Sunday, November 29, 2009

MAF of Huai Ang Methodist Church - Your Paths Drip With Abundance

DS Rev. Ting shared a wonderful message themed "Your Paths Drip With Abundance".

The group singing was pretty impressive.

An energetic dance item. Gee, they don't look their ages!

This item was really a plus for the evening.

The cross talk was engrossing.

The cake-cutting time!

It was a thanksgiving celebration on the gracious occasion of the 20th anniversary of MAF of Huai Ang Methodist Church on 15th November, 2009. I had the honour to be invited to partake of their joy in this blessed service.

DS Rev. Ting Tiew Kiong, in his message themed "Your Paths Drip With Abundance", quoted Psalm 65:11, saying, "The kind of life makes the kind of person; the kind of person makes the kind of fellowship; the kind of fellowship makes the kind of church. To sum up, it is glorious life that builds up good church!"

The fellowshippers of MAF of Huai Ang Methodist Church presented several items including dance, cross talk (or comic dialogue), etc to glorify God.

It was a joyous evening and I praised God for it!
Photos: Steven Hii

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sibu In The Blue Ocean - Part 23

The fourth Blue Ocean Strategy that Tan Kee Hian perceived for Sibu is to turn the Little Foochow into an Art and Crafts Cluster.

Kee Hian's perception was based on the following:

1. Sarawak has rich history of traditional arts and crafts.
2. There is good global market for natural and value-added wood-based products.
3. Arts and crafts are attractive tourist souvenirs and memorabilia.
4. Presently, we only have small scale passionate craftsmen and artists.
5. What we have now in Sarawak is only minimal/non-existent business systems and practice.
6. There is unpredictable income stream and future for the craftsmen and artists.

The picture shows Dato' Seri Wong Soon Koh in full attention to Tan Kee Hian's talk. Photo: Liong

Friday, November 27, 2009

En Tao Methodist Church - Grand Sales For Church Building

The DJ station where the atmosphere of the fund-raising sales was made lively!

My good brother Hua Ping was spotted at the egg station.

I asked Yong Sun to pose for a photo. Not forgetting his newly published book, he held it up to get some promotion benefits. The proceeds of the book sales all went to the building fund.

At the live cooking station, this brother gave an impressive demonstration of kueh teoh frying!

A makeshift eatery where enticing foods were served.

Some houses for sale!

En Tao Methodist Church at Jalan Teku, Sibu is expanding fast. To cope with the growing church members, the church has put it on the drawing board a new building plan.
Towards raising funds to finance the project, the church members put their hands and heads together this morning to hold a grand sales function.
Although the scale of the fund-raising sales was only moderate, the turnout was encouraging. The whole sales was heartwarming and the atmosphere was brotherly and sisterly.
It touched me to see all the brothers and sisters serving Lord selflessly together for the glory of our almighty Father.
I bumped into Hua Ping, Yong Sun, Steve Ling, Steven Wong, Daniel Chew and many others. The one hour that we (Yian and I) stayed on there was truly joyous.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Sibu In The Blue Ocean - Part 22

In tourism industry, we have to go down to the basics. In receiving tourists from outside, even a kind gesture may mean a lot to them. Sibuians are traditionally hospitable. Let us turn this fine tradition into a blue ocean strategy to win the hearts of tourists. Together we practise courtesy to make Sibu a very heartwarming place for holiday! Changyi has good points in her comments in this respect.
Tan Kee Hian observed the following to be the building blocks for mass tourism in his talk:
1. There has got to be an integrated tourism development master plan:
-Joint government-private sector initiative.
2. Effective marketing and promotion of tourist attractions of Greater Sibu.
3. Development of affordable, reliable, mid-tier facilities:
-Hospitality, leisure, convention and transport.
4. Ever-green programmes and attractions.
5. Education, training and development focused on mass tourism.
The picture shows the packed ballroom at Kingwood Hotel where the forum was held. The turnout was close to 500 which was an encouragement. Photo: Terrence Tan of MPI

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sibu In The Blue Ocean - Part 21

Tourism has been commonly called a "smokeless" industry. It is flourishing in several Asian countries and has long been an important GDP contributor.

