Author: ERA.Team

Visit To Sweetco Industrial Sdn Bhd

On 16th October, 2015,  ERA had the honor of visiting Sweetco Industrial, a manufacturer of PE tarpaulin, PE pipes and packaging products.  ERA team was led by Tan Sri Datuk Soong and Datin Paduka Yong.   Specially thanks to our organizing chairman and fellow member, Mr. Andy Oh.


Accountants: Creative Business Leaders?

Accountants need to unlock their creativity and apply creative leadership to drive innovation, improve organisational performance and enhance profits.

Mention accountants and creativity in the same breath and most of the time, you’ll get puzzled looks. Yet no business innovation is possible without the participation of accountants.

Accountants Are Everywhere

Accountants are SMEs’ best friends. No sizeable business can exist without accountants. Based on my own personal interactions, I have found that accountants form the highest percentage of professionals in the upper echelons of the business hierarchy.

But accountants have to up their game to advance. According to Bath School of Management research, management accountants are best placed to move up the organisational ladder.  But they need to polish their creativity and problem-solving skills, communication, and business competencies.

This is supported by an IBM poll of 1,500 CEOs, where creativity topped the list of the most important leadership qualities needed to thrive and prosper in the coming years.

Inculcating Creative Leadership

What makes accountants creative business leaders?

Tony Fernandes, the founder chairman of AirAsia, voted as the best low-cost airline in the world for seven consecutive years, needs no introduction. An accountant by profession, Fernandes introduced many mind-blowing innovations to AirAsia that lowered operational cost and decreased turn-around time for his fleet. He is a true example of a creative accountant in the positive sense and an internationally acknowledged business leader.

An accountant by profession, Fernandes introduced many mind-blowing innovations to AirAsia that lowered operational cost and decreased turnaround time for his fleet. He is a true example of a creative accountant in the positive sense and an internationally acknowledged business leader. A lesser-known example from Canada can also help to illustrate the creativity and innovativeness of accountants.

In the early 2000s, Toronto-based gold mining company Goldcorp (GG) was in trouble. It was forced to terminate its mining operations due to strikes, lingering debts, and an exceedingly high cost of production. CEO Rob McEwen, an accountant by training, did something exceedingly bold and unprecedented in the mining industry. He published Goldcorp’s geological data on the Web for the world to see and challenged experts to do virtual prospecting. This ”Goldcorp Challenge” offered a total prize money of USD575,000 for the winning entries. More than 1,000 virtual prospectors from 50 countries took on the challenge, identifying 110 targets on Goldcorp’s site, more than 80{19eb38c1b83d5d29fbbb5fcafd2ea2075c90f1df4554789572ffea0ad4fd1559} of which yielded substantial quantities of gold worth well over USD3 billion. This transformed his under-performing USD100 million company into a USD9 billion entity in terms of market cap. Goldcorp subsequently emerged as the most profitable mining company in the world.

The Edge: Creative Leadership

What does this tell us? That the defining characteristic of a successful business venture is creative leadership.

Without creative leadership, all other investments in marketing, R&D, facilities, incentives are futile. Even revamping organisational structures and processes is not the solution. Organisations rise and fall with leadership.

A creative leader does not need to be the person who comes up with the idea behind an innovation. What is important is that he or she be receptive to ideas, and open to selecting those with business potential. An accountant with a head for figures and an open mind is well suited for this role.

A leader must have the ability to sell the vision to the company’s staff, business partners and other relevant stakeholders. There needs be enthusiasm, tenacity and commitment for the team to turn that vision into a reality. As leadership guru Warren Bennis said, “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.”

Driving Cohesion, Borrowing Brains

A creative leader recognises the importance of embracing differences in people and creates a synergy amongst those differences to lead them to optimal performance outcomes.

Most companies continue to assume that innovation comes from that individual genius, or, from specialised teams of experts who work hidden from view and then return with breakthrough innovations.  On the contrary, research has shown that most innovations are created through networks – groups of people working in concert towards a common goal.

Accountants are familiar with tight deadlines. They have the experience of building cross-functional networks with other people in the organisation to work to meet these deadlines. They have also gained an understanding of what it’s like to work in the trenches during their early days of training, where they toiled at the junior level to attain their professional qualification. Thus accountants have cultivated an ability to connect with those at different levels of the organisation.

The Goldcorp experience showed that it is not good enough to just use all the brains you have. In fact, it is even more important to use all the brains you can borrow.

Creative leaders know that innovation must come from multiple sources, both internally and externally. Accountants who aspire to be creative leaders need to know how to leverage on the global brain.

In short, accountants enjoy distinctive advantages and could become great creative business leaders, with the right training. Some of the additional skills that will help them along the way are:

  • Creative thinking skills
  • How to conduct creative meetings
  • Generating and selecting ideas within 30 minutes
  • Leveraging on the global brain



Dr. YKK (Yew Kam Keong, PhD.) is an acknowledged international expert on creativity and innovation. He is a great story-teller, a business innovation speaker and a best-selling author. His best-selling book is now in its 5th edition, and has been published in six languages. Dr. YKK can be reached at [email protected].


Note: This article was published in the May / June 2015 issue of  “ACCOUNTANTS  TODAY”, a professional journal for accountants.     

This article was contributed by Dr. YKK, ERA Board Member

Community Project – DJROA Urban Farming Launch on 14 March 2015

ERA in collaboration with the Green Tech Sub-Committee of the Associated Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Malaysia International Trade & Industry Committee (ACCCIM ITI) and DF Pharmacy jointly organized with the Damansara Jaya Residents & Owners Association (DJROA) a Community Urban Farming launch at the DJROA Community Center.

ERA’s Advisor and ACCCIM ITI Committee Chairman, Tan Sri Dato’ Soong Siew Hoong presented a paper titled:

Summary of benefits under Urban Farming, which included Vertical Farming and Roof Top Farming, and using the Hydroponic or Fertigation Technology.


The event was launched by the President of DJROA Dato’ Yew Cheng Hoe and his deputy Mr. Ronald Ng, together with the Director, National Unity Department Mr. Ho Khek Hua, Tuan Haji Mohamad Yunus Ismail, Director of the Urban Farming Division , Department of Agriculture and Tan Sri Dato’ Soong representing ACCCIM ITI and ERA.

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A crowd of over 80 residents and guests, including representatives from other Housing Associations were briefed by representatives of the Agriculture Department as well as the National Unity Department on Community engagement through urban farming.

The event was a great success with residents seeking to acquire the vertical planting tubs for their own residence. The event was covered by the Star Newspaper in support of promotion of community projects such as urban farming.

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ERA wishes to thank the key coordinator, Mr. Jeff Kong of DF Pharmacy for successfully arranging the participation and support from the National Unity Division and the Agriculture Ministry Urban Agriculture unit. We look forward to contributing toward greater Communal interaction and harmony.


The article was contributed by Mr. Roger Lye

Myanmar Industry Association (MIA) and Expertise Resource Association Jointly organised Management Operation Certification Program

Part One – 27th – 28th September 2014 – Conducted by Mr.Allen Cheong and Mr.Ong Song Howe


Group photos Trainers with support team, MIA Board Members and 50 attendees.

1. Opening by Myanmar Industries Association (MIA) Chairman – U Zaw Min Win


2. Class introduction

Ice breaker. Getting to know each other. Total 50 attendees ( detail refer to attendees directory).


3. Introduction to Operations Management (OM) – Lecture based on presentation slides.

Group discussion and Group presentation of Organisation Chart presentation


4. Purchasing Management – Lecture based on presentation slides.

After the first day, the attendees feedbacks and recommend to do away with the translator, so to speed up the class progress and they feel more comfortable with such arrangement, in the event if they need help, translator will be requested. After the trial of a session, this approach proven to be more productive and effective.

