Monday, October 27, 2008

...reality check

Sometimes you feel on top of the world, sometimes being with frens you can forget everything else. It can be so indulging and obsessive. Sometimes you can be so alone, so isolated, or you feel useless and totally of no use to society. I just read on VIPs for Dummies hahaha. Cute, sarcastic, witty and I like the part she said that now her political comments are beginning to get irrelevant so she might as well write something useful for society hahaha. A definite must read for fresh VIPs and wannabe VIPs hehe. My blog entries are so eclectic, definitely no political comments (yet ..hehe), sometimes boring, sometimes too bloody serious, too academic hehe but mostly I try to end up with a little humor here and there. Sometimes it can also be self-serving. This is one of those. When you thought that you're wasting your time giving freebie speeches, lectures and not get paid for writing articles, you say to yourself...hmmm..why I am doing all these for free? That's so materialistic, economic and very the business-like approach leh! It is suppose to be a passion...and passion it shall be. Nothing makes you feel any more good and appreciated then when you get notes like the one below...yes self-serving it may be, but who cares, it helps me feel good about giving and not expecting anything in return but that you've made a difference (in your own little way) to someone else lives.....

..of romans, ancient greeks & the yuan ..hehe

I am reproducing below what my good fren Faris, President of aber alumni Malaysia , uploaded on his facebook discussion thread.
"It is said that every great civilization leaves behind a legacy.The ancient Greeks contributed to the world the refinement of the city.The Romans contributed the fine art of killing. The future legacy of the United States will be the refined and mastered art of financial leverage. ""...It is estimated there may be 530 plus trillion US dollars of these types of derivatives on the market...";The real liability facing our government is $70 trillion.” Forbes, 9-29-2008;

"A Coming New Currency!" by David N. Vaughn, FSU Editorial 10/14/2008
We are experiencing the most severe financial crisis since 1929. It hurts. There appears to be no relief in site. What began with mortgage defaults has now spread to the derivative markets. ...
Ya I know, heavy stuff on a supposedly relaxed Deepavali day off. Well, different people relax in different ways. Some go to the spa, some to the beach, some to the cool highland resorts. Obviously, only crazy boring folks like me check out their facebook ...and guess right, no one was online...hehe. I was juz wondering how the market would react to last thursday and friday, should there be trading this morning (wink). We'll see how it goes tomorrow morning. It is said that the stock exchange is an important barometer of not only the economy, but the behaviour of people. I remembered just before the last 'merudum' (1997) it was said that when taxi drivers and teachers talk about buying and selling shares in their taxis and in the staff rooms, it is time to get out of it (the market) as quickly as you can..hahaha. Well, again that opinion is debatable. Don't eat too much of that muruku folks!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

bedazzling brilliance or befuddling bulshit? ...a shallot for your thoughts..hehe