Tan Kee Hian viewed mass tourism as a viable economic activity for Sibu. In his coverage, he based his vision on the following:

1. Mass tourism by way of affordable holidays through Sibu. Turn Sibu into a gateway to a major tourism zone.
2. There has to be a major increase in events, festivals, gatherings and places of interest.
3. Growth in tourist arrivals and spend in Greater Sibu from:
-Rest of Sarawak, Malaysia and South East Asian countries.
4. Major expansion of employment across all tourism-related sectors.

The picture shows Dato' Seri Wong Soon Koh and Hii Ching Chiong at the forum. Photo: Liong

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sibu In The Blue Ocean - Part 20

After agri-business, Tan Kee Hian moved on to the third strategy for Sibu, namely Hub for Mass Tourism.

Tourism is really a very old topic here in Sibu. We have been talking about it for donkey's years (from my memory, something like twenty years) and yet nothing very fruitful has come up from the rhetoric.

As I am in the hospitality line, tourism is obviously my concern. When I learned that Kee Hian was going to touch on it, I was very much excited.

Sibu as a hub for mass tourism should be the dream of all Sibuians. Kee Hian based his vision on the following:

1. There is increasing global interest in sustainable and eco-friendly activities (example, leisure).
2. Sibu has much to offer in back-to-nature attractions, local culture and unique history.
3. The conventional approach has been to adopt a niche strategy:
-Small scale, customised operations
-Sophisticated, but dispersed target customers
-Incremental economic benefits at the State level
4. Uncontested market space is:
-Create a business model for mass tourism

I copied the above picture from Meng Lei's blog. The photo was taken with Liong's camera at a teh tarik session at Premier Hotel in the afternoon on the third day of The 9th Methodist Convention. One waitress was kind enough to offer to snap for us. But little did she know that the camera was so sophisticated that she let it run non-stop, making everybody burst into laughters. It was a wonderful scene well captured. Front row, left to right: Philip Hii, Tan Kee Hian & Steve Ling. Back row, left to right: Liong, Miao Ting, me & Meng Lei.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sibu In The Blue Ocean - Part 19

As Tan Kee Hian pointed out, agri-business is a viable venture that Sibu may go into to take Little Foochow to the next cycle of development.

The building blocks (components) for the agri-business are as follows:

1. Intense application of science and technology in the business.
2. Large scale, industrialised operations.
3. On-going applied R&D and buildup of knowledge on agri-business.
4. Qualified and experienced professional and semi-professional resources in technical, scientific and management domains.
5. Supporting industry eco-system including human resources development.

The picture shows Chang Jee Ren giving a response to Kee Hian's talk. The other respondent was Rev. Dr. Tie King Tai. From left to right: Judy Wong, Chang Jee Ren, Hii Ching Chiong, Tan Kee Hian & Rev. Dr Tie. Photo: Terrence Tan of MPI

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sibu In The Blue Ocean - Part 18

Tan Kee Hian's vision for agri-business hub in Sibu is really a motivation for Sibuians. With Sibu blessed with huge arable land, agri-business provides a hope for Sibu.

Kee Hian in his talk viewed Sibu as potentially viable to be:

1. A recognised Centre of Excellence/Knowledge for agri-business in Malaysia and the region.
2. Food and agri products have potentials to become a major engine of economic growth and social development for Sibu and Sarawak.
3. Some Sibu-based thriving agri-business corporations.
4.View Sibu as having young people with perceptions of agri-business as an attractive career.

