Prof. Lim Koon
Ong, the DVC for Bahagian Jaringan Industri & Masyarakat
kicked off the event with a keynote speech, highlighting his
choice for using the term First Class rather than
First World. What it involves is the delivery of a
holistic package of knowledge which is also moral and
ethical (endorsed by the Ministry of Education).
The way that this may be
achieved involves a change of mindset; and not holding on to
the old (current) ones such as the "Taman Tun Sardon Hangout
Culture". Prof Lim quoted Alvin Toffler on the notion of the
21st century illiterates as "those who can't learn, unlearn
and relearn" and this we must overcome, more so with the
Blue Ocean Strategy which deals with all the tangibles and
The VC introduced
the speakers, indicating that this is the first time we're
working with local SMIs & SMEs as opposed to the
multinationals (AMD, Intel, Motorolla) which USM has always
had a working relationship. He also reminded all that USM's
transformation program is
well under way,
emphasizing that we are not benchmarking, but defining our
own program like MIT did at the beginning of the last
century (although we're contextually developing our own).
proficiently segmented the forum to allow the panel members
to introduce the subject to get their impressions, then
raised questions with regard to the idea of transformation
for them to answer, followed by opening the panel up to take
questions from the floor, got the panel to sum up, and
finally concluded the event.
Segment 1: Panel Impressions
Dato Syed Aidid (DSA)
aka Syed Mohamad Syed Murtaza, introduced himself as a
product of an Arab father and Chinese mother. Now 61 years
of age he has been making money for the last 41 years and is
just warming up. He looked up to his father who stopped work
at 99 and passed away at 105. "How to perform when we
retire at 56?" he asked, "How can man, a born-genius,
misuse and/or abuse his ability? Even the VC is on a
year-to-year contract?" Whereas he (DSA himself)
is just gearing up for the next 41 years of good work.
how Loh Boon Siew himself interviewed him with just a
question, "How many hours a day do you sleep." DSA
answered 5-6 and he was hired. He keeps himself physically
fit by fasting as opposed to what people generally
do- feasting themselves to death. Mental fitness is
maintained by reading 2-3 books per week, Emotional
health is maintained by trust. There is no point
worrying about something which is not there. The same with
On the way to
this forum on foot, he picked up a seed. He looked at
the tree, saw the ground in which the roots are buried. The
health of the seed is a reflection of the environment.
Chua (DDC) showed 5 Slides, the first one defining the
corporate culture, the rest were not shown. Something like
"the collective spirit of the corporate individuals" this
culture is manifested in what is relevant today, the
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). "Humans cannot be
governed by laws and regulations." What must be
spontaneous is the "desire to do good deeds".
Mentality is that
which effects behaviour; the first class being "civility" -
of individuals, society, nation. The corporate preoccupation
is to try shape that quality, its education, path and
direction. It's all in quality education, lifelong learning
and jatidiri, making up the culture and language.
Shekar (DVS) felt out of place, outclassed, nevertheless
conjured some random thoughts. He claimed that he is a
genuine capitalist. The need to make a lot of money would
depends on the greed, which however, has to be directed.
There is a need for sustainable wealth. Business of
future is where society is part of it. Sympathized with the
fact that the recent budget announcement played down the
allocation for innovation in education (Malaysia has no
money for education).
Datuk Dr Mohd
Sofi (DDMS), from AMD Penang mentioned three ingredients
of success - Knowledge, Patience and Value/ Moral/ Akhlak.
To AMD, USM is customer, vice-versa. Apart from this link,
the are also other links (he quoted Peter Drucker), namely
innovation. He also quoted the meaning of success, from
Sayidina Ali - Knowledge , Patience, Value.
Chairman: Does the corporate culture override
interest in business would depend on the university.
not use the labels academic and corporate, Use
"transformational" culture which both the the academic and
corporate domain may embrace.
(equated something to economy).
Perhaps USM should open its doors to the corporate sector,
absorb to make 5-10% of the faculty, businessmen and make.
Get them in as professors.
USM has just launched a Graduate School of Business
quite different from traditional business schools. Our
curriculum is a joint academic-corporate effort).
Chairman: We're facing economic downturn?
corpocracy has betrayed our trust. Ivy league schools
producing businessmen/ bankers (of Harvard MBA's)who
themselves brought the economy down. There are three kinds
of corporate individuals, the 3 I's. Innovator, Imitator
and Idiot (manipulators). It is just that
there are a lot of the third kind, the greedy ones.
light of the above we're just "spiralling in a vicious
circle", we're just going back to basic, just being
Role, 2nd Yourself. 3rd Personal Life.
USM is setting up a program that focuses on catchphrases
like "market sentiment". This shall be Neuro-Econmics.
Chairman: In the context of the
herd mentality we are in, can a university teach
Panel: There were similar respones- "Values already
formed when people reach the university." There's now the
need to just "walk the talk." And DVS related a personal
belief passed down from his parent, "Good guys win. Life's a
circle. If he is denied, I'll be denied.
Chairman: USM has deployed, as opposed to just the
KPI, the KIP which accounts for the intangibles.
Chairman: In light of all the
above, how do businesses change to meet the changing
DVS: There's a need to look for a paradigm. Crisis in
need to reinforce values. Accept mistakes, clean ourselves.
DDC: Happy to be in USM . USM needs to be practical.
Integrate with society to provide "intellectua;l leadership"
DSA: We've to have our bases to make the decisions.
Segment 3: Q&A
Q1. Not happy with the
term "greedy" coined by DVS. Panel?
Q2. Academia is not
interested in just money. Panel?
The definition of "corporate culture" made by DDC does not really
clarify the term corporate as it is self-referencing (like
the constitutional definition of Malay). The class is
equally vague if we go by Gandhi's notion of class. That
makes the topic of the forum totally nebulous. In this
imprecision however, the corporate individuals are spending
their valuable time discussing about problems which are all
tied up with the old development paradigm dominated by the
New World Order. What then would be a "sustainable" business
model which we can share? Can we trade in gold rather than
using promissory notes?
Q4/ Q5/ Q6 (howto
rather than what).
The chairman ended the forum
at 12:15pm with a homework passed on to the DVC, that the
forum be documented as a monograph.