Friday, 31 August 2012

Formula Malaysia


Today our nation is celebrating its 55rd Merdeka Day. Like in previous years, the special day this year will be celebrated with parades, firework displays, shows and performances.

Here, all Malaysians are encouraged to show their love and respect for the country by flying the national flag, especially in front of their offices.

Today, Malaysians are reminded of the high price our forefathers had to pay for the country’s independence not just on National Day but everyday of their lives. We must be grateful for the peace and harmony we are currently enjoying in the country.

Although the pains of sufferings linger on in the older generations who lost their loved ones in the country’s struggle against communism, many young Malaysians are unaware of the price of Malaysia’s independence. If the British government in Malaya and our forefathers had lost the war against the communists during the emergency, our llives today would definitely have been different. 

First it is important to remember where we come from. We were a poor agricultural country. We knew nothing about industries. But while some of our neighbouring countries equivocated and debated about foreign direct investments we welcomed them warmly to Malaysia. It did not matter who owned the facilities; the point was that they created jobs for Malaysians. One measure of our success is that there are now two million foreign workers in Malaysia
From the time of pre-independence, Malaysia has proven that its people can co-exist in a spirit of unity, harmony and tolerance. The tolerance among our people has been exceptional and if we look at our beginnings, racial interaction and religious tolerance have never been our problems. Time and again, Malaysia has been cited by the international community as a model of interethnic co-existence. It is this spirit, this model of racial unity as the foundation of our national solidarity, that we must all strive to restore and preserve.

When our beloved father of independence Almarhum Tunku Abdul Rahman founded Malaysia, he talked of the different races as part of one big happy family.

The best formula to ensure the success of our country is for the people to be disciplined, bold and courageous in facing challenges. Today, we must pledge ourselves to uphold integrity and we must not fail in this urgent quest to bring back the core values of acceptance and unity.

We need to rekindle the legacy, promise and ideals of Bapa Malaysia and the founding fathers so that all Malaysians may live together as members of a truly just, fair, progressive, united towards vision 2020.


Saturday, 25 August 2012

Times They Are Changing

Looking back over the past week it made me think of how much I truly have changed over the past few years. I am aware that I have aged, and I have grown wiser but I neglected to see how my values had changed as well. The values that I use to have were basically more selfish and I really didn’t have a grasp on the things that made me truly happy and inspired.

When I catch-up with my families & friends, I was flooded with nostalgia. For someone who usually has a scattered memory, I remembered a lot of amazing memories I had. They bring me an incredible amount of value and I can’t express how much gratitude I have for the solid relationships I have developed with every single one of them.

I didn’t always have a great relationship with either of my parents, and it has been an evolving process and I gain more patience and kindness as I get older. I have also learnt how to communicate more effectively and this has drastically changed my relationships in general.

Our values evolve and change, just as we grow as people. It was when I started living in Australia that I became more aware of how important it was for me to be close to my family, not only in connection but in proximity. I hated that I am in Australia and I couldn’t just jump in my car and see any one of them at any given moment. This part of my life, living away from home, allowed me to create the necessary space for me to be aware of what I really loved about Malaysia, and all the people I love who live there. Like that saying, “You don’t realise you have until it’s gone.”

All in all, the past week made me realised how much more I want to be a part of this family life. I don’t want to wait between months in seeing my family. I realised that those relationships really mean the most to me and that I need to step up as a person and allow the possibility for them to be greater.

Moving forward I am committing myself to be more integral and present with my family and friends. They are the most important people in my life. They are my blood, they are the people who made up the very chromosome of who I am and without them I wouldn’t be the person I am today. They have nothing but unconditional love for which I am, and will always be a huge support system. I look forward to the day when I am able to have a family of my own, which I never really desired before now. The sense of community and love that comes with a family is one of the most beautiful things and I know I can grow so much more from being a part of it than not to.

What are our values? Have your values changed? As we grow every day and challenge ourselves with new experiences, do we think our values evolve and become more concrete? What kind of awareness does this bring to our life and our relationships?

Sunday, 19 August 2012

The Addams Family & Happy Eid

Personally speaking, Hari Raya is essentially the only time where family members congregate and can finally be a unit. We observe the aunt who just welcomed a new son, the oh-so-young cousin who just got married, and the uncle who just got himself a flashy new car.
Home is abuzz with the laughter and shrieks of the growing number of members. As the same time a certain feeling jolts us. Thinking of the recent loss of close ones; our grandparent, an uncle, an aunt, a sister or a brother. As is the same with any celebration, we try to imagine what it would be like celebrating with them this year.

Family. A six-letter word so deep with meaning that it really is the sole reason why we all exist. Family, far and near, old and young, close-knit and estranged, big and small, lost and found.

Hari Raya and seeking forgiveness are synonymous. It is a must.

So divine up, and seek that forgiveness that we are so stubborn about. We will never know when we may lose another loved one.

This article is dedicated to the grandmother and two of my aunties who just pass-away this year.. Al-fatihah

Friday, 17 August 2012

Up in the Air

I am flying back to Malaysia tomorrow to celebrate "Eid" with my family. 

For those of us who normaly travel, we are completely familiar with the "golden rule" when it comes to packing - "travel light", unless you have your own private jet. If you do really have your own private jet, then you probably might not even comprehend the concept of travelling light
I like to travel light. It is quite a sight when travellers haggle with the airline stuff because they exceed the weight limit. I often wonder why there is a need to bring so much along, not to mention the additional load on the journey home.