The photo shows the two sponsots of the public forum (George Ha & William Tang, second & third from left). Photo: Terrence Tan of MPI

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sibu In The Blue Ocean - Part 17

Tan kee Hian also viewed Sibu as a potential Agri-business Hub. Simply put, agricultural industries can lift Sibu up to a higher level of growth. This vision is certainly not without bases. Kee Hian based his proposition on the following observations:

1. The world is presently facing food shortage.
2. West Malaysia is running out of arable land.
3. Singapore has to source food supplies from faraway Africa and South America.
4. There is growing demand for Halal food and it is underserved.
5. Sarawak is blessed with lands, rivers and coastlines.
6. Therefore, this unmet market needs for large scale supply of food and agricultural products.

That is precisely where Sibu can come in.

The photo shows Mr. Chang Jee Ren, Chairman of MPI's Board, presenting a memento to Mr. Tan Kee Hian. Looking on is Mr. Hii Ching Chiong, Lay Leader of SCAC. Photo: Terrence Tan of MPI

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sibu In The Blue Ocean - Part 16

Moving on from the Vision for Gerontology in Sibu, Tan Kee Hian then touched on the Building Blocks for Gerontology. According to Kee hian, the following are the components for Gerontology in Sibu:

1. Lifestyle community for active ageing.
2. Ageing in place.
3. Nursing homes and day centres.
4. Specialised medical and healthcare professionals and staff.
5. Trained caregivers, therapists and social workers.
6. Business and community leaders as champions.
7. Educational institution focused on gerontology.

Photo: Terrence Tan of MPI

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sibu In The Blue Ocean - Part 15

Tan Kee Hian said there is certainly money to be made in the Grey (Silver) Market, but it takes thought.

Kee Hian's vision for Gerontology in Sibu is based on the following:

1. Sibu as a Centre of Excellence for Gerontology in Malaysia and the region.
2. Elderly can "live their life to the fullest".
3. Access to active ageing programmes and activities.
4. Credible experts, trained resources and well-equipped care centres.
5. Elderly-friendly homes and products based on universal design.
6. Barrier-free facilities and access in public areas.
7. High level of awareness of and respect for the needs of the elderly.

Photo: Liong

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sibu In The Blue Ocean - Part 14

The first Blue Ocean Strategy that Tan Kee Hian raised to spur Sibuians on deeper thinking for the sake of Sibu is Centre of Excellence for Gerontology.
1. In reality, ageing population is a global phenomenon.
2. But the situation in Sibu is more acute than in the rest of Malaysia, as a result of the "Sibu Diaspora" (meaning the movement of Sibuians away from their hometown).
3. This Centre shall not be dependent on proximity to natural resources and foreign markets.
4. Gerontology has very little attention in Malaysia yet, unlike Singapore.
5. This Centre forms Path 6 in the framrwork consisting of time and trends for creating uncontested market space.
6. Sibu as a Centre of Excellence for Gerontology is really an uncontested market space. It is, therefore, a Blue Ocean Approach.
The picture shows Councilor Robert Lau Hui Yew (left) and Hii Chang Kee, SMC Secretary. Photo: Liong

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sibu In The Blue Ocean - Part 13

Sibu certainly needs a lot of input of ideas to help this Little Foochow to get out of the present developmental cycle which is now at its diminishing stage.

Tan Kee Hian, out of his sheer concern and love for Sibu, came back to share with Sibuians his views on the viable course to take for Sibu to move ahead to greater growth.

We are now almost like stagnant. The urge for growth is burning. With brain drain getting worse and private funds leaving, it has long become urgent for us to address the issues.

