Jan. 15, 2005 – WELCOME SPEECH – WIM INAUGURAL LECTURE

By: DATO DR. NELLIE TAN-WONG
1. YAB Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Prime Minister of Malaysia

2. Y. Bhg. Dato Napsiah Omar, Chairperson, WIM Board of Trustees

3. Y. Bhg. Dato Annuar Senawi, Executive Chairman, Tahan Insurance

4. Her Excellency, Adi Litia Samanunu, High Commissioner of Fiji

5. Distinguished Guests

6. Members of the Press

7. Ladies and Gentlemen

Malaysia has entered into a new era with YAB Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, our beloved 5th Prime Minister at the helm. Not only all Malaysians, but leaders all around the world are keenly watching our Prime Minister’s style of leadership and he has done well in the first 15 months. As a result of the Tsunami disaster, critics who were skeptic of our Prime Minister giving as much attention to the Agriculture Sector as to Industrialisation may now wish to ponder. The importance of food, of food production and of food self-sufficiency has never been more glaringly important and indeed, astounding. The massive destruction of Tsunami held all citizens of the world spellbound in an infinite time zone of helplessness, disbelief and horror.

In the post Tsunami period, social needs will grow in two areas:
Firstly, citizenship through the Social Sector will face more demands in what has traditionally been considered as Charity, e.g. helping the poor, the disabled, the helpless, the victims. Instead of Charity I would prefer to use the term, Social Responsibility. Even the world’s sole super power, the United States, was quick to realize that their Government cannot do it alone. Never before had a call been made to two former US Presidents, President Bush Senior and President Bill Clinton, who despite representing opposing political parties, have been asked to set aside their differences, and work together to raise funds from the Private Sector to aid the global Tsunami victims.

Secondly, there must be a growth in services which does not dispense charity, but attempts to make a difference in the community and to change people. The Women’s Institute of Management, in a very modest way, is attempting to contribute to the community, in this second area. From the revenue WIM earns from her educational and training programmes, from the sales of WIM’s Business Journal and other publications, WIM has delivered free training courses to disadvantaged women’s groups throughout the country. These training courses are in Small Business and Basic ICT. WIM has covered many, many small towns such as Kudat, Padang Besar, Seberang Prai, Sungei Petani, Dungun, Kemaman, Bintulu, Kangar, Tawau, Gua Musang, Kubang Pasu, Sandakan, Labuan, Tanah Merah, Bukit Temiang and Rembau. The disadvantaged groups include rural women, single parent women, orang asli women, women in the prisons, oil palm estates, J.E. virus affected areas and rumah seri puteri. Up to date WIM has delivered 335 events and courses benefiting 15,230 participants. WIM is grateful to the Malaysian corporate sector for its continuing support. This includes companies such as the Southern Bank Berhad, Tahan Insurance, Arab Malaysia Group and others. However, WIM does not receive any annual Government grant.

When the WIM Board decided to embark on this Annual Lecture Series, the prime objectives are that these lectures will be used as a platform to receive and give knowledge through lectures given by specially chosen eminent speakers. The Board also decided to name the Series after the name of our Prime Minister as a gesture of honour and respect towards YAB, as the leader of our country. We wish to thank YAB the Prime Minister for having graciously consented to our proposal. This Lecture Series will be organized annually and will alternate with an eminent Malaysian speaker one year and an eminent international speaker the next year. By this, we will keep the lectures interesting and maintain a good balance of local and foreign input. We have been asked how WIM will source the foreign speakers. Last year WIM launched a Professional Managers’ Certification Programme, which we designed and have obtained copyrights. One of the attractions of this Programme is that WIM has obtained the support of the Asian Institute of Management, the Harvard Business School Alumni Club of Malaysia, the Henley School of Management, UK, the University of East London and the Malaysian Employers’ Federation. The manner of support by these illustrious groups is that they will access our students to lectures by visiting professors and corporate leaders to Malaysia. WIM’s Website also attracts about 30,000 “hits” from 79 countries, resulting in various women leaders and international organizations visiting and networking with WIM e.g. the Shell Global Diversity Team from Shell Head Office in U.K., women ministers and leaders from South Africa, Mauritius, Sudan, ASEAN countries, China and South Korea, leaders from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, senior women leaders from the APEC economies, the Chairlady of the Women’s leadership Board of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, elected US women Senators and State Representatives and Mrs. Nane Annan, wife of the UN Secretary General.

Later this year, WIM will be launching a Book entitled “Eight Management lessons from Global Women Leaders” The “Lessons” from this Book will cover responses from almost 70 women leaders throughout the world including prime ministers and presidents of 11 countries, corporate leaders including Tina Knight, who was awarded “World Entrepreneur of the Year” and we are now pursuing Lilia Clemente, a financial wizard from Wall Street.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

As you have heard, WIM places great importance on the pursuit for Knowledge, and this Lecture Series will be the best vehicle for WIM to achieve this. Knowledge does not come cheap. All developed countries, especially Japan and Germany, spend at least one fifth of their Gross National Product on the production and dissemination of Knowledge. There is first, the continuing improvement of process, product and service. The Japanese, who do it best call this “Kaizen”. One of the new specifications for Education is to impact knowledge both as substance and as process, which the Germans differentiate as “Wissen” and “Konnen”

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Just as you have supported this morning’s Inaugural Lecture by YAB the Prime Minister, we hope that you will continue to support this WIM event every year. For the information of our Guest of Honour, some of the corporates represented in our audience this morning includes:

Petronas, Tahan Insurance, Southern Bank, Westport, IBM Malaysia, BMW Group, The New Straits Times Group, ASTRO, MK Land, United Engineers Malaysia, Malaysia Airlines, Nestle, Executive Mode Sdn. Bhd., Limkokwing University College of Creativity, International Islamic University Holdings, AIG Software, Peaksberg Marketing Sdn. Bhd., Senawang Land Sdn. Bhd., Guinness Anchor Berhad, Affin Bank, Dicklin Group of Companies, Bumiputra Commerce Bank, Rapid Age Sdn. Bhd., Neural Services Sdn. Bhd., National Productivity Corporation

YAB Prime Minister, once again, we thank you for your kind presence this morning and your gracious consent to deliver the Inaugural Lecture.

WIM also thanks Y.Bhg. Dato Annuar Senawi, Executive Chairman of Tahan Insurance as well as Encik Izuddin Tajuddin, Tahan’s CEO, for appointing WIM as Tahan’s Official Training Provider. We thank NST for being our event’s Press Sponsor. We thank each and every one of you in this Ballroom, Y.Bhg. Dato Dr. Ismail Noor for the donation of your books and all your support, Mrs. Yvonne Russell for your creative expertise, Jabatan Perdana Menteri, members of the Media, Mr. Jan Bundgaard, GM of Westin Hotel, Alan and Ainin, our 2 efficient MCs and to our hardworking WIM Staff, especially Ms. Cecilia Chin and Dr. Lisa Tan

Thank you.