Sunday, February 7, 2016

Business Longevity Japanese-Style

I found this piece of article from China Daily newspaper that I read somewhere in June 29, 2015. I think its good to read and share among ourselves. The author is China Daily's bureau chief in Tokyo Ms Cao Hong. Enjoy reading;


Japanese people have the longest life expectancy in the world - 84 years, according to the World Health Organization, or to be precise, about 80 years for men and 87 for women. 

The island nation is also home to around 40 percent of the world's longest-surviving businesess - the highest globally. A 2011 survey by the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry showed Japan had 21,666 business that were more than 100 years old, and 3,146 of them had been around for more than 200 years. 

In fact, quite a few flourishing Japanese family businesses can trace their origins to the 17th or 18th century. They include Mitsui, Sumitomo and department store chain Daimaru. Mitsubishi and Suzuki, founded in the 19th century, are much younger in comparison.

The latest story of succession is about Japan's electronics manufacturer Casio. Its 86-year-old president Kazuo Kashio will hand the reigns of power to his eldest son Kazuhiro Kashio in June after staying at the helm for 27 years.

According to the US-based Family Business Institute, 30 percent of family businesses survive into the second generation, 12 percent continue into the third generation and only 3 percent make it into the fourth generation and beyond.

So what has enabled so many of Japan's old-world companies to continue doing business this long?

My recent trip to Kyoto helped me find part of the answer.

In his office and at his home, Kizaemon Tsukamoto, president of Kyoto-based Tsukaki Group, was proud to present scrolls with credo the encourages family members to accumulate "merit" to benefit their descendants.

The statement is from I Ching, or Book of Changes, an ancient Chinese masterpiece the says the cosmos is ever-changing yet harmonious. Today, the book has become a guide for success in many fields.

The scrolls has been passed down to Tsukamoto, the sixth-generation keeper of the family-run business founded in 1867, from earlier generations. The company that started as kimono maker has grown into major enterprise dealing in garments, fir, jewellery and real estate. 

A museum on the outskirts of Kyoto exhibits the credos of may local business families. They share many values in common: Frugality, diligence, honest, restraint and sharing. These values are the basis of a strong corporate culture that unites the old companies, which earnestly live by the tenets instead of just highlighting them on their websites.

Such old companies are cohesive in their practice and have strong sense of purpose and identity.

By viewing their relationships with business partners and customers as something that goes beyond just an exchange of goods and services for financial gains, these companies have built supportive networks that have ensured their success, not just survival, in the long run.

These companies usually believe in leanness and efficiency, which could be termed frugality. They are conservative in terms of financing and do not risk their capital gratuitously. They understand the meaning of money in an old-fashioned way and know the value of having spare cash in the kitty.

Having cash in had gives them flexibility and independence of action. They can pursue options that their competitors cannot. They can grasp opportunities without first having to convince third-party financiers of their attractiveness.

Conservative financial practices also mean these companies tend to be very profitable. Studies done years ago showed the average net profit of old Japanese companies was 5.5 percent while that of all Japanese companies was 2.7 percent.

In Tsukamoto's words, businesses that treat their employees, customers, suppliers and the local community well can live and thrive long.

"Profitability is necessary condition for their existence and a means to more important ends, but it is not the end in itself" says Yohei Nakanori, the fourth-generation president of Tsukiji Tama Sushi, a restaurant founded in Tokyo in 1924.

Japan's century-old companies know the value of making their credos, passion and entrepreneurial skills and prowess a part of their DNA, and they cherish and protect it, as well as built upon it.

Of course, some have not succeeded, and others are struggling. 

Founded in 578 AD, Japanese temple builder Kongo Gumi was being run by the founder's descendant s until it succumbed to excessive debts and an unfavourable business climate in 2006.

Different management styles have fueled a family feud at Japanese furniture retailer Otsuka Kagu. Its 71-years-old chairman, Katsuhisa Otsuka, who founded the business in 1969, focused on high end customers.

His eldest daughter, Kumiko Otsuka, took over the company as its president in 2009 with sights on the mass market. During her 5 years tenure, the business returned to profitability in 2011 for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis.

But the senior Otsuka fired his daughter in July last year. The company board reappointed her in January while the shareholders voted for her on March 27.

