Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Inaugural Public Lecture...

This afternoon at 3 pm (august 25) I took time off, to listen to my friend's (Professor Rajah Rasiah who also just lost his dad) Syarahan Perdana (inaugural lecture) at Dewan Kuliah 3, Faculty of Economics& Administration, Universiti Malaya. The lecture was entitled 'Learning & Innovation in the Automotive Firms in Brazil, India & South Africa: The role of Institutions in Technological Capacity Building'.
This inaugural lecture examines the strength and the relationship betwen the embedding systemic and institutional support and firm-level technological capabilities in Brazil, India and South Africa. Despite Brazil and South Africa enjoying stronger exposure to extenal markets, firms in these countries enjoyed slightly lower technological capabilities than those of India. Stronger Human Capital endowments and network cohesion have helped firms in India to offset a lack of integration in external markets to drive higher technological capabilities than firms in Brazil and South Africa. The systemic pillars, export-intensity and foreign ownership are positively correlated with firm-level technological capabilities, R&D and human resource practices and R&D respectively.
The seminal contributions of the lecture, according to professor Rajah Rasiah, are:
- a new model to examine firm-level technological capabilities and their relationship with four system pillars;
- an advancement in the methodology for evaluating technological capabilities; and
- a policy instrment for assisting latecomers to promote dynamic clustering.
Sorry folks if that was rather heavy...heheh. Well, that's what you will be looking at, if you're planning to do your PhD in the economics of technology innovation...hahaha

Monday, August 25, 2008

rijksmuseum amsterdam 2...

The threatened swan
JAN ASSELYN 1610-1652

ANTON MAUVE 1838-1888 morning ride on the beach

Winter landscape with iceskaters


copyright Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

The Rijksmuseum Amsterdam...

Still life with cheese by FLORIS VAN DIJCK 1575-1651
copyright Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
I was again springkeening my bookshelves and stumbled upon this book of postcards I had picked up the last time I was at Schipol Airport Amsterdam on transit to Geneva. It had a collection of lovely paintings of Dutch Masters at the Rijks museum in Amsterdam, which I find too precious to rip it off the book and send it off to friends. So, I thought perhaps it would be better to select a few of those pictures, upload them on to my blog (of course mindful of not infringing any copyright laws..hehe) so I could share them with my loyal visitors (hehe). Which reminds me if my new common friend Dr Fiona Kerlogue, Deputy Keeper of Anthropology at the Horniman Museum London is still in Bali or has gone back to London? Common friend because we both know Professor King (former Pro-Chancellor of Hull University) who I mentioned in my earlier blogpost, took the whole logstock&barrel school of Asian & Anthropology Studies from the University of Hull to the University of Leeds.
The Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, set in its historic home designed by P.J.H. Cuypers, houses the largest collection of art and history in the Netherlands. The museum has an internationally renowned collection based around the paintings of the seventeeth-century Dutch Republic, the Golden Age, including twenty works by Rembrandt, four by Vemeer and numerous other paintings by artists such as Frans Hals and Jan Steen. Displayed at the very heart of the museum is Rembrandt's Nightwatch. But the museum houses more than just paintings: there are superb collections of silver, delfware, doll's houses, prints, drawings, the mysterious Asiatic art and a recent completely renovated presentation on Dutch history. Work of art on paper, prints and drawings and since 1996 the photographic collection are shown four times a year in different exhibitions. The Rijksmuseum is famous above all for its extensive collection of 17th century Dutch Masters, such as Rembrandt, Johannes Vermeer, Jan Steen and Albert Cuyp.

I wish we had internet when I was at school 40 years ago so no need to go to the libraries. I was reading the latest issue of The Edge this morning and they interviewed people who are 50, 52 & 53 and asked what were the significant things that were not available 50 years ago. With satellite photos, great google maps, anyone can be an armchair traveller these days..hehe. In a few hours it will be time to get to the office..for some, for others...it's always a great sunday...hahaha

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Common sense...or the lack of it?