Case study – Case One (Profitability Impact) & presentation

Learning point – reasonable Cost reduction has more impact in comparison to sales increases.

Case study – Case Two (Suppliers – Weight point plan), discussion and Group assignment and case study presentation

Learning points – Supplier Ranking /selection should base on many factors with sum of weightage multiply by selected relevant factors, as a base for considerations.

Case study – Case Three (Cost-Breakeven point), discussion and Group assignment and case study presentation

Learning points – Cost-breakeven point is one of the tools to determine the Suppliers’ cost-breakeven point, which will enable the company to have a good ground to negotiate for good prices.

5. Cost Management

Case study – Case Four ( Activity Based Costing VS Traditional Costing), discussion and

Group assignment and case study presentation

Learning points – To illustrate how Activity Based Costing in comparison to give more details and accurate costing, in comparison to Traditional costing just based on plan and facts. Will enable company to furnish a fair cost and justify the final fair charges to the customers without dispute.

6. Inventory Management – Lecture based on presentation slides.

Assignment by group in company team, to be presented two(2) weeks later.

Suggested to focus on actual problems and findings. However, if the information is confidential or internal use only, MUST obtain senior management approval or should not be used as the group presentations.

Part Two – 11th-13th October 2014 By Mr. Ong SH

Revision of previous content – Inventory Management

Sharing of 3D racks storage to save space and ease of retrieval, practically target to reduce storage cost and improve efficiencies.

Presentation of group assignment – Problems detected on-site, solution implementations discussions and comments by group by company.

7. Quality Management – based on presentation slides.

Group activity – building of One(1) Meter height tower, using old newspaper and a meter of adhesive tape.

Test of stability with 3 copies of training material weight.

Learning point : the important of customer requirement in operation management; quality is meet the customer requirement

Group presentation and discussion on learning points.

8. Productivity Management – Lecture based on presentation slides.

Group activity – Build protection of a hardboiled egg with 15 pieces strew. Test with dropping from 1.5 meter height, if the egg shell is not crack, it would consider as successful.

Learning point : It is like a real business case, which the participants buy the material with some amount from course leader and course leader will buy back in double price the successful pack egg without crack. Each group learn the actual business productivity calculation from the activity.

Discussion and Presentation on learning points.

9. Shopfloor Management – Lecture based on presentation slides.

Group activity – Creating and flying of paper airplane, sharing and presentation

Learning point – Right staff to fit in to right job, the champion in a job may not be the best manager, but should be identified and rewarded accordingly.

10. Summary of the program

Program evaluation

11. Closing Agenda:

– Closing Speech and Certificate presentation


Reported by Mr. Allen Cheong of ERA

ERA Fellowship & Membership Drive – 17 October 2014

ERA recently organized a fellowship dinner for ERA members at the BiBiChik Restaurant in SS2 Petaling Jaya. The aim of this gathering is very much a get-together for the ERA Members for fellowship and also for members to invite potential new members to this event as a recruitment drive initiative. This is in line with ERA’s strategy of expanding our membership base with a wider scope of expertise and experience from different fields

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The event started with a talk on Green Technology and Energy Saving conducted by Mr Lai Chong Yeap from Enhance Track Sdn. Bhd. The PowerTrack energy saving devises is an invention developed by University Tenaga Malaysia and is now made available commercially. It has the capability to save between 10 {19eb38c1b83d5d29fbbb5fcafd2ea2075c90f1df4554789572ffea0ad4fd1559} to 25{19eb38c1b83d5d29fbbb5fcafd2ea2075c90f1df4554789572ffea0ad4fd1559} electrical consumption depending on the type of equipments and appliances used at the different industrial or commercial applications. Enhance Track Sdn. Bhd will be collaborating with ERA members to promote this green program via a cooperation initiative recommended by our ERA Patron, Tan Sri Dato’ Soong Siew Hoong.

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ERA members can now be involved in the promotion of the energy saving tools by recommending to associates, friends or business contacts for the installation of such devises. Both ERA and our respective members concerned who are successful in concluding any installation projects will be give a recommender fee. This provides the three parties an opportunity of not only helping to reduce energy consumption thus reducing the carbon footprint but also resulting in a greener effect for the environment.

We had a turn out of 51 members and guests attending this fellowship dinner and were treated to a sumptious Nonya dinner, one of our proud heritage of Malaysian cuisine. During dinner, ERA Board Members as well as senior members took the opportunity to both chat with new members and also brief invited non-member guests on the Mission and objectives of ERA. The dinner successfully concluded with many of the non-member invitees either signing up on-the-spot to be ERA members and others expressing very keen interest to take up membership.

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The Board wish to thank the organiser Mr Raymond Wong and our ERA Secretary Mr K.K Ng for coordinating this successful event.

How To Get Your People Inspired About Innovation In Your Organization


Innovation begins with creativity. The first step in encouraging innovation is to inspire your people to be creative. Creativity begins at the top.

According to a survey by training and consulting firm Genesis Training Solutions of the US, 92 percent of professionals say that creativity will be critical to sales success in the 21st century. Further studies by Sales & Amp and Marketing Management showed a vast 95 percent of the workers want to be more creative on the job. Why are most workers not creative then? The reasons are that they do not know how to apply their creativity and that they work in very structured environments where creativity is not encouraged. The studies concluded that if your organization wants great performance, then you have to find ways to feed the creativity of your workers.

A bad system beats a good person

Professors Alan G. Robinson and Sam Stern who have done extensive studies on corporate creativity have made a very important observation – “A bad system will beat a good person every time”. Therefore the way to get your people excited about creativity is to set up a system that encourages and nurtures creativity.

Mike Vance , the Dean of the Disney University is in full agreement in having an organizational system for creativity. This is what he believes:

The highest creativity occurs in well-organized environments. Poor organization leads to wasted time and confusion. Confused people are not creative people.”

How to be a World-class CEO

The process starts with the leaders and the CEOs themselves. It has to be a top-down approach. Great organizations are characterized by open-minded leaders who create a conducive climate for creativity within their organizations. A noted advertising expert, John Emmerling has this to say about being a world-class CEO:

If you eventually become a world-class CEO, you will be a tiger on the subject of ideas. You will set up your organization to foster creativity, search your organization for the best ideas, the best people. You will glorify those ideas and generously reward the people who thought them up. You will quickly forgive the idea-maker who flops. Your organization will become well known as an extraordinary creative place. And the most creative people will flock to work there.”

Creative Thinking –the basic alphabet of your own intelligence

Tony Buzan, one of the foremost creativity experts in the world who created the training program “Radiant Thinking” and the “Mind-mapping” technique for problem –solving emphasizes that creativity is a skill that can be learnt by everyone. The most important people who should learn this skill are the business leaders and CEOs themselves. He quotes statistics to support his views:

“ Sadly , most business leaders are mentally illiterate. They have been taught many things, but never to think. By their own admission, 90 percent of business leaders have never studied creative thinking – they haven’t studied the basic alphabet of their own intelligence.”

Did You Ask the Right Question?

When Toyota Corporation of Japan asked the staff to submit : “Ideas to Improve Productivity“, the response was rather poor. However, when the problem was re-stated as:

How to Make Your Work Easier“, there was a dramatic increase in response though both of them has the same end objective. In the first case, the workers’ perception was that the management and owners were the beneficiaries of the project to improve productivity. In the second case, the beneficiaries were clearly the workers themselves.

The Ford Motor Company was in a sorry state in 1980 when Donald E. Petersen took over as president. Sales were down and Ford was losing market share at a rapid rate. One of the major factors leading to the decline was the design policy consisting of a set of strict and complicated design rules (covering several volumes of guidelines) that severely hampered innovation. Petersen replaced the rigid set of rules with a 12-word target for the Design Center

“ Design something that you would be proud to park in your driveway.”

