Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sibu In The Blue Ocean - Part 34

Tan Kee Hian in his sharing with me after the forum pointed out that most, if not all newspaper reports (on "Sibu In The Blue Ocean") referred to the 5 Blue Ocean Strategies and ignored the equally important 5 Capabilities.

In the views of Kee Hian, the 5 Blue Ocean Strategies and the 5 Capabilities together make up the 10 Blue Ocean Ideas. He stressed the importance of the 5 Capabilities, without which the probability and degree of success of the 5 strategies would be severely compromised.

I have given detailed coverage of the 5 Blue Ocean Strategies. To refresh your memory, the 5 strategies are as follows:

1. Centre of Excellence for Gerontology
2. Agri-business hub
3. Hub for mass tourism
4. Arts and Crafts Cluster
5. "Polytechnic" University

The stage has now been set right for us to move on to look at the 5 Capabilities.

The timber industry is now a sunset industry in Sibu. We badly need to transform Sibu to get it out of its present dilemma. Photo: Wong Meng Lei


Anonymous said...

yellow Ocean

Anonymous said...

My reply to Kee Hian (under Part 33)

We may see that there are talented people and there are also less talented ones. The real fact is the parents and students don't admit that they are the second class human being. At young age, they should be given full confidence and push themselves to the corner to perform the best. I think most young people in Sibu went in this direction and they ended up as very successful persons in life, many overseas. For those who already surrendered themselves early in life, I don't mind that they follow an easier path.

But if the hungry persons have to pick up the poor food at the streets, because there is no better food available, I would feel so sorry for them. We cannot decide who will get the good food and who will be assigned poor food. We should provide the same good food to all the people. Some people in Sibu decided to go to local universities because they have no better choice and they also don’t have money to go overseas. So they ended up with unimas (poor food). In real, they are academically capable of attending any first rate universities overseas (good food).

Of course, I don’t mean that those who went overseas are always better than those who went to the local u. Some of them could not get into lousy local u, and thus they have had no other choice.

I think we need to conduct a survey to find out what is exactly needed, and what the majority prefers to have. We should look at the demand, listening to the parents, students and also the society. Kids of course can make their own decision, but it is not always the case that they can determine their future. The family factors do influence them. I don't think we are in a position to make them change otherwise. If the parents hear about sending kids to 'another similar one,' they will not pay attention to us.

Above all, I think the Methodist church is obligated to tell the public the truth on why the establishment of the Methodist University did not come true.

Anonymous said...

Someone once commented that there are more old people in Sibu. This says a lot. Many rich people owe their success to mother nature for giving birth to trees. Sadly because of greed, all those trees who once stood proud and strong have disappeared and become some furniture in some people's homes. Instead of felling the trees, why not use the land to rear animals ? Many young people leave Sibu for more exciting places. The way I see it is if a person wants to study, then he will be successful in his studies and exams no matter what school or what uni it is. While UNIMAS may be the joke of the town, yet it is still a full fledged uni and the graduates have learned and are trained in the ways of Sarawak and Malaysia. Who would you rather trust ? Someone who is a true blue Sarawakian / Malaysian graduate or one who comes home from somewhere so far away. When it comes to treatment, of course you want a careful doctor. A doctor who knows the local conditions. Who knows the local conditions better if it is not the UNIMAS graduates ? Give them a chance. Trust them.We should be grateful that there is a uni just nearby. No need to fly over. No need to feel so homesick. Sibu lacks the excitement of an interesting place. Not just the young people are leaving. Even their old parents join them. Some Sibuians still hang around because they have some commitment like taking care of their family and others like those without a bright future. Actually Sibu is not that stagnant. There are some small happenings. Therefore all is not lost.She may not become a city but she will still be around.

Tan Kee Hian said...

Dear Anon 8.39 pm,

Cont. of dialogue in Part 33.

I believe we agree that the population of Sibu comprises people with diverse talents, preferences (lifestyle, work, social, etc), family background, etc. Some are more academic and enjoy intellectual and analytical pursuits while others are more practical and enjoy doing and making things happen, some more entrepreneurial. Some focus more on the family or religious beliefs, while others are driven by financial and social success. We could go on to profile the various groupings or segment.

I would love to see a market analysis (including survey) of the Greater Sibu population of young people (and their family), as it would help us to understand our this market better. If you can help that would be great.

Give the diverse background, our society and parents seems fixated on one single path to education and learning, i.e. the conventional university route. Why?

Of course, we must always encourage and motivate our young people to push themselves, sometimes against all odds. I would not be where I am today if not for the encouragement of my parents, and the drive to overcome the many perceived and real barriers and boundaries.

Nevertheless, you cannot fit a square peg in a round hole, and in the Sibu (and Malaysia) population, intrinsically, there are square pegs and there are round pegs. Unfortunately, our government and parents appears to only offer round holes (i.e. university route) for everyone, be they square pegs or round pegs.

Incidentally, I read yesterday (17 Dec) that the Malaysian Government has finally acknowledged that 'polytechnics' form an important part of Malayisa's education system and want to identify and invest in Premier polytechnics. I take personal satisfaction that they have taken the first step in this direction.

To summarise, there is uncontested space in the education market for an institution that caters for square pegs, i.e. the less aademically-inclined young talents. In my view, most square pegs could and would be more successful in achieving their personal goals than if forced to go to a univeristy at great personal sacrifce to their parents. I would even say, some of the square pegs would be even more successful than the round pegs in terms of personal growth, financial wealth, business success.

If Sibu tries to set up a conventional private unversity college, we would just be another red-ocean player, and likely to struggle. Let our round pegs go to those universities or abroad. Instead, let's focus our effort on the unmet needs of our square pegs, set up a 'polytechnic' university. We help our square pegs realise their potential and also create a Blue Ocean in Sibu. Let me add that the proposed polytechnic university has many other critical elements which is too much to go into details here, such as being highly focused on immediate needs of the Sibu stakeholders, i.e., businesses and enterprises, and community and society.

If we can create a Blue-Ocean-type university college in Sibu as I propose, the parents and students will vote with their feet and money, and choose to attend this institution, versus going abroad as the primary and very costly option. Of course, many will still go abroad, for a variety of reasons. For example, for those Sibu kids who can afford to go to Imperial College for engineering education, nothing we can do in Sibu in the next 50 years would change that choice. The rich will always send their children to foreign universities irrespective of the capabilities of their children.

But we could make a real difference to many Sibu families and children, Sibu businesses, and Sibu society if we have the right univeristy college in Sibu. I urge you and others to help make this dream and vision a reality.

Tan Kee Hian