I have alot on my mind right now, almost bursting at the seams, all kinds of thoughts but don't worry they won't make me lose my regular beauty sleep haha. Economics, political situation, the present, the future, (my impending retirement too! haha), attitudes, cultural influences, UITM, swearing in mosques, 200 complaints at a certain political party elections at various levels, oh my...pretty plenty issues don;t you think?. But I shall leave the comments to my good fren Datuk A KadirJasin to handle it as he always does, so eloquently and so diplomatically stated, without compromising his journalistic instincts (hehe), so cleverly veiled and so becoming when addressing our multiracial and multicultural society. If you read his latest comment (at my link on the sidebar) I like that bit which he said, that there a only a few small multiracial multicultural nations left in the world that are able to maintain peace and harmony and people doing their bit and bout relatively, safely. Of course, he does has his share of detractors, non-believers..hehe. I think we should all play our little role at maintaining that, don't you think so? Enjoy the ode to common sense, someone emailed me last nite.... and have a great weekend ya?even if you're just at home unlike some people, enjoying their weekend in Yogyakarta....(yeah...that was bugging me too...cos I wish I am in yogyakarta sometime soon! hahaha)

Ode to Common Sense
Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.
He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, life isn't always fair, and maybe it was my fault.
Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).
His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a six-year- old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.
Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job they themselves failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.
It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer Panadol, sun lotion or a Band Aid to a student - but could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband, churches became businesses, and criminals received better treatment than their victims.
Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar can sue you for assault.
Common Sense finally gave up the will to live after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.
Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason.
He is survived by three stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, Someone Else is to Blame, and I'm A Victim.
Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

more kind words...

Another one,this is from Pakistan, just arrived, awhile ago...heheh

Dear Khaeruddin,

Thanks for the concern. It was indeed a great opportunity to attend the conference under your able and dynamic chairmanship. I shall remember it for all such meetings to come. In the feed back Performa, I had given my name as a speaker for future conferences, wherein, I shall like to speak on implementation of corporate governance in Pakistan where business is being run by families. I thought it would be an interesting topic for the audience.

Profound regards

Brig Shabbir Ahmed (Retd)
Company Secretary Fauji Cement Company

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

some kind words...(from the recent corporate secretary conference 2008, KL)

I like to share with you some of the emails I received from new friends from Nigeria, Philippines, Bangladesh and will upload the others as they come in....
Thanks. Your mail makes a difference to me. How are you? I am still jetlagged at work and trying to keep awake.
Aidevo Odu-Thomas
Company Secretary
United Bank for Africa Plc, UBA House(8th Floor), 57 Marina, Lagos, NigeriaOffice:Direct Line +234-1-2807020 Ext.18020 eMail:aidevo.odu-thomas@ubagroup.comWebsite: http://www.ubagroup.com/...Africa's global bank
Hi Khaeruddin,
It's been nice meeting you. Congratulations you did an excellent job as the Chairman with your philosophical humor and candid remarks. Since you are also involved in the auto business we can posiibly network in the future. Thanks for the picture too. Let's keep in touch.
Best regards,
Fred (Honda Philippines)
Dear Mr. Sudharmin,
Thank you very much for the photograph. I thoroughly enjoyed the way you very nicely conducted the seminar as its Chairman. It was indeed a great exchange of views among the fellow Company Secretaries from many corners of the Globe. I will try to be in touch with you and the rest of theparticipants, although, I presume, everyone is very much preoccupied with his/her professional and personal businesses.
Best regards,
Rabiul H. ChowdhuryCompany Secretary & General Manager
Karnaphuli Fertilizer Company Limited (KAFCO)IDB Bhaban (13th Floor), E/8-A Rokeya SharaniSher-e-Bangla Nagar, Dhaka-1207, Bangladesh.Office Phone: +88028125520 Ext.105Fax: +88028124490Email: rabiul.h.chowdhury@kafcobd.com

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

making a difference?...

Yesterday I took out all the calling cards gathered during the recent corporate secretary conference that I chaired and I thought, while everyone's memory is still fresh, why not write a note to them...and here it is that email that I sent out....(see red below). I hope it made a difference. Well, ermmm from the immediate spontaneous responses from a few and very encouraging remarks indeed...from some others, I felt bloody good. If I can make someone smile..that would be a reward in itself...hehe

Hi Everyone, Greetings from Kuala Lumpur!

