Speechs in the year
Tarikh/Date 	: 	18/01/94 

    Saya  mengucapkan  terima  kasih  kepada  PERNAS kerana
menjemput   saya   untuk   merasmikan   pembukaan   Kompleks
Perdagangan  PERNAS  SOGO  dan  seterusnya  melancarkan SOGO
2.   Saya difahamkan projek ini adalah projek usahasama yang
pertama antara PERNAS dan SOGO Group of Companies.   Tahniah
kepada  PERNAS kerana memilih untuk memasuki bidang 'retail'
atau dagangan runcit di ketika bidang  ini  berkembang  maju
kerana  pendapatan  rakyat  telah  meningkat.    Kepada SOGO
diucapkan terima kasih di atas  keyakinannya  kepada  negara
ini  kerana  memilih  Malaysia  sebagai  salah  satu  tempat
operasi seberang lautnya yang terbesar.   Adalah  diharapkan
lebih  banyak  lagi  PERNAS SOGO Department Store atau pasar
raya akan diwujudkan di negara ini di masa depan.
3.   The establishment of mega retailing enterprises is  not
a  recent  phenomenon  in  Kuala Lumpur.    We have over the
years witnessed the openings of  large  establishments  like
Yow  Chuan, The Mall, Parkson Grand, Metro Jaya, Yaohan, Lot
10, Subang Parade, Ampang Complex  as  well  as  many  other
establishments.    This has been made possible by the rising
per capita incomes of the people.    Malaysia's  per  capita
income increased from US$2,495 (RM6,238) in 1990 to US$3,340
(RM8,550)  in 1993.  In terms of purchasing power parity, it
had increased from US$5,416 to US$7,500 during  the  period.
This   increase,   together   with  low  inflation,  enables
Malaysians to enjoy a higher standard of living and a better
quality of life.  Of course at the same time  low  inflation
causes  Malaysian products to remain competitive at home and
abroad, contributing to the economic growth of the nation.
4.    The opening of this PERNAS SOGO  Complex  housing  the
SOGO-PERNAS  Department  Store,  has  special  significance.
Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman has traditionally been the premier
shopping district of Kuala Lumpur.  But the advent of modern
shopping complexes in other parts of  the  city  within  the
last  decade  had reduced its importance significantly.  But
now, with the imposing presence of the PERNAS  SOGO  Complex
at  the  busy Jalan Dang Wangi and Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman
intersection, this part of the city will regain  its  former
5.     At a time when we are doubling our efforts to realise
our Vision 2020, the opening today of PERNAS SOGO Department
Store marks yet another step in the standard and way of life
which we can expect with development.   With the  growth  in
population, especially in the cities, and the new affluence,
small 'papa' and 'mama' shops are no longer going to be able
to  meet the needs of the people.  Roaming the city in order
to  buy  the  daily  needs  for  different  goods  is   also
impractical.    By  developing  shopping  centres  and large
stores which cater to almost  every  need,  the  problem  of
modern   city   living  is  fairly  well  resolved.    Small
businesses will probably be affected  but  they,  too,  must
adjust  to  a  new way of life.   The establishment of these
complexes creates new business  opportunities  and  revalues
upward  their  assets.    Theirs  will  not be a total loss.
Indeed if they are willing to change they will  gain  a  lot
from the changed way of life that goes with development.
6.    There is, however, a need to adjust to a more affluent
life style.  This is not because of snob value but there  is
money  to  be  made  from  affluent  living.   To use highly
valuable space for  low-value  business  would  be  a  great
waste.    Retailers and even hawkers operating 'gerais' must
be more conscious of the need to cater to  a  more  affluent
clientele.  If the authorities seem to be unduly strict with
hawkers  it  is  because  we  can  no  longer  accept dirty,
unhealthy and unaesthetic environment.   Besides, they  know
that the so-called small businesses can afford and they will
naturally  make more by being cleaner and more aesthetically
presentable.   The  enforcement  of  higher  standards  will
actually increase the profits of the small businesses.
7.      PERNAS  SOGO has done Kuala Lumpur a good service by
helping us remove the shabby flats of  the  former  Sulaiman
Court.  In Malaysia we want the people to live in the cities
so  that they will not be deserted and dangerous at night as
some  cities  in  developed  countries   are.      But   the
accommodation  in  the  cities  must not disfigure them.  If
unsightly  extensions  are   allowed   and   dirty   washing
displayed,   the  occupants  are  actually  devaluing  their
property.   The replacement  of  Sulaiman  Court  with  Sogo
Department  Store  will  renew this area and add value to it
and to the city.  Later I believe Pernas Sogo will  build  a
hotel  and  urban  flats  which, hopefully, will not be used
like Sulaiman Court.
8.   I am glad that the PERNAS SOGO  Complex  and  the  SOGO
PERNAS  Department  Store  are joint-venture projects.  This
partnership is in  line  with  the  Government's  policy  of
bringing   in   foreign   expertise  while  retaining  local
participation in all sectors of the  country's  development.
Retailing  is  an art which is very well-developed in Japan.
Although department stores were introduced  by  the  British
during colonial period, the locals did not adopt their style
of  retail business.   It is only now that department stores
are being operated by local chains.   The  presence  of  the
Japanese  will  no  doubt provide keen competition.  And, as
usual, it will lead to rapid upgrading and sophistication.
9.   Kuala Lumpur has not been known as  a  shopping  centre
for  foreign  tourists  who  usually opt for Singapore, Hong
Kong or even Bangkok as their shopping destinations.    This
is  unfortunate  for  the tourists are really missing a good
bargain.  It is not generally known  among  travellers  that
most consumer goods are tax-free in Malaysia.  Besides there
are  numerous tax-free shops for tourists.  Besides, the low
cost of living means low overheads for Malaysian  retailers.
Goods   should,  therefore,  be  cheaper  in  Malaysia  than
elsewhere.  With the opening of more outlets, the  range  of
goods  will  be  as  wide  as  in  the better-known shopping
destinations.    Malaysia is, therefore,  a  good  place  to
shop.    Tourists  must  be made to know of this fact by the
shops selling at bargain prices.  It would be a  mistake  on
the  part  of  the  Malaysian retailers to go for short-term
profit rather than long term gains.
10.   While we still  welcome  participation  of  well-known
foreign retailers in the retail business in Malaysia we hope
that   Malaysian  retailers  will  learn  to  upgrade  their
retailing methods and skills so as to be as  good  as  their
foreign  competitors.    One  day  we  hope to see Malaysian
department stores operating in other countries.
11.  Malaysia is not quite like Japan or any  of  the  `four
dragons'  of  East  Asia.    In  the  first  place  we are a
multi-racial,    multi-religious,     multi-cultural     and
multi-lingual  country  in which the different ethnic groups
are not equally developed economically.    Additionally,  we
lack  the  capital,  know-how  and  technology and marketing
expertise.  Under colonial rule we were  not  encouraged  to
think  beyond our immediate locality.  We knew nothing about
manufacturing or adding value, or about exports.  All  these
had  an  effect  on  our  psyche.   In other words we had an
inferiority complex which undermined our actual capability.
12.  Yet even the World Bank now acknowledges that  Malaysia
has  performed extremely well economically and is an example
to other developing nations.   While  we  have  a  right  to
congratulate ourselves, we must also learn to understand why
we  have  been able to overcome our many handicaps.   In the
first place we are politically stable.      When  Government
feel  safe they do not have to pander to extremist sectarian
demands which are invariably selfish and disruptive.  It  is
this confidence that has enabled the Government to formulate
constructive  policies.   Of course the Government must have
the necessary ideas, skills  and  sense  of  responsibility.
That  this  Government  has all these can be gauged from the
results.  If sometimes this Government comes up  with  ideas
which  appear  outlandish,  I  hope  that  they  will not be
rejected off-hand.
13.    In  the  interest  of  developing  this  country  the
Government  may,  off  and  on, come up with more outlandish
ideas.  It is hoped that there will be sufficient  faith  in
the ability of the Government to make these ideas work.
14.    SOGO  adalah  salah  satu  rangkaian  pasar raya yang
terbesar di dunia.  Dengan mempunyai 26 pasar raya di  Jepun
dan  beberapa  bandar utama di Asia dan Eropah, adalah logik
bagi SOGO menjadikan Malaysia sebagai  'procurement  centre'
bagi sesetengah daripada keperluan bekalan untuk pasar-pasar
rayanya  yang lain.  Malaysia mempunyai berbagai-bagai jenis
barangan pengguna  yang  mempunyai  harga  yang  kompetitif.
Langkah  ini  bukan  sahaja  akan  memberi perangsang kepada
industri-industri  kecil  dan  sederhana  tetapi  akan  juga
menggalakkan  pembekal-pembekal  tempatan untuk meningkatkan
mutu dan rekabentuk barangan mereka.   Adalah diharapkan  di
masa  hadapan  SOGO  akan  menimbang  menjalankan  usahasama
dengan rakyat Malaysia di dalam sektor pembuatan.
15.  Dengan ini, saya dengan sukacitanya merasmikan Kompleks
PERNAS SOGO dan melancarkan SOGO PERNAS Department Store.