New world, new leadership

Written by Vicente Salas
Friday, 03 October 2008
COMMENT

BY VICENTE SALAS

New global challenges call for different leadership styles

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VANDY RATTANA

Voters display evidence of casting their ballots.

“Leaders do not have to be heroes, but they must not be afraid to face reality.”

If globalisation means anything, it means that local events have international consequences.
For better or worse, we are compelled to embrace change and accept that the uncertainties of the global political economy are part and parcel of living in such an interdependent world.

What happens at home doesn’t stay at home. East Asian economies prospered miraculously in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s, before disaster struck with the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997.

No one could have predicted that such a crisis could hit at the epicentre of a major emerging economic bloc.
The result was widespread political instability and a downgrading of human security.
The crisis taught us to be conscious of global uncertainties.

And then came SARS and bird flu-another aspect of globalisation that demonstrated our global vulnerability to disease. Global migration moves much faster today and remains beyond the control of nation-state institutionalism.
Natural disasters have global impacts: the Southeast Asian tsunami in 2004, Hurricane Katrina in the US in 2005, Cyclone Nargis in Burma in May 2008 and the Sichuan earthquake in China 10 days later.

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Cambodia’s higher education dreams confront reality

PHNOM PENH (AFP) — She has two years to go until graduation, but already Cambodian student Chhum Savorn is filled with a sense of dread.

The 21-year-old decided to major in finance, hoping she would acquire skills to help develop her country, which is one of the poorest in the world.

Instead, she thinks her education is nearly worthless — classes are mostly packed with indifferent, cheating students and led by under-qualified professors.

“The low quality of my studies means that I can’t help the country, and I’ll even have a hard time getting a job that pays enough to help my family,” she says.

A growing number of eager young Cambodians are finding themselves duped into a higher education system that suffers from weak management and teaching because it is geared more toward profit than learning.

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