The Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Shah, today emphasised the importance of having courageous and visionary leadership, saying it is needed now more than ever.
He said these leadership traits are crucial in meeting the ever-growing challenges and to take full advantage of the ever-growing opportunities in a fast-changing world.
"Every new day, new challenges are thrown at us; and every new day, a leader emerges.
"The progress the world has seen, especially the rapid changes experienced in the last 100 years, is a result of innovative leaders who have not allowed themselves to be cowed by challenges," he said in a keynote address at the opening of the Leadership Energy Summit Asia 2018 organised by ICLIF Leadership and Governance Centre, in Kuala Lumpur today.
Sultan Nazrin Shah said the same qualities of vision, courage, drive and tenacity in leadership not only made several global leaders shine better than others but have made a greater mark on humanity.
These leaders include Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela who all had a clear vision of freedom, conviction in their beliefs, a strong moral compass, and worked tirelessly to make the world a better place at a great personal cost and left behind a powerful legacy as a result of their leadership, he said.
"They stand out for their determination and courage, as well as for the magnitude of their achievements," he said.
Sultan Nazrin Shah also named Mercy Malaysia founder Dr Jemilah Mahmood as among the individuals he greatly admires, noting that it was her leadership, energy, tenacity and vision that have propelled the NGO she founded in 1999, to become a leading player in domestic and international disaster response and humanitarian relief.
"Dr Jemilah had a successful career here in Kuala Lumpur as a gynaecologist. Yet she was motivated, driven in fact, to leave behind her comfortable middle-class life and take ‘the path less-travelled’ as she puts it.
"Inspired by a powerful duty to help those less fortunate, she has devoted her humanitarian mission to providing assistance to some of the neediest people in the world, in her case those affected by natural and man-made disasters," he said, concurring with her peers who have described her as someone who ‘so fully represents and lives her humanitarian values’.
He expressed confidence that Dr Jemilah’s legacy may well endure long into the future, just as she sets a shining example of leadership in the present.
Sultan Nazrin Shah also named Sulabh International social service founder Dr Bindeshwar Pathak; Microsoft Corporation founder Bill Gates; and the paramount leader of China, the late Deng Xiaoping, as among the exceptional leaders he admires who have made a transformative impact in the lives of people.