Friday, March 12, 2010

These shoes were made for walking

IT is always good to read about Malaysians who have succeeded in the world arena. But what is even more gratifying is when these successful Malaysians support one another and keep the Malaysian flag flying. It fills us with immense pride.

Take the name Jimmy Choo, for instance. It is synonymous with shoes. Not just ordinary shoes but world famous designer shoes, worn by Hollywood celebrities and royalty. And the man behind the name, is none other than Jimmy Choo Yeang Keat, a Penang boy who studied footwear and shoe design in London.

After graduating, he started his own brand of custom-made shoes in the 80s. Business was initially slow until he was featured in British Vogue. Today, Jimmy Choo is an internationally renowned success story and Malaysia's tourism Ambassador.

jimmy-choo-shoesRecently, Jimmy Choo appointed Miri-born lawyer, Lucy Chuo, to advise him on his legal matters in business and personal work. Chuo, graduated from the College of Law in London and is a partner of her London-based law firm, Stella Maris Solicitors, which she named after the convent school where she studied. She hails from a family of strong-willed women and is the youngest of five siblings. Annie Newman, her elder sister, is a celebrity artist in London, while the others, Olivia, Susan and Jon reside in Australia.

Chuo credits her late mother, Magdalen Souk Ting Wong, who started the first pharmacy in Miri, as her greatest influence. She attributes her mother's amazing work-ethics and strength of character to have raised them as a single mother. She also believes that she has inherited her mother's strong drive, self-worth and integrity.

Chuo claims that many of her Malaysian clients are parents investing in London properties for accommodation and income towards their children's tuition fees. They are apparently studying for professional qualifications, like law, economics, and medicine.

And, this must be one of Malaysia's terrible dilemmas. Choo and Chuo, together with her siblings, are all successful Malaysians living and working abroad. In all probability, several of the children of Chuo's clients, will stay overseas as permanent residents.

It is about time Malaysia addressed this outflow of talented Malaysians. But as yet, it appears that there is little or no urgency, to stem this brain-drain. It does not hurt us to aspire to become a developed country, with highly skilled workers.

We have watched with horror at the politicisation of our educational system, the erosion of standards and the demoralization of both teacher and student. Our most able students commonly experience what they perceive as a gross injustice, when students who are less fortunate but academically gifted, are refused entry into higher institutions of learning, or denied scholarships.

It is imperative our government studies the push factors of our brain-drain. We must make our policies more attractive and fair for all Malaysians, regardless of ethnicity.

Or shall we just continue to read about our successful and accomplished Malaysians in the newspapers only?

courtesy of Malaysian Mirror

1 comment:

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