Pretty busy saturday. The excitement for the day began when I attended Dato' Hazali's (Tan Sri Abu Hassan's son my Hull Alumni deputy who tendered his resignation recently citing busy schedule as his reasons for giving up this thankless and unglamorous job..hehe) oilfab raya do at KL Convention Centre this afternoon. Always nice when you're at the VIP table, being served (hmm the tastes of power, prestige, recognition, money and what have you..wink). I was seated next to an old fren Dato' Aziz Bakar the new current chairman of Airasia, Dato' & Datin Abdul Aziz Mohd Noh, former ADUN, a former Dato' Banker aah yes as in 'Bank' the financial institution, Chairman of National Population & Family Board Malaysia and a few others. Lots of interesting info and ideas for tonite's blog entry but I thought I'd just keep it for later. But this one story told to me by the Dato' ex-banker I thought was very important to share with frens and foes alike who follows my blog hehe. In the US he said, because of this financial meltdown, a couple, both lost their jobs. Retrenched. They then went scouting around to seek advise on how and what to do next with the money they had. The guru, expert economist they approached asked them what's your liabilities? The couple said just the house mortgage and some savings. The advise was, don't pay your mortgage, take out your savings and buy food, stock in the house that can last for at least six months. Then reinforce your doors and windows with plywood and wait. I leave you to imagine that worst case scenario...hehe. Interestingly he also commented that when a particular nation or its people/industry sells you something and gives you a great had better be careful. Smells of something fishy he said..hihi ( I shall not sure you know what I mean).
I arrived in time to eat Laksa Pahang ( special request by Datuk Sarimah...she was leaving when I arrived..hehe) at Azmi's house at USJ2. I shall not bore you with the other details but what is even more exciting is when I attended the Rotary Club Installation Dinner at the KLGCC a few hours ago where our fren Thillai, was installed as the new president of Rotary Club of Bertam Valley (alar Rawang lah! hahaha). At our table was Hj Zul, yours truly, Badrul, Sandra, His Excellency Datuk Prof Dr Yusof (last posting Ambassador to Spain) and Datin and my good ole fren Professor Albert M Ladores whom we both never fail to roar with laughter whenever we sit together and share all the jokes in the world! hahaha. This filipino professor at AIM always have something hilarious to share with us. Tonite he told us about this guy who was asked to speak about globalisation and confessed to his professor about how that subject is not his forte and no amount of reading or research could make him an expert overnite.The prof said, 'My son, don't be unduly worried about it, cos you can either bedazzle the audience with a brilliant presentation or you can befuddle them with bulshit...hahaha. Alot of interesting ideas emerged during the functions I attended. We were chatting away like trying to solve the world's problems haha. I feel a bit tired and sleepy now...will continue the blog entry later folks... Datin asked me why would anyone want to even read my blog? hehe good question...ya ..why ek? enjoy the long weekend and happy Deepavali for my frens who will be celebrating it on monday..especially to you Tiruchelvam and family (if you're still reading my blog..hehe), and Dr Palan, my other gud fren Arul and your families....Singham too..hehe.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

PSMB day 2,,,,genting convention centre

Sorry folks if you have been waiting for me to comment on the rest of the speakers at the recent PSMB Annual HRD conference 2008 at the Genting Convention Centre. Dr Palan was awesome. Very clever of him to use me, to calm his nerves. He started by saying (and he mentioned loudly and clearly) that I had showed him my critique/comments of the speakers of the previous day on my blog entry hehe. Everybody in T&D oh well.. L&D fraternity these days, must surely have heard of Dr Palan. He is an acknowledged, good trainer. But on the 22 of October 2008, I thought I saw his best, excellent, I must add, performance yet. I particularly like that bit about how he asked his son's school grades.. and said to his son hey you're embarassing me man, my grades were very good when I was your age, And his son's reply was..look dad, that's not a fair benchmark. Our syllabus today is different from your syllabus of the 50s and 60s. And Dr Palan said does it compare with another boy in his class who got much better grades than him? His son's reply was...that's because his father was much more intelligent than you, dad! hahaha.
I have only one other comment of a certain speaker whose 'England' was utterly atrocious...Saying stuff like 'i'm agree' and his love affair with the letter 's' for every word said and the high pitch oratory shout in moments when we definitely could not see why you need to raise your voice to stress a point hehe. The best part was the cut & paste and confidently saying this is going to be my last slide when actually there about 6 more slides...hahaha. I thought I was the only one who paid attention to the circus show...actually plenty..when we chatted during tea-break. Hehe..enough brutality for now...hihi. Otherwise the rest was ok or entertaining at worse.
"Re-engineering Human Capital for Competitive Advantage" was the theme of the conference and I have already defined and commented re-engineering and competitive advantage in my earlier blog entry, which leaves me to comment only on 'human capital'. Human Capital was a novel idea introduced by a Swiss mathematician Daniel Bernoulli that economists today consider a driving force in economic growth. That idea emerged from his definition of wealth as 'anything that can contribute to the adequate satisfaction of any sort of want....There is then nobody who can be said to possess nothing at all in this sense unless he starves to death. ' What form does most wealth take? Bernoulli says that tangible assets and financial claims are less valuable than productive capacity, including even the beggar's talent. Today we view the idea of human capital - the sum of education, natural talent, training, and experience that comprise the wellspring of future earning flows - as fundamental to the understanding of major shifts in the global economy.Human capital plays the same role for an employee as plant and equipment play for the employer. Despite the enomous accretions of tangible weath since 1783, human capital is still by far the largest income-producing asset for the great majority of people. Why else would so many breadwinners spend thir hard-earned money on life -insurance premiums? (Considering the nature of man, Against the Gods: A remarkable Story of Risk, Peter L Bernstein, John Wiley & Sons , 1998)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

...of HR people, broken rubber and lembaga hitam?