I hope everyone got home safely. I know its not easy to keep in touch. Usually when a conference is over we can't remember who we met or where we kept the business cards! hahaha. That's a given. However I like to change all that because I remembered reading this anecdote from 'The Art of Possibility' by Rosamund & Benjamin Zander published by The Harvard Business Press. It's about a young girl throwing back starfishes into the ocean one by one in sort of a dancing repetitive motion. While she was doing that a man came over and said to her. Why are you wasting your time on this futile effort? There are millions of these starfish all along the beach. It would be impossible for you to throw all of them back into the ocean and it would not make any difference anyway. You know what the little girl said? As she picked up another starfish and swing it into the ocean in a ballet like manner...she said to him...it does make a difference, to this one!....

have a great day!

and please, if you like, do keep in touch.

with warmest regards


-- "A Balance Sheet is like a bikini. What is revealed is interesting but what is concealed, is even more vital"

We all deserve a second chance, don't we? ...

I have taken the liberty to reproduce the book review on my ex-boss Tan Sri Arshad Ayub, by Fauziah Ismail (Jie) of NST, from her blog:

BOOK REVIEW: SECOND CHANCE The Life and Mission of Arshad Ayub

“You’re the editor, you tell me,” he said, across the dinner table from where he was sitting.“Mereka di bawa dengan kereta kuda. How do you translate that?”“This is a trick question,” I told myself. “I’m being asked to translate from Malay to English?”“They were taken on a horse-drawn carriage, Tan Sri?” I mustered an answer.All eyes were on Tan Sri Arshad Ayub.I was already squirming in my seat.The few seconds of anxiety felt like a lifetime.“There you are. She’s got it right. You couldn’t imagine the answers I get these days,” he said.Phew! If I had held my breath a minute longer, I would have killed more brain cells.He gave an example that made us burst out laughing. “Someone said a carriage driven by horses. Logically, how can horses drive?” he said.I remembered meeting him for the first time at a dinner hosted by the company of which he was the chairman. This was quite sometime back when KL Hilton was still at Jalan Sultan Ismail. He moved from table to table to get acquainted with the guests. He just so happened plunk himself at our table longer than expected.Since then, I had met him on several occasions but never really got to talk to him.The mere mention of his name can make some people squirm. People around him tell me that had been occasions where some had actually pee-ed in their pants when they had to face him.This is a man who suffers no fools.Arshad came from a poor family – his father was a rubber tapper and his mother a housewife. The most painful memories growing up concerned his mother who had to sell her only piece of land during the Japanese occupation to buy food for the family.“That day we had a feast at the mamak restaurant in Muar for the first time in our lives,” he said.And his regret to this day was that his mother died before he could give her his salary of RM130 as a temporary teacher. “How can I ever balas (repay) her?”To him being born into poverty need not be the death knell of one’s future. It should be a motivator to seek ways for getting out of such a predicament. “Without the desire to change, innovate and be resilient, nothing much happens, plain and simple,” he said.He believes in education, where with successful education, “doors will open, offering opportunities for you to secure your place in the sun.”Arshad is determined to get himself out of poverty. He started his education at a Malay school in Parit Keruma, Muar; followed by the government English preparatory school and English school. His education was interrupted by the outbreak of the World War II. He managed to stay in school for six months before dropping out to seek ways of helping his family survive. His father had died of dysentery.He was only able to get odd jobs include peddling a three-wheeled trishaw, selling coconuts, carrying and selling firewood and later working as a labourer with the Forestry Department.After the war, he resumed school.He was determined to replace the loss of his mother’s land. Upon returning from England, he bought a piece of land near Muar for RM2,000. This was the money he had saved out of his scholarship during his student stay in Wales. He managed to save 100 pounds every year despite sending home RM70 to his siblings at the end of the month.The purchase of the land in Muar was the beginning of Arshad’s foray into land investment in several states, some of which brought him handsome profits, thus allowing him to provide for his family.He also believed in repaying the favour extended to him.“When you can, you must repay this favour extended to you, and help others in turn who may be struggling for a second chance to find their places.”Arshad has had held various posts including Secretary-General of three ministries and Deputy Governor of Bank Negara, but it was as the first Director of Institut Teknologi Mara (ITM), now renamed Universiti Teknologi Mara, for 10 years from 1967 that he endears himself most to Malaysians.He had been called a tyrant, building his own little empire when he was there.I read reports that he was running the place like his own home and the students like his children. He thought nothing of grabbing them by the collar and giving them a tight slap when he caught them smoking or sleeping in the library.He would hound those with long hair and march them to the barber. He would make surprise checks in the dorms to weed out the slackers. He made students eat bread for lunch instead of rice so that they could hurry back in time for their afternoon lectures without feeling lethargic.He expected kampung students to speak English well.His own personal English language handicap when he was a student taught him never to underestimate the importance of English as the language of commerce, trade and all manner of interpersonal relationships.It may or may not be timely to read this book, which also traces the early developments of ITM until what is now, what with Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim’s suggestion of opening up the university to the non-Malays.The book SECOND CHANCE The Life and Mission of Arshad Ayub is now available at MPH bookstores at RM80 a copy. All proceeds from the sale will be donated to Yayasan Arshad Ayub which was set up at UiTM for research and selected chairs for different areas of study.
After 30 years of association with him, his family, friends and associates who then became my friends too, perhaps I too should write another book about him. My own version. Just like the the guy who wrote about Jack Welch after having been with him for 22 years. Its a pity, when they wrote the book above, they didn't ask for my anecdotes about him..haha. But I tell you, that man, played a major role in transforming both my personal and professional lives. To say that I owe a debt of gratitude to him, would be a gross understatement...

