A Tale To Tell & Remember

I'm very much inspired by the words of Thomas L. Friedman in his book "The World Is Flat" which renders about the influence of bloggers in this new age. I want to keep the highest integrity and honesty in posting my words to the world. This blog act as a testimony to my alacrity of sharing information with the borderless world. Hope we can share a high regards of veracity and chivalry with this blog because that's why it is here. So help me God!

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Monday, 28 December 2009

An analysis of choices involving risk

By: Ahmad Syah Ejaz B. Hj. Ismail

Most of the time when we discuss the issue of risk or an extension of a one man's patience involving risk, the reaction would be a simple orthodox analysis of an utility involving risk. Which can be translated into a simple phrase "what can be seen and contemplated outcome can be accounted as a reimbursement of a risk taken for a period of time, and if the risk taken would and might lead to a wasteful effort, then it would be an unnecessary effort to take the risk at the first place".


That was the orthodox thinking in analyzing utility involving risk. But as the world grows and the intellectual thinking develops, the product of Capitalism market had changed and swayed away the orthodox analysis of an utility when it involves risk. The power of an individuals in interpreting the outcome of his personal adventure in trying to gain self empowerment through the concept of individual ownership had shifted the connection between utility and risk to a different degree of perspectives. Since then, what is the right choice to take would depends largely on the sole individuals. Risk and utility cannot anymore be associated with physical gains but also would involves a lot of outcome such as self fulfilment, the comfort of certainty and a premium of sacrifices for a larger gain.


As such it can be seen through the fledglings of the insurance companies in the 21st Century when mankind would rather pay a sum of money out of his monthly salary for a certainty such as physical utility that involves car, house and life that are insured with a premium every month. The new phenomena with the insurance companies were never be seen especially during the Cold War can be summarized as individuals would rather choose certainty in preference of uncertainty.


But then not all certainty are good and accepted as a norms in the 21st Century. The hedge funds speculators would agree with this statement and categorized risk into a different level of rational undertakings. 1) Little or no risk at all - most of the time would not create an opportunity for wealth or can offer no satisfaction of a utility; 2) moderate degree or risk - would create an equal chances of wealth and are acceptable if the risk taken can lead to a wasteful event; 3) Much risk - with a probably an extremely gains; and 4) Highly speculative - an extremely risk.


Individuals would tend to escape risk through many ways. Some of them would sacrifice a sum of their monthly salary and some of them would risk losing many more for a proportion of contemplated gains. There is no right or wrong answers of an acceptable degree of risk when one can still claim that through a loss in accepting risk, one's can still gain an experience of a loss. Maybe the best way to analyze and contemplated risk is by understanding one's own need and one's own desire.

References:

Milton Friendman, On Economics - Selected Papers, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago & London, 2006.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Young Dr. Mahathir and Langkawi

View from the first office of Dr. Mahathir in Langkawi

There was a time when I was baffled thinking about the real connection between Dr. Mahathir and Langkawi. What's so special about this island that really catches the attention of a man born hundreds of miles away [in Alor Setar] from this lonely island separated by the myths and legend of a curse bear upon by the mistakes of its peoples.


The interior

And during my long week stay in Langkawi, I got the answer that I was looking for. The lost chain between a life of a statesman and the lonely secluded island that were much of an alien to civilization. A good friend of mine told an unknown story between Langkawi and Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. How such a man get to be so close with Langkawi and how such an alien place were so special this statesman heart. They said, no man is an island. So does Langkawi and a man named Mahathir Mohamad.


Gone were the days where the young Mahathir Mohamad was a government practitioner. He was young, ambitious and a fresh graduates practicing medics in a government hospital in Alor Setar. The former director of the Alor Setar General Hospital would tell how much hard headed the man was in his young age. Dr. Mahathir sure has his own ideas in his daily practice as a medical doctor and such an attitude would invite a lot of troubles between him and the GH Director. As such he got his first baptism under fire when he fell into disagreement with the former General Hospital Director in Alor Setar as a consequence, he would be be sent to Langkawi. Langkawi those days (1940-1950s) was a place to cast away a hard headed government servants and this can be vouch for the experience of an also the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman when he was an assistant district officer in the state of Kedah.


The first office of young Dr. Mahathir in Langkawi

That was the time when Dr. Mahathir fall in love with the island and saw the true potentials of the Island as a tourist destination. Later in life in the 1980s when he was at the right helm to make a difference, he changed Langkawi and turn it into one of the best tourist destination in the country. The island had changed the man when the man was a lonely island and the man has given back what he could to the place that loved him. When nobody accepted Mahathirism, Langkawi was willing than happy to receive him. And that is the connection I was looking for before this.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Professional Business Malay Managers

Manager

Professional Business Malay Managers


By: Ahmad Syah Ejaz Hj. Ismail


The Malay race is a race of very good administrators. This statement had been proved through the testament of numerous achievements in the period of 52 years of national independence. Through this period of nation buildings, the Malay race had dominated the civil service of Malaysia. As such you can say that the Malays had been managing the country very well disregard of differences arises such as other minority race that dwelled in Malaysia. The achievement mentioned can be seen through the introduction of various well worth economic policy intended to rectify the problems left by the British through their hundred years of divide and rule policy.