YB Datuk Dr Siva, Minister of Human Resource (in beige suit) officiating
and giving out 2008 HRD awards this morning...

YBhg Datuk Sharifah, President of IMM...

yours truly with Dr Teh Choong Hee of Edible Oils and Jong Tse Kiat of Practical Advanced Technology...

Laurence Yap & Malar Ramalingam of Carsem Inc...

I promised Tom Hagen to update my blog last nite about lembaga hitam (black figure). Sowee bro, penat ah..dizzy climbing up genting, took another hour to check-in, register for the national HRD (PSMB) conference 2008 and when you get into the room...OMG, dahlah the room without a view, kecik, stuffy, no cupboard, bloody basic and claustrophobic too. and you can sort of imagine lar what it would normally be used for...let alone sleep on the bedsheets...yucks. Well, whatdaya expect from a 3-star mass tourism hotel neway, kan? (wink). Ya ya, complain lagiek! I almost wanted to go back home sweet home. I think my humble bedroom is a helluva lot cosier..hehe. Yes, the black figure scare? It seems that COCM (you know who I meant lar...wink) had been directed not to wonder around Klang Valley at night, until the the so-called mystery is sorted out...
Oh ok, this morning was the opening ceremony of PSMB 2008 'Re-engineering Human Capital for Competitive Advantage' conference at the Genting Convention Centre. With a record-breaking attendance of 1300 delegates...hurmmm considering the global financial meltdown and the seemingly continuing crisis hehe. Re-engineering is an old management mumbo-jumbo propogated by Jim Champy about 10 years ago and Competitive Advantage was a has-been trademark of management Guru Michael Porter (the 5 diamond theory popular with MBA students of the 90s) hehe. It seems to me, non-HR people continue to contaminate the HR profession (engineers, lawyers, accountants, IT buggers et al), and continuously trying to turn this 'grey area subjective people orientation discipline' into rocket science (wink). I said this more than 10 years ago...everyone thinks they can be HR chappies too. Anyway, if you can't beat them, join themlah kan?...hahaha...the poor HR Ministry Sec-gen was trying to pump so much theory into his keynote presentation...but many agreed with me that he became lost in his macro and micro approach ...hahaha. Good for the novice HR wannabes though....hehe. My good fren Datuk Sharifah, President of Institute of Marketing Malaysia presented her paper on using marketing to make HR more effective going forward. She was ok, but I detected she was a bit disoriented with the rostrum, PA system and that she cud not see her many oso noticed that she became a bit nervous addressing a huge crowd...and the fact that she confessed to me awhile ago here at the starbucks that HR was defintiely not her forte...hahaha. Ok, we shall pardon her. Bumped into alot of old long lost frens from the HRD fraternity too...
And broken rubber? Its an old joke, which I am sure most of you must have heard...hahaha. I shall not repeat it hehe. Just a polite reminder, I have said this in my earlier blogpost, that should anyone make any comments anonymously, I reserve the right whether to respond or not,to them ok? Jangan mare..hihi...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

..of deer meat, makhluk halus and santau angin...