This 12 -word directive established a winning formula that empowered and motivated the team. The directive unleashed the team’s creativity that enabled them to design the highly successful range of Thunderbird and Taurus cars.

Encourage Free Association

Casual conversations among employees are potent weapons for innovation and making technological breakthroughs.

Two engineers who had just finished their design of the engine for HP’s new laser printer were having coffee when they were joined by their other colleagues. They talked about the type of printer they would like to have if they could have anything they wanted. The consensus was to have a color printer with a resolution of at least 200 dots per inch. The two development engineers could not get this idea out of their mind.

They made a connection with the way coffee percolators worked and tried heating up the ink. The result was a controlled ink explosion and they invented the highly successful inkjet printer. This would not have happened if not for the casual conversation at the coffee machine.

Such incidents of breakthroughs are by no means isolated. In fact, it seems to be the most effective mechanism for innovations and is popularly practiced in the Silicon Valley.

Idea Campaign

The Idea Campaign concept is a very effective way of capturing new ideas and getting workers to get excited about creativity. They are an exciting, fun and a more structured version of the traditional employee suggestion program. The major difference is that, if used properly, there is a direct bottom line result. The campaign is the best way of getting a large number of ideas from the workforce within a specified period, say from one week to 30 days.

The goal is to get at least one idea from everyone in the organization in an atmosphere of fun and celebration.. All ideas submitted are rewarded. They could be in the form of certificates, T-shirts, caps, pens, badges, etc. At the end of the celebration, there should be grand function such as a company dinner where outstanding performers are recognized and rewarded. There should also be some frivolous awards like the funniest idea, the craziest idea, the most elaborate idea, the most playful idea and so on.

The motor-cycle company, Harley-Davidson ran a 30 day Idea Campaign and saved US$3,000,000!


The above are just some of the many ways to get your people excited about creativity. Perhaps you could implement at least one of them. The most important thing is to get excited about creativity yourself!


Note: Permission is given to circulate this article in full without any changes

Dr.YKK Portrait

About the author

Dr.Yew Kam Keong , popularly known as Dr.YKK, helps companies to fast-track their innovation with minimum risk and using the least expenditure ,time, effort and resources. His Dolphin Wave Innovation structured methodology is possibly the most powerful and most effective innovation system in the world as it taps into the global brain. It has been proven to bring tangible and frequently measurable benefits to his clients in improved profits and performance.

You can contact Dr.YKK at:

[email protected] , Skype : dryewkk   Ph: 011 14378495

©2014 Dr. Yew Kam Keong (Dr.YKK) Mindbloom Consulting

Invitation To Showcase Bangledesh 2014, KL



To         :   Mr Roger F.K. Lye
                  Board Member
                  Expertise Resource Association (ERA)                                                                              

From    :    MASSA Secretariat                       

Date     :   September 24, 2014

Subject:   Showcase Bangladesh 2014, Kuala Lumpur from 1416 November 2014, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC)


The Bangladesh-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BMCCI) is organizing Showcase Bangladesh 2014 in Kuala Lumpur.  This is the 3rd time the Showcase event is being organized in Malaysia following the success of the previous events held in 2010 and 2012. The Showcase will be held from 1416 November 2014 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC).


Supported by the Bangladesh High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, MATRADE, MIDA and MASSA, this Showcase will provide a platform for the business communities of Bangladesh & Malaysia to establish, foster and enhance business linkages and collaborations and will be attended by high level government officials, ministers, dignitaries and business leaders.


Besides, branding & promotion of Bangladesh, the focus of this event would be to highlight and showcase the competencies and potential of Bangladesh as a lucrative business hub. The event will also display the diversity and potential of Bangladesh in the following sectors: Financial (Bank & NBFI), Ready Made Garments & Textile, Infrastructure, Hospitality & Tourism, Food (Halal & Frozen), FMCG, Jute, Leather, Ceramics, Pharmaceuticals, Construction and Media.