The forum aptly shedded lights on the contemporary issues of Sibu. The speaker in the course of his talk touched in detail his Blue Ocean Strategies foe Sibu:

1. Centre of Excellence for Gerontology
2. Agri-business Hub
3. Hub for Mass Tourism
4. Arts and Crafts cluster
5. "Polytechnic" University

The photo shows (from left) Rev. Dr. Su Chi Ang, Dato' Seri Wong Soon Koh, Hii Ching chiong & Daniel Ngieng. Photo: Liong

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sibu In The Blue Ocean - Part 12

Before going into detail, Tan Kee Hian outlined four caveats on Blue Ocean Strategies for Sibu:

1. These are preliminary ideas based on broad understanding of Sibu and experience from other similar situations (Malaysia, Singapore and other similar cases).
2. The ideas are intended to be provocative and to stimulate interests, discussions and reality checks.
3. The innovation journey and capability-building are just as important as the final outcome of the journey.
4. A learning curve in innovation
-Initially building the necessary platforms and capabilities.
-Before pushing for the Blue Ocean ideas.
Build on these ideas, constructively.

Basically, Sibuians need a change in mindset before getting on board for a Blue Ocean journey. Tan Kee Hian called on the audience to break the Do Good- Make Money Tradeoff.

1. Genuine Blue Oceans deliver:
-Value for customers
-Value for stakeholders
2. Commercially-viable propositions.....
3. .....that generate economic and social development.
4. Possibly longer-term investment horizon.

Photo: Liong

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sibu In The Blue Ocean - Part 11

Singapore achieved a huge Blue Ocean success from 60's to 80's. The island-state walked a few steps ahead of the neighbouring nations, taking the country to greater prosperity.

Sibu is trapped in Red Ocean box. To get out of it, we need a mentality change and a lot of hard thinking:

1. Be innovative in thinking
2. Brainstorming
3.How to do differently?
4. What are the boundaries of the Red Ocean box?

Tan Kee Hian identified 6 paths that define the boundaries of Red Ocean box. The 6 paths also form a framework for creating Uncontested Market Space:

1. Alternative industries
2. Strategic groups within industries
3. The chain of buyers
4. Complementary products & service offerings
5. Emotional appeal to buyers
6. Time and trends

Having regarded Sibu as in Red Ocean presently, Tan Kee Hian noted the following strategies of Sibu:

1. "Vanilla" university colleges
2. Niche eco-tourism
3. Little Foochow
4. Industrial parks
5. Traditional farming and plantations
6. Timber and primary industries
7. Shopping centres

Photo: Liong

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sibu In The Blue Ocean - Part 10

A key common characteristic of Blue Ocean Creators is that they are able and willing to think and act differently. In short, they are innovative in ideas.

As Albert Einstein put it, "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex....It takes a touch of genius....and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction."

So, what is exactly Blue Ocean Strategy? It is simply a fresh approach to innovation and profit growth by using a comprehensive set of tools and frameworks in process methodology to create a culture of passion for Blue Ocean (Value) Innovation.

Tan Kee Hian said there are two simultaneous outcomes from Blue Ocean /Value Innovation: Value to customers and value to stakeholders.

Red Ocean and Blue Ocean are two contrasting approaches with the following implications for businesses and leaders:

1. In Red Ocean, it is going head-to-head in known market space. The end result is lose-lose competition with incremental growth.
2. In Blue Ocean,it is creating uncontested market space. The end result is breakthrough value innovation.

Research by Professor Kim and Mauborgne shows that Blue Oceans are substantially more profitable.

Photo: Liong

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sibu In The Blue Ocean - Part 9

Tan Kee Hian then took the audience to go on board for a cruise of Red and Blue oceans.

Red Oceans simply refer to a known market space where competition is bloody. In short, competitors kill each other off for survival or gaining an advantage over market share.

Common characteristics of Red Ocean Approach are intense competition, low growth, shrinking profit pool, etc.

Tan Kee Hian quoted a few companies that broke free of Red Competition:

Thailand Auto Components
iPod + iTunes

In short, Red Ocean Approach is bad for corporations!

Photo: Liong

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sibu In The Blue Ocean - Part 8

After establishing dreams and visions for Sibu, Tan Kee Hian then moved on to apply Blue Ocean Strategy Approach towards realising the dreams.

Tan Kee Hian is more than qualified and experienced to enlighten Sibuians on the burning issue of development using Blue Ocean Strategy (BOS). Kee Hian is a Senior Global Expert in the Blue Ocean Strategy Network co-founded by the creators of Blue Ocean Strategy, Professor Kim and Mauborgne. He works with private and public organisations globally, and across a wide range of sectors on BOS. He is a keynote speaker on BOS at public and in-house conferences and management retreats, conducts awareness seminars and training workshops, and leads major initiatives to formulate and execute BOS.

Tan Kee Hian proceeded to outline challenges to achieving economic and social development:-

1. Finding attractive, big ideas.
2. Creating viable economic models.
3. Implementing major transformation.
4. Managing high risks (associated with bold strategies).
5. Building resilience to economic cycles.
6. Achieving a healthy balance between GDP growth, quality of life, human rights and sustainability.

Tan Kee Hian then put it to the floor,"Does Sibu face similar challenges?"

The picture shows the public forum in progress. Photo: Liong

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sibu In The blue Ocean - Part 7

Putting in a nutshell, the dreams/visions that Tan Kee Hian formulated for Sibu are as follows:
1. Home for our educated and talented sons and daughters.
2. Magnet for aspiring young people coming here to fulfill their dreams.
3. Recognised as a Centre of Excellence.
4. Dynamic and intellectually stimulating society.
5. Healthy and thriving society, by day and by night.
6. Continuous renewal and re-invention of all areas of economic, social and spiritual endeavours.
Allow me to sidetrack here a little bit before we proceed further with Kee Hian's talk.
Touching on dreams and visions as propounded by Tan Kee Hian, we tend to quiz ourselves about how likely it is for the dreams to come true.
A success case in Singapore may help to inspire us towards thinking more positively.
"The Cleaning Up of Singapore River" was a classic dream -come- true in the island nation. PM Lee Kuan Yew made a vision statement to the nation to turn the polluted Singapore River into a clean and attractive tourist spot in 10 years' time. The vision was given on 27 February 1977 and within the time frame specified, Singapore did it.
PM Lee Kuan Yew's concise vision statement carried weight and strength:
"It should be a way of life to keep the water clean, to keep every stream, every culvert, every rivulet, free from unnecessary pollution. In ten years let us have fishing in the Singapore River and fishing in Kallang River. It can be done."
Singapore River and Sibu may not be comparable in many aspects. But it is the good execution power , high efficiency and forward-looking quality of the Singapore leaders that we really have to reflect upon and emulate.
We should read PM Lee Kuan Yew's statements at the commencement and conclusion of "The Cleaning Up of Singapore River" project with deep thinking and relate them to "Sibu In The Blue Ocean".
You may also give your comments in

Saturday, November 7, 2009

MPI Forum Blog

Methodist Pilley Institute (MPI), a locally renowned higher institution of learning, initiated another public forum for the interests of Sibuians. In mind of the organiser was the pressing concern for Sibu. Themed "Sibu In The Blue Ocean", the forum was organised with the aim to heighten the level of awareness of Sibuians generally with regard to the direction-heading of Sibu in terms of development and growth.

"Sibu In The Blue Ocean" was the second Sibu-centred public forum that MPI took up to hold towards meeting the thirst for some lights to be shed on the future of Sibu. The first talk, also given by Tan Kee Hian, was held last year on October 25 titled "Outlooks for Sibu From My Global Journey of Discovery".

"Sibu In The Blue Ocean" kick-started deeper thinking and more daring dreaming for our hometown. With that in mind, MPI has just set up a forum blog as a continuing effort with the objective to use it as a platform for open discourse or even debate on issues of interest and concern for Sibu.

Sibuians are encouraged to contribute constructive comments or opinions to the blog. Together let us work towards making Sibu a better place.

You may log on

The above picture was taken at the forum last year at MPI. Photo : Terrence Tan

Sibu In The Blue Ocean - Part 6

Think the unthinkable! That precisely is the core of the Blue Ocean concept.