I thought it was going to be a relaxing sunday but oh no..there were 2 raya invites! One from kak lang AZ Kajang and the other KGV alumni reunion at ayob's place TTDI. I thought it was a routine few frens, close associates tingy but my gawd what a surprise when I got to AZ's place. Like a wedding reception leh! I went straight for the juicy succulent lamb purrfectly marinated and barbecued hehe. Then a little, juz a little ok? helping of pulut kuning (yellow glutinous rice) my favourite and some rendang and a few lemangs...juz a few ok? (wink). Tehtarik...while waiting for Sheikh and his wife Datuk Zubaidah, Dep Director Logistics at Bukit Aman. They came juz in time as the rusa (deer) meat was juz about ready. OMG...again, bloody succulent, juicy tender well-marinated bbq-ed to perfection...only great chefs do stuff like these I tell you....heavenly...hehe. No photos this time. I was at a table of some clonky oldies...and when I deliberately blurted the latest nomination counts of new UMNO wannabes from today's papers....I smiled at their utter silence and blank faces as though you're looking at a glass and you're looking right thru it...hahaha. I confirmed with AZ later that they're PKR blokes...hahaha.
Now, by 3pm I was at TTDI, lots of datuks and tan sris (typical of Ayoblah...mane bley kalah kan? hehe). Fauziah (MAICSA & aseambankers) and hubby Zubir of Harmoni fame, wuz there. Then there was this 'rosmah' lookalite morphology (if u know wat i mean lah). Sitting right in front of me, muke masam cam ****mak...rambut karer cam baguih jerk. I ask fauziah sape tuh? she said a PR lady. Bloody ***king arrogant for a PR person....hmmm. I find it rather oxymoronic cos PR people generally are not like det! Anyway, to hell with her. I don't owe her a living, so who cares. By the way, what really irks me is this new negeri sembilan datuk, our KGV schoolmate, beria suruh arrange reunion kunon...I waited until 530, the ***ker didn't show up...ade kursus naik haji kunon. SMS or text lar..bagitau so frens don't have to wait for you. So, you're a datuk, so what? Must wait for you meh? Should not be pissed off because its only the 19th of syawal and people are still having raya-dos... but then again, we're just mere mortals not without weaknesses, failings and frailties, rite? enjoy the rest of the sunday folks!! hehe and oh out for the 'makhluk halus' lurking in your midst..and don't fart frivolously in public lest you may juz get a whiff of that 'santau angin' (windy potent puff)...which Lenggeng was soo famous for...hehe.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

latest official photos of RCAR2008 just arrived from CESVI France...

refreshing saturdays..aaah yezzz....

While waiting for my wife at SJMC this morning, I bought today's NST and the Star. 3 things caught my attention which I thought I should share with some of you who have stopped reading mainstream newspapers. The saturday NST is a must for me cos I try not to miss my gud ole baby boomer contemporary Datuk Johan Jaafar and his point blank column (which is no longer entitled 'point blank' hehe). After reading it I would immediately text him to say if I agreed or violently object! hahaha. Today, his tagline is hubris, greed and the global meltdown. I saw a glimpse of the latest issue of The Edge too and as I hurriedly speed-read ( my personal copy is home delivered every sunday morning..hehe so there was no need for me to buy that also lah!) my wonderings came to rest...cos whoala... The Edge has let the cat out of the bag... about institutions whose core businesses are investments, fund management et al...hehe. I should know the full details by tomorrow morning.. hihi. I was wondering why those outfits purportedly responsible for the nation's investment portfolios have been pretty quiet (menikus as we say in malay) after The Black October. Conveniently distracted by shahrukh khan's datukship award by Malacca (recommended by Daim so it seems, as reported by mainstream media...hmmm) I reckon.. hihi. So everyone was like so preoccupied with that episode and forgot to pay attention to other pressing issues of economic significance.. hehe. ya ya no politics...except what I had predicted years happening.. a major component BN party has openly requested that a second Deputy BN post be given to them which means another Deputy PM's post lah! hehe.
Enjoy Idris Jala's leadership and management mantra...and his iconic divine intervention. Did you know that not many know that despite his malay name he is not a muslim? And for those of you who facebook voraciously, that the Reuters report above, should serve as a reminder to be extra cautious when expressing yourselves online...emotionally? heehee..enjoy the rest of the weekend fellas!

Friday, October 17, 2008

tom morgan of abergavenny..

Tom Morgan (Aber Alumnus, Abergavenny), Faris (Aber Malaysia President) & Tan Sri Arshad Ayub (Aber Malaysia Patron & Past President) at the Malaysian Petroleum Club, Western Dining, 42th floor Petronas Twin Towers, last night...

