Sultan extols leadership
By Sonia K
Photo: Info Dept

The functions of leadership are still important no matter how advanced the technology is.

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam highlighted this in his titah during the 46th Anniversary of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium yesterday.

The celebration carries the theme, "Iltizam Memperkasa Pertahanan Negara".

His Majesty, who is the Minister of Defence and Supreme Commander of the RBAF, said that while we enjoy the current prosperity, we should be aware of the incidents threatening world peace that are happening around us.

The threats come in different forms and some come in the form of high tech equipment and some in a psychological form through different actions or deeds.

"All these cannot be avoided and we must look at ways to prevent them," His Majesty noted.

To make preventive methods more effective, we must have self-determination and strength. Without them, we will only be left behind.

"In what form is this strength needed?" asked the monarch and replied, "Indeed both will power as well as physical strength."

It dominates a high fighting spirit, patience, bravery and on top of that advanced technology for defence.

This fulfils the Ministry of Defence's initiative to hold an International Defence Exhibition and Forum in conjunction with the celebration of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces anniversary this year, said His Majesty.

The events that have been arranged will bring a lot of advantages to society in terms of knowledge and education on the different kinds of threats, as well as on the latest technology in relation to the various perspectives of defence and safety.

This is also desired as a basis towards acquiring a local defence industry planning that is an aspiration to be achieved through the revision of the Defence White Paper 2007.

"I can see the benefits if the defence activities will also continuously contribute to the development of the country's economy and also open up new opportunities for the citizens," His Majesty said.

In relation to this, with the existence of the different types of modern defence equipment, His Majesty reminded the Ministry of Defence to be more wise in valuing priorities that are in line with the country's current developments and threat assessment.

Thus, in the choosing of equipment and procurement process, it (Ministry of Defence) has to determine that it is really accurate, genuine and away from any issues of self-importance, which needs thorough investigation and a systematic and efficient management.

In His Majesty's view, upgrading the status of the Military Capability Development Unit to that of a directorate is one of the efforts to upgrade effectiveness and integrity of the current procurement system.

"In the craze of conquering high technology, we must not forget that no matter how advanced the technology is, it will not be able to replace the functions of leadership in the organisation.

"Leadership will continue to be needed as the main pillar to decide the good or bad of the organisation," His Majesty said.

That is one of the reasons why His Majesty hopes that the efforts to improve leadership qualities must not be neglected.

This includes not only the working knowledge but also the absorption of noble values of a leader in a group.

The monarch lauded the efforts that have been taken towards enhancing the spiritual aspect of the defence personnel through academic programmes and the establishment of the Military Religious Department.

His Majesty also welcomed the plan of the Ministry of Defence to establish a Performance Optimisation Centre that will use the latest scientific knowledge and technology to optimise soldiers' performance through several methods. - Borneo Bulletin (1st June 2007)