Even though the Malays were left quite far behind by other minority race such as the Indians and the Chinese at the early period of nation independence, the essence quality of the Malays to determine what is right or wrong cannot be debated. This can be proved through the confusing and turbulence years of Communist challenge where the Malays were adamant not to be swallowed by the ideas of egalitarian and equality offered by the Communist beliefs despite the fact that they were at the lowest rung of the economic achievement in Malaysia. The Malay police and Armed Forces proved to be the most professional in honouring the responsibilities given to them even by the British Military Command. These were also seen through the public service whereas no one had taken a selfish step to enrich their family and friends despite the fact that the rules and regulations on corruption were dismal during the early period of nation building.


The road to nationhood in the period of the Cold War had proved to be vital for the Malay race. In the early 1970s with the introduction of the New Economic Policy, the Malay race was given a broad opportunity to climb up the ladder of the economic cake through market distortion by the government interference. Although not many Malays had taken an active participation in the policy, the 20 year period of NEP had manage to bring a more stable and an acceptable position for the Malays compared at the period of the early independence.


This crash course of the market system and Capitalism at large managed to bring an active participation for the Malays in the domestic market later on. As such, the Malaysian government had devised a plan which called Malaysia Incorporated in aiming at more participation for the business Malay professionals taken from the government sector to manage and steer the economy through government companies (also known as GLCs). The effort to bring and encourage more business professionals from the government sector mostly Malay administrator had once again proved effective in halving the government expenditure of services and reaping profits for profitable industry such as energy and government resources. This once again had proved that the Malay professional is a good administrator.


Although the record of success are not 100% perfect, but the Malay race can be proud of the track record and they can rubbish any claim or statement done by others saying that the Malays are a lousy business minded. I believe, if the government of the day can devise a more innovative scheme to encourage the best mind of Malay the business professional that can be tap and considered “understudy” in the government sector, Malaysia might achieve the target to be a developed nation by the year 2020. There must be more opportunity offered to the Malay business professional in the government to proved ones worth through GLCs. This success assessment can be done through monthly or yearly report of key performance indexes and should a candidate cannot achieve the target aimed, then he can be remove and replace by other business professional tap from the pool of government servants. Malaysia has many of the so called business Malay professional that can manage a profit oriented companies thus bringing more wealth for Malaysia.


Monday, 16 November 2009

Quedah Malays

Teddy

17 November 2009 - It's been almost a year I've been at the Tourism department. So much had been left and I do not deny the fact that I've been missing the critical part in me especially enduring my own self inquiry mostly on economic matters. It's not that I've lost touch on the current economic situation but then I believe Malaysia is on the right track under the right leadership of Najib Tun Razak that I believe can steer this great nations to much success in the future.

Life in the Tourism department had been fun, but most of all and what's important to me is that I got an opportunity to travel and see from close range the progress of the Malays race. I love this people (The Malays). The ethnography of this unique race plus its culture and warmness touch the soul in me. Most of the places that I went, this race differs from one and another. I couldn't kept to myself then wonder that even though the Malays shared the same religion and almost their traditional understanding of life is much the same, but there still some part of them still segregate their style and the way they saw ones life.

I couldn't hide, even how much differs or you can say similar they are, I always find Kedahans the most unique of them all. Maybe my views on them were influenced by series of close experienced contacts through wondrous fate, but I love them the most. The easy life of their agrarian culture and much of the very distinct dialects puts me in a positions of more inquiry on this particular Malays. The history and traditional aspects really touch me inside even people would argue that the South Malays were more cultured and some would make an arguments that I'm forgetting my east ancestry. I love my life and where I came from and above all I love this feeling of larger life where God bequeath me with in depth understanding of richness. The de fact of life wouldn't matters to me because we couldn't choose to came from instead we are given a choice to cherish life.

I would talk more on this feeling as I've understood the meaning that "the grass is greener on the west coast compared to east coast paddy field."

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Mahathir and Langkawi

Langkawi

Langkawi will always be special to two Malaysia's statesman. This island truly had a magical power and do make a difference to particular individuals who prefer to understand oneself especially one true soul. Tunku Abdul Rahman once was an assistant district officer in Langkawi during the 1920s. During his short stint at this island, Tunku learned to study and understand the beautiful culture of the rural Malays. Tunku realized Kedahans (people of Kedah) are very different from other Malays. Their culture, history and soul touches the essence of human true behavior. The legendary story of Mahsuri innocence were popularized first by Tunku.