The latest sentiment reading of small Japanese businesses has slumped to two-year low as the weaker yen continues to weight on smaller, domestic-oriented companies, while benefiting the nation's biggest exporters. 

The number of Japanese companies citing the weaker yen among the reasons for going bankrupt almost tripled in 2014 to 301 as fast-rising costs of imports squeezed small businesses, according to Teikoku Databank. It expects more such bankruptcies, especially outside large cities.

In this sense, the old companies could serve as valuable example for the younger ones.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Something To Think About

1) Believe me nothing will last forever, either life or power or wealth there's no exception. And looking at this, we can conclude about how is Najib's thinking - does he not worry that one day he will fall, one by one god has shown to us all the evidences of his blunders on 2.6B donation and 1MDB fiasco. Actually there's nothing to hide anymore - like Anwar Ibrahim, Najib himself having thick skin too.

2) If you watching movie American Gangster, played by Denzel Washington and Russel Crowe. The method employs is same with Najib approaches in politics. All the enforcement officers in NYPD were bribed by drug mafia. The drug lord have set aside funds to bribe all these police officers in order to facilitate their unlawful activities. In the context of our current political issue, 1MDB fund was used to help to facilitate Najib political agenda. Therefore, it wasn't surprise all the politicians either in UMNO or BN parliament representatives or even opposing side, seems reluctant or lacking political will to oppose all the wrong doing's of PM.

3) Eventually we the people who's voted in recent GE, will be the victims of the fraud made by our chosen leaders. Today's politic is not about fighting for the people right or being the voice of the people they representing. Today's politic is about personal agenda - lust for power and enriching oneself.

4) I'm sure all of us missed all first 4 PM leaderships dearly. The era that we stood by our own, stand by our own feet, speak our mind freely without influence from anyone else - a pride of our own-self. Now we have lost all of these spirit and pride - the disunity among all races also became larger, Malays being the centre of unity among all races also dividing - corrupted by the lust for money and power of it leaders. We Malaysians have no one to look at.

5) The small fragments of sincere leaders were casted away, they have no more power or influence, let alone follower to  support. Consequently UMNO/BN become irrelevant and eventually people will turn against them in the next GE.

6) However the situation will not improve even if oppositions rule this country. Why? Because each party in the opposition pact have no common agenda and direction. Most of the time they were in contradicting opinion and cannot work together. The people will caught in between - and have no other option to choose from. The future look very bleak for us and generation to come.


Monday, September 28, 2015

Antara Pintu Hati dan Erti Pengorbanan

1) Seperti yang pernah aku nyatakan sebelum ini, menegakkan kebenaran dan berpegang kepada prinsip, memerlukan kekuatan mental dan fizikal yang tinggi. Ia menuntut kesabaran yang amat tinggi, kerana ketika kita berjuang mempertahankannya kita akan kehilangan ramai orang tersayang termasuklah sanak saudara dan sahabat handai. Kerana kebenaran hanya akan tertegak diakhir perjuangan apabila pengorbanan telah pun dilakukan dan kita redha apa jua ketentuanNya.

2) Seperti yang pernah dinyatakan sebelum ini, kebenaran itu datang daripada Tuhan manakala kemungkaran atau kepalsuan datang daripada syaitan. Hikmah dalam mempertahankan kebenaran akan meningkatkan keimanan kita, selepas ranjau, onak dan duri telah dilalui. Ia tidak datang secara percuma - ia menuntut keimanan dan kesabaran yang tinggi. Sebab itulah ada pujangga menyatakan kesabaran itu separuh daripada iman.

3) Oleh sebab itulah kebenaran itu tergolong dalam ilmu hakikat, dimana puncaknya adalah redha. Redha kehilangan keluarga jika kebenaran ingin dicapai, redha kehilangan sahabat handai jika kebenaran ingin dicapai.

4) Orang yang bercakap benar, adalah orang yang berterus terang, orang yang berani menyatakan kebenaran dan berani menyatakan realiti yang berlaku. Manakala orang yang cuba menutup pintu kebenaran adalah orang yang tak jujur, yang lebih mementingkan diri sendiri. Orang seperti ini mempunyai banyak insecurity dalam diri - kurang yakin kepada diri sendiri, takut kepada bayang - bayang diri dan sering mempunyai syak wasangka terhadap orang lain. Perbuatan baik orang lain akan dipandang serong. Orang seperti ini tidak akan berani menyatakannya secara terbuka, tetapi perbuatan dan tingkah laku mereka akan membuktikannya.