The 3 day event will accommodate various activities such as Bangladeshi Food Festival, Exhibition, Seminars, One-to-One meetings and a gala dinner.  The one-to-one meetings will be organized between entrepreneurs of both Bangladesh and Malaysia to meet and discuss business potential. The seminars will be attended by high profile Bankers, Dignitaries & Business Leaders.


We encourage members of your esteemed association to seriously explore the potential of doing business with this country of 140 million people with growing purchasing power.  Booth / Stall are available for your members uptake.  The following information are attached herewith:


i)     Showcase Bangladesh 2014 – Brochure

ii)    Showcase Bangladesh 2014 – Layout Plan, KLCC

iii)   Showcase Bangladesh 2014 – Registration (Msia) Stall

iv)   Showcase Bangladesh 2014 – Contract Form Advertisement


We request your kind assistance to disseminate this information to your members and encourage them to participate by way of stall uptake, advertisement in their programme brochure and visitation to the event in November.


For more details your members may contact the undersigned at MASSA Secretariat or Ms Florence Khoo at tel: 03-2078 3788.


We look forward to your participation in this event.


Thank you.


Yours faithfully,


Ng Su Fun
Executive Secretary


Brochure Showcase Bangladesh 2014 Final
Option R03-Showcase Bangladesh 2014-KLCC, Layout Plan
Showcase Bangladesh 2014 – Contract Form Advertisement
SHOWCASE BANGLADESH 2014 Registration (Msia)


MASSA Secretariat
17th Floor, Bangunan AmBank Group
Letter Box No.17A
55, Jalan Raja Chulan, 50200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2078 3788 Fax: 03-2072 8411 / 2031 0208
Email: [email protected]

BNC–Networking and Dinner Talk






Date : Wednesday June, 25th, 2014

Venue :

Dewan Perdana,

Bukit Kiara Equestrian & Country Resort Bhd

Jalan Bukit Kiara Off Jalan Damansara

60000 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia.

Time : 6.30pm to 10.00pm

Cost : RM60 members / RM70 guests

(Walk in RM70.00 members / RMN80 Guests)

Attire : Members- Lounge suite / smart dressing (tie for men)

EXCO members – lounge suite.

Ladies-smart/business attire.


“China in those days”

A unique & Entertaining Dinner Presentation


Mr Thomas Brandt

Thomas Brandt, is the General Manager of the Malaysian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and he has extensive experience in Asia, having previously worked at the Indonesian-German Chamber of Commerce in Jakarta. Thomas Brandt holds an economics degree from the University of Hamburg.

Thomas Brandt is an author of five books, three of them having achieved bestseller status: “Business in Indonesia – The Cultural Key to Success”, “Asia in Those Days” and the recent “China in Those Days”.

A truly outstanding masterpiece! Thomas Brandt successfully portrays China of the late 19th and early 20th century, an era one needs to embrace in order to understand today’s China

The event will give you a unique insight into the

forces that moved so many Chinese to emigrate and

the lasting impact that this migration have had on

the world in general and in particular on Asia over

the last 5 centuries. This provides great insight

both for Chinese to learn more about the shared

ancestry as well as for anyone with interest in the

forces that have shaped the world we live in today;

not the least here in Malaysia.

Business Networking Club Kuala Lumpur & Petaling Jaya (BNC) takes pleasure in inviting you and your guest to the JUNE Month Networking & Dinner Talk. For the information of our guests, members of BNC are all active business owners, senior managers (decision makers) and professionals. The club creates networking platform for members and guests to network, interact and to create business opportunities.

We do our best to make the contents more exciting with the  EXTRA “FOOD FOR THOUGHTS”, to broaden our knowledge as business people, complementing the main menu for the evening.

Members, I am sure you do not want to miss out on this talk by a very experienced speaker. Guests are invited. Please send this mail to your friends and extend our networking reach to more business people. Book your seats early so as to avoid any disappointment.


RSVP : ( Before 23rd June, 2014) Tel : 03-7960 1796

or by replying to this email : [email protected]