By learning and understanding the story of Mahsuri then Tunku realized the importance of believing his instinct especially when his heart was very strong with human emotions. During his time as a government servant in Langkawi, Tunku showed his love to the island by bringing development to the town of Kuah and cared for the people using his own money.

Tun Mahathir once had an experience as a practitioner in Langkawi. During his short stint as a medical officer in Alor Setar, he also travels to Langkawi to give medical services to the local community there. He understood the people and the island and also his true self. There were practically no road to connect the rural areas in Langkawi. One could imagine the hard effort he took to go to one places and another in giving medical services around Langkawi. During this period he realized what he should and could do to mend up and upgrade the quality of life of Langkawi Malays. And during this period too I believe he started to realized that he can make a difference.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Signifikasi Sumbangan Sukan Formula 1 Kepada Pembangunan Negara

1Malaysia F1 Team

Oleh: En. Zahri Ismail

Pengarah 1Malaysia F1 Team Sdn. Bhd.


Pengenalan


Rakyat Malaysia secara keseluruhannya menyambut baik usaha syarikat tempatan 1Malaysia F1 Team Sdn. Bhd. di dalam ekspedisi perlumbaan Formula 1 bermula pada tahun hadapan. Ucapan tahniah wajar diberikan kepada syarikat ini dan pihak yang berkaitan seperti Tune Group, Naza Group dan Litespeed UK kerana berjaya mencipta sejarah sebagai syarikat nasional Malaysia yang pertama berjaya mendapatkan hak perlumbaan sebagai salah satu daripada pesaing dari kalangan 13 pasukan yang disahkan akan bertanding di dalam perlumbaan F1 untuk tahun 2010. Hak perlumbaan syarikat 1Malaysia F1 Team Sdn. Bhd. ini mendahului pasukan terkemuka BMW Sauber yang diletakkan di grid 14 (wildcard) berbanding pasukan Lotus F1 Team 1Malaysia walaupun baru pertama kali didaftarkan di bawah FIA. Ini menunjukkan betapa yakinnya FIA kepada pasukan Lotus F1 Team 1Malaysia untuk bersaing di dalam sukan yang paling berprestij di dunia.


Penubuhan pasukan Lotus F1 Team 1Malaysia ini adalah amat bertepatan dengan usaha pembudayaan kecemerlangan dari kalangan rakyat Malaysia yang berbilang kaum yang diwar-warkan sebelum ini oleh Y.A.B. Perdana Menteri Malaysia melalui konsep 1Malaysia. Pasukan Litespeed yang berpusat di Norfolk, United Kingdom yang berjaya mendapatkan hak penggunaan nama pasukan Lotus F1 ini akan menggembling tenaga dan fikiran serta modal bersama Tune Group dan NAZA Group dan pasukan Lotus F1 Team ini akan diuruskan sepenuhnya oleh rakyat Malaysia melalui syarikat 1Malaysia F1 Team Sdn. Bhd. Berkat sokongan penuh kerajaan Malaysia melalui penyaluran pelaburan dan modal untuk rancangan pembangunan jangka panjang pasukan Lotus F1 Team 1Malaysia ini melalui Proton Holdings Bhd. yang memegang ekuiti terbesar Lotus Company, usaha pasukan Lotus F1 Team ini akan memberikan pulangan jangka masa panjang kepada aspek pengembangan ilmu pengetahuan terutamanya dari sudut teknologi dan teknikal kepada rakyat Malaysia secara keseluruhannya khusus di dalam usaha Malaysia untuk menjadi negara maju menjelang tahun 2020.


Pengurusan anak tempatan


Pasukan Lotus F1 Team 1Malaysia ini akan menyertai beberapa pasukan baru yang turut mendapat kelulusan untuk bertanding pada tahun 2010 iaitu pasukan dari Sepanyol Campos, Manor Motorsports dari UK, dan USF1 dari Amerika Syarikat.


Matlamat pasukan Lotus F1 Team 1Malaysia ini akan bertambah menarik dan sengit berikutan matlamat kita adalah seakan sama dengan usaha dan matlamat pasukan baru USF1 dari Amerika Syarikat dimana pasukan USF1 ini akan diketuai oleh pemandu veteran F1 iaitu Peter Windsdor dan Ken Anderson di dalam usaha mereka untuk turut membuktikan keupayaan teknologi, keupayaan pemandu dan semangat juang Amerika Syarikat untuk bertanding di dalam siri perlumbaan berteknologi tinggi F1.


