Unity in Diversity and Inclusivity
Unity in Diversity and Inclusivity
The Progress of Malaysian Business Owners
Every year on 16 September, Malaysians gather to commemorate the day in 1963, where the former British colony of Singapore and the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak joined the Federation of Malaya to form Malaysia.
We look back at how far Malaysia and its people have come, how history has shaped us, and how we will continue to stay united by embracing diversity and inclusivity.
On this joyous day, let us come together to celebrate the success of Malaysians throughout the nation, who faced many blocks and challenges throughout their course, but persevered through obstacles and overcame adversities to achieve their dreams.
Let us meet some of these little-known business owners:
1. Norsiah Ahiddin
Photo by Nabalu News
With only a small homemade skincare products business and RM200 in 2017, Norsiah Ahiddin, or better known as Norcy, is now the founder and CEO of Norcy Beautylab, a beauty and cosmetic manufacturer in Matunggong, Sabah. After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science from Universiti Kuala Lumpur, Norcy worked as a medical laboratory technologist in KPJ Hospital for several years before entering the business world. She then participated in several entrepreneurship courses, and finally managed to set up her own beauty product factory in 2019. This Rugus business woman has been dubbed as one of Sabah’s most successful female entrepreneurs today!
2. Datuk Janang Bungsu
Photo by The Borneo Post
Starting from humble beginnings, Datuk Janang Bungsu, a Bintangor-born Dayak electrical engineer, strived hard to become who he is today. He is now the co-founder and Group Managing Director of Konsortium Bumi Consultants and Services Sdn. Bhd (KBCS), a first Dayak multidisciplinary consultancy firm. Having been born in a remote area back then, Janang was plunged into poverty and had endured a difficult childhood, including losing his father to a freak hunting accident when he was barely a year old. Despite the trials and tribulations of poverty, Janang emerged as an electrical engineering graduate from University of Malaya. After working as an engineer and gaining invaluable experiences working in other firms, Janang gathered a few other Dayak professionals and founded KBCS.
3. Mohd Sukur Ibrahim
Photo by Keluarga.my
Despite being born with stunted limbs and is only about 100cm in height, disability never stopped Mohd Sukur Ibrahim from becoming the founder of D Strike Solution, a company that supplies and installs carpets. After graduating with a Bachelor of Information Technology from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, and having gone to numerous job interviews without success, Sukur decided to venture into business. Before establishing D Strike Solution, he had failed three other businesses, where one of them was a laundry business that lasted for only 6 months. The beginning of D Strike Solution was challenging for Sukur, because customers would sometimes cancel their reservations due to his physical appearance as they were skeptical of his ability to get the job done. However, Sukur never surrendered and diligently worked his way to success. Today, not only is he a successful entrepreneur, he is also a motivational speaker and a writer of motivational books.
4. Harmini Asokumar
Photo by Sterrific
Inspired by her love for fashion, Harmini Asokumar began her entrepreneurship journey by starting a local online business, Deeper Than Fashion, which sells handmade accessories. Prior to starting her own business, Harmini was a Communications Executive doing online marketing for a company. Due to the lack of flexibility and having to put her creativity on hold, she decided to leave her office job and focused on her business full-time. Although leaving a stable job and consistent monthly income was not easy, Harmini believed that she could make her business a success through hard work. Today, her business has over 30 thousand followers on Instagram and 13 thousand followers on Facebook.
5. Leong Delon
Photo by Vulcan Post
Highly sought-after events such as Slide the City and Run For Your Lives, were brought to Malaysia by an event company, Monkey Theory, which was founded by Leong Delon. Due to his family’s financial difficulties, Delon had to drop out from his course in Business Administration, and he then went to work with his mother who ran a sawmill. Having the ambition of wanting more in life, he decided to start his own business. In the beginning, because his wage was only RM300 per month, he used to eat at the same chicken rice shop for almost a year. However, with the vision of becoming the pioneer in the industry, Delon started by organising a small scale marathon, and slowly built up the number of participants for their events. Eventually, through perseverance and hardwork, his company succeeded in bringing international events to Asia and making it bigger.
Like a plate of delicious Nasi Lemak, Malaysia is a uniquely beautiful country, as we, the rakyat of diverse backgrounds, live together in multicultural harmony. In commemoration of this day, let us come together to celebrate unity in diversity and inclusivity. In the words of our Father of Independence, Tunku Abdul Rahman:
"We are all Malaysians. This is the bond that unites us. Let us always remember that unity is our fundamental strength as a people and as a nation."
Selamat Hari Malaysia!
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