Friday, May 30, 2008
Hey guys...whatever you have achieved, your advancement throughout the competition was a great attempt ok? I know it wasn't an easy task. You guys I was told, fought admirably to the very end. That's the spirit boys and girls! The learning, the experience was far more important, to me.... you will know what I mean 10 or 15 years from now...hehe
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Saturday, May 24, 2008
The Thomson Paintings represents a selection from the collection of paintings of J T Thomson, government surveyor to the British Colonial administration of Singapore from 1841 to 1853. Containing forty (40) paintings reproduced including fifteen paintings of the early towns of Singapore, five of Malacca, three of Penang, one of Rhio, four of the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia, anda series showing the construction of Singapore's first lighthouse, the Horsburgh Lighthouse, in the Singapore Strait. Painted with the eye of an architect, they are not only remarkable as works of art but also as an invaluable record of early Singapore and parts of Malaysia. Dr John Hall-Jones, A New Zealander, is the great-grandson of the painter and in introducing the paintings to the reader has illustrated his text with liberal quotations from Thomson's own writings...
THE HORSEBURGH LIGHTHOUSE 1851
inscribed on back in ink:
Horsburgh Lighthouse. China Sea. J.T.Thomson C.E. 1851.
Painted in oil; 680x440mm
In 1847 Thomson landed on Pedra Branca to set up a trial of bricks and mortars. But when he returned after the winter monsoon he found that most of the bricks had been washed away. The lighthouse would have to be built of nothing less than granite, he concluded (J T Thomson, 'Account of the Horsburgh Lighthouse', Journal of the Indian Archipelago, Singapore, 1852, pp 376-498), 'set in the best hydraulic cement'. Special provisions would also have to be made against attacks by pirates. 'The sea tribes of the immediate vicinity', he records 'are notorious for their piratical propensities. They have no compunction in murdering all their victims to destroy all traces of evidence against them.' He designed a tower with the lighthouse-keeper's room at the very top, 'the tower to be entered by strong doors reached by a ladder which could be drawn up inside when necessary'. The lighthouse was to be manned by eight man all equipped with firearms and it was to be stocked with enough food and water to withstand a siege of six months. Work commenced on the lighthouse in 1849 when Thomson established himself on the rock with a construction gang of Chinese, Indians and Malays. The Chinese ' were all inverate opium smokers', he recounts. Eleven of the Indians were convicts and 'three had the word "Murder" tattooed on their brows'. Only the Malays could be trusted and these he placed around his shelter of palm leaves on the rock. (extracted from page 68 of 'The Thomson Paintings')
THE GUNBOAT NANCY
inscribed on front in ink:
Gunboat Nancy, Horsburgh Lighthouse. 1851. Bintang Hills (on left)
Painted in watercolour, 280x 220mm
After the blocks were cut they were transported out to Pedra Branca (about 25 miles away) on lighters escorted by gunboats, of which the Nancy was one. Initially the Nancy was more of a hindrance than a help and matters came to a head when the whole ship's company went on a strike. 'During the night a heavy squall blew from the south-west', records Thomson (Journal of the Indian Archipelago, Singapore, 1852, pp 376-498)
( extracted from pages 78-79 of 'The Thomson Paintings')
THE COMPLETED HORSBURGH LIGHTHOUSE, 1851
inscribed on front in ink:
Horsburgh Lighthouse on Pedra Branca, 1851
painted in watercolour 220x280mm
On May 24, 1850, the masons, upon landing, marshalled themselves in order of rank and then led by the 'Tyler with Drawn Sword' they marched solemnly in procession to the top of the rock. There, the Governor, (perhaps in some anxiety to be away from the storm-prone rock as quickly as possible) urged that the ceremony 'proceed with the least practicable delay'. After speeches by the 'Worshipful Master' and His Excellency, who called for three hearty cheers for the Queen', the assembled company parted ranks to allow the Governor to return to the landing first. That evening a dinner was held aboard the Hooghly to which 'the Governor and his guests did ample justice'. (extracted from page 80 of 'The Thomsn Paintings')
I was just wondering why ICJ made the decisions yesterday. I guess one of it is probably because certain parties would like to have it done to coincide or to mark with today's historical masonic laying of the foundation stone at Pedra Branca (Pulau Batu Putih). I dunno, I may be wrong hehe. Terlalu banyak yang tersurat dan yang tersirat... I leave you to imagine what else we missed out, did or did not do 148 years ago....hmmm. I was excited and so happy when I read a few days before, in the mainstream media, of the bright prospects to our claim of Pulau Batu Putih... but alas.....I was greatly dissapointed! Have a great weekend folks and don't forget its also a 2-week off for the schools...hahaha..if you know what i mean....