5) Manakala orang yang berterus terang, yang berani menyatakan realiti dan kebenaran akan diketepikan secara halus - tiada kenyataan terbuka akan dilakukan. Mereka ini bacul (tiada keberanian).

6) Ilmu yang dipelajari hanya pada kulitnya sahaja, tetapi nilai yang dipelajari tidak dapat dihayati dan dilaksanakan, kerana pintu hati telah tertutup dari kebenaran - tidak jujur dan tidak muhasabah diri ketika mendalami ilmu yang dipinjamkan.

7) Biarlah sehebat mana ilmu agama yang cuba dipelajari, sehebat mana ustaz - ustaz dan ulama yang dicari - jika tidak muhasabah diri dan berlaku jujur pada diri sendiri, ilmu yang dicari tak akan kesampaian.

8) Janganlah terkejut, jika kita terjumpa umat yang tinggi ilmu agamanya tetapi rendah akhlaknya. Orang - orang seperti ini banyak terdapat dalam masyarakat kita, termasuklah dari kalangan keluarga sendiri mahu pun sahabat handai. Mereka ini sering cuba menunjuk ketinggian ilmu agamanya, tetapi mereka terlupa keriakkan telah mengaburi mata dan menutup pintu hati kepada kebenaran. Bila bercakap soal agama, tentang hukum hakam, dosa dan pahala, perkara - perkara sunat dan haram akan disampaikan dengan penuh tekun. Tetapi malangnya nilai - nilai baik yang juga amat ditekankan oleh Islam dilupakan - seperti berlaku jujur pada diri sendiri dan orang lain, juga bercakap benar tidak diamalkan.

9) Konsep hormat juga telah dilupakan, pada mereka hormat mestilah diberikan kepada yang lebih tua, hormat juga mesti diberikan kepada ketua. Tetapi adakah mereka terlupa orang tua dan ketua kita juga adalah manusia biasa - yang tak dapat lari dari melakukan kesilapan dan kekhilafan. Pada aku hormat mestilah disukat agar tidak jadi melampau, kerana Islam itu juga menitik beratkan kesederhanaan. Ada pepatah Melayu menyatakan - jika sayang tegur - tegurkan, jika benci biar - biarkan.

10) Harus diingat - jika menegur, kita bakal dilabel sebagai pengkhianat kepada ketua atau pemimpin, jika anak - kita bakal dilabel sebagai anak derhaka. Inilah pengorbanan yang perlu ditempuh. Jika jujur dan istiqamah dalam menyatakan kebenaran, dalam menempuhinya kita bakal terkorban dan perlu berkorban.    

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Najib Mistakes - A Lesson and Learn for Us

  • Najib do not have right quality / character in leadership - too soft, always playing safe, sprinkling money to buy loyalty and popularity, which he said CASH IS KING. Unlike (Tun) Dr Mahathir who's like debating and answering questions raised. His approaches in allowing dissent within and outside party actually have allowed him succeeded in his political endeavour. In other words, Najib approaches was short sighted, would not last long.
  • Najib do not have Malay blood in his vein, he just lucky having a late father who was founding father of his nation and his own party. He built his political ascendency through his late father influence and Malay feudalism character of loyalty without questioning.
  • Najib was also wasn't seen as a true political fighter that fighting for his own people interest, furthermore this 1MDB polemic have tarnished his reputation and widening public perception towards him as a corrupt leader.  
  • Najib also failed to quash public perception towards his wife - he was seen under control of his wife (queen control), which every leaders must avoid in order to be seen as a credible leader to the nation and people he representing.
  • Najib decision to remove those internal dissenters will only brought in disaster for his political mileage. Eventually the messages from the grassroots will not reaching his ear, will be filtered by his apple polishers who's cares only their self interest - this wasn't in line with democratic principle.
  • Najib have elephant in the room of 1MDB polemic that currently under public scrutiny. Everyday new discoveries exposed to the public either deliberately or inadvertently. The more he's trying to conceal it, more evident exposed. It's remind me of Sir Isaac Newton 3rd law of motion - For every action there is an equal and opposite re-action - the current political crisis fits that bill.
  • Najib have ruined this country, there's no turning back to bring back the reputation he once have, therefore his resignation inevitable. In fact the magnitude of this offence requires punishment. If you look back the history of Daim Zainuddin in politic, Daim was asked to leave on the basis of the public perception that was detrimental to the party, even though there's no evident to prove his misconduct or misdeed. Nevertheless Daim stepped down voluntarily without any drama or controversy. Maybe some of us forgotten to remember that (Tun) Dr Mahathir himself has stepped down voluntarily, this is lead by example that he have taught us all this while.                         