Untuk permulaan, enjin yang digunakan oleh pasukan Lotus F1 Team 1Malaysia ini akan menggunakan teknologi dari Cosworth, teknologi transmisi dari Xtrac dan teknologi aerodinamik dari FondTech serta pusat kecemerlangan pasukan ini akan beribu pejabat di Kilang RTN di Norfolk, England. Lotus F1 Team 1Malaysia juga berjaya mendapatkan hak pajakan untuk penggunaan Kilang RTN di Norfolk yang terletak 10 kilometer dari Kilang Lotus (milik Proton Holdings Bhd.). Rancangan pembangunan berkala untuk pasukan Lotus F1 ini telah direncanakan untuk dipindahkan dari Britain ke Litar F1 Sepang secara keseluruhan untuk tempoh 10 tahun akan datang sehingga pusat kecemerlangan baru dibina dikawasan seluas 8 hektar di Sepang yang mampu menempatkan pusat penyelidikan berkeupayaan tinggi dari aspek teknikal dan pembuatan menjelang 2020. Usaha pembangunan pusat kecemerlangan teknologi automotif berimpak tinggi di Sepang ini merangkumi pusat R&D F1 dan terowong angin yang secara tidak langsung akan menambahkan kapasiti pembangunan modal insan di Malaysia selain daripada pusat kecemerlangan R&D milik Proton di Shah Alam. Setakat ini kawasan seluas 8 hektar di Sepang telah dikenalpasti sebagai pusat kecemerlangan bagi penyelidikan dan pembangunan pasukan Lotus F1 Team di Malaysia.


Walaupun pada mulanya pasukan Lotus F1 Team 1Malaysia ini akan diuruskan secara bersama dari kalangan orang asing dan anak tempatan, namun usaha pemindahan teknologi dan perkongsian ilmu pengetahuan ini akan dilakukan secara berterusan sehingga diuruskan secara 100% oleh anak tempatan termasuk dari sudut teknikal. Dengan adanya pasukan F1 Team yang diuruskan oleh anak tempatan ini, ia akan membantu dan melonjakkan negara sebagai sebuah negara yang mengutamakan prestasi pencapaian dan kecemerlangan terutamanya di dalam industri berteknologi tinggi dan menggalakkan inovasi produk baru dan menekankan industri pembuatan. Usahasama yang dicapai secara tempatan antara Lotus F1 Team 1Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia dan Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS di dalam inovasi produk berkelas tinggi seperti F1 ini akan membantu mencipta peluang kerjaya dan pembangunan insan kepada anak tempatan bagi memperkembangan bakat dan ilmu pengetahuan yang diperolehi khususnya di dalam sukan F1 dan industri automotif tempatan.


Kejayaan aspek pengurusan pasukan Lotus F1 ini bergantung kepada pencapaian keseluruhan pasukan Lotus F1 Team 1Malaysia untuk lima tahun akan datang. Sehubungan itu, sokongan yang jitu adalah diperlukan dari semua organisasi dan segenap lapisan rakyat Malaysia untuk melihat pasukan Lotus F1 Team 1Malaysia ini berjaya khususnya dari sudut promosi dan penglibatan secara langsung dan tidak langsung.


Sumbangan sukan F1


Sukan F1 ternyata telah terbukti dalam meletakkan Malaysia di peta dunia sejak tahun 1999. Sukan F1 ini juga turut menyumbang kepada aspek promosi negara sebagai sebuah pusat kecemerlangan dan pusat pelancongan unggul di dunia. Untuk berada dari kalangan negara yang berjaya menganjurkan sukan paling berprestij ini akan berjaya membuktikan betapa masyarakat dan suasana pasaran ekonomi di Malaysia adalah stabil dan berimpak tinggi. Ini akan membuktikan secara tuntas kepada dunia bahawa Malaysia adalah sehebat negara-negara maju di dunia khususnya yang turut menganjurkan sukan F1 seperti Jepun, Monaco, Itali, Sepanyol, Jerman dan banyak lagi.


Tidak hairanlah negara kecil seperti Singapura turut berusaha untuk menganjurkan sukan F1 walaupun Litar F1 Sepang telah diberikan hak penganjuran bagi rantau Asia Tenggara sehingga tahun 2015. Saingan sengit dari negara jiran ini membuktikan betapa sukan F1 berjaya mempromosikan sesebuah negara dari sudut pelancongan sukan jika diambil kira jumlah penonton yang mengikuti sukan F1 ini adalah sebanyak 800 juta orang dari seluruh dunia setiap dua minggu sekali. Perlu diingatkan juga, pengikut sukan F1 adalah terdiri daripada golongan yang mempunyai kuasa beli yang tinggi dan ini bermakna mereka akan turut melancong ke negara-negara yang menganjurkan sukan tersebut membawa aliran tunai yang akan memberikan pertumbuhan positif kepada aspek pembangunan negara. Kelebihan relatif ini turut mempromosikan produk pelancongan yang ada di Malaysia secara tidak langsung. Maka tidak hairanlah Jean Todt (Pengarah Teknikal Ferarri) telah dipilih sebagai duta pelancongan oleh Malaysia berikutan pengaruh beliau yang besar yang mampu diberikan ditarik dalam mempromosikan Malaysia bukan sahaja dari kalangan mereka yang terlibat di dalam sukan F1, malah peminat F1 secara keseluruan dari seluruh dunia.