Dear Khaeruddin, I've written this recommendation of your work to share with other LinkedIn users. Details of the Recommendation: "Khaeruddin has a proven track record of being a People Manager, being able to balance between work and personal life, amongst his subordinates. His management style is simply recommendable and has strong business acumen in the IT industry."
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Undivided attention by Bank Negara Malaysia rep (the central bank), MRC board member, Deputy Chairman of General Insurance Association of Malaysia (PIAM), Malaysian Takaful Association (MTA), President the Malaysian Repairers Association (FOWOAM), President of the Malaysian Adjusters Association (AMLA), COO of UniAsia... et al
Thank you to all who accepted our invitation. Jason updated the industry on developments in the UK market nd MRC too took the opportunity to update our progress. The soft launch of the industry report done by BNM rep, ensued. The whole affair was over by 1145 am...Fuh..what relief! hehe....
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
I've written this recommendation of your work to share with other LinkedIn users.
Details of the Recommendation:
"Khaeruddin is an accomplished business man and thought leader in the Malaysian business community. He brings a wealth of information, knowledge, experience and the network to many business and corporate professionals and proteges in the metroplex. He is unassuming yet notable in his charming disposition. Khaeruddin is able to turn a dry intellectual topic into a great humorous conversation or lecture. That's a huge gift every left brain could use. It's a great priviledge to know Khaeruddin in business and to have as a friend."
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
I had a stinging criticism about what I have been blogging . Ya ya...it's all about content right? But then again, there are blogs and there are blogs. Mine, in case some people miss it (read the fineprint 0n my masthead ok?) is essentially a journal blog and ecclectic at that too. Anything goes really, ramblings, musings, sometimes it may be Greek to some, sometimes it may sound a bit vulgar to others. I apologise for such insensitivities or carelessness on my part, if any. And for the season hand in blogosphere, blogs come in all shapes and sizes, and serves all sorts of functions. Their categories range from hobbies to technology. And I am sure you will not disagree with me, blogging's growing role in politics, journalism, education and business, especially after the recent GE2008! Anyway, even after a few stinging criticisms, I am not discouraged. Something I found out I like to do. Well, much like an addiction if you may...hehe. As much as I am really really tempted to give my views and/or political comments...hehe I shall refrain from doing so, for now...I have declared much earlier on, that my blog will endevour to remain apolitical!..
I spent a couple of hours with high IQ and promising young kids today, 7As and above in their PMR and they were preparing for an upcoming important school debate. Interesting topics and quite challenging too I must admit..hehe. If the boys had captured 50% of what I had rambled on this morning, I think that would be really some achievement! hahaha. Good luck guys...do your mom & dad and your school proud ok?
Friday, May 16, 2008
The key man in any lion dance performance...as the lions rely on his drumming. One wrong hit...and that's it...the lion could fall off the pole...18 feet above ground...hahaha.