The dream for Sibu to be the first in Malaysia to achieve high-income status might sound farfeitched to a lot of Sibuians. But if we put it within the framework of the Blue Ocean Approach formulated by Tan Kee Hian, then it looks probable.

Our national goal now is for Malaysia to reach High-Income status.

Malaysia successfully leapt from a low-income nation to the present middle-income status. We have been stagnant at this level, moving only at a snail's pace towards the next status (high-income).

Our country needs new policies and strategies to take itself up to reach a high-income level. Dati' Seri Najib Razak said on 2 May, 2009, "We need to introduce a new economic model to ensure a quantum leap to become a high-income country".

In the 2010 Budget Presentation, the prime minister encouraged several measures to drive the country towards a high-income economy.

1. Increased private investment.
2. Intensify foreign direct investment (FDI).
3. Intensify research, development and commercialisation.
4. Boost the tourism industry.
5. Intensify the halal industry.
6. Advance the agriculture sector.

Achieving high-income status is presently Malaysia's big challenge!

Photo: Terrence Tan of MPI

Friday, November 6, 2009

Sibu In The Blue Ocean - Part 5

Continuing from Part 4 where Kee Hian put the audience to dream about Sibu, the speaker then went on further to spur the floor to have dreams:

5. Sibu as a place which is a healthy and thriving city, by day and by night, in social, cultural, sporting and spiritual aspects.
6. Sibu as a place which has continuous renewal and re-invention of all areas of economic, social and spiritual endeavours.
7. Sibu to have accelerated economic development and growth in terms of GDP, equitable wealth distribution and employment.
8.Sibu to be the first in Malaysia to achieve "high-income" status.

Photo: Terrence Tan of MPI

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sibu In The Blue Ocean - Part 4

Dream is not only an inspiration, it is also a driver for us to forge onwards. Martin Luther King Junior's famous " I have a dream...." was an inspiration to lots of people.

Similarly, in taking up the developmental issues of Sibu, we must dare to dream!

Tan Kee Hian said Sibu parents are proven dreamers. They are prepared to stretch to the fullest their financial means to send their offspring to overseas for higher education, dreaming their sons or daughters would excel one day.

With that, Kee Hian then called on Sibuians to daringly have dreams/visions for Sibu for the betterment of our hometown.

The speaker put the challenge to the floor to dream Sibu to be a place:

1. Where educated and most talented sons and daughters want to return to live and work during their prime years of their lives.
2. Which is a magnet for aspiring young people from the rest of Sarawak and Malaysia to come to fulfill their dreams.
3. Which is recognised nationally and regionally as a Centre of Excellence for certain sectors, subsectors or domains.
4. Which is a dynamic and intellectually stimulating society which (a) encourages thinking by people of all ages; (b) respects for creative pursuits; (c) facilitates diverse forums for constructive debates, and (d) brings up forward-looking leaders.

The picture shows Mr. Tan Kee Hian speaking at the public forum. Photo: Terrence Tan of MPI

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sibu In The Blue Ocean - Part 3

Whenever it comes to talking about the prospects of Sibu and what it holds for our future, Sibuians are swamped with frustrating questions. There is so much uncertainty hovering over Sibu that our future looks hopelessly bleak.

Tan Kee Hian said Sibu is obviously sloping down in the present developmental cycle. Confronting us now are the pressing need to get Sibu into a new cycle of development.

In connection with this, Kee Hian put to the audience some thought-provoking questions to spur them into giving deeper thinking:-

1. Is "Business-as-usual" acceptable?
2. If not, how to formulate a compelling future state?
3. Strategic choices for the future?
4. How to transform Sibu and enter a new developmental cycle?
5. Who will lead and execute the transformation of Sibu?

The speaker then struck the audience with 10 Blue Ocean ideas (5 strategies and 5 key capabilities) to take Sibu to the next cycle of development.

Before proceeding to the 10 Blue Ocean ideas, Tan Kee Hian dealt with the mindset of Sibuians. This is crucial in our next step.