Roti Canai extravaganza, at Shahalam, yesterday morning...

one for the album for the Morgans, in front of the PM's office, Putrajaya...

sultan selangor temporary palace (engish architecture) at putrajya lakeside...
the dubai bridge replica at putrajaya...

Who is this Tom Morgan? He is an aber alumnus (Aberystwyth University, Wales) and a classmate of Tan Sri Arshad Ayub. He is here in KL with his wife on the way back to Wales after spending sometime with their daughter and grandchildren in New Zealand. I have visited their beautiful hotel twice overlooking brecon beacon mountains at abergavenny, monmouthshire, Wales ( ). This lovely resort is favourite place for weekend getaway weddings for both young Welsh and Engish couples. They have great facilities for great offsite corporate team building sessions too.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

meniaga buloh kasap?: pangkal hilang, hujung lesap...

I just felt like jotting down some of the stuff I rambled last friday oct 10th at universiti malaya. Please feel free to comment. Violent objectionsare always hu... the foto immediately above was during lunch in singapore. Flanked by a Brunei Takaful operator on my left and a Saudi (Riyadh) Insurer on my left...

Aculturalising Entrepreneurship
(Asas Pembudayaan Keusahawanan)
Executive Lecture, Faculty of Economics & Administration (FEA), Universiti Malaya October 10th, 2008
by Khaeruddin Sudharmin
Managing Director & CEO of Motordata Research Consortium Malaysia in partnership with THATCHAM UK

