Thursday, June 30, 2011


This is just a resource reference. Sourced from The Economist-

MAKE something people want to buy at a price they can afford. Hardly a revolutionary business strategy, but one that the American biofuels industry has, to date, eschewed. Now a new wave of companies think that they have the technology to change the game and make unsubsidised profits. If they can do so reliably, and on a large scale, biofuels may have a lot more success in freeing the world from fossil fuels than they have had until now.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Some perspectives

These are interesting times for Malaysia. For the many who trawl the cyberspace for alternative news the hunting must be deliriously good. There is no shortage of negative views.

This gives rise to an interesting question. Many people blame the media for propagating sensational and negative news. But, then, why do cyberspace trawlers, who have the power to decide what websites to click on, decide to visit sites and blogs that spew bad news and negative views?

We would think that people who abhor sensational news would actively avoid it. But it never happens.

Let's face it. There is a dark, voyeuristic tendency in all of us. If there is a hole in the fence cladding that has a sign, "Do not peep", most of us will not be able to resist the temptation of a peek.

This is where things stand.

Malaysians read the mainstream news and Malaysians read the alternative media.

Too much information (not necessarily knowledge) results in information overload. Those who have no perspective and who do not read books and rely chiefly on the internet for reading material will suffer from a form of vertigo.

It is not easy to remember good news. It is impossible to forget bad news.

So, it is likely that you will forget this posting because it's about good things.

I have been associated in an advisory capacity with a European multinational for some years. They've had a sales office outpost in Malaysia for several years. The brands and products they sell reaches the retail level. So, it is likely that you would have had contact with their range of brands and products. Since this is not a paid advertorial, I will not give you any names.

Two years ago, this MNC decided to acquire a Malaysian SME based in Johor. The gross annual revenue for the SME was about RM20 million a year. It had good manufacturing and production practices that impressed the MNC.

Post-acquisition and fastforward to today, this SME is no longer an SME by definition. It's gross annual revenue has ballooned to nearly RM100 million a year. The SME is now part of the MNC's global supply chain.

Mind you, the MNC's Asian footprint is very large with a natural gravitation centred in its production bases around the coastal manufacturing hubs of mainland China. 

But, after the successful experience of acquiring a Malaysian SME this MNC continued to scour Malaysia to look for more gems - more diamonds in the rough.

And, you know what?

They found not one, but two more SMEs that met with their high production and manufacturing criteria. One is in Selangor,the other in Malacca.

So, the acquisition process is in earnest progression.

The good news, my fellow Malaysians, is that there are many Malaysian SMEs that are capable of becoming world-class.

Having said that, our challenge as a nation is to nurture these SMEs to go beyond making products for international brands (OEM - original equipment manufacturing) to creating and establishing their own brands.

In this way, Malaysian SMEs will be able to sustain its Malaysian ownership.

Although I am proud to have seen three Malaysian SMEs being highly regarded by my MNC associates, I will be prouder still if it is our Malaysian SMEs that can hold their own and grow themselves into partners of equal standing with the MNCs.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Chua Soi Lek: Ruling M’sia is a racial balancing act

Below is the interview that MCA President Dr Chua Soi Lek gave to The Edge Financial Daily

TEFD: How has it been since you were elected as MCA president over a year ago?
Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek: It has been a busy one and a half years trying to ensure that the party is united and more stable with what we call Unity in Purpose and that we can then move forward.

Has it been easy to pull everyone back together?
I would say that I have managed to pull most of the people back but in any political party, there can never be 100%.

What is the single thing that has been most challenging in your tenure?
Uniting the various members and factions.
Chua: We want the goverment to transform as fast as what the rakyat wants.
Recently you tweeted that there are some unhappiness in the Kulai division.
All political parties, at every division, have its own internal conflicts. That’s what makes politics very challenging and interesting. To project a party to say it has no factions and no cliques, that is the biggest lie in the world.
At the central and state level, I would say MCA is very united. It is at the divisional level that we still see a lot of people problems where people cannot put aside their differences in opinion. They are at loggerheads over minor things.

But the divisions are crucial for the party, aren’t they?
Oh yes! It is at the division that things get done.

So you will have to settle the conflicts before the general election?
You can never settle all these internal conflicts. The important thing is to choose a candidate who is acceptable and winnable.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

MCA: Malaysian Communities Association

In spite of being far removed from the rarefied air of politics in Malaysia, there is one clear view about the necessary direction that the Malaysian Chinese Association needs to take if it wishes to avoid the certainty of becoming less and less relevant to all but a select few well-heeled Chinese Malaysian businessmen.

The MCA has to be less about race and more about the Malaysian community.

The present tactic of the MCA in appearing the meet provocative views tossed out by the likes of Perkasa rings hollow.

Worse still, the views offered by the likes of Dr Chua Soi Lek are stymied by the parameters of race. 

I hope that there will be an urgent reassessment by the MCA leadership to earnestly and concertedly frame all issues within the framework of the needs of the Malaysian community as a whole instead of spewing points that are of supposed importance to the Chinese community in Malaysia.

Why deprive MCA of the ability to transcend the racial paradigm?

If the polemics are caught within the framework and agenda of race, it is ALWAYS going to give the appearance of a zero-sum game. If there are 10 units of resources and 4 racial groupings with an average ratio of Bumiputra 5, Chinese 3, Indians 1 and Others 1 the resources will be arguably distributed based on the 5:3:1:1 ratio.

But such a mindset is stupid, myopic, troglodytic and wrongheaded.

The correct perspective should be how to increase the units of resources from 10 to, say, 20 or, even 50?

Even my poorly educated grandfather knew this perspective way back in the 1950s. His metaphor was that of changing the size of the kuali or wok to an ever-increasing size and capacity in order to properly feed a growing family. 

Almost everyone knows that it is an easy and lazy and mischievious tactic to harp on race.

It is foolhardy for the MCA to fall into such a trap.

So, I call upon the MCA to reassess its political strategy and rework its paradigm in order to stay relevant and to win back support.

Otherwise, it will be giving more business to the undertakers.