Dengan melibatkan diri di dalam sukan F1 ini juga, mana-mana syarikat dan organisasi swasta mampu mempromosikan produk mereka kepada pasaran yang lebih luas khususnya kepada kalangan penduduk negara maju yang mempunyai kuasa beli yang tinggi. Ini dapat dilihat melalui pelaburan yang dibuat oleh syarikat-syarikat besar di dalam program penajaan mereka kepada mana-mana pasukan F1 yang bersaing seperti penajaan yang telah dilakukan oleh pasukan PETRONAS sejak tahun 1995. Penajaan yang dilakukan oleh PETRONAS ini telah berjaya meletakkan jenama PETRONAS sebagai sebuah produk berprestasi tinggi dan ini dibuktikan melalui penglibatan di dalam sukan berimpak luar biasa seperti F1. Memegang kepada asas inilah maka PROTON turut melihat kepada usaha pembangunan pasukan Lotus F1 Team 1Malaysia sebagai eksperimen terbaik bagi pembangunan produk-produk PROTON yang berprestasi tinggi dan mampu dibuktikan melalui siri perlumbaan yang bersifat ‘cutting edge technology’ ini. Usaha ini akan menambahkan keyakinan dari kalangan pembeli kepada produk buatan PROTON.


Kesan tidak langsung pula adalah untuk pembangunan jangka masa panjang kepada rakyat Malaysia secara keseluruhan seperti pembangunan dan pembuatan kenderaan yang ekonomikal, selamat serta bersifat efisien tenaga yang boleh dicapai melalui R&D pasukan Lotus F1 Team 1Malaysia. Sebagai contohnya, dalam pembinaan kenderaan daripada bahan komposit yang selamat bukan sahaja akan mencipta kenderaan bersifat mesra alam, malah selamat serta mampu milik. Secara keseluruhannya, pelaburan yang dibuat ke atas Lotus F1 Team 1Malaysia akan memberikan kelebihan secara relatif kepada aspek teknologi, industri pembuatan dan sosio budaya kepada rakyat Malaysia secara keseluruhannya.


Penutup


Pasukan Lotus F1 Team 1Malaysia ini bukan dimiliki oleh beberapa kumpulan individu sahaja, malah adalah hak milik semua rakyat Malaysia. Di dalam pembentukan pasukan ini, semangat “1Malaysia”, Rakyat Didahulukan. Pencapaian Diutamakan menjadi teras pegangan dan prinsip pembentukan. Kejayaan pasukan ini akan membuktikan kebersaingan rakyat Malaysia di pentas antarabangsa. Ianya akan turut membuktikan bahawa rakyat Malaysia mampu untuk menguruskan pasukan berimpak tinggi yang mampu bersaing dengan cekap menggunakan inovasi produk berteknologi tinggi dari sumber dan idea tempatan.


[Tun Teddy would be involve closely with the 1Malaysia F1 Team project, feel free to give your views and ideas on the establishment of these high impact cutting edge team]

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Kesinambungan Pemahaman Dasar Luar Amerika Syarikat Terhadap Malaysia

[Artikel ini ditulis oleh rakan karib saya yang merupakan warganegara Amerika Syarikat dan kini menetap di Kansas City, Amerika Syarikat. Artikel ini juga telah dipaparkan di surat khabar Berita Harian pada 5 September 2009.]

