(People, events, activities and programmes which make for a total quality-managed Sarawak Civil Service)

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Malaysian branded goods -something to be proud of

"Malaysia Boleh"- a slogan that have somehow affected Malaysians with its positive "we can do it' attitude. We have all heard it and we are starting to believe it. The recent achievements of the Mount Everest team, Datuk Azhar's voyage around the world, the Petronas twin tower only serve to further enhance this.

We've celebrated our 42nd year of independence and there is a lot to show. Indeed, we have many reasons to be proud of Malaysia and being of Malaysians. One of them is the ability of our manufacturing industries to produce goods that are on par, if not better than those imported ones.

That was not reality ten years ago. People looked up to imported goods and were willing to pay the hefty price for the brands. Some did not realise that the products were actually manufactured in Malaysia, exported to foreign countries and re-imported into the country under foreign labels.

Our car industry is one goods example of Malaysia's success story. The first batch of Malaysian cars, Proton Saga magma which was introduced in 1985 was a great success. It was produced at a time when the quality of Malaysian-made products viewed with sceptisms and suspicions by customers. Since then, Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Berhads has came out with Proton Saga Megavalve in 1991, Proton Iswara, Proton Wira, Proton Satria, Proton Tiara and the semi-luxury Proton Perdana.

In fact Proton cars are very popular in Malaysia because they are affordable and presentable. Our cars have also made waves in the overseas markets - Europe, the middle East and Asia Pacific regions. The company's latest acquisition, Lotus Cars Asia Pacific which is based in England manufactures the famous Lotus sports cars.

Another make that has made Malaysia proud is the Perodua Kancil. First introduced in mid 90s, the car is well accepted by the public. Its latest model, the trendy Kembara which is positioned as an alternative to the saloon type is still trying to find its place in the market. Other models under Perodua include the Rusa vannete and Perkasa truck.

Of course, there are the Modenas Kris and Jaguh motorcycles. Branded products of Malaysia also include its electronics goods. Products of KHIND and Malaysia Electric Company (MEC) are well received by the local and export markets.

Malaysia is right on track in its quest for Vision 2020. Although she is not spared by the recession as indicated by the general drop in the sales of most consumer goods, governmet is putting in efforts to encourage spending especially on Malaysian products. The "Buy Malaysian Products" campaign which was re-launched recently, the lifting of ruling limiting retailers to only six sales a year and reduction in the repayment of the monthly instalment of outstanding balance of credit cards from 15% to 5% will hopefully boost spending.

Whatever misgiving consumers have about Made in Malaysia products, just remember that we have come a long way since that time when goods assembled here had to be labelled "Made in Japan" to restore faith in their quality. We should be proud of our coutry for we have achieved so much in so little time.

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