Message fromVice President, ERA 2006/2013 | Soo Cheong Futt
Since its founding 27 years ago, ERA has been directing its efforts on meeting the needs of the local communities and industries. We have organized talks, seminars and courses, and fellowships for our members and the local business community by sharing our experiences and expertise.
However, with globalization, the world is the market and competition has become intensive by the days. To be relevant and be able to compete, the business community has to reach out and export. Therefore, in the past decade, ERA has walked the extra mile in building linkages and networking with other organizations, both locally and overseas.
Link up with the Myanmar Industries Association (MIA)
In 2009, we participated in the FMM Trade & Investment Mission to Yangon, Myanmar on June 21–24. Subsequently, many more projects were undertaken for the Myanmar Industries Association (MIA) in Yangon. These projects were made possible with the Cyclone Nargis Fund raised by the International Trade and Investment (ITI) Committee of the Associated Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) in 2008. The fund helps to defray expenses specifically for ERA resource persons to share their expertise in helping industries, especially the SMEs, in Myanmar.
The objectives of participation in the FMM Trade & Investment Mission were to assess training potential in Myanmar; to build linkages with the chamber of commerce and industry, industry associations and SMEs and to promote services of ERA overseas, especially in regions where training culture is till at its beginning. We found that the potentials are good for training providers, notably in “Train the Trainers” and skills-based programmes.
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with other organisations
There are many other organisations/associations pursuing similar objectives and aspirations as ERA. We feel that synergy can assume a vital role in bringing these organizations closer and, in the process, building up the strengths of each other. We have recently signed two MOUs and more are under consideration.
> MOU between ERA & MIA: On September 17, 2011, at the Malaysia-Myanmar Innovative Products & Services Expo in Yangon, ERA signed an MOU with MIA to enhance relationship and to further internationalize the two parties. We agree to encourage and collaborate in human resource development and in support of each other in “Train the Trainer” programme, publications and information; practicing in training activities and the exchange of visits.
> MOU between ERA & TAM: On Oct 14, 2011, ERA and TAM (Technological Association of Malaysia) signed an MOU to forge a closer link. TAM, formed in 1946, is an organisation for all levels and disciplines of technologists. Its vision is to take care of the welfare, and assist in career path for the young skilled technicians and to advance the technological profession.
Under the MOU, the two parties agree that TAM members shall be accorded the same privileges as ERA members and vice versa. The accord immediately expanded our expertise resources on both fronts.
Transformation Working Committees in ERA
Transformation has become an inevitable process for any organization to remain relevant in this fast changing world. The Government has introduced three major transformation programmes namely, Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) Government Transformation Programme (GTP) and Political Transformation Programme (PTP).
ERA has embarked on its own transformation in early 2011, though on a smaller scale, in order to meet the new challenges. The rationales for the transformation are two-fold: Firstly, to publicise the objectives of ERA in tapping into the expertise and experience of senior executives to contribute their services to Malaysia’s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP); secondly, to allow ERA members an opportunity to serve, have a sense of belonging, make new friends and even generate employment and business opportunities. For this purpose, ERA has established five working committees. These working committees are (a) Financial Affairs (b) Membership Recruitment and Retention (c)Newsletter & Public Relations (d) Promotion (e) Administration/Communication/Networking.
Fellowship event is a great way to foster closer relationship and understanding among members and an excellent opportunity to recruit new members. It can also be a good opportunity for business networking in a more relaxed atmosphere.
In the period under review, ERA organized more than seven fellowship events, including launching of newsletters, talks on health management, visit to SP Scholar Press, birthday and festival celebrations, promotional committee meetings, and even one organized especially for women members and their friends hosted by Dato’ Lee Tuck Lam as a membership recruitment exercise.
A lot of thought and efforts have been put in to organize activities designed to enable our members enhance their mental, emotional, health and physical welfare as well as to catch up with the fast pace of change by acquiring new concepts, new ideas and technologies. The very successful Dr YKK talk held on Oct 14, 2011, is a good example. More activities are being planned and I’m sure our members and their friends would find them useful in helping them in their lives and businesses development.