Since the new army leadership has been announced, I have been receiving several SMSs and calls affirming their satisfaction to the choice of both the designated COA and DCOA i.e. Lt Jen Zulkifli Zain popularly known as ZZ (to be promoted to full General upon assuming his new appointment), and Lt Jen Zulkifli Zainal Abidin (ZZA) respectively. I am glad that the norm with regards to appointing the DCOA to take over as COA in the new army lineup is being respected. I am now told that the incumbent COA will relinquish his post on May 20, and thereafter proceed on leave.
There will surely be many things already in the mind of the COA designate, of what he aspires his command would be. I believe that one of the most important thing he should do upon assuming his new post is to ensure the right selection of his immediate staffs that will serve him well, loyal, honest, truthful and most importantly, that they all possess the highest level of personal integrity. There are many among the current crop of officers that possesses such traits and qualities, and if ZZ is able to identify them and bring them to his side, then I am quite sure we are going to see a rehabilitated and rejuvenated army, for the army certainly deserves something better now, than the past.
I am quite sure too that ZZ does not want to inherit the ‘legacies’ (good or bad) of his predecessor, and in this regards he will need to dispose of those officers whom he think will be a bane to him because of the link that they are likely to have with his predecessor. The link can take many forms, and the most important being the business dealings that they have had in the past with some favoured companies and agents. I say this because of what I hear from within and outside the confines of army. ZZ has to be serious about this if he wants to be recognized as a professional soldier and a true leader of men, and is devoid of any personal interest and linkages with businessman, defence contractors and its agents.
Assuming the exulted post of COA comes with a myriad of responsibilities. More importantly, such responsibilities extend to not only the soldiers but to their families as well. This is actually the crux of soldiering, and as the saying goes, ‘if there are no soldiers, then there are no officers’. This saying is merely to emphasize the importance of soldiers in the army, and if an officer fails in his/her responsibility towards his charge, he/she is deemed to have failed in his/her responsibility. ZZ’s responsibility now is to ensure that all officers under his command know full well their responsibilities towards their charges and their families first, before self.
I am quite sure that ZZ throughout his army service has had many experiences serving under several superior officers, and is well acquainted with the idiosyncrasies of his superiors. He would have also learnt and observe their style of command of his superiors; one that he admires, and one that he opposes. It is quite normal among subordinates to observe their superiors, to learn and to emulate the good leadership traits that are inherent in the superiors. This is what most retirees like me, and many others in the service today hope to see of ZZ; an exemplary leader who show good leadership qualities, and one that does not throw tantrums like a mad bull.
The army has seen such acts in the past, and I can say for certain that such acts are only done by those who have a serious a personality problem, and is lacking in self confidence. The reason he throws his tantrums is to show others that he is in control over all things and to exert his authority, merely to hide his apparent self weaknesses. People of this sort are weaklings, unmotivated and have false pride in them.
What I have said above are nothing new and equally, it is not my desire to teach ZZ what leadership entails. I believe he knows more than I do. But my concern is the army for which I still adore, and an early reminder to ZZ about some of the things that he should observe is apt, before he assumes the exulted post of COA.
I think, he knows too the reasons why I have been critical of army in the past, and if he don’t, what he need to do is read all my previous postings to understand my criticism of the army, especially with regards to corruption (or seen to be corrupt) by a certain group of army officers, which he may or may not know. And if nothing changes and corruption still prevails, let it be known that I will continue to criticize the army leadership till my dying days.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION