Ucapan Y.Bhg. Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hasan, Ketua Setiausaha Negara di Majlis Penutupan Harvard Business School Alumni Club of Malaysia, Senior Management Development Program. Semoga dapat berkongsi idea serta pandangan dari beliau.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Congratulations to all who have successfully completed the Senior Management Development Programme with the Harvard Business School Alumni Club of Malaysia.
OF VALUES AND TRADITIONS
2. These Programmes offer such diversity in views and opinions, not least cultural dispositions. In my own experience at Harvard’s Advanced Management Programme, I realised that cultures do not travel. Traditions never move beyond a community that sees it proper. Instead what is transportable, exportable, installable are values. Values transcend borders and boundaries. It can bridge differences and divergence when shared.
3. Programmes such as these can be used to calibrate those common values that cut through and across diversity. Values which build better societies, stronger governments and robust businesses. Values that respects and defers on similarities and differences.
4. From my years at the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), when I did my AMP Programme with Professor Vietor, through to being the Chief Secretary I have come to realise what makes for strength is human capital development. What makes for that capital is strength in human character.
5. Whether that is in delivering a service at the counter of a local council to processing an application behind a counter, from development of policies to seeing its implementation, the quality of service ultimately lies in the strength of our human capital. It rests in how we nurture that strength. It leans on how we fortify that strength into good character.
FROM IDEAS TO IDEALS
6. As Malaysia moves into the demands of the new centuries, our greatest opportunity and challenge lies in how we convert our own IDEAS to IDEALS. Putting an “L” into an Idea can make our society and nation reign to great heights. I say this because, for all the investments which the Government has made, for instance in the 10th Malaysian Plan and the New Economic Model, these ideas need acumen when making it our daily ideals. It needs understanding to making it happen. These ideals I might add have to be borne and embraced by all of us, public and private sector alike.
7. The days when a country stood alone in its glory and failures are long gone. A failure in the Far East can affect the most developed of nations today and vice versa. Equally, the fundamentals of societal values, ethical inclinations, and human character are being debated in the success and failure of societies, of economies not least of markets. In short, classic knowledge today needs to be bridged with insights and human values. Herein lies opportunities for all of us – from Governments to markets.
THE CROSS ROADS FOR MALAYSIA
8. Malaysia stands at the cross roads of great opportunities today. We have one of the lowest poverty levels in the world, and highest literacy rate. Our multi-racial, plural society is seen a model for many around the world. The role of women in our society is remarkable and model to many countries. The growth of our agricultural economy to manufacturing and to services today, is seen the most rapid of an emerging market of its kind. We have one of the most vociferous democracies in the region, and our media and civil society play an important role in our nation building. Our private sector is rapidly building global businesses.
9. The public sector itself has seen much reform over the years. There was a time when you would be privileged to even see the shadow of a public official in public. Today, our public sector is crucial, not least imperative in the building of tomorrow’s Malaysia. Without a strong public sector, our markets cannot be as strong; our companies wouldn’t be able to build robust businesses that create jobs. Notwithstanding this, the societies today demand equal levels of professionalism and competence in both our private and public sectors. To these demands I feel we must all rise, and rise with consensus and excellence.
10. In the case of public sector, we have had to change the way we have been doing business. How can we not, if we are to expand our competitiveness! Whilst we may have achieved many first like our auto-gate system at the airport, the one-hour passport approval system, on-line government transactions from tax to summons and assessment and land office payments which today can be made from the comfort of one’s home, there is much more to do.
11. Even as we receive many compliments from various global organisations and governments for making the largest leap in the recent IMD Competitiveness Ranking, from 18 in Year 2009 to 10 in 2010, our work on our national brand strength remains extensive. For the years ahead, I dare say that brand strengths and prosperity of nations lie in how best we nurture strengths across diversity. How we cultivate character with capability. How public and private sector, media and civil society are able to set aside differences and convene on consensus and common purpose of building our society and building Malaysia.
12. We are entering a new era where problems, solutions and responses are personalised. It’s an era where one size no longer fits all. In responding to this new space, we need people, or a collective group who will deduce decisions for the greater good, greater than the individuals. Systems that will reward the interest of a greater good.
13. As we move further into realms of greater modernity, leashed on emails and subservient to our cell phones, we risk losing the fundamental values of performance, if left unchecked. I can say this of public sector. We need to ensure that our every transaction is complemented by cognitive instincts. Our intellect bridged with technique. The greatest challenge for any sector today is to deliver to a fast changing demography. Demography with fast changing needs. Needs moulded by the rate of innovation and rate of global tragedies. In such times, the values upon which performance is judged, rated and then rewarded is crucial. Just making a policy alone doesn’t cut it anymore. We are all looking for policies that work for everyone. We need policies that work for today’s and tomorrow’s realities.
14. Malaysia has so much more to grow as a nation. But growth and excellence cannot be in an environment greeted by complacency. It cannot be in a surrounding met by corrupt practices. I am convinced that we do not have to hold high office in the public or private sector to eradicate complacency and corruption. We do not need to be CEOs and Chief Secretaries or Secretaries General to do that. We can do that by not giving complacency room and castigating corruption when seen. Accountability and transparency should be blind to rank and file.
15. HBSACM’s Programmes provide Managers and Executives insights to turn ideas to ideals. It essentially tells us all that we can ALL make a difference, regardless of where we are in our ranks. Our voices can be a voice for a better Malaysia through its public and private sectors. I must congratulate HBSACM’s commitment to creating professionalism to business management in Malaysia. Your work in the last 30 years alone has nurtured and developed more than 1,600 Senior Managers through your Senior Management Development Program.
16. My congratulations to all those graduating tonight. Moments such as this are not experienced by many. Opportunity to participate in Programmes such as this is not readily available for everyone. It is therefore incumbent for us all to return to our daily responsibilities and see it through a different lense. A lense that recalibrates your past accomplishments to making your tomorrow’s a more profound one, not just for you, but for your families, the society you call home, and the country we are here to collectively build. A lense that would have us transport better shared values and one that is able to convert great ideas into sustainable ideals.
Thank you for your patience. On that note, I am pleased to officially close the Senior Management Development Program conducted by Harvard Business School Alumni Club of Malaysia and would like to wish HBSACM every success in its endeavours.