Sunday, December 31, 2006

Goodbye 2006!

As we approach the final minutes of 2006, I thought I'd just put down here on (virtual) paper 3 of the most momentous personal events which occurred for me this year. On the whole, 2006 has not been a bad year at all. In fact, looking back 30 years from today, 2006 might be one of the most pivotal years in my humble life. :)
Pak Lah announced his mid-term reshuffle of the Cabinet.

As highlighted in my speech on "How to set Pak Lah free?" in an earlier October forum, I never gave up hope on Pak Lah even after more than 3 years into his administration. I saw some positive elements, and I had hoped pretty much that Pak Lah was serious biding his time before showing his cards to both his detractors, as well as the non-performing cabinet members.

I could accept a largely unchanged jumbo cabinet after his election victory on the basis that he wanted to give the existing cabinet members a chance. But I could not accept that irresponsible, incompetent and possibly even corrupt members were retained in their portfolios after more than 2 years "chance".

It was a reshuffle which I had hyped myself up so much on expecting many positive things, after giving Pak Lah the benefit of the doubt for many years. But it was a belated "reshuffle" that wasn't, and my hopes and faith in Pak Lah died with it.

I do not believe that Pak Lah is corrupt or immoral. I do however, believe that he is not a leader of man, and not a competent man in administration. I believe that we need more effective, intelligent and equally ethical leaders to take the country forward, in place of the current poorly performing leadership.

I founded my company in the early parts of 1997 just 3 months before the Thai baht crashed triggering the Asian financial crisis. That was also a fair few years before the dotcom boom where money from venture capitalists were aplenty. By August 2001, we managed to get the company listed on the Singapore Exchange. It wasn't a big company, but it's listed nevertheless. ;)

But the up and down swings continued with many factors coming into play - weak economic environment, the Asian SARS crisis, a large payment default from a Berjaya Group subsidiary (>RM2m!) and even being hit by a fraudulent contract. The last 2-3 years were particularly difficult recovering from some of the above crises.

This year however, after an extended delay and plenty of preserverance, the company is finally back on stable footing financially as well as a return to being back in the black for 2006. It is a huge relief, and credit must be given to the company's employees for playing such a key role in the process.

As stated on the panel on the right, my ambition was really not to become a multi-multi-millionaire like top entrepreneur, Tony Fernandes, but to be actively involved in the socio-political scene in Malaysia. The question has always been timing, as well as "how much money is enough?"

Thanks to a personal and external confluence of factors, a critical decision has been made in October and I hope I will be able to live my personal dreams not too long into the near future. Due to the sensitivity of being a CEO of a public listed company, I can't reveal too much here, not yet anyway, but you can be assured that when the time comes, readers here will definitely be amongst the first to know.

There has been major events in each of the past couple of years. But I dare say that this year, and what will come next year, will certainly be a momentous period for me, and possibly for my family.

Happy New Year! ;)
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