Thursday, August 07, 2008

Intelligent in Communication

The above is a picture quite similar to a seminar folder which an agency I worked for designed for a corporate client in the IT business. Alhamdulillah, then, I had just joined the advertising industry and was given the job to come out with a concept, fitting for such a big client. I was never shown the client's brief and had to take the word of the agency's Managing Director, and that was what I did.
That, was sometime in 1997 when the Internet was relatively new in Malaysia and even I was not connected yet. But like everyone else then, I too was excited about it and was looking forward to when the whole of Malaysia would be connected.

Shifting through piles of books from many stock photography agencies looking for 'when I see it, I'll know what it is', I found a picture similar to the above and almost immediately a tag line came to my mind - Intelligent in Communication. My rationale was simple and as below:
'Human and Dolphins posses the highest intelligence quotient amongst all living beings on Earth. Though of different specie, the picture shows how the 2 tries to communicate, with each trying to find a common platform.
Similarly with the IT company and the participants(potential clients) they had invited for the seminar - each are intelligent in their respective fields, and are looking for a common platform for communication purposes."

"Damn good idea!" said my boss. "You have a very bright future in this industry!" Off course, the above sentence was just my wish as he said nothing of such sort to me, while making tons of money charging the client who was extremely happy to see the mock-up of their folder.

6 years later, I found myself in an organisation which was totally new to me. No names need to be mentioned, but being in the org meant I had to liaise very closely with many government departments, organisations, and their officers - from the clerical level right up to the top honcho, as well as meeting the public in events throughout Malaysia. It was quite fun then, but also very tiring. The fun part was meeting the public, and handling press conferences involving some top officials. Now, the fun part about the latter is not in the PC itself, rather meeting and getting some information not found in the media. Some, I put them aside as mere gossips, no matter how juicy they were. While others, were quite shocking like the one below.

It seem, when the government offices began moving into their respective buildings in Putrajaya, many had to make do without any IT hardwares for quite a duration. This, caused quite a setback for our good officers to accomplish their tasks and day-to-day operation. But over time, things soon improved for the better and we can now quite lay claim to have the cutting edge in the world of IT, at least for this region. Or so I thought.

Last Tuesday, Star InTech had a story of how a MAS Employee without any IT background, had saved the airline a whopping RM70 million, simply because the airline does not have an online system for the maintenance of its aircrafts! Hello!
Foremost, one would think for any company in the travel industry would need a reliable top-of-the-mark system which encompass their entire operation, and most especially the maintenance division. Now, one would also think that not only is the division vital for the company in ensuring the safety of passengers and staff, but the fleet itself - for an airline without a plane or a good safety record, might as well cease to exist.

Futher, I may not be entirely correct here, but isn't MAS the maintenance contractor for several other airlines in this region as well? How, could this matter of (quite fair to say 'absolute') importance, be overlooked by the top people in the division? How could the IT and top goons in the airline not even have given thought to it when considering my earlier statement - without a plane or....- they would not have jobs to hold on to? Intelligent in Communication? I think they, are not.

To Shahrul Isahak, kudos to you and your friends for having produced a system and saved your employer a huge sum of money. They - MAS - should give you and your buddies at least 10% of the money saved as a show of gratitude. The government should also laud people similar to them with incentives and protect them as an interest to the nation. I, for one, would certainly hate to see them being turned into a modern day Hang Nadim, as recent events in Malaysia might imply.

And oh! I can also imagine should a PR MP bring this matter up to Parliament; one or the entire Sarkas MPs would reply "Don't believe in the newspaper! Like bloggers, they too like to make up stories!".


Zabs said...

Salam Shah,
Mungkin tersalah orang yang dapat cipta tu kalau MD yang buat mungkin ada press conference kot?
Dulu semasa takda sistem tu bolehlah depa belanja 70j tu bagi pada kroni mereka. Sekarang dah MDnya tak ramai kroni, boleh buat untung pada MASlah.

cakapaje said...

Wa'alaikumusalam Pak Zabs,

Mungkin betul kata Pak Zabs itu. Atau, mungkin depa tak pikiaq kat mana priority harus ditumpukan. Sapa nama menteri pengangkutan kita la ni, den pun tak ingat dah! Patutnya kita ikat dia kat layang layang wau, terbangkan tinggi tinggi, kemdian putuihkan tali. Kejam den no? lol!

Ydiana said...

Salam Shah

Guten Mogen. The scenario you mention at workplace sadly happens almost everywhere. Credits are taken, especially by those less creative people. I would dare say that most creatively talented people are 'too nice' and let others take credit away from them. Just my observation.

And when you mentioned about the remarks on newspapers and bloggers...I may be wrong, but lately I found some 'unknown' or 'anons' going around in blogs to condemn oppositions. Can't help but being suspicious that they are paid to comment or on a political mission, etc. Valid or baseless?

Kata Tak Nak said...

Talking about IT. The spend billions upon billions on teaching science and maths in English but they the people in the Education ministry couldn't get some consultants some where to come out with a good timetable software.

They don't have a good examination marks software. In fact when I was exam sec a few years back, I had to come out with one of my own which took me a few months to develope. I am not an expert so it does the job but is not exactly perfect.

In school we still use the stupid register to mark student attendance.

Can't they give us a standard software to mark students attendance and do the necessary analysis?

Must a teacher in the school come out with one?

This shows how serious those people up there are about things.

cakapaje said...

Wa'alaikumusalam Ydiana,

Gutt morn, mein fraulein. Ach! Ja! Ja! Credits are alwayz taken by the capitaliz mindz of ze people like Zarkas, ja, ja! Like you mentioned, ze talented people are alwayz taken for a a derelict airship!

And yes, I too have noticed those anons without balls as they go around trying to erect a wet string - tegakkan benang basah! And yes too, unlike the opposition supporters who work for liberty and justice on their own will and money, most of these anons must be paid. If not, they are entirely fools. The choice, we leave it to them to decide ;)

cakapaje said...

Salam Cikgu,

How true your statement are! Fact is, they do not know where they are heading to. They have the mentality that their job is a joyride in life - lets go sailing towards the sunset, they say.

Then they buy a very expensive state-of-the-art yacht from landlocked Mongolia, and hire a captain from Nepal while the locals who were trained for such mission are given the lowly deckhand positions.

Better still, the yacht comes with GPS, but the Captain does not know how to use it. And neither does the navigator who hails from Bolivia and who insist on using a dysfunctional sextant instead.

To all the above, the Sarkas proudly tells the world "We have the best sail team in the world. Not only are we going to win the America's Cup, but we are sailing into the sunset as well", while the yacht sails south.

jaflam said...

Salam Shah,
Some good and not so good memories from you. I guessed it had made you wiser and bolder.

How about doing that creative thing again, this time make sure no smart alex will claimed it theirs ideas. Go man you can do it ...especially now with the new motivation of new women in your life.

Anonymous said...

salam shah.

ahh.. wat to say? kan ini negara Boleh-land? macam negara karnival atau sarkas (macam shah cakap). ada badut. ada orang-orang pelik. ada penjaga merry-go-round. ada mainan tikam. kalau menang, boleh dapat bear! ada juga jual kandi. macam macam ada!

cakapaje said...

Wa'alaikumusalam Jaflam,

Thank you for the kind words. My experience does make me wiser, but not bolder. I do believe in the few assets I have, and that it can be honed even better. But to try and pursue the dream again with very limited financial capital, is simply out of my means.

cakapaje said...

Wa'alaikumusalam Alina,

Benar bagai yang dikata...kita di bolehland ini mempunyai pelbagai hiburan yang mengaburi mata rakyat - satu funfair yang berterusan tanpa henti dan di kepalai oleh kumpulan Sarkas dengan tema mereka - Jom Heboh!

A Voice said...

Perhaps this would interest you ... KPMM 2008: ANSARA Mahu Terokai Persoalan DEB.

Appreciate your attendance and assistance to promote event.

Anonymous said...

salam shah

your story reminds me of a malay phd student who, in the course of her research project discovered a cure for cancers. the next few days a malay maintstream local paper carried the news: "anak melayu bla bla....kerajaan akan membeli patent bla bla. I think a good two decades must have passed and nothing happened and that now dr something is unheard of.
well this is malaysia shah. should you somehow discover a formula to turn tap-water into oil, the hoorah of the media would be there for you. And you can rest assure it would end there too.

cakapaje said...

Salam Voice,

Thank you for the info. Attending it, I might. Promoting it, I don't see how I can, seeing that I am now a lone wolf.

cakapaje said...

Salam shirzad,

I think I remember the case of that particular doctor, but vaguely. Hmm...

So, I now must discover the Fountain of Youth and see how events lead from there ;)

Snowflake said...

Tihdak bahca payper, old newspayper, old newspayper, payper lambma, payper lambma. Syaya ini ciuma flip flop dan bahca The Express, The Herald Tribune, The London Sun, simua International payper you kniow. (Ke ke ke).
Aje, why don't we produce our own Newspayper? You said tomahto, I said tomayto. (eh.. salah topic ke?).

cakapaje said...

Wa'alaikumusalam snowflake,

Jom! Kita buka paper kita sendiri. You jaga admin dan I jaga editorial. Lepas tu, kita gaduh pasal sebutan sebenar tomahto ye, lol! Kalau time kerja kat agency, copywriters dan art directors memang selalu bertelagah; tapi syok, bab keduanya ada valid point dan yang pening kepala boss...tu paling syok! ;)

ywt1024 said...

As I know, many established corporations take a long time to changeover to digital. MAS is not alone. It is a very huge company that has been around. So much easier but young and new companies to go digital.

cakapaje said...


What you say may well be true. But, you have to take certain factors in mind here:
1. Malaysia, or the Malaysian government, prides itself for making huge steps into the world of IT. In doing so, it has several agencies which boast of not only huge funds as well as expertise to assist private as well public enterprises in going digital. There is MDEC, MDC, MCMC, and a host of incubators, be they at federal or state level. Don't tell me not one of these agencies were never consulted by MAS before they went digital?
2. MAS is a carrier - passengers and cargo. But forget about cargo, what about the safety of passengers? Does not having a proper maintenance records which in this case means going online, comes paramount? Were you to read the article, then you would understand my bone of contention.