Speechs in the year
Tarikh/Date 	: 	05/11/90 

 Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen;
    It  gives  me great pleasure to be able to address this
Seventeenth  Asian  Advertising  Congress.     Malaysia   is
honoured  to  be the host of this year's Congress and I wish
'Selamat Datang' to all foreign participants.
2.   The theme of this Congress -- Advertising to Power  To-
morrow's  Powerhouse:    Asia  --  is  well  chosen.   It is
forward-looking and implies a commitment by the  advertising
industry  not  only to share in the economic dynamism of the
region, but also to actively contribute towards  it.    More
than anything else, economic growth is an invigorating crea-
tive process.  Your services will therefore be needed to es-
tablish  and enlarge profitable markets within our countries
and outside of them.
Ladies and gentlemen,
3.   Asia's potential is just being discovered.    The  fact
that  it  is  only  now that attention is being given by the
world's business community implies a lack of information and
often of deliberate misinformation  about  Asian  countries.
In  this  great information age, it is surprising to see how
myths about Asia continue to be regurgitated with depressing
frequency.  To most of the Western world Asian countries are
still the typical mismanaged, grossly  corrupt  and  undemo-
cratic  nations, quite incapable of making progress.  On the
other hand if they do make progress they are likely  to  be-
come  economic  and  military threats to Western domination.
In actual fact Asian nations are merely desirous of progress
in the Western sense and wish to have their share  of  pros-
4.   Asia  has  been  and  will be growing faster than other
parts of the world in the near future.   This has  led  many
analysts to believe it will match the European Community and
North America as a market place in the 1990s.  Asia has been
shielded  from  the eyes of Westerners for so long that when
statements about  Asia  becoming  the  "Mega-Market  of  the
1990s"  are  made,  it sounds hardly credible.  Yet the vast
natural resources and the huge population must mean markets.
Although the per capita is small, the size of the population
does imply a substantial  purchasing  power  for  affordable
items.   And in many instances Asian nations have achieved a
considerable degree of affluence and those who know how, can
obviously sell to them even the least essential goods.    In
other  words,  Asia  as  the  mega-market of the 1990s is no
empty statement.
5.   Asia has notched up a truly impressive  growth  record.
In  1988,  it  grew  by 9.4% at a time when world growth was
4.1%.  In 1989, Asian growth slowed to  5.4%  but  it  still
managed  to outpace world growth of 3.2%.  Despite oil price
rises and fears of  recession  in  advanced  and  developing
economies  alike, Asia is seen to be firmly in the drivers's
seat in 1990 and 1991.  Given an expected  world  growth  of
between 2 to 2.4% in these years, the International Monetary
Fund  expects  Asia to grow by 5%.  This is an indication of
the tremendous growth forces which will sustain  the  record
of progress shown by most Asian countries.
6.   By the year 2000, it is predicted that Asia's Gross Na-
tional  Product, including that of Japan will exceed that of
the United States and of Europe.   At first glance,  such  a
comparison  may not seem warranted.  Asia is, after all, far
from a seamless market.   The continent has  enormous  poli-
tical,  social, economic, and ethnic diversity and this will
not change no matter how rapidly or successfully its  econo-
mies  manage to transform themselves.  Nevertheless Asia has
become self-generating in terms of economic growth  as  more
and  more  investments  originate from Asian countries.   As
Asians support each other's growth, they will  become  their
own market as much as they will be the world's market.
7.   Asians  have good reason to be proud.  Within the space
of fifty years, a mere blink in the longer throw of history,
Japan has risen from the ashes to become the world's  second
strongest  economy  after the United States.  Four economies
-- South Korea, Hong Kong,  Singapore  and  Taiwan  --  have
raised  themselves to great heights of economic distinction.
While not yet comparable, Malaysia and Thailand  are record-
ing  some  of  the  fastest  growth  rates  in  the   world.
Indonesia  does  not lag far behind.  These are achievements
that were hardly dreamt of as recently as a decade ago.
Ladies and gentlemen,
8.   If the 1980s was the decade of the so-called NICs,  the
1990s could well be the decade of Asia.  The East and South-
east  perimeters  of  Asia  enjoy growing prosperity and the
prospect of the socialist economies to the North and West of
Asia joining their ranks in the future is brighter now  than
ever  before.  The failure of Soviet-style economic planning
is now an admitted fact.   With few exceptions,  the  commu-
nists  have  abandoned  their  centrally-planned-and-managed
system in favour of some form of market economy and business
liberalisation.  While changes in policies can be made over-
night, the lack of experience in managing a free market sys-
tem will delay real economic progress.  But the chances  for
them to join Asian growing economies are now far better than
when  they were ideologically hamstrung.  Their contribution
to Asian growth in the decade of the 90s will  therefore  be
fairly substantial.
9.   There  should  be no illusions, however.  At least some
of the talk about Asia's economic successes is motivated  by
less  than good intentions.  Some nations, fearing that they
will one day have to face Asian  countries  as  competitors,
are doing their utmost to keep them at bay.  They constantly
wag  accusing  fingers  in Asia's direction, saying that its
economies have benefited from  less  than  acceptable  prac-
tices,  for  example,  denial  of  human  rights and workers
rights, undemocratic governments, disregard for the environ-
ment, etc.
10.  The truth of the matter is that  Asian  countries  have
saved, invested and taken entrepreneurial risks while others
have  lost much of their will to do so.  Countries of devel-
oping Asia are constantly seeking to master  the  production
of  goods  and  services that the world wants and to improve
upon the technologies which drive them.  This contrasts with
the almost insane urge of some developed countries  to  con-
sume far beyond what they can reasonably afford and to spend
enormous  sums  of  money to hone their technologies for war
rather than peace.  Whereas Asian societies have preserved a
solid work ethic, the desire of others to do  so  have  fal-
tered.  Whereas the rapidly developing countries pay heed to
the  imperatives  of  development,  the  need for meticulous
planning and careful economic policies, others  have  thrown
them to the winds.
11.  Japan and other East Asian economies know well that the
economic  formulas that worked in the 1980's will not assure
them of a place in the 1990's and  beyond.    So  they  have
raised  their  technological  capabilities  and  efficiency.
Rising labour costs in their  countries  mean  that  labour-
intensive, low-technology production is no longer compatible
with  their  stage of development.  Rather than complain, or
seek to protect out-moded production processes, they are in-
stead rapidly moving production off-shore so that  they  can
remain globally competitive.
12.  Asia's  manufacturing base has therefore begun to shift
to Southeast Asia where pools  of  educated  and  relatively
lower  cost labour exist.  This trend has had a very signif-
icant impact on the industrialisation process  and  economic
growth  of the rest of Asia and will contribute towards con-
tinued rapid development of many Asian nations.
13.  As Asia grows, wealth-creating opportunities are gener-
ated.  Some countries like Japan have already become the en-
gines of growth for other aspiring Asian economies.    Other
prospering  economies  are also contributing tangibly to the
region's and the world's prosperity.  They, along with Asean
economies,  are  not,  however,  taking  their  success  for
granted.  They are continuing to think carefully about where
to  invest  scarce  resources,  seeking  out strategic high-
growth areas that can propel them into the future.
Ladies and gentlemen,
14.  By most accounts, the growth of the  Malaysian  economy
can  be expected to average between 7 to 8% over the medium-
term.  The policies that have been developed and implemented
over the previous years have laid a  strong  foundation  for
growth.    The government's fiscal strategy has been to con-
tain the role of the public  sector,  thereby  allowing  the
private  sector  greater room to grow.  Of course, some rise
in public expenditure has to be expected to  support  growth
in  the  coming  years.   These decisions are, however, con-
stantly watched in order not to undo  the  hard-won  results
earned over previous years.
15.  Adding  to  the  desire  to  create  a  buoyant private
enterprise-based economy is the policy of privatising public
agencies.  The divestment of some 246  agencies  and  enter-
prises  worth  about  sixteen  billion ringgit will be given
full attention to in coming years.   It  is  encouraging  to
note that the private sector has responded to the new policy
environment  by  investing  heavily  in productive capacity.
Large amounts of new investment are  being  channelled  into
manufacturing  for  export.   These are arguably some of the
most profitable areas in the Malaysian economy and are  gen-
erating vast additional reinvestment capabilities.
16.    Over  the next five years, manufacturing will undergo
extensive change.   While products such  as  semi-conductors
and  textiles will remain important export items, there will
be extensive diversification to newer  products.    Already,
Malaysia is beginning to produce such electrical products as
colour  television sets, audio equipments and video cassette
recorders.  Judging by current patterns of investments, pro-
duction of petrochemicals, including middle distillates, and
high-technology resource-based products such as polyethylene
should also make a strong showing.   The service  sector  is
poised to be a major beneficiary of the rapid growth of man-
ufacturing.   Primarily, this will take the form of business
and ancillary services such as advertising.
17.  Advertising is of course an industry in itself.  It  is
an industry which promotes other industries.  When promotion
succeeds,  enterprises become successful.  In a very compet-
itive environment the skills in promoting products and  ser-
vices  are  crucial.    Such  is  the  power  of advertising
promotion that bad products can succeed at times and  for  a
time  at least, while good products can languish and eventu-
ally vanish if promotion is weak.
18.  Advertising skills mean power.   And sometimes  it  can
corrupt.    It is necessary that ethical codes be maintained
by those in the industry.
19.  With so much going on in Asia, advertising  is  set  to
boom.   There are and there will be tremendous opportunities
for advertising people in Asia.  No one should begrudge  the
advertising  industry  its  share of the growth cake and the
profits.  After all the growth of an industry is as much due
to management and technology as it is to  the  promotion  of
the products of industry.  Without skillful promotion no one
will  buy  the myriads of unfamiliar new products which have
now become commonplace household things.
20.  We should therefore welcome  the  advertising  industry
even if they do add to the cost of products.  Even this cost
can be offset by the volume that advertising generates.
Ladies and gentlemen,
21.  The  Seventeenth  Asian  Advertising  Congress in Kuala
Lumpur is held at a most significant time when the  role  of
industry in Asia is much more appreciated and in demand than
ever  before.  I hope participants will benefit greatly from
this Congress.  I hope also that  the  advertising  industry
will always appreciate the power they wield and will protect
the   consumers  as  much  as  they  are  obliged  to  their
paymasters.  I hope that the advertising  industry  in  Asia
will  help  the  growth of Asian economies.  I hope that to-
gether we will make a reality of the theme of this  Congress
"Advertising to Power Tomorrow's Powerhouse - Asia".
     Thank you.