I was invited for the launch of Alliance Bank/Islamic Bank Branch at Ampangpoint yesterday, May 15th at 2 pm. I caught up with Datuk Bridget Lai the Group CEO/Director of the Allliance Financial Group. She is afterall a Hull graduate (fellow imperial alumnus..hahaha). The good news is when I told her that I am the new president for Hull Alumni Malaysia, she pledged her support for all our activities..hehe. Thank you YBhg Datuk...we will be knocking at your door pretty soon! hehe. Yahya was my CIM classmate at UiTM way back aeons ago...hahaha. During the opening, the lion dance performance caught my attention. We do live in interesting times! Looking at it from a more liberal and global perspective, afterall, there are more muslims in China you know? and there has been cultural and religious tolerance in Zinjiang Autonomous Region Northwest China, since the great ancient days of the Silk Route. I had the privilege of spending 10 days at Urumqi (capital of Zinjiang), Turfan (the 2nd lowest spot below sea level after the Dead Sea) where probably one of the oldest mosques in the world still stands; ChengDu capital of Sichuan Province (currently experiencing earthquakes) about 10 years ago (1999). We flew back on 9.9.99...on a day of the global Y2K alert and worry. The only comforting thing was that we flew back in a brand new Boeing 757 from Urumqi to ChengDu...hehe. Not so long ago, the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia presented an exhibition of Six Centuries of Islamic Art in China. Lion dances are cultural and it is part of our tourism showcase anyway! hehe...
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
(Originally a 2 hour public lecture @Universiti Tun Abdul Razak,UNITAR)
By Khaeruddin Sudharmin
Marketing has been viewed sheepishly and maltifariously by various stakeholders. It is a boon and a bane, an opportunity and a threat, that keep the world economy growing so it seems. It can sometimes be fashionably oxymoronic. Its what Vance Packard once crystallized in his book ‘The Hidden Persuaders’ about mysterious consumer behaviours. With comtemporary and innovative ideas about marketing flooding both business and academic literature, one can get lost in this schidzophrenia. One of the 50 Gurus who have shaped the future of Marketing, Bapak Hermawan Kartajaya, President of the World Marketing Association, has blended the latest marketing trend with a conceptual foundation subltly redefining ethics and morality in marketing at the same time. There has never been a more interesting time now than ever before, for marketers to seize the opportunity to emulate and adopt latest advanced marketing concepts born out of the rapid development in information and technology especially the internet, to confront head-on, todays’ consumer expectations of greater transparency and corporate social responsibility. The writer contends that the fact that there now emerge loud calls for redefinition of ethics & morality in marketing, suggesting that there exist unethical practices that need to be aligned.
Marketing is the management function that identifies, anticipates and satisfy consumer wants at a profit. That was the definition by The Institute of Marketing (UK) way back in 1975 that I grew up with. Over the years I saw plenty of rebranding taking place. During my time it was ‘The World is our market’ And we would be proudly printing it on our white longfellow cheap (sourced from Klang) t-shirt or sometimes printed on the slightly more upmarket t-shirt during those days (the fruit of the loom). That should at least get the more gorgeous girls to even take a second look at us. Then the theme IM well CIM now, changed to Marketing is Business. In those days, and I bet even until today, we have never really convinced the public at large the distinct differences between Sales & Marketing. Although for a long time now attempts had been made to put in place to structure the discipline, putting the framework, policies, attempting to meet theory and practice at some point. And of course the fashionable thing to do is always the unending quest to impress upon would be marketeers, that marketing is strategic and therefore should be at the forefront of business, whatever that might be.
Let us quickly take a look first at wikipedia (the free online dictionary) has to say about the definitions of ethics and morality. Ethics is a major branch of philosophy, encompassing right conduct and good life. It is significantly broader than the common conception of analyzing right and wrong. A central aspect of ethics is "the good life", the life worth living or life that is satisfying, which is held by many philosophers to be more important than moral conduct.
Ethics and morals are respectively akin to theory and practice. Ethics denotes the theory of right action and the greater good, while morals indicate their practice. "Moral" has a dual meaning. The first indicates a person's comprehension of morality and his capacity to put it into practice. In this meaning, the antonym is "amoral", indicating an inability to distinguish between right and wrong. The second denotes the active practice of those values. In this sense, the antonym is "immoral", referring to actions that violate ethical principles. Personal ethics signifies a moral code applicable to individuals, while social ethics means moral theory applied to groups. Social ethics can be synonymous with social and political philosophy, in as much as it is the foundation of a good society or state. Ethics is not limited to specific acts and defined moral codes, but encompasses the whole of moral ideals and behaviors, a person's philosophy of life (or Weltanschauung).