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Prinsip dan Perjuangan

1) Aku dibesarkan ketika era Tun Dr Mahathir jadi PM Malaysia. Arwah ayah merupakan salah seorang penyokong dan peminat beliau. Disebabkan itulah aku jadi penyokong kuat UMNO, berpunca dari didikan Tun tentang perlunya berlaku jujur dalam perjuangan kita. Sebenarnya banyak yang telah dipelajari dari buku - buku beliau. Keberanian dalam menyatakan kebenaran dan berpegang kepada prinsip juga merupakan didikan beliau.

2) Apa yang telah dilalui dan aku dapati, betapa sukarnya untuk kita melalui ranjau yang datang ketika mempertahankan prinsip yang dipegang. Ini menuntut kecekalan hati, bersikap objektif, berani dan juga perlu istiqamah.

3) Pendirian ini dapat mendedahkan wajah sebenar orang di sekeliling kita, wajah sebenar adik - beradik, kawan - kawan dan juga lawan. Yang penting kita haruslah jujur dan percaya sepenuhnnya apa yang diperjuangkan.

4) Jika diamati dan dibandingkan dengan polemik yang berlaku di Negara ketika ini, boleh didapati dengan jelas, siapakah pemimpin yang berjiwa rakyat, siapakah yang tak jujur yang korup, yang bermain selamat, yang pentingkan diri sendiri, yang berjuang untuk diri sendiri, yang bukannya berjuang untuk parti yang diwakili.

5) Demi agama, bangsa dan Negara hanyalah slogan politik demi masa depan diri sendiri. Benarlah apa yang pernah diucapkan oleh bekas president Amerika Abraham Lincoln " nearly all men can overcome adversity, but if you to test a man's character, give him power". Inilah realiti yang berlaku kepada Negara kita ketika ini. Seperti yang pernah dinyatakan oleh Tun Dr Mahathir sebelum ini, Pak Lah dan Najib nampak begitu baik ketika sebelum jadi PM, tetapi telah bertukar jadi sebaliknya sebaik sahaja mendapat kuasa. Ia jelas mendedahkan kepada kita betapa rendahnya akhlak pemimpin kita, betapa rendahnya prinsip masing - masing, hanya kerana wang dan kuasa.

6) Yang pastinya setiap daripada kita akan jatuh suatu masa nanti, bila sampai masanya kelak, kita akan diadili. Najib bakal menempuhinya suatu masa nanti. Kesalahan yang dilakukan oleh beliau teramat berat, yang wajar dihukum, dan aku tak akan terkejut jika beliau diadili dan dihukum setimpalnya.

7) Ingin aku sampaikan sajak di bawah agar kita kembali merenung kembali hujung dan pangkal perjalanan hidup kita. Seperti kata pepatah Melayu, tersesat jalan kembali ke pangkal jalan.

