Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The skilled need to be wooed back

The skilled need to be wooed back
Tuesday June 21, 2011

IT was with interest I read that a man from relatively humble beginnings in Cameron Highlands, Sam Chong, is among Australia’s richest persons with wealth estimated at around A$950mil (RM3.06bil), made from coal mining (“I did it mine-way! M’sian-born Chong among Aussie’s richest” – The Star, June 20).

Like Datuk Jimmy Choo, here is another Malaysian who has brought pride and glory to the country. Only when he was listed in Business Review Weekly (BRW) as among the “Rich 200” did he come into the limelight.

Chong today is regarded as one of Australia’s biggest coal miners. It was the Malaysia Boleh spirit and sheer hard work that enabled him to reach where he is today.

Chong, 68, owns a substantial shareholding in Jellinbah Resources, which operates two coal mines and is in the process of developing a third.

Even at an age when most people would be thinking of taking it easy, Chong is still persevering to reach even greater heights.

I am sure that, like Chong, there are many more Malaysians in other parts of the world who have a success story to share.

Malaysians abroad who can contribute to the economic development of the country the nation’s are invaluable assets.

Talent Corp should identify these Malaysians and try to woo them back to the country to contribute their skills, knowledge and business acumen to help the country achieve its economic objectives.

Even many of our cottage industries and backyard operators have the potential to be nurtured and developed into vibrant enterprises.

I have been very impressed by some of the cottage industries in places like Kelantan.

Our batik industry, for example, can be developed into a notable global industry, but somewhere along the line we faltered and don’t seem to be able to carve a global niche.

Very often, many of my foreign friends have told me that Malaysia is world class in many areas, but unfortunately lack the marketing skills to make inroads.

Consequently, it is imperative for Malaysia to harness all the skills and talents available, locally and globally, to realise its vision of being a developed and high income society.

Kuala Lumpur.

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