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Assessing the Challenges of Local Leaders in Rural Community Development: A Qualitative Study in Malaysia

Aizuddin Md Rami, Faiq Aziz, Zeinab Zaremohzzabieh and Abdullah Ibrahim

Pertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities, Volume 29, Issue S1, December 2021

DOI: https://doi.org/10.47836/pjssh.29.s1.01

Keywords: Community leadership, challenges, local leader, rural development, Malaysia

Published on: 14 April 2021

In Malaysia, the ongoing reform at the local government level continues to shape the role of local leaders in rural development. This study aims to identify several challenges faced by rural community leaders and to suggest some ways in which rural leaders can weather and benefit from them. This qualitative study, which used content analysis, employed purposive sampling to firstly select the interviewee, and then was sustained throughout until data saturation. The respondents were from a 60-member cohort from Malaysia’s Villages Development and Safety Committee who held the positions of chairpersons and ordinary members. For data collection and analysis, this study used semi-structured interviews and an inductive approach respectively. The data analysis led to the development of eight main themes of “difficulty in decision making”, “strengthening external network”, “disseminating the precise information”, “Comprehensive participation of the community members”, “preparing an efficient work plan”, “overlapping functions of government agencies”, “political control”, and “the lack of facilities and infrastructure”. Identifying these challenges for rural community leaders will help the local government take proactive action on community leadership in terms of social capital, networking, communication, trust creation, and leadership qualities. Going forward, the government should place serious attention to developing the potential and skills of local leaders as a reward for their profound commitment to developing their community.

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ISSN 0128-7702

e-ISSN 2231-8534

Article ID

JSSH(S)-1487-2021

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