"Pack only what is necessary" is the concept of travelling light easily understood. Unfortunately, this simple concept is arduous to achieve. Dilemmas are bound to surface and that is when the line between necessities and extras become increasingly blurred. The rudimentary items on the list somehow manage to burgeon into a family of their own as rapidly as the growth of fungi, fuelled by "I can not do without this" and "If I'm already taking this, I might as well take this too" phrases, that hopefully would not contribute to the palpable bulkiness of the luggage. Perhaps the most challenging issue we all encounter is the "what-ifs."and the list goes on.

I 'm all for practicality and have used all the packing tricks—sample-size toiletries, sleeping in T-shirts and getting three days of outfits out of a single black skirt or pants. But there comes a time when you just want to travel with more of your favorite clothes, several pairs of shoes. Alas, no matter how efficiently you pack, all those things just won't fit into a single carry-on bag so I need a bigger bag.
Are you, in your own journeys, travelling light or heaping burdens onto yourself with each step of the way? Are you working to forever pay the bills or coming to a realisation that to be happy with little is far better than to be miserable in much?

Whew..wouldn't it be easier if we could each own a private jet. But that would probably not materialize for the most of us. So, happy packing and good luck!

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Made in Malaysia

I am proud to be Malaysian when saw few proton cars driven in Australia road.. In a way, I do feel sense of achievement that Malaysia is able to become the only car-producing country in South East Asia. 

Proton has been in existence for 27 years now. When the Proton Saga was first launched in 1985, the car was not great, but it was cheap and easy to maintain. But after 27 years the overall quality of Proton cars has not improved as much it should, in some models they have in fact gotten worse.

Recently another Asia carmaker, Hyundai which been around since 1967. Just about 20 years apart from proton now being fourth largest car manufacture after General Motors, Volkswagen and Toyota. 

When the company started making cars four decades ago, Hyundai used to make do with borrowed designs, engines, suspension and transmission technology similar to Proton. In 1974, Hyundai's Pony was the butt of jokes due to its shoddy construction, underpowered engines and boring design.

But this year, Hyundai's Elantra won America's Car of the Year award and became the world's fifth bestselling compact car. The Korean carmaker quality has improved, and it's among the leaders in fuel efficiency and styling.
Several factors underpin the dramatic transformation of South Korea's biggest carmaker.  

Hyundai started follows the advice that they were not listening enough to customers, and quality levels were an issue. There was always a mandate for quality improvement. Hyundai also started a round-the-clock “quality situation room,” collecting reports of problems from around the world and relaying them to the relevant departments.

Hyundai has invested heavily to improve design and create a luxury halo around its brand. The company decided to shed the image of a cheap car manufacturer. Their inspiration was Volkswagen which also used to build volume cars but was always seen as a premium manufacturer.

Hyundai decided that it no longer would make dingy designs and wanted something aspirational. The company gave a lot of power to the design chief and threw resources at the design department. Hyundai and Kia steered the company with the view that the whole company needed to focus on design rather than cost.

As we know, South Koreans are intensely nationalistic, this didn't prevent Hyundai from employing two foreigners to jettison their cars' then stodgy appearance. Hyundai engineered the defection of designer Christopher Chapman from BMW while Kia enticed Peter Schreyer, a designer for Volkswagen and Audi, to work for the South Korean carmaker.

To cut costs, Hyundai and Kia use common platforms and suppliers. While consistently prioritising quality over profits was the key overriding factor that has elevated Hyundai into a major global player and off set its cost via Economy of Scale.

Proton should learn from Hyundai success in order to remain competitive. As Malaysian, I want to see that  Malaysian brand successful internationally.

Note: Driving Holden Barina in Australia because it is the cheapest car i can effort

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Never Give Up, Never Surrender

It was the 1870's. Somewhere in a workshop in New Jersey, Thomas Alva Edison was burning the midnight oil, trying to create a light bulb. 

He tried several experiments - all without success. He just couldn't get it right. His failures became the talk of the town and the story goes that after he had failed for the 500th time, a journalist interviewed him and asked him, "Mr. Edison, how does it feel to have failed 500 times? Why don't you just give up?"

"No, no, young lady," replied Edison. "I haven't failed 500 times. I have just discovered 500 ways it won't work. I am so much closer now to finding a way that will work!"

And sure enough, in 1879, Edison invented the filament light bulb, an invention that changed the world. By the time he died, the 'man-who-failed-500-times' had 1024 patents to his credit, and had founded the iconic General Electric company. But Edison's real contribution to mankind went beyond all this. He showed us the power of perseverance, the virtue of learning from your failures, and the magic of never giving up.

Look at little babies learning to walk. They try and take a few steps, they stumble and fall. Then they stand up and try again. And bang, they fall again. They don't feel embarrassed. They just get up and try again, until, bingo, they can walk! Think about it. If little children were like us grown-ups and gave up after a few failed attempts, we would all have never learnt to walk!

And yet as adults, we forget that lesson. We are scared to take the first steps, because we are scared we might fail. And the first time we taste failure, we give up. A group of school children once asked Sir Winston Churchill what he thought was the secret of success. Churchill's response? Just seven words. "Never give up. Never, never give up!"