Speechs in the year
Tarikh/Date 	: 	30/10/83 

Mr. Chairman; 

Ladies and Gentlemen; 

I am greatly honoured to be asked to open this Conference of the Asian
Association of Management Organisation, especially as it is being attended
by so many distinguished managers and captains of industry. On behalf of
the Malaysian Government, I would like to welcome all participants to this
Conference, held in one of the most beautiful spots in Malaysia, the
Island of Penang, otherwise known as the Pearl of the Orient. As a matter
of historical interest, Penang was also called the Prince of Wales Island,
but the three feathers in Penang's cap which signified this have recently
been plucked to be replaced by a silhouette of the new Penang bridge on
Penang's coat of arms, a physical symbol of union with the less British

2. So much for history and the tourist trade sales talk.

To return to the Conference, this is indeed a momentous one for the the
AAMO as it is for Penang and for Malaysia. The world, which has gone
through one of the most traumatic recessions in its history, is now
showing signs, positive signs of recovery. For Asia and Asians, which were
emerging once again as important participants in world trade and industry
after an eclipse of several centuries, the recession is particularly
damaging. It had taken a long time for Asia to adapt to a world which no
longer cared for their silks and brocades, and sandalwood boxes,
lacquerware and bronzeware. Only in the last thirty years were they able
to cope with modern manufacturing methods and modern technological
products. But slowly they were once again gaining supremacy. Their
manufactures are no longer regarded with contempt as inferior
imitation. Instead their radios and cars, organs and ships were much
sought after. Indeed such is their success that all kinds of artificial
barriers have to be created by the western industrialised nations. built
recession and no less. I maybe wrong in my assumption. But the fact is
that the rise in oil price actually stimulated world economic
activities. On the other hand the increase in the interest rate brought on
the much predicted recession. That increase was artificially engineered.

4. Whatever the reason for the recession, the effect is to reduce to
rubbles the poorest states and impoverish the others in the developing
world. The slowdown of economic activities brought about by the increase
in the cost of money resulted fairly quickly in an oil glut which in turn
knocked out a number of economies dependent on oil production. Commodity
producers like Malaysia suffered as well, some more than others. And the
newly emerging manufacturing economies of Asia, labelled NICs suddenly
found the carpet being pulled from under their feet. The prospect of
becoming developed has now receded. It was all that managers, both private
and public could do to keep their heads above water. But, praise be to
God, the new manufacturing economies of Asia have not gone under. Even the
producers of primary commodities of Asia have survived.

5. We have a lot to thank the managers of Asia, both in the Government as
well as the private sector for the survival of the shaken economies of
Asia. They have done well indeed, i.e. if the politicians do not stab them
in the back. Now comes the time for managing for new growth. The
objectives and targets that had to be shunted aside when recession hit us
must be resurrected and we must once again apply ourselves to the task of
recovering our ancient position as the premier source not only of exotic
spices, but manufactured goods as well. The silks and the brocades and
lacquer boxes must give way to machinery and cars and ships etc. Ladies
and Gentlemen, 6. Management is now a subject of much interest and
discussion not only among managers but among the public as well. Indeed
managers are beginning to rule the world. Presently they masquerade as
economic advisers to Presidents and Prime Ministers. Before long they will
want to be Presidents (of the executive variety of course) and Prime
particularly those addicted to authoritarian rule. But I think they will
do this world a lot of good. It is of that is going to be the problem. The
best managers are not usually the most popular. On the other hand the most
popular man seldom make good managers.

7. Management is no longer as simple as the casual wielding of
authority. The days when a well-born person can be expected to run
companies are over. Managers are now professionals who are usually trained
for the job. Inherent business acumen or astuteness are assets but they
are now no longer absolutely essential. Now we have instead scientific
management with some art being thrown in. Both can be learnt by people of
average intelligence in business schools and elsewhere. For further
development of the capacity to manage, there are innumerable courses,
seminars and conferences. Books on management now sell by the
millions. And of course there are organisations like the AAMO, devoted to
continued improvement in management techniques.

8. This conversion of an inherent quality into a branch of knowledge
available to the masses is one of the most beneficial developments in
modern times. It has enabled massive commercial activities to take place
and facilitated world trade. It has also been a boon to communities with
no tradition of commerce or industry. They can now learn and master a
mysterious subject, without which mastery they would always be exploited.

9. As time goes on we are definitely going to improve our knowledge of
management. We are going to be better and better managers. The shrinking
resources of the world will be better utilised and new discoveries by
scientists and researchers put to the service of mankind. Hopefully the
world would be a better place to live in as more managers are produced and
management skills upgraded.