Redefining ethics & morality in marketing is disturbing to me because it suggests and perhaps confirms my long suspicion about the unethical and immoral marketing practices that we may perhaps all have been subjected to. With globalisation, greater access to products and services, consumer awareness and demand for greater transparency, going green, corporate social responsibility and what have you, the whole game has overturned. There is mounting pressure from all sides expecting marketeers to practice higher ethical and moral standards.
Ethics, morality, law, these three things are corelated in a sense. Yes and no. Ethics: what is deem ethical in one state, society, may be unethical in another domain. Some laws allow for what seems unethical practice in another society or tribe. What is morally acceptable in certain societies, culture may be taboo in another. Much like Samuel P Huttington’s Clash of Civilisation sort of! Again, when one talks of morality…by whose standards? One could be accused of playing God or taking upon oneself as a moral police. Ethics and morality issues to me therefore can have dual dimensions. One at the local level where the definitions must comply with local culutre and the other one, which can be addressed concurrently. At the generic universal precept level where what is ethical and moral is universally accepted by everyone globally. It is still a dicey issue, like corruption for example, they are interpreted differently in different societies and nations. But corruption is corruption. Corrupt business (oh well, marketing!) practice will be damaging in the long run.
Earth had become Venus so says Bapak Hermawan Kartajaya. He goes on to propagate the idea that the advancement of information technology, instead of turning Earth inhabitants to become robot-like, is in contrary turning them into a more holistic human, loaded with emotions and feelings. Earth inhabitants according to him is not turning to be more rational, yet becoming more emotional like Venusians. And I like to add that they have become much more demanding and expect nothing but the best, they want to know what ingedients you use, where did you source them? Were they organically farmed, are they genetically modified? These are serious ethics and morality issues organisations need to deal with the new wave comsumers. When John Gray wrote that ‘men are from Mars and women are from Venus’. He sspoke of the man who travelled from Mars to Venus to find woman. Together they travelled to earth, a planet where conflicts coloured the life of both man and woman. Some of Bapak Hermawan’s guiding principles and models that will be of value to marketeers include: products and services should be an experience; involving customers in the business process; customer insight is the best tool to find out the customers’ hidden needs; viewing the market dynamically, using infinte segmentation; community is the best channel and finally emphathy has a significant contribution in service. To me if you get it right the first time, ethics and morality embedded in your marketing plans right from the beginning rather than an afterthought, then the world is your market!
Fast moving global companies are quick and sensitive to their customer and market needs. We see that most innovative companies begin their vision & mission statement with a commitment to high ethical standards especially to those companies that are expected, always, to observe their own first and foremost code of ethics, examples of which are medicine, pharmaceuticals, professional services, accounting, and of course many more. Even the ancient institution of bultlerdom too have their own sacred code of ethics. Go read the book by Kazuo Ishiguro ‘The Remains of the Day’ and there’s also a movie from Columbia Pictures starring Anthony Hopkins, again, my favourite actor, if you are lazy to read the book. I think it is being screened on ASTRO right now. As I was saying, forward looking global companies constantly re-look at their core businesses. For example these 2 companies, Abbot Laboratories and Pitney Bowes, each company went on to redefine its core and periphery and become a leader in a sector that had once been peripheral to it. Abbot Laboratories; it defined its core as ethical pharmaceuticals but expanded its visions to consider a broad range of products that lower the cost of healthcare. Pitney Bowes. It traditionally define its core as postage meters and mail handling but it expanded its vision to take up a wide range of related back-office market trends.
Perhaps it can be argued that they may just be corporate rebranding or realignment exercises or just a spin-job exercise much like old wine in new bottle or rearranging the same old furniture in the same old room sort of.
Redefining ethics and morality in marketing it seems to me is no longer an option. As consumers ourselves we do experience and look out for companies that does not exhibit ethics and morality in their products services or marketing practices. In a world where choice is abundant, consumers will always look for alternatives or initiate hostile defiance towards your products or services. In today’s real-time online new media, it doesn’t take long to bring any entity down. It spreads like new viral strains in blogosphere and if you don’t have your own corporate blog to defend yourselves, your guess is as good as mine.