Oleh: Lino Miani

Dasar Luar Negara A.S. Dari Sudut Akademik

Ekoran peristiwa serangan terhadap Amerika Syarikat pada 11 September 2001 dan Perang Sedunia Bagi Menentang Keganasan yang menyusulinya, perhubungan Malaysia dengan negara-negara Barat, khususnya Amerika Syarikat, telah menghadapi beberapa cabaran yang tidak wujud sebelum itu. Adakalanya kedua-dua belah pihak seakan-akan kebuntuan dan gagal menyampaikan mesej yang ingin disampaikan. Sesetengah pihak beranggapan bahawa keadaan ini adalah akibat pertembungan antara dua tamadun yang tidak memungkinkan sebarang persefahaman bersama. Namun, pandangan ini tidak mengendahkan langsung tradisi saling interaksi aman yang sudah lama wujud dari segi ekonomi, politik, dan juga pertahanan. Dari segi hubungan Malaysia-A.S., tradisi kerjasama dalam bidang pertahanan dalam bentuk pertukaran para pegawai dan latihan bersama oleh pihak angkatan tentera dan polis dari kedua-dua buah negara masih berterusan sehingga ke hari ini. Memandangkan imbangan kuasa dunia kini semakin menjurus ke arah timur dan Malaysia semakin hampir mencapai matlamat pembangunan sebagaimana yang dirangkakan dalam Wawasan 2020, sudah tiba masanya hubungan budaya dan sosial antara kedua-dua buah negara ini diperkembangkan lagi supaya menjadi lebih bermakna. Dari segi inilah saya memainkan peranan.

Hubungan saya dengan Malaysia bermula sejak tahun 2004 apabila saya tiba ke sini buat kali pertama untuk menyertai beberapa latihan bersama dengan Tentera dan Polis Malaysia. Saya berpangkat Major dalam Tentera Amerika Syarikat dan veteran dalam misi-misi yang serupa di beberapa negara Asia Tenggara yang lain. Walaupun dengan pengalaman saya yang agak luas di rantau ini, saya masih berasa terpegun dengan keindahan Putrajaya yang tersergam (di mana saya menghadiri suatu mesyuarat) dan amat tertarik dengan kecekapan para pentadbir Malaysia serta mutu tinggi para pegawai polis dan askar-askar yang berlatih bersama-sama saya. Oleh itu, bila saya diberi peluang untuk kembali ke Malaysia, saya dengan berbesar hati menerima jawatan tetap di sini sebagai sarjana Yayasan George dan Carol Olmsted.

Biasiswa Yayasan Olmsted

Pengalaman beliau di China dan India semasa Perang Dunia Kedua telah memberikan ilham kepada Major Jeneral George Olmsted yang bertugas dalam Tentera A.S. untuk menubuhkan Yayasan George dan Carol Olmsted pada tahun 1957. Yayasan ini bertujuan menyediakan perkhidmatan bantuan kepada para pegawai Amerika yang tidak biasa dengan budaya-budaya asing. Beliau merupakan seorang usahawan sebelum dan selepas Perang Dunia Kedua dan berpegang pada prinsip bahawa seseorang pemimpin yang terbaik perlu mempunyai pelajaran yang luas. Justeru itu, beliau telah membentuk Program Sarjana Olmsted bagi memaksimumkan pemahaman para sarjana dari segi bahasa, budaya, dan politik wilayah yang dipelajari. Program ini memberi peluang kepada para pegawai tentera Amerika untuk mengikuti pengajian peringkat sarjana di luar negara. Peruntukan belanja yang disediakan termasuk latihan bahasa, tuisyen, dan kos perjalanan di rantau tersebut supaya para sarjana dapat menghayati sendiri dinamik negara tuan rumah.

Sebagai pegawai tentera yang terlibat dalam suatu program akademik yang amat mengkhusus, para sarjana Olmsted berpeluang untuk bergaul dengan keratan lintang masyarakat yang amat luas di negara tuan rumah. Mereka akan menjalinkan hubungan dengan masyarakat akademik dan keselamatan, para menteri kerajaan, para usahawan, kor diplomatik antarabangsa, malahan juga kerabat diraja. Para sarjana Olmsted membentuk hubungan peribadi sepanjang hayat dengan rakan-rakan sejawat di negara tuan rumah, iaitu pertalian peribadi yang amat penting bagi merapatkan jurang perbezaan antara budaya. Apabila rakan-rakan sejawat ini semakin meningkat pengaruh mereka dalam bidang akademik, politik, ketenteraan, dan perniagaan, mereka akan membentuk suatu potensi ke arah persefahaman yang lebih tinggi dan menjadi talian hubungan langsung antara negara-negara mereka dan Amerika Syarikat.

Yayasan Olmsted dan Malaysia

Pada tahun 1959, iaitu dua tahun selepas penubuhan yayasan Olmsted, enam orang sarjana telah memulakan pengajian mereka di luar negara. Pada waktu itu, Eropah Barat merupakan satu-satunya kawasan penting dari segi strategi yang mampu menawarkan keselamatan dan institusi-institusi akademik bagi penempatan para sarjana Olmsted. Rantau di Asia dan Amerika Latin pada ketika itu masih tidak tenteram dan Perang Dingin pula menghalang para sarjana ditempatkan di universiti di negara-negara Pakatan Warsaw. Lima puluh tahun kemudian, agihan para sarjana Olmsted telah mencerminkan keruntuhan Tabir Besi. Ini disusuli pula dengan kemunculan secara mendadak negara-negara membangun di seluruh dunia yang memperlihatkan peningkatan bilangan sarjana yang mengikuti pengajian di Afrika, bekas Kesatuan Soviet, Timur Tengah, Amerika Selatan, dan Asia khususnya. Sepanjang sejarah 50 tahun program ini, seramai 508 sarjana Olmsted telah melanjutkan pengajian mereka di 58 buah negara menggunakan 42 bahasa asing. Sepanjang lima tahun kebelakangan ini sahaja, peratusan sarjana yang mengikuti pengajian di Asia Timur dan Asia Selatan telah meningkat kepada 40 peratus, iaitu peningkatan sebanyak 20 peratus berbanding dekad sebelumnya.