Thank you Miss Chairperson for the kind introduction,
Professors and undergraduates,
A very good afternoon and thank you so much for the kind invitation to share some of my personal thoughts and reflections about entrepreneurship and my own experiences over the last three decades. I shall not attempt to replace your professors nor shall I attempt to impress you by going down the academic route as I most often have the tendency to, as a result of my occasional adjunct role teaching MBA students at a few universities.
You will also notice that I have no prepared text and no powerpoint slides to bore you. I like to go back to basics, give you a lecture in the traditional brick-and-mortar way. That way I will not be distracted by the slides and I could also look you straight into the eyes and prevent any attempt of falling asleep as I speak.
‘Men have been swindled by other men on several occasions. In the autumn of 1929, men succeeded in swindling themselves’ (John Kenneth Gailbraith). Sounds familiar isn’t it? 1978, 1988 and now 2008? All around autumn. It seems to me the 10 year economic cycle (crisis?) seems to surface around autumn time where the weather is pleasant, people take an extra break after the summer holidays to enjoy the pleasant cool weather only to get the shock of their lives! Last week in Singapore while attending the 5th Asian Claims Management in Insurance Conference at the Singapore Hilton, the Jakarta Stock Exchange was suspended before lunch and it was closed for two days! The nation’s market capitalisation had been depleted by more than 10%. Apparently almost all foreign investments were sold-down to be taken back to their homes to help avert the global financial meltdown. The US700bil financial sector bailout plan by Paulson, US treasury secretary and the GBP50bil rescue plan did not stop the October black Mondays! CEO of bankrupt Lehman brothers was grilled by Congress. When asked if it was fair that he took home US500 mil in salaries while the company went bankrupt, he said well err…that is not correct, I merely took home slightly more that USD250mil!. If you had read the Edge Malaysia page 50 issue of October 6, 2008, Luigi Zingales, professor of entrepreneurship and finance at the University of Chicago’s graduate school of Business in his article, said that Henry Paulson was wrong and that he had addressed the wrong issues. He said that for six of the last 13 years, the Treasury Secretary was a Goldman Sachs alumnus (including Paulson). The decisions that Congress must make now, will affect not only the US economy’s short term prospects, but will shape the type of capitalism that we will have for the next 50 years. Luigi asked a very pertinent economic question that will have serious implications to us too, do we want to live in a system where profits are private, but losses are socialised, where taxpayer money is used to prop up failed firms? Or do we want to live in a system where people are held accountable for their decisions, where imprudent behaviour is penalised and prudent behaviour rewarded? He goes on to say that for anyone who believes in free markets, the most serious risk of the current situation is that the interest of a few financiers will undermine the capitalist system’s fundamental workings. Saving capitalism from the capitalists will, to me, be your most challenging task when all of you my young friends, become business, economic and financial leaders of this country in the not so distant future!
Let’s get back to entrepreneurship. And to be sure we are speaking on the same wavelength I browsed and surfed the internet this morning and saw what wikipedia has to say about entrepreneurship. It said, an entrepreneur is a person who has possession over a company, enterprise, or venture, and assumes significant accountability for the inherent risks and the outcome. The term is borrowed from French and was first defined by the Irish economist Richard Cantillon. Entrepreneur in English is a term applied to the type of personality who is willing to take upon herself or himself a new venture or enterprise and accepts full responsibility for the outcome. In common understanding it is taken as describing a dynamic personality. The modern myths about entrepreneurs include the idea that they assume the risks involved to undertake a business venture, but that interpretation now appears to be based on a false translation of Cantillon's and Say's ideas. The research data indicate that successful entrepreneurs are actually risk averse. They are successful because their passion for an outcome leads them to organize available resources in new and more valuable ways. In doing so, they are said to efficiently and effectively use the factors of production. Those factors are now deemed to include at least the following elements: land (natural resources), labour (human input into production using available resources), capital (any type of equipment used in production i.e. machinery), intelligence, knowledge, and creativity. A person who can efficiently manage these factors in pursuit of an opportunity to add value, may expand (future prospects of larger firms and businesses), and become successful.
Entrepreneurship is often difficult and tricky, as many new ventures fail. Entrepreneur is often synonymous with founder. Most commonly, the term entrepreneur applies to someone who creates value by offering a product or service. Entrepreneurs often have strong beliefs about a market opportunity and organize their resources effectively to accomplish an outcome that changes existing interactions. Some observers see them as being willing to accept a high level of personal, professional or financial risk to pursue that opportunity, but the emerging evidence indicates they are more passionate experts than gamblers. Business entrepreneurs are viewed as fundamentally important in the capitalistic society. Some distinguish business entrepreneurs as either "political entrepreneurs" or "market entrepreneurs," while social entrepreneurs' principal objectives include the creation of a social and/or environmental benefit. Business entrepreneurs who adhere to Cultural Creative values are defined as innerpreneurs as their principal objectives include personal development and social change. An entrepreneur is someone who attempts to organize resources in new and more valuable ways and accepts full responsibility for the outcome. The word "entrepreneur" is a loanword from French. In French the verb "entreprendre" means "to undertake", with "entre" coming from the Latin word meaning "between", and "prendre" meaning "to take". In French a person who performs a verb, has the ending of the verb changed to "eur", comparable to the "er" ending in English. Enterprise is similar to and has roots in, the French word "entrepris", which is the past participle of "entreprendre". Entrepreneuse is simply the French feminine counterpart of "entrepreneur". According to Miller, it is one who is able to begin, sustain, and when necessary, effectively and efficiently dissolve a business entity. Scholar Robert. B. Reich considers leadership, management ability, and team-building as essential qualities of an entrepreneur. This concept has its