The speaker challenged Sibuians to dare to dream. These dreams are "a cherished ambition or ideal" and not "a series of thoughts, images, and sensations occuring in a person's mind during sleep".

If we contemplate to gear Sibu to the next cycle of development, we have to be daring enough to dream.

The picture shows the news coverage of the public forum in The Borneo Post.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sibu In The Blue Ocean - Part 2

Tan Kee Hian then moved on to take the audience on a Blue Ocean journey of Sibu. The gists were to focus on strategic ideas and bring capabilities together with a long-term view to better develop Sibu.

Kee Hian explored the subject basing on his extensive global experience in strategic planning and first-hand knowledge at the Federal level. His sheer love for Sibu drove him to come to share with the fellow Sibuians.

The sluggishness of the development in Sibu has been a burning issue. Calling it a trigger event, the as-is developmental status of Sibu is characterised by:-

1. Sibu has been called a slumbering giant.
2. A sunset town.
3. We are still indulged in the past glories.
4. Sibu has been hollowed out (the young elite group is leaving).
5. We are left with the crumbs. Even the Federal government has left out Sibu.
6. Sibu has been dubbed a cowboy town.

In the present development cycle of Sibu, we are at a declining stage.

Therefore, what are of utmost concern to Sibuians are: What is the next development cycle of Sibu? Where do we go from here? Is it business-as-usual?

The picture shows Dato' Seri Wong Soon Koh giving an opening address. Photo: Terrence Tan of MPI

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sibu In The Blue Ocean - Part 1

It was a mind-blowing evening at Kingwood Hotel where an eager crowd close to 500 jam-packed into Regalia Ballroom to listen with eye popping to Mr. Tan Kee Hian speaking on "Sibu In Blue Ocean".

Stagnant growth and development has been a burning issue here. We have cried out, but Sibu continues to be heading to no where. Yes, it is a frustration that has become more and more unbearable.

It is with this deep concern for Sibu that this public forum was being organised at the sole initiative of MPI.

The turnout wasn't too much a surprise. It was a manifestation how concerned are Sibuians about our hometown.

I noted that the attention of the audience was glued to the speaker throughout, fearing they might miss out if they let their minds be diverted away.

Truly, as Kee Hian said right at the start, it was a forum calling for lots of thinking. The speaker masterfully provoked the audience into giving thought as to what courses we can possibly gear Sibu to better development.

May I say that if the forum participants had listened thoughtfully to Kee Hian, they would have benefited to a greater extent.

Kee Hian started off the evening with a brief run-down of the forum contents. Broadly, he categorised the talk into 6 sections:-
1. The As-Is developmental status of Sibu.
2. Dreams/Visions for Sibu.
3. The Blue Ocean Strategy (BOS) approach.
4. Blue Ocean ideas for Sibu.
5. Key capabilities for Sibu in the Blue Ocean.
6. Takeaways and next steps.
The picture shows a section of the audience. Photo: Terrence Tan of MPI

Sunday, November 1, 2009

What Does Sibu Hold For Future?

Sibu is ageing faster than Miri and Kuching. If you care to take a look at the past two censuses, you would realise that Sibu's population is older (in terms of median age) than that of Kuching and Miri.
The implication here is simple - Sibu has long been lagged behind in development. The resultant effect is that Sibu has been a net exporter of population. By extrapolation, the trend would make Sibu an aged town in the decade to come. This development is certainly unpromising for Sibu.
We understand fully that Sibuians are a frustrated group. There has been outcry over the stagnant situation. What does Sibu hold for our future?
The burning issue can no longer be contained at the coffeeshop level.
In the public forum "Sibu In The Blue Ocean", Tan Kee Hian is going shed light on the prospects of Sibu. In addition, Kee Hian, a renowned international consultant in business strategies, would provoke our thinking on the development issues fronting Sibu.
See you tomorrow at Kingwood Hotel at 6:30 pm.