Saya amat berbangga untuk menyatakan bahawa saya merupakan Sarjana Olmsted yang pertama di Malaysia tetapi saya bukanlah yang terakhir. Pengalaman berharga yang saya peroleh di sini telah meyakinkan Yayasan Olmsted untuk menghantar Sarjana kedua yang akan memulakan pengajiannya di Universiti Malaya (UM) pada bulan Julai tahun ini. Seperti saya, beliau juga akan mengikuti pengajian peringkat sarjana dalam Kajian Strategi dan Pertahanan di Jabatan Kajian Antarabangsa dan Strategi, Fakulti Sastera dan Sains Sosial. Saya beranggapan bahawa beliau telah membuat pilihan yang baik. Ini kerana Jabatan tersebut secara konsisten telah berjaya mengekalkan tarafnya dalam senarai 100 program kajian antarabangsa terbaik di dunia serta mempunyai khidmat pakar tentang keselamatan Asia di kalangan yang paling dihormati di rantau ini.

Ramai di kalangan kenalan saya di Malaysia (dan juga beberapa rakan senegara) telah bertanya kepada saya mengapa saya memilih untuk melanjutkan pelajaran di sini walhal ramai di antara rakan pegawai tentera telah menerima fellowship bagi program-program berprestij di Harvard, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, dan lain-lain. Walaupun saya boleh menyertai Berkeley atau Columbia, di UM saya berpeluang berinteraksi dan menyertai perbincangan sebelah malam tentang isu-isu kontemporari yang rumit berkaitan keselamatan sedunia dengan rakan-rakan kelas dari dua belas buah negara seperti Timur Tengah, Afrika, Eropah, dan juga Asia Selatan, Asia Tengah dan Asia Timur. Saya percaya bahawa persekitaran yang sedemikian, di mana saya berada di kalangan rakan-rakan sejawat dari seluruh dunia, adalah lebih mencabar dari segi intelektual dan lebih mencerminkan pelbagai budaya dan politik sedunia berbanding apa yang saya akan alami di dalam kelas di Amerika Syarikat.

Renungan Pengalaman Selama Tiga Tahun di Malaysia

Salah satu matlamat Program Sarjana Olmsted adalah bagi “meningkatkan kepekaan [sarjana] terhadap sudut pandangan, budaya, dan kebimbangan masyarakat di seluruh dunia.” Secara peribadi, saya percaya bahawa program ini telah berjaya mencapai matlamat tersebut dan saya telah banyak meraih manfaat daripada pengalaman saya di negara yang menarik dan menakjubkan ini. Saya berharap dan berdoa agar pemahaman yang saya peroleh di sini akan dapat membantu saya dalam usaha mencari penyelesaian terhadap masalah-masalah keselamatan bersama yang dihadapi oleh kedua-dua buah negara, baik di masa kini mahupun di masa hadapan.

Bagi mendapatkan maklumat lanjut, sila layari laman web Yayasan Olmsted di www.olmstedfoundation.org. Sila hantarkan sebarang soalan kepada saya, baik dalam bahasa Inggeris ataupun bahasa Melayu, melalui laman web ini.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Iftar in PWTC

Teddy, 7 September 2009

Had an Iftar with friends at PWTC today. Great friends and great job. I'm blessed with love, hope I can finish my book by the end of this year.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

How Socialism and Mixed Markets (confused Capitalism) Destroyed Malaysian Economy

How Socialism and Mixed Markets (confused Capitalism) Destroyed Malaysian Economy


By: Ahmad Syah Ejaz Bin Hj. Ismail


Malaysia went through the 21st Century with a confused economic market. Losing it’s competitiveness to the newly developing nations mostly from the old block of Communist countries in Southeast Asia particularly Vietnam. The concerned issues were not only the Foreign Direct Investment (FDIs) were siphoned out of the Malaysian domestic markets but also the shifting of the potentially new growth areas such as Halal Industry where the Capital seems to be uninterested and nowadays are more interested to venture into another form of business profits in other countries where there seems to be no boundaries in everything.