The writer, Khaeruddin Sudharmin , MBA (UK), LS7037, Fellow PWI (UK), is Managing Director & Chief Executive Motordata Research Consortium (MRC) Malaysia in partnership with THATCHAM UK, concurrently also Group Corporate Secretary HeiTech Padu Berhad, was a keynote speaker at IBIS2006 Global Forum, Montreaux, Switzerland, columnist for Sydney-based industry journal BodyshopNewsAsia and President of the University of Hull Alumni Association in Malaysia 2008/2009.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
a rare shot of the meeting of the minds of 2 sons of the soil of the same roots...hahaha. Except that one is Pahang-born, the other Johore-born. Notice the similar Kojak/Bruce Willis hairdo...hahahaha. Was at Ismail Associates office last thursday for our annual report editing. Caught up with Encik Ismail the taiko himself. Picked his brain for my upcoming 3 hour session with about 300 young fresh grads at this FSTEP tingy at dataran takaful next wednesday and we came up with this quite catchy topic for my talk: 'Exploring Uncommon Sen(se)...'
what do you think fellas? ok or not? hehe...enjoy the weakend...hihi
Monday, May 05, 2008
my good fren, Zaidon, the resident manager (partly hidden) briefing or was it debriefing(?) a group of young Tailor's college students in hotel catering, doing their practical at bubu longbeach resort...
wow...a hammock..this is the life...the diving local boys asked me to try it..hehe. I have decided to do this as often as I can when I retire...hahaha no more sadistic board meetings.hahaha. Tired of ***shit corporate life. Especially in an environment where money talks & ***shit walks...heheh so I heard some young professionals tell me. There may be some grain of truth you know? hehe...but then again...hmmm I do get bored easily...hahahahaha...
Last night Don, blanja me this awesome sotong (giant squid hehe) lightly barbecued, half-cooked. OMG! you must try it. Potato jackets and all and superb salad....and well...you knowlah what it should go down your throat with...hehe. I leave that to you exquisit gastronomic guess..hehe. Adios, sayonara Bubu...it was a great 3 days and 2 nights sojourn...au revoir...thanks fellas Don, Salim (the chef) and all the cheerful friendly people that made our stay memorable.. we will be back, I promise you...haha
Sunday, May 04, 2008
and you need not go all the way down to bora bora in the south pacific, we have our own paradise right here at home....
familiar footsteps huh? my early morning brisk walk checking out pulau perhentian kecil...hehe
sunrise at bubu longbeach resort....
dungun boys i chatted with this morning on the way back after the brisk walk. Sabri, the fellow in the the centre, can arrange for scuba diving and your PADI license. But you need at least four (4) days, and be prepared to put aside RM1500 no less ..hehe...
Shah our guide emeritus ( he is a loss adjuster in KL...hehe) walking along the beach with Anna. Anna, French girl working in India as a freelance content travel writer, who joined us for the swimming with the sharks adventure this morning. She hails from Lyons, South of France...
Saturday, May 03, 2008
that's all there is for BBQ? hmm doesn't look much isn't it? yup...it was rationed by the staff...only 2 each for the first round..hahaha. so, if you're going for the second round, they'd gladly serve you. I think they must have learnt from the habits of the kiasu behaviour of a certain neighbouring country of ours, where filling up ones' plate to the brim was a norm. And then not finishing it...uwaaa uhuhu...what a bloody waste, isn't it? hehe
Wow, guess what this is? No...wrong answer...hahaha. That was a special blue marlin fish the resort boys got it from kuala besut. I have never tasted blue marlin ever before in my life, so the resort boys did a fantastic medium-well grill for me..hihi...you really must try it...highly recommended. Unfortunately, you must come to kuala besut to get it. You can't get blue marlin meat in kuala lumpur..hehe No no, that's not blue marlin ...oh well not even lavender marlin...hahaha. These guys are scuba divers or wannabes....heheh....
Bubu Long Beach Resort boys preparing our buffet dinner..haha
Bubu boys rolling up the beach the single most important item for survival on the island: diesel, without which the generators will be dead and you will be absolutely inconvenienced...especially blokes who are pampered with the luxuries of life in Kuala Lumpur...hahaha
with my some of my very the malaysian automotive database research chaps. all work on no play makes even singham, nicholas, yamani and rais dull techies..haha