advancement. The Future warfare will involve modern, sophisticated and advance technology that needs the Army officers keeping pace with the changes. However the technology acquired by the Army is based on the defense allocation. The Malaysian Army should include in its Leadership Development focusing on officers to enhance their knowledge and expertise in technology in keeping abreast with the latest technology to face the future wars and challenges.
(6) The Trend towards Small Army with Multiple Skills and Capabilities. The Malaysian Army has reducing the strength to become small army with multiple skills and capability as what most of the armies do. These trends will need leaders that very capable to lead the Army that could fulfill the vision, mission, roles and tasks with limited personnel.
(7) Intellectual Army Officers. The Army has to develop intellectual officers in its Leadership Development Program that have the ability of critical, analytical and creative thinking to cope with unpredictable situations that they are facing so that they could make quick and right decision to address the situations.
(8) Multiple Skills of Army Officers. The Leadership Development should consider the requirement to enhance the knowledge, skills and experiences of the Army officers not only in military tasks but also in non-military tasks in the future that will demand different knowledge, skills and experiences to address the situations.
(9) Enhance the Value of Army Officers. A successful Leadership Development Programs will create a true professional officer with knowledge, skills and experiences where they will be respected by the public and will enhance their value especially when they retired and they can work with prestige private sector companies.
(10) Training and Education. Training is very crucial in Leadership Development in the Army especially at the beginning of officer career and should continuously developed throughout the career. These training will be imparted through courses in army training institution (career and functional courses), unit training, exercises and involvement of different types of operations. However, most of the courses conducted in the training institutions are on the military subjects. Non-military tasks have to be included also as part of the subjects in the courses offered to the officers so that they could enhance their knowledge not only on military but also on non-military tasks. The Leadership Development in education is imparted through tertiary education in various field offers the officers that will broaden their knowledge and skills and not just related to their respective arms and services and about warfighting.
(11) Commitment by All Domains in Leadership Development. The Malaysian Army Leadership Development Domains which include training institution and education, assignments and operational experience and self-development should focus on the Leadership Development start from the basic level at their cadet school to instill the right leadership qualities and traits and throughout the officers’ career.
(12) Joint Services integration of the Armed Forces. The leadership development in the Malaysian Army should focus on joint service integration between the Navy and the Air Force.
(13) Leadership Development Model and Process. The Army should review its Leadership Development Model and Process by benchmarking of the best practices by other armies in order to keep pace with the changes in the security environment and its roles and tasks.
129. The strategy implementation will consist of Short and Long Term Plan that will be based on the findings on External Analysis of the Malaysia Army that comprises macro environment in geo-strategic security situation and political, economy, technology and government budget of Malaysia and the benchmarking of Leadership Development of the Army in other countries. The strategy also will be based on the Malaysian Army Internal Analysis in term of its organization, vision, mission, roles, function, ethos and current Leadership Development Concepts, Model and Process. The strategy needs to consider the primary roles on military tasks of the Malaysian Army and its secondary roles in non-military tasks that keep expanding which is the expectation of the public for the Army to be more involved since there is no perceive threats to the country. The plan also should include the need of the Army’s efficiency in Leadership Development continuous improvement by reviewing and updating its Leadership Development to keep pace on the future security challenges on its doctrine, tactics, techniques, procedures and warfighting philosophy for its military tasks. In performing on its expanding non-military tasks (such as to curb smuggling activities, illegal logging, drug and human trafficking, illegal immigrants, environmental damage, trans-borders activities and search and rescue (SAR) of the civilians, etc.), there is a need for the Army for not working in silos and has to cooperate with other public services (such as the Police, the Immigrations, the Customs, the Fire Brigade, Forestry Department, National Drugs Agency,
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