10. Organisations such as AAMO will be doing society a good deed. The
interchange of ideas that must take place within such organisations will
enable us to make innovations and rid ourselves of the fallacies and
mistakes without everyone of us having to learn from painful experience.

11. Of late, there has been much talk about Corporate Philosophy. Asians
should have an advantage here. We always tend to be more
philosophical. Developing a corporate philosophy should be easy for
us. Indeed we always have some corporate philosophy without calling it by
that name.

12. Now Malaysia as a whole has adopted and is refining and redefining its
own corporate philosophy. Ever since the Malay states adopted a modern
administrative system it was thought that the Government and the business
people were enemies. The Government thought that business was and the
Government. How else could businesses make money if they didn't
cheat. Consequently Government officers must regard business people with
suspicion and do everything possible to frustrate them.

13. This assumption is not altogether without reason. Cheating was a
widespread practice in the past. Short weights and short change,
sub-standard goods etc. were accepted by the consumers as part of the
game. You can complain but it would mean so much trouble with so little
gain. If the measurement was short, well that was to be expected
considering how much you had succeeded in knocking down the
prices. Consumers were fair game and there was no consumers association to
cry foul. The attitude of the public and the Government towards business
was therefore quite justified.

14. But it is now possible to have some ethics in business. Indeed public
limited companies are much more subjected to scrutiny than the little
family-owned shops. Besides goods are no longer sold or services rendered
purely on a basis of low price. Quality counts now and commands a
premium. If you care for designer or personalized products than you accept
the need to pay an unreasonable price. You get exactly what you ask for if
you are prepared to pay the price. Cheating has become honourable and the
gains are as much subjected to taxes as all your other proceeds.

15. This being largely so, there is no longer a need to regard businessman
and traders as crooks. Since these people also contribute to economic
growth and pay into the coffers of the Government they should be regarded
as partners of the administration of the country. This partnership between
the Government and the business people in the economic development of the
nation is no different from the partnerships that are to be found in
business establishments. Hence the corporate philosophy of Malaysia maybe
labelled as the Malaysia Incorporated Philosophy.

16. Admittedly this is not a new idea. Japan Incorporated was a derogatory
term coined by western business because, when dealing or competing with
Japanese firms, they have perforce to take on the Japanese Government as
well. The Japanese private sector, particularly the big corporations seems
to work hand in glove with the Japanese Government, to the extent that
they seem to belong to one organisation -- Japan Incorporated.

17. Japan Incorporated maybe bad for competing foregin corporations, but
obviously it was good for Japan. It has enabled Japan to become the second
biggest economic power in the world in less than 30 years after her defeat
in the Pacific War.

18. If the Japan Incorporated philosophy can achieve that miracle for
Japan, could it not do the same for others? We in Malaysia think it
could. Of course we will never be as economically advanced as Japan but we
would be satisfied with a modest rise in our per capita income. Hence our
adoption of the Japan Incorporated concept as the basis of our national
corporation philosophy -- that is Malaysia Incorporated concept.

19. It is not going to be easy to change the attitude of civil servants
and business executives. The whole thing seems either artificial or even
far fetched. But then, Malaysia is used to having people tell her that she
is wrong and that Malaysia is about to mess things up. Indeed at the time
when we achieved independence we were told from then on Malaysia would
retrogress for all kinds of business. In 1969 when race riots broke out we
were told that was the end of Malaysia. But we have and again proved the
critics and cynics wrong. And we feel sure we can once again prove them
wrong over the Malaysia Incorporated concept. It is not going to be easy,
but then nothing is easy in this world. Everything has to be worked at.

20. As managers you must know this. Success is a result of hardwork, and
meticulous planning and conscientious application. Malaysia intends to do
this. If Malaysia succeeds it will also be contributing to the success of
Asia and the Asians. If we succeed we think it will give hope and
encouragement to other developing countries. As the developing countries
prosper, they can buy more from the developed countries. Clearly no one
will lose, not even the critics and the know-all from the developed

21. I have being talking a lot about Malaysia. This is because it is a
subject I know best. Certainly I know it better and I know management. But
I have a vague feeling that Malaysia can provide the managers gathered
here a nice case study. We in Malaysia are anxious to learn and if
possible to contribute. I feel sure that there will be a lot to be gained
from your deliberation, for you and for us.

We therefore welcome this Conference, and we in Malaysia hope that you
will not only learn much but your stay in Malaysia will be an enjoyable

22. Now it is my pleasant duty to declare this Conference of the AAMO