Friday, August 15, 2008

whoever said chairing a conference is a piece of cake?...

not when you're chairing the 3rd annual company secretary conference for 2 solid days where your challenge is to keep delegates awake, sustain their interest with witty, naughty (but not vulgar) jokes, having to be constantly thinking on your feet, and being mindful of what you will be saying or to whom you 're addressing, to be always politically-correct lest you trigger a diplomatic row (heheh), to an audience of high ranking boardroom 'kingmakers' even though some may just be 'in attendance' (wink) and to make it even more eerie...most are legal counsels (urrghhh) and coming from countries like nigeria, india, papua, vanuatu, philippines, vietnam, australia, brunei, indonesia, thailand,sri lanka, bangladesh, pakistan, hongkong and of course our own (that's even more challenging heehee). need i say more? i rest my case fellas...tired both physically and intellectually but at the end of it all..quite satisfying i must admit...

Saturday, August 09, 2008

filial responsibility vs unfathomed passions...???

when u travel, interesting things can happen, u meet interesting people and new learnings too. what i dread most especially on long haul flights is when you're seated to a cry baby! ish...luckily last night that family from muscat, oman got down at brisbane. that was their final destination after a really really long flight from their home at muscat. poor baby...he seems to be shrieking on take0ff and on landing. but this bloody australians typically loud after a few glasses of freeflow wines on MH...suddenly blurted out...hey cool it man...you're making me nervous he said...owh shit...on hearing that...i too got nervous hahaha. well, i am safely back home in KL now...ermmm not exactly...hehe i just arrived in kuantan for my niece's wedding...i promised to attend which meant that I had to skip the sch of economics (UMS) graduate school retreat at tuaran beach resort kota kinabalu. it was to be a weekend affair 8-10 august. they have invited me to be in the evaluation committee to provide industry input and comment on the curriculum of their new MBA and MA in human capital management programs.
in my earlier blog i said i was going to tell u about this sydney cab (taxi) driver? yeah..huge built fellow of indian origin, doesn't look like a taxi driver at all and i was right in my judgment of people. he has a mining engineering degree from india, has 2 masters one a MBA from charles stutt and a MSc in IT also from an aussie uni. He is 35, they just got a baby. The wife is not working, He quit (that was what he said) his reasonably comfortable salary as sales manager of a large IT systems integrator in Sydney. In the current turbulent times...he was only 5 mil ozzie dollars short of the AUS30mil target set...which to me, was quite a feat that he had achieved, considering the circumstances and the economic scenario. we had an interesting reality check chat on the way to the airport. sometimes in life, one has to bite the bullet...the road to success is always often paved with dissapointments. you should read the new book (reviewed in the edge financial daily) about a journalist who took off 2 years to get the coveted harvard MBA degree....if i tell u what its all about...i'd be taking the fun away from your reading wouldn't i? hehe enjoy the rest of the weekend folks...

Friday, August 08, 2008

in transit...

Brisbane international airport..juz landed 10 minutes..view from Qantas business lounge. Its 12 degrees out there. We are in transit for one and a hal hours before continuing our flight back to KL MH140 this time ona triple seven (Boeing 777). I must share with you my conversations with th cab driver to sydney airport just now, and this family from Muscat, Oman who were on the same flight just now from sydney to brisbane....got to go will story later...they are calling for boarding now...ciao guys...hehe

Thursday, August 07, 2008

IBIS Australia 2008, Darling Harbour Convention Centre, Sydney

keynote panelist with chris mann chairman of IBIS UK, this morning at sydney convention centre, darling harbour

vehicle technology...designs and its implications to repairers, consumers, insurers, OEM chaps especially from the standpoint of RCAR's damageability & repairability concerns...

winter in sydney is ok...not too cold...hehe

when u order cappucino in sydney...they're quite creative...see the floral design of the milk/cream...hehe

fuh! what a relief! as soon as my speaking engagement was over, i felt wow...soo relaxed and like as though i had served my punishment sentence...haha. sydney, to me has not changed much after 24 years...the roads are still the same, the places were familiar to me, the wharfs opera house, sydney bridge and all. like most european cities... they're mostly quite well planned and no haphazard structures or weird looking buildings or houses. anything weird that u see like a house with pagar gates and all...u know that its most likely to belong to a malaysian (hehe...and u knw specifically who lah...hehe) that's what i was told...hehe. much like the UK, they don't change much unlike subang jaya...SS19 for example...I did not go there for a few years...the next time I got there...I was like...lost? can u beat that?hahaha...malaysia boleh...suma boleh...i am tempted to make some more nasty comments but i thought mebbe i shud slow down...i mean...my brutal n mulotstakdeinsuran remarks...hahaha. see you guys back in KL next week....

Sydney, after 24 years....

Pasta lunch with Robert McDonald fellow RCAR research centre colleague and New RCAR Steering Committee Chairman. He is Head of IAG Research Centre, Newington, NSW

hahaha...that's a amuch more assertive way of doing it...yeoww u out there mamak bookstations! perhaps this is a good example..hehe

in front of the research centre, Newington, Sydney yesterday...

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

farewell my fren...

been terribly busy. arrived sydney this morning 7.50am. got into hotel had shower than robert mcdonald head of IAG research centre picked me up. we had marinara pasta at newington before visiting his new facilities well not sooo newlah..oredi 2 years old. IAG like MRC are members of global RCAR. now back at hotel to read my stuff before the panel session with van ratingen secretary-general of EuroNCAP tomorrow at IBIS Australia 2008. yesterday i was chairing a session and presented a paper 'crisis management: a promising oasis or a treacherous mirage?' at the 2008 international quality management symposium at Garden Hotel Midvalley KL. during the flight i was seated front aisle on the upper deck of the 747, beside this very pleasant 30 yr old french chap who lives and works in tokyo whose wife is expecting their first child. Then I remembered that last sunday at about 10am in the moning I got a call from an ole fren Nik (my housemate zaman2 bujang dulu 30 years ago!) informing me that our dear buddy Nik Ariff who was formerly chief state librarian of Kelantan had passed away of a heart attack at tanah merah hospital. I have been trying to contact him for the last few years....and now he is gone. farewell my fren semoga Allah mencururi rahmat keatas rohmu. gotta go now...will blog later tonite...cheerio fellas...