The new kind of markets that currently are developing in the 21st Century cannot be comprehended by the Malaysian policy makers. End were the days of the government spending makes the domestic economy moving and enter the new type of business warfare where efficiency, sharp edges developmental initiatives, and peoples power (democracy) is spearheading the nations development. One of the most important factors that were not understood by the Malaysian policy makers were consumer demand and consumer purchasing power. These two factors determine how the domestic markets behave and up to an extent explained how the well being of the domestic communities were measured mostly resulted a referendum through the ballot box.


During the Cold War, Malaysian economy took a safe passageway by adopting the so called mixed markets systems where private enterprises were controlled thoroughly by the government. It is understandable that by taking such a mixed markets policy, Malaysia would create a friendly relation among both block either the Capitalist or the Communist. This method does give an advantage towards Malaysia where at that time they were only competing mostly among the few democratic Capitalist countries such as Singapore, and others were a failed state such as Philippines that at that time were marred by unending corrupt authoritarian regime meanwhile an industrious countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia were still closing its domestic market from foreign competition. This scenario changed abruptly in the 21st Century where an industrious country such as Vietnam begins to open its markets to open trade and open competition.


Mixed markets systems sound very benign but on reality they are meaningless. Mixed markets would encourage the government to spend money endlessly in an effort to create a consumer demand. Most of the spending done is without bearing where the emphasized would only be the amount of the spending not on the effect of the spending done. There would be no break even point to determine how successes the spending efforts were done but only on who the spending had been made. This would only create an unproductive community marred by corrupt practices among the government agencies themselves. Not to mention the unproductive and uncompetitive psychological effects among the citizens that keeps asking for government assistance in their daily life.


Mixed markets systems had created a confused domestic market with an unbalanced psychological effect towards the Malaysian consumers. In lieu of the situations, the domestic markets is having a difficulties in determining the true demand of the domestic consumers as this can be see through the experienced of a glitch in the chain of the food supplies such as sugar, flour or cooking oil especially during the festive seasons where the usage of these materials were far high than usual. This problem arises due to how unnecessarily the government intervenes in the reactive markets of price and demands where normatively the government would impose a cap on the price of an item to stem inflation. Even benign in the intention, but such a quixotic method would destroy the connection between price and demand which would result in difficulties among the traders or suppliers to supply the demanded items to the consumer especially into where, when and what amount?


The above problems happens in the semi open domestic markets where the current consumers are having a high purchasing power to purchase basically anything that they coveted but on the contrary not the daily necessaries. This classic Soviet Russia problem happened in Malaysia in the new era due to the break up of the chain of supply and demand factors and the absence of the price signal to the private enterprises in order for them to give services unto the vacuum of a basic essentials in the domestic market and a surely profited demands stemmed unnecessarily by the kiasu government.


Reference:

The Economics of Innocent Fraud by John Kenneth Galbraith. Houghton Mifflin Company, BostonNew York, 2004.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Missed opportunities

Robert McNamara and President Johnson

Missed opportunities


By: Ahmad Syah Ejaz Hj. Ismail


In dealing with policy matters, we cannot neglect the importance of having the right information before making a decision. We must also need to differentiate between just information and the right information as this article alone will only focus in understanding what the meaning of we called as “missed opportunities”. Most of the flawed policy decision in the past were made mostly either it was decided harshly, or without adequate guiding facts that can lead to a proper understanding of the issues/ situations or merely due to the wrong facts supplied by the surroundings or even the inner circles of policy makers.


As the policy makers, the guiding principles were meant for them to make the right decision based on the right facts. Policies were first made as a law/ guidelines to inculcate norms within the society which intended for the good/ betterment/ as a moral virtue of the community as a whole. Before deciding on such policy, information is needed either to guide the decision makers or to make them understand a certain issues that need to settle upon.


The most important factor in making the right decision is to get the right information beforehand any irretrievable decision were made as such big issues need an iron stamping decision. To get such guiding facts, policy makers/ leaders/ managers can retrieve it through various ways such as:-


(i) Conference;

(ii) Fact finding mission;

(iii) Research (must be valid);

(iv) Interviews;

(v) Negotiations;

(vi) Dialogue; and

(vii) Intelligence work.


This is important as a decision made before putting down any policy usually will effects a lot of peoples and sometimes would even endanger a life and the decision itself is incontrovertible. Most of the failed past policies were made due to the incompetent management on the part of getting the right information before any hard decision were made. These were known as “missed opportunities”. And most of us usually would discover the missed opportunities through a post-mortem/the effect of a debacle happened due to the decision made in the past.


A good leader would discover the so called “missed opportunities” before any decision are made.


Reference:

An Argument Without End by Robert S. McNamara. Public Affairs New York, 1999.


Faces of Tun Teddy

Faces of Tun Teddy