Distinguished politician and formerly Malaysia’s longest serving Minister of International Trade & Industry [1987 to 2008], Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz brings a wealth of experience to the table. Fondly dubbed Malaysia’s ‘Iron Lady’, she used her familiar no-nonsense style to talk about Entrepreneurship and other salient matters to a suitably impressed audience at the recent BMCC Premier Luncheon Speaker Series.
Her message was loud and clear. “Don’t be confused by the political ‘haze’. The key thing is to focus on creating an enabling environment that will allow businesses to thrive, expand and diversify. Establish the right regulatory framework. Enable them to go cross-border. Give them the space to be creative.
“While the Government has a vital role to play in facilitating this environment for business, the private sector most definitely has a contribution as a driver of partnerships and collaborative ventures. The economy is going to be derailed any time soon but we must do whatever we can to protect it and encourage the private sector to flourish.
“The public sector needs to revive the partnership with business, remove the red tape and irrelevance. It needs to engage more closely with its stakeholders, follow a consultation process and only then make decisions. It’s common sense.
“The private sector can be the catalyst and initiate the approach, get the public sector to come closer. Please, BMCC, make it your mission to play your part.
“Malaysia is still very much a viable proposition. The foundation is there. Let’s tell the right story and get Malaysia on everyone’s radar screen for the right reasons, as a shining star.
“Entrepreneurship must be in the picture. It is these businesses that drive business, but support them if they need help with management or other skills.
“Changes are happening everywhere. The profile of markets, of competition is evolving; changes brought about by cross-border demands are impacting business; the way companies go to market is being dramatically disrupted; and the consumer profile is also changing. It’s the market place that will dictate the future direction of business. Entrepreneurs need to understand these dynamics and they will succeed.”
Tan Sri Rafidah is currently Non-Executive Independent Chairman & Director of AirAsiaX and in 2015 was appointed as Chairman of Supermax Corporation.