Negara-ku Malaysia, Tanahair-ku, Tanah di mana sembilan puluh tahun dahulu
Darah tumpah dan aku dilahir
Di lahir sebagai anak bangsa yang dijajah
Aku membesar mempertuankan orang asing
Terhina dan dihina
Bangsa yang serba kekurangan
Tinggal dipondok berbumbung atap nipah
Berdinding, berlantai kayu
Namun aku lebih bahagia dari ramai bangsaku
Mereka tinggal di pondok robek, tiris apabila hujan
Tanpa pili air tanpa lampu letrik
Anak mereka berkaki ayam, berkudis
Demam panas dan kadang-kadang meninggal
Aku survive, aku ke sekolah, aku ke universiti
Nasib aku lebih baik
Allah Subhanahu Wataala kesian kepada aku
Setelah dijajah oleh satu bangsa, dijajah pula oleh dua bangsa lagi
Aku bertanya akan bangsaku selalunya dijajah orangkah?
Alhamdullilah, berkat kesedaran, berkat perjuangan, berkat perpaduan
Bangsaku dibebas, merdeka
Apakah merdeka hanya bermakna tidak dijajah orang
Apakah merdeka bermakna terus merana
Tidak, tidak, tidak
Merdeka bermakna kemajuan
Kemajuan sehingga berdiri sama tinggi
Duduk sama rendah dengan bekas penjajah dan bangsa lain
Bahkan mungkin lebih tinggi
Politik yang menyelamat dahulu
Terus membela bangsa
Negara dibangun, bangsa dibangun, agama di muliakan
Malang dan sedih,
Bangsa yang berjiwa kental, bersemangat besi
Diserang oleh nafsu dan perasaan tamak
Aku dapat apa dari kemerdekaan tanya mereka?
Mana bahagian aku?
Dan semangat pun menjadi luntur, tidak terdaya mengawal nafsu

Apa makna senang jika untuk mendapat sesuatu begitu susah
Dan nafsu dan perasaan tamak pun di peralat dan disogok oleh orang-orang politik dan orang kaya
Bangsa yang merdeka
Bangsa yang mulia
Sekarang sanggup menjual hak yang sedikit
Hak memilih, hak mengundi
Untuk mendapat kesenangan tanpa usaha, kesenangan yang sedikit
Maruah dijual
Bangsa dijual
Tanahair dijual
Segalanya dijual
Untuk nikmat yang tidak kekal, nikmat yang sementara yang sedikit sahaja
Politik yang menyelamat
Menjadi politik yang menghancur
Pemimpin semakin tamak
Untuk tempat dan kedudukan tinggi
Perbuatan yang haram dihalalkan
Nama Allah diperalatkan, dijual untuk nikmat yang sementara di dunia
Akan kembalikah bangsaku
Menjadi bangsa yang dijajah, dihina dan diperhambakan
Wahai bangsaku
Begitu mudahkah kamu lupa
Aku akan pergi tidak lama lagi
Dapatkah aku pejam mata dan hembus nafas terakhir
Kerana bangsaku
Masih mulia
Masih bermaruah
Masih dipandang tinggi
Atau mataku terbeliak
Nafasku tersesak, terhenti, kerana segala yang diperjuangkan luput ditelan nafsu
Ya Allah lindungilah bangsaku
Sedarkanlah mereka
Sedarkan mereka bahawa Engkau tidak akan mengubah nasib bangsa
Melainkan bangsa itu sendiri cuba mengubahnya
Mengubah sendiri, membendung nafsu
Kerana Allah
Kerana agama
Kerana bangsa
Kerana negara
Biarlah aku pergi
Mata terpejam rapat
Nafas perlahan berhenti…

Julai 10, 2015

Monday, July 13, 2015

Plaza Low Yat, Sejarah dan Kaum

1) Apakah iktibar yang boleh kita perolehi dari isu rusuhan dan pergaduhan di Plaza Low Yat baru - baru ini? Apakah isu sebenarnya, isu kaum ke atau isu telifon bimbit?

2) Pada aku iktibar yang berlaku, adalah realiti pepecahan yang berlaku antara kaum Melayu dan Cina. Sila baca pandangan Tun Dr M di sini.

3) Terdapat 2 objektif yang ingin aku capai apabila membuat keputusan untuk menghantar anak aku belajar di Smart Readers kid;
  •  Beliau boleh bergaul dengan anak - anak kaum lain dalam suasana iklim pembelajaran yang sihat. Beliau akan belajar berinteraksi dengan anak - anak kaum lain tanpa sekatan kaum.
  • Kaedah pembelajaran yang disediakan sesuai untuk masa depan beliau disamping berada dalam iklim yang kompetitif.
4) Suatu perkara lagi, suasana yang dirasai oleh Melayu ketika ini, adalah perasaan diketepikan dalam perkongsian kek ekonomi Negara. Ketika ini kek ekonomi ini sedang menyusut, maka tinggallah kelompok - kelompok yang kompetitif yang sudah stabil dan kuat, mendominasi sebahagian besar daripadanya.