origins in the work of Richard Cantillon in his Essai sur la Nature du Commerce en Général (1755) and Jean-Baptiste Say (1803) in his Treatise on Political Economy. A more generally held theory is that entrepreneurs emerge from the population on demand, from the combination of opportunities and people well-positioned to take advantage of them. An entrepreneur may perceive that s/he is among the few to recognize or be able to solve a problem. In this view, one studies on one side the distribution of information available to would-be entrepreneurs (see Austrian School economics) and on the other, how environmental factors (access to capital, competition, etc.) change the rate of a society's production of entrepreneurs. A prominent theorist of the Austrian School in this regard is Joseph Schumpeter, who saw the entrepreneur as innovators and popularized the uses of the phrase creative destruction to describe his view of role of entrepreneurs in changing business norms. Foundations Dedicated to Entrepreneurship: To date, the largest foundation dedicated to entrepreneurship is the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, based in Kansas City. One of the main entrepreneur associations is the Entrepreneur's Organisation. In Syria, the Syrian Young Entrepreneurs Association tries to help young people become job owners rather than job seekers. It was founded in 2004. (source:
Is there such a thing as entrepreneurial culture? To some extent perhaps there is. I am sure there are empirical evidence and hundreds of research papers talking about it. I have to be careful here when describing entrepreneurial culture in a race-based manner lest I be labelled a racist! Well, simplistically, a chinese boy, growing up in a family who has a shop selling and repairing bicycles by the time he is 6 years old, would have been able to open up a bicycle into smaller parts and put it back together fairly easily and quickly and would know the bicycle trade including its repairs. That’s what I call entrepreneurship culture. I heard in some colloquiem some time ago that when it comes to doing business, the Malays are reminded about the age old practises in the kampongs where when a small sundry shop selling all sorts of stuff including rice, it seems that the owner (tauke or tuan punyer…the same rice he takes for sale, is also the same rice he takes out to cook fot the night’s dinner…and we call this ‘meniaga buloh kasap: pangkal hilang, hujung lesap’ which in as sense to describe the notion of how important it is to understand the accounting concepts. You need to account and separate between the things you sell for business and your personal stuff!) But, whoever said that the malays do not have entrepreneur culture? They (the malays) have been seamen and traders more than 700 years ago. They were a mercantile society too. Something must have gone wrong along the way. It is always easy to blame others, yes we can say that during the british period before independence they (the british) adopted or was purported to have adopted the divide and rule strategy where the chinese were at the tin mines and traders/business people in towns, while the indians were at the rubber estates, while the malays were fishermen, farmers or mostly government servants. Much of that scenario has gone but that portion where malays would still go for the secured government jobs unfortunately still prevail. I shall not argue or provoke a debate of the ups and downsides to that but therein lie some of the reasons as to why there is still a dire lack of bumiputeras in the commerce & industry. It’s a choice about taking risks and having a secured job. In the corporate world, we define ‘culture’ as the way we do things around here. So, I guess how one looks at what culture is, will determine what one understands what I am talking about. In laymen terms, if one comes from a business or mercantile culture, studies have shown that there is a high probability of the next generation becoming equally or a better entrepreneur. Of course there are detractors, some may opt not to continue the culture or tradition and try completely new, revolutionary or evolutionary vocations. The fact remains that two out of three new businesses or entrepreneurial initiatives fail!
I always like to use parables in driving my subtle messages across. Have you ever watched that movie ‘babe’ about the animals in a farm much like animal farm? One day the farmer decided to make Roseane (the female duck) as the main dish for his dinner. While the farmer and his family was at the dining table, the animals in his farm were all watching by the window, Ferdinand (the male duck) was crying away saying..’…its not fair, why her, why not me?, the cow beside him comforted by saying..’Ferdinand…the secret to a happy life is to accept the way things are, the way things are! Ferdinand replied: ‘…the way things are, stinks!. What the cow said, philosophically we say ‘hopless resignation’ while Ferdinand’s response can be interpreted as ‘spluttering resistance’. So, which one are you? The duck or the cow? If one looks at the Malaysian society in general, it is quite easy to quickly categories the various ethnic groups whether they belong to the ‘hopeless resignation’ or the ‘spluttering resistance’ grouping. I leave that to your illuminating skills to decipher.
I am not sure if I can be considered an entrepreneur or a corporate animal. Corporate animal yes but a reluctant entrepreneur perhaps. I had been in the private sector most of my working life and a short stint as a PTD (diplomatic corp) officer when I was director of the Malaysian Railways training school. Then when I was invited to join PNB (the national equity corporation) I was exposed to fund management and had the privilege to prepare its strategic directions as well as to the initiatives of PUNB (national entrepreneurship corporation). In fact we (PNB IT before a name change to HeiTech) were a PUNB investee company when the treasury directed PNB to sell off PNB-IT (an IT wholly owned subsidiary of PNB) so it (PNB) could focus on fund management. I was one of the management buyout (MBO) team member in 1997. What happened afterwards is history. We took the company public in 2000. I still remain group corporate secretary ( but spend a large portion of my time with MRC as MD and CEO. I was assigned to this outfit in December 2000 when it was in the red to a tune of RM6 mil. Today, it is a member of the global Research Council for Automobile Repairs ( and our concession as the only centralised database for the motor insurance industry in Malaysia will end in July 2013.
My lecture has been rather eclectic and touchy-feely at times but I rather you ask me the questions. Perhaps as a final note before I get off the rostrum, here’s a story to tickle your brains: three boys were caught in the nude in their hostel room by the warden. Two of the boys quickly covered their private parts with their hands (natural reflex action) while the third boy, covered his face with his hands instead. Question: who do you think would make a promising entrepreneur? Answer: the third boy of course…because he was thinking outside the sarung!
Thank you very much for listening to me.

The Edge Malaysia Week of Oct 6 – 12th, 2008 page 50

Saturday, October 11, 2008

the goblogs are back...hehe

the last goblog posting was 3rd raya. since then I have been to singapore, gave an executive lecture at universiti malaya and played golf this morning hehe. no, i won't depress u further with the financial meltdown and the black novembe asian bourses are experiencing. I was at singapore hilton attending the 5th asian claims management conference from tues 7 to wed 8th and flew back to KL that same evening as there was a crucial meeting arranged by the central bank which I had to attend. The asian claims management conference was ok and was well represented, regionally & globally. I picked some additional relevant up-to-date info so i could use it when i next speak at the malaysia insurance conference (istana hotel 5-6 november). My paper/case study is entitled: 'claim management: a promising oasis or a treacherous mirage? evolution of claims management,an overview and a malaysia case study'. I had an interesting chat wite the chinaman taxi drive on the way to changi airport which i will tell at a later part hehe. Yesterday, friday 10th, at 3pm I was invited to speak to the 2nd year economics undergrads at FEA, universiti malaya. it's their friday weekly executive lecture series and i was asked to speak on 'asas budaya keusahawanan' or aculturaliing entrepreneurship (i did it ad-lib bot english & malay and for a change, without the boring powerpoint slides..haha). The long clap i got after my lecture can only mean two things. they either enjoyed my ramblings or they were relieved that i had finished my pseudo-motivation talk! hahaha. my last challenge to them was: there were 3 boys caught naked in a room by their warden. the first 2 boys quickly covered their private parts with their hands (instant reflex action). the 3rd boy, quickly covered his face with his hands. question: who do you think will make a better entrepreneur? answer? the 3rd boy. why? cos he was thinking outside the sarung! hahaha. Immediately after, I went for group MNRB's raya do at felda perdana ballroom.

This morning was UM alumni/British Graduates Assoc Malaysia/ American universities alumni malaysia charity golf tournament at KGSAAS. ok ok enuf read for the weekend. be continued...

Saturday, October 04, 2008

3rd day of eid mubarak...

kampong arab port dickson, negeri sembilan, where i grew up since 1965 whn i was in std 5. see shell refinery PD stack (after my brother's correction awhile ago..hehe) tower in the background...

an old moque in front of the rest area (jemapoh) somewhere between batu kikir and kuala pilah town (shot was taken during a downpour yesterday afternoon)

Seremban highway about 730pm yesterday, northbound to KL, traffic volume building up on both sides of the lane...balik kampong for some and balik KL for others like me..hehe

i think 5 days (mon-fri) in kuantan is bloody long enuf, don't u think so? time to head back to KL. hmm KL home sweet home. It would be faster to just use the new kuantan highway but i decided to use the segamat highway instead, go thru muadzam shah, keratong, bahau, kuala pilah, seremban and then stop over at PD to visit my mum. After a damn gud 'babat' (typically javanese..hehe) dish..we head back to KL. Phew, what a relief...everything in the house was as in..cuak jugak...u know lar wif the global financial meltdown and increasing crime rate and all..who wud not be worried rite? Although my RM50,000 house theft insurance is still in force...but the heartsick and mess and the psychological after-effects of a burglary can be very disturbing for quite a long time u know! some don't recover all, move house and start anew. ok folks catch up later later leh..nid to shave off my head...its grown fairly quickly after 5 days of great food..hahaha