Nov 22, 2006

Malays told to be "KIASU" in order to succeed

Since when we want to emulate the Singaporean's mentality?

'Kiasu' Is Key To Success Of The Malays - Ungku Aziz

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 (Bernama) --Royal Professor Ungku Aziz, in a think-out-of-the box approach to tackle the Malay dilemma, wants the bumiputeras to have the 'kiasu' drive to success.

"I think many of the rural people are complex, too shy, too kind to have this kiasu drive. This is one of the important things to be a good Bumiputera entrepreneur," said Prof Ungku Aziz, a leading academician and economist who has devoted his entire life to rural poverty mitigation.

"Because kiasu people say I want to be the best, I want to be number one. Or as the PM (Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) says the towering (Malays). But not everybody can be at the tower, but everybody can be a litte kiasu.

"Kiasu is a hokkien word which is popular in Singapore. But I think it's time for us to say that our rural people should also be a little more kiasu or a little more aggressive, " said the longest serving Vice Chancellor for Malaysia's premier and oldest university, Universiti Malaya. He held the position for almost 20 years.

Prof Ungku Aziz said this in his keynote address delivered at the launching of a Chair named after him and the Centre for Poverty and Development Studies set up at the Universiti Malaya recently.

The Chair and the Centre which was launched by the Prime Minister, serve as a focal point for academic work, research, consultancy and technical assistance in the fields of poverty and development for the academic community, the public, policymakers and the international community.

In his academic discourse, Ungku Aziz expressed his thoughts under three main inferences -- human resources, natural resources and lack of entrepreneur development. He provided solutions to the problems.

He said the bumiputera entrepreneurs should learn thinking skill which was not taught as a subject in school, to understand about risk management and basic accounting.

He said good entrepreneurs should be sadiq (truthful), amanah (trustworthy) and telus (transparent).

"Sadiq means say the truth, say things like they are, say as it is.

"You must be amanah, that means you must be trustworthy, if you promise, you do. Otherwise you don't make the promise," he said.

"You must also be telus. All these under the counter deals are not good for rural development. I am saying here that all the people involved in rural development should be telus, that means they are open, there are no sidings and there are no partial compromises," he said.

Prof Ungku Aziz said rural entrepreneurs should also have the 4's -- Sopan (courteous), Santun (polite) and Selalu (always) Senyum (smile), he said.

"With the 4's, you will be a good businessman and entrepreneur," he added.

He said there should be `bumi boomer' in the rural area, like the baby boom phenomena that took place after soldiers returned home from the world war.

"They (bumiputeras) must boom and expand in large number if they are going to be effective in rural development programme," he said.

He said the boom, including among the women could help break the monopoly and monopsony powers of traders (M-M system), one of the root causes of rural poverty.

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