5) Kepimpinan korup dan kontroversi yang melanda kepada parti pemerintah, telah memburukkan lagi keadaan, ketika rakyat menghadapi cabaran getir persekitaran ekonomi yang gawat, kos sara hidup yang tinggi dan meningkat. Manakala kepimpinan tidak memperlihatkan dan bertindak bersama - sama dengan rakyat menanggung beban ini - kepimpinan melalui tauladan.

6) Pemimpin - pemimpin politik dan Negara yang hidup dalam penafian, tidak ikhlas dalam perjuangan mempertahankan bangsa dan Negara. Dimana 90% daripada mereka lebih sibuk menpertahankan jawatan masing - masing. Akhirnya realiti yang menimpa rakyat tidak diketengahkan secara objektif, sebaliknya sibuk mempertahankan jawatan PM dengan harapan PM akan terhutang budi kepada mereka.

7) Isu di Plaza Low Yat baru - baru ini merupakan isu kecil, tetapi ia boleh menjadi isu besar jika tidak ditangani secara tegas dan berani. Malah ia telah menjadi isu perkauman, disebabkan ketidakpuasan antara kaum yang telah wujud sejak merdeka lagi. Masalah ini bertambah buruk sejak tahun 2008 lagi apabila ahli - ahli politik samaada dari pembangkang mahupun parti pemerintah sibuk memainkan sentimen kaum bagi meraih undi.

8) Maka kaum Melayu mula berasa tergugat akibat pepecahan yang berlaku disebabkan oleh ahli - ahli politik yang sibuk ingin menjadi hero tanpa memikirkan kesan yang bakal berlaku kepada perpaduan antara kaum.

9) Kunci perpaduan antara kaum mestilah didahului oleh orang Melayu dengan kembali bersatu. Sejarah telah membuktikannya apabila orang Melayu bersatu, ia bakal menghasilkan elemen yang kuat, dan memberi signal kepada kaum lain untuk turut serta dengan orang Melayu bagi mencapai kemakmuran dalam Negara. Sejarah kemerdekaan Negara boleh dijadikan contoh, dan sejarah kejayaan BN mempertahankan majoriti 2/3 pada pilihanraya 1999, apabila kaum Cina memberi undi kepada BN yang diterajui oleh orang Melayu dari parti UMNO, walaupun undi kaum Melayu sendiri kepada BN jatuh.

10) Benarlah kata Tun Dr. Mahathir, kalau hendak lihat masa depan, kita kenalah lihat sejarah, kerana sejarah boleh memberi panduan yang amat berguna kepada kita mengharungi masa depan. Malangnya ramai daripada kita tidak minat sejarah, apakan lagi mendalami dan menghayatinya.     

Monday, July 6, 2015

LGBT and Social Impact

1) Recently my colleague have discussion on the acceptance of LGBT in the public realm. As a hard devotee of Catholic, a friend of mine clearly unfavored to the acceptance of LGBT in public domain, using her belief in Catholicism and teaching, she failed to convince my other colleague on her stand.

2) In parallel with general opinion on this issue, I have my own point against this LGBT, on the pretext of their demands to be accepted by the public on the basis of their human right. Is their right to be a gay or lesbian or transgender, I have no problem with that to be honest as long as it's do not detrimental to our society at large.

3) But its also become my concern when this minority start demanding their right to be accepted by the public. Clearly it wasn't down well to the public, and will create public unrest, since it wasn't suit to our general public/social customs.

4) To me when a certain group or individuals or minority demanding their right to be accepted by the majority, it was a sign of arrogance of extremism by the minority, and the majority of moderate of course will feel their right are in jeopardy, then the social unrest would occur.

5) First of all, the public must understand why this LGBT is no good to our social. When the British law started to accept gay marriage, the British people would gonna have problem in the future. It shows the British parliament now succumbed to LGBT extremist demands. It's means the right of the moderates now under treat, and in the end will create a social unrest in the next 20 to 50 years.

6) I can't imagine what would happen to Elton John son when he grew older. Definitely he would become confused when discovering his mother have the same gender with his farther, contradicted to the majority of general parenthood. This is the social problem that Islam and other religions against, because it would create havoc to our society. This sort of reason never been explained by our religious preachers, apart from explaining that it was forbidden in Islam.

7) That is why Islam advocates moderation, and against extremism, because of negative impact